Starting a career in the IT sector is arguably one of the best pathways to a successful life. Ranked as one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, information technology remains the field of choice for individuals looking to have an exciting career while earning competitive salaries.
Whether you’re a young student or a professional looking to make a career change, there are huge opportunities in IT. However, getting even an entry-level job requires you to have the requisite skills to function effectively in whatever IT vertical you’ve chosen.
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a 4-year degree to pursue a career in IT. While IT degrees do help your chances of getting into the industry, earning a certification is usually a more convincing evidence of your expertise.
What exactly are certifications anyway?
A certification is an independent endorsement indicating that the holder has the specialized skills and technical know-how to perform optimally in a particular field. Similarly, an IT certification is a designation that demonstrates the competency of the holder in a certain field of technology. They are issued after a prospective applicant goes through educational courses and an assessment to prove that he/she has met the rigorous standards set forth by the accrediting body.
One of the most interesting things about IT certifications is that there are absolutely no prior requirements for getting one. Your academic background doesn’t matter and you do not have to pass a prerequisite exam before enrolling for an IT certification program. Also, you do not need to have experience or the theoretical background to get started. This means that virtually everyone at any point in their life can acquire a certification and begin an interesting career in the world of IT.
The value of IT certifications
A 2019 Global Knowledge report states that 85% of IT professionals have at least one certification. This is proof of the popularity and immense value of acquiring an IT certification. Aside from getting you into your first job in IT, a certification also increases your chances of landing higher-paying jobs. With the right certification, you get to pursue your dream career while making more money. Some of the other benefits of acquiring an IT certification includes
- Professional credibility and growth
- Personal satisfaction
- A sure path to career advancement
With all these amazing benefits, you should be pumped about getting your certification and commencing an exciting career in IT. But there’s just one more thing — deciding which IT certifications to acquire. With so many IT certifications out there, it can be quite difficult for beginners to identify those that will bring the most value.
Top entry-level certifications
To help you achieve your career goals, we’ve compiled a list of the best entry-level IT certifications. These beginner IT certifications are not only the top certifications in the industry but they are also the certifications that employers look out for when reviewing CVs for IT roles. Without further ado, here’s a list of entry-level certifications you should seriously consider.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Holding a CISSP certificate means that you have the information security competence to protect organizations from cyber attacks. The certificate proves that holders have extensive managerial and technical ability to design, implement and manage information security programs.
CompTIA A+ Technician
This is an entry-level certification that provides you with skills to handle the maintenance or laptops, operating systems, printers, mobile devices, and PCs.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
This certification imbues you with the skills to install, configure and operate enterprise-level networks, routers, and switches. You’ll also be able to detect and resolve common network problems.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)
This certification is offered to individuals who show that they have the requisite skills to build robust solutions across multiple technologies. Most MCSE engineers are adept in the following specializations: SharePoint, communication, messaging, business intelligence, data platform, enterprise devices and apps, desktop infrastructure, private cloud and server infrastructure.
Other notable entry-level IT certifications include
- Microsoft Professional Program Certificate in Artificial Intelligence (SkillUp Online)
- Apple Certified Associate (ACA)
- CAP: Certified Analytics Professional
- Microsoft’s Data Management and Analytics certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- CCNP Routing and Switching.
- CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate
- CISA: Certified Information Systems Auditor
- PMP: Project Management Professional
- Microsoft MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
Once you’ve identified the best entry-level IT certification to launch your IT career, you need a partner to help you acquire these certifications.
SkillUp Online provides an ideal learning platform for beginners looking to become proficient in the world of IT and start an exciting career. By investing in the right certifications, you can acquire relevant IT skills and knowledge that will help you get a starting job right off the bat.
CEO, SkillUp Group