Why certify? Career training expert Ed Tittel explains that certain certifications get you access to software licenses, early access to beta software and all kinds of technical information you can use in your workplace and with customers. Still, not having enough time; not having the right resources; or not having enough money keeps many IT professionals from adding these merits to their resumes. Here are ways around these career-building roadblocks:
For those who don’t have enough time, anyone dedicated enough can squeeze in a page of reading or make flashcards to break out for those times you’re standing in line or waiting for transportation. Take it from any of these IT professionals who earned their certifications using techniques like this certification game plan.
Not having the right resources can be solved by doing research: There are many free resources on the Web for those looking to obtain networking certs. This networking material on the CompTIA A+ 220-701 and 220-702 Exam Cram is one such example. Buying the right book used or new can also be enough to get you to pass your exam. I’ve received feedback from networking professionals that reading a book from front to cover was enough to get them to pass their exam on the first try. If you’re not sure which materials are best, SearchWinIT.com recommends these practices for finding the best certification prep materials.
When it comes to price, imagine not getting a job because your competition had a certification. Not having a cert could be what costs you your next job interview — especially in such a competitive job market. For networking newbie Melissa Snider, it wasn’t until she earned an MSCE certification after her degree that she received phone calls from potential employers. (You can read her success story in this article: Career advancement in four steps: Computer networking certification and career advice.) Often times, too, certification centers run promotions to get you to take their tests for free, like this Microsoft beta cert exam.
Then again, I know many bright networking and wide area networking professionals who are in jobs that make them happy, and they do not have a certification on their resume. In those cases, a certification can be insurance. If you are in the field, chances are you already know the basics covered in A+ or Network+ certifications (the most basic of network-related certifications). If you’re not sure about your networking prowess, take a look at common WAN networking misconceptions A+ exam test takers make or view the quintessential IPv6 basics every professional should know to stay relevant in their field.
The bottom line is if you know it, show it. Having the proof that you’re a professional can prove to potential employers that you’re worth the hire — and to companies you’re already working for, that you’re worth keeping around.