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Top IT Certifications To Jump-Start Your Job

Working in IT infrastructure means a whole lot more than hardware these days. Boost your career with these hot certifications on virtualization, cloud, security, and more.
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Citrix Certified Professional
While VMware technology is dominant in the data center, Citrix technology is virtualizing the applications and desktops that rely on the back end. Increasingly, that means infrastructure folks need to extend their capabilities closer to the user. IT pros who pursue the newly revamped levels of Citrix certification have demonstrated their ability to design and manage solutions using application and desktop virtualization technologies as well as NetScaler from Citrix. It's worth the effort, as the average Citrix-certified salaries rate very high, at more than $100,000 per year, according to Global Knowledge.

Citrix Certified Professional

While VMware technology is dominant in the data center, Citrix technology is virtualizing the applications and desktops that rely on the back end. Increasingly, that means infrastructure folks need to extend their capabilities closer to the user. IT pros who pursue the newly revamped levels of Citrix certification have demonstrated their ability to design and manage solutions using application and desktop virtualization technologies as well as NetScaler from Citrix. It's worth the effort, as the average Citrix-certified salaries rate very high, at more than $100,000 per year, according to Global Knowledge.

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PMH553
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PMH553,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 5:21:05 PM
Re: Top certifications
IT Certifcation is key to stand out in a crowded world. No longer is a bachelor degree the cream of the crop as it once was up till late 80's. Now even with a masters degree the job market is challenging. So how do you stand out? IT certifcation like PMP Certifcation more than likely will push your application to the front. The company has the assumption that you are trained project manager enough to at least a interview with the company. 
AbeG
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AbeG,
User Rank: Black Belt
5/31/2014 | 1:16:41 AM
Re: Top certifications
@jgherbert

"I do wonder whether we'll ever see a shift away from the vendor certs and see vendor independent certs as being the "high value" ones as they're applicable in more scenarios"

I hope so.  I think vendor independent certifications are potentially more honest than those offered directly by system developers/manufacturers. Personally, I think that some certifications offered by vendors may benefit the vendor more than the certified individual. 

Individuals who master the content of their certification are likely to boost the reputation of a given vendors' system because he/she will know how to keep it running optimally. 

When evaluating new systems for purchasing, a vendor-certified tech is likely to recommend or favor those systems which he/she has a better familiarity of.  Software/hardware developers often create their products so that they have a common interface and are easier to integrate with their other products when compared to competitors' products.

When certifications are easy to cheat on, those who pass the exam legitimately end up having the reputation of their credential diminished, along with any advantage during job applications.  As the number of seemingly qualified job applicants go up, the salary levels offered are likely to go down.

Lastly, since certifications tend to have a short shelf-life, say 4yrs, the certified individuals finds him/herself having to start over again to re-learn the vendor's new system as opposed to being able to dedicate that time to expanding his/her skillset in other areas or perhaps achieving more work/life balance.
Dono.steph
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Dono.steph,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2014 | 7:58:16 AM
Re: PMP certification for IT Professionals
Having a scrum certification will also help you a lot in your career. The value of a Scrum certification, like any other type of certification, depends on
1. how it actually adds value to your work,
2. where you did it from (linked to the first point – good training institutes make sure they add value, the not so good ones focus on the exam. Of course, you can study by yourself as well, but if it is a difficult exam, then most of the times, you drop out simply due to lack of focus)
3. the acceptability by the industry and
4. the difficulty level (kinda linked with industry acceptability)
Scrum is definitely picking up in terms of popularity (though there are instances where it is not applied correctly) and I have personally seen it work extremely well. So a certification from a reputed certifying authority should definitely help.

kenley22
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kenley22,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/27/2014 | 3:16:14 AM
PMP certification for IT Professionals
I would say that a PMP Certification is highly respected within both IT & non-IT communities where strong project management skills are required. If you plan on a long term career as a project manager, then yes, even with your level of experience, I would suggest getting your PMP. You can prepare yourself for the exam in one of the PMP trainingproviders like http://www.pmstudy.com/. You can do minimal prep-work to get 40 PMI® Contact Hours and apply to PMI for PMP Exam before the class begins.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/29/2014 | 1:24:42 PM
Re: Some Hot, Some Not!
I suspect it would be evaluated the same way all prospective employers evaluate skills, as in where it was used and to what it was applied.

...and by the presence of a certification. That at least improves your chance of getting to interview in the first place, and given the limited nature of an interview, I believe that certs do get taken to imply a certain level of credibility.


I do emphasize with your wider point, but programming really should come as second nature to Network Pros, as command-line interpreters support scripting, which are generally interpreters of an interpreted programming language.

Probably they should. But can they? I'd say it's about 50/50 as to whether or not a network engineer can also script (well enough to be useful) in my extremely subjective experience.
ReturnoftheMus
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ReturnoftheMus,
User Rank: Moderator
4/29/2014 | 12:22:14 PM
Re: Some Hot, Some Not!
'I understand their concern, and I suspect many are now wondering how - regardless of their current level of programming - that skill will be evaluated by employers, and how to demonstrate it on a resumé'.

I suspect it would be evaluated the same way all prospective employers evaluate skills, as in where it was used and to what it was applied.

I do emphasize with your wider point, but programming really should come as second nature to Network Pros, as command-line interpreters support scripting, which are generally interpreters of an interpreted programming language.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2014 | 7:33:27 AM
Re: Some Hot, Some Not!
@Returnofthemus:

"Here it's more bemusement than anything else, it's as though programming is only coming into vogue when it actually pre-dates the computer and some people appear to be waiting for the equivalent of the CCIE Programmer, when they can get started very easily today!"

 

So when somebody says "I program in Python", your reaction is bemusement?

I don't think it's that programming itself is coming into vogue, which seems to be what you're suggesting; rather, network engineers have been able to survive for years without having to do much, if any, programming. The idea that their job role may start requiring a skill that not all of them have acquired is, understandably, causing concern. It's very nice to say everybody should be able to program, but in my experience that just isn't the case, and while it doesn't make them a worse network engineer, being able to program would certainly expand thair capabilties in certain areas.

I understand their concern, and I suspect many are now wondering how - regardless of their current level of programming - that skill will be evaluated by employers, and how to demonstrate it on a resumé.

ReturnoftheMus
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ReturnoftheMus,
User Rank: Moderator
4/28/2014 | 6:00:58 AM
Re: Some Hot, Some Not!
'And everybody in a current network engineering role should be able to configure the network equipment put in front of them, so why do we need certs there either?

Other than I wouldn't expect it to be beyond the realms of the most competent, I don't have an answer to this question, vendor certs tend to be vendor product specific I gather for many this is part of the appeal.

Saying "I program in <insert_language_here>" can mean many different things depending on who is saying it, and who is hearing it'.

Here it's more bemusement than anything else, it's as though programming is only coming into vogue when it actually pre-dates the computer and some people appear to be waiting for the equivalent of the CCIE Programmer, when they can get started very easily today!
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Strategist
4/27/2014 | 6:50:25 PM
Certs or no Certs?

This has always been a controversial subject in the IT world. Yes, they are helpful but they are also expensive. If you are trying to do this on your own you need to be able to afford it. I see virtualization and storage as two major categories. If you can get your company to pay then great. But cost is a concern.

jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/26/2014 | 8:07:00 PM
Re: Some Hot, Some Not!
@ReturnoftheMus:

"As far as I'm concerned everyone working in IT should be able to code, this shouldn't require a cert."

And everybody in a current network engineering role should be able to configure the network equipment put in front of them, so why do we need certs there either? Saying "I program in <insert_language_here>" can mean many different things depending on who is saying it, and who is hearing it.

As a side note though, being able to point to github (or similar) and show what you've been involved in, perhaps your own project, and the pull requests you've had accepted into bigger projects - that's a kind of online resumé for your coding skills that would perhaps work almost as well as a certification, and it also avoids concerns that somebody is just a paper cert based off a braindump.

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