Odds are, your company is expanding into the digital arena. Be it website coding, infrastructure security, or general technical support for your employees, it may be tempting to simply hire a new IT professional for everything that comes up. However, for a lot of tasks in the information technology world, earning a certificate in the topic and taking on the new tasks yourself can be more time and cost efficient.
Even for someone in the technology industry, it can be overwhelming to navigate the changing landscape of IT training and Cisco certification programs based on the large number of certificates offered. This guide will provide an easy-to-understand background for these certifications and help you choose which ones you or even your employees should pursue.
Why you should get a certification?
The reasons that drive you to get a certificate will be unique, but there are a lot of reasons to seek an IT or Cisco certification. Some of the most important include:
- Understanding what your IT employees are doing
- Ability to solve your own IT problems
- Credibility when discussing IT with employees
- Professional and personal development
What type of certificate should you pursue?
The certificate you should look for should match the work you are looking to do. Some of the most popular certificates that may be applicable to your business area Microsoft Office certificate, Cisco CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional), and CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician).
The most straightforward and most widely applicable certificate is the Microsoft Office certificate. With this, you will learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Office and be able to troubleshoot any problems that arise in your day to day work. Specifically, look for the Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist certification.
For more in-depth knowledge, look into a formal CCNP training program. There are a variety of certificates that fall under CCNP, including security, wireless and data center. Based on your industry, different certificates will apply to your work. A CCNP certificate will provide a wide range of knowledge in the Cisco infrastructure.
What certification will give me a general knowledge of different systems?
While the Microsoft and Cisco certifications are primarily about their respective company’s products, CompTIA certificates focus on general technology and services found from a variety of vendors that is a good option if you are looking for a broad range of knowledge outside just the realm of Microsoft and Cisco.
How can I prepare for a certification test?
The most important consideration when preparing for a certification test is practicing the material you will be required to know. Practice tests and simulations can show you what you are doing well at, and what you still need to review, before test day.
You can also look into different training and education programs designed for the certificate you will be testing for. These programs guide you through all the material you are expected to know and give you simple tutorials to ensure you learn everything.
Deciding between pursuing a certificate or hiring a new IT professional can take a while, but be sure to evaluate both sides of the equation completely. Often, learning the information yourself can save time and money, and make you a stronger management professional.