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Certification Requirements for Beginning IT Professionals

From the Recruiting Blogswap:

Author Byline:  Randall Olson

Those who are interested in going to work in the information technology field are probably aware that certifications are very important.  When hiring IT workers, employers frequently look for candidates who have specific certifications. 

For entry-level positions, employers want to see certifications that validate that applicants truly have basic skills and an aptitude for IT work.  Some companies will not even consider hiring entry-level candidates who do not have at least one professional certification.  Even in cases where certification isn’t mandatory, it is certainly something IT employers view favorably.

Which Certifications Do I Need?
There are many different types of IT skills and jobs.  Accordingly, there are many different certifications, each of which validates a specific skill set.  The type of certification that you will need depends upon a number of factors, including:  the industry you want to enter, the geographic location where you want to work, a  company’s requirements, your background, and many other variables. 

Popular Entry-Level Certifications:
Some of the most popular certifications for entry-level computer technical support professionals include:

• Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
• CompTIA Network+
• CompTIA Security+
• CompTIA A+
• Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list of entry-level IT certifications.  Be sure to research your geographic market, industry, and type of position desired to learn which types of certifications will be the most beneficial to you.

How Do I Get Certified?
Before you take a certification exam, it is a good idea to make sure that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful.  There are a number of different practice tests for most certification exams.  These practice tests can give you an idea of whether or not you are ready to sit for certification, or if you need to complete additional training prior to testing. 

If you do need additional training, check out your options for online training as well as instructor-led training in your local area.  Once you have the skills you need, then it may be time to register for your chosen exam. 

Each vendor has different policies, fees, and requirements.  Most IT certification exams are available at your local PearsonVUE or Prometric testing center.  Choose a convenient, comfortable testing center that meets your needs.  Exam vendors frequently offer special pricing and promotions, so you should check for the best deals on certification testing vouchers.  Your local testing center is often a good resource for information about the best deals on test vouchers.

About the Author Randall Olson is the Director of Information Technology for Mobile Technical Institute & MTI Business Solutions. He oversees the firm's high stakes certification testing center, conducts computer application training, and manages MTI's online learning programs. MTI is a full service training and consulting firm, providing open enrollment and on-site employee development training, database development, and website solutions.

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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