Of the hundreds of IT certifications out there, some carry weight, while others are meaningless. It’s important to know which ones have value when you’re evaluating potential employees, or if you’re considering getting certified yourself.
For help desk and networking pros, these are the most meaningful certifications available, according to the folks at NetworkWorld.com:
- Microsoft (MCSE, MCITP, MCTS) — Most businesses rely on a healthy dose of Microsoft products, and the company provides a wide range of certification options for professionals to prove they’re qualified to service those tools. All of them require some amount of real-life experience in addition to passing a certification test.
- CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+) — The nonprofit, vendor-neutral Computing Technology Industry Association provides well-respected certifications for professionals who are experienced with a variety of technologies. These certificates show someone can work with products from many different vendors.
- Cisco (CCNP, CCNA, CCiE) — As a major vendor of networking products, Cisco provides some of the most popular certifications for networking professionals.
- Apple (ACSP, ACTC) — Companies that have a few Mac users mixed in with their PC people often use Apple’s certifications as a way to judge whether a job candidate can manage those Macs.
- International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (CISSP) — For businesses with especially high security needs, this is recognized as one of the most rigorous security certification programs out there.
- Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) — This is the top certification for IT security consultants.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) — This certification requires three years of project management experience, as well as a passing grade on a 200-question exam.