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What Qualification are Necessary for a Career in IT

If you want to work in IT then earning a certification could be a useful idea, but the old philosophy of a degree being a requirement is long gone. You can achieve a lot in IT simply through hard work and a passion for the technologies you are working with. Indeed, in some tech startups, a degree is not an advantage at all because technology workers know that what is taught in university is often out of date and not what is used in the real world.

There are certifications which are useful if you want to work in IT.  Qualifications such as A+ may be useful for tech support workers, while the MCSE qualification is useful for system's administrators, and the MCSD qualification is useful for developers. ITIL is the qualification for IT service management professionals. MCSE/D are Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer / Developer qualifications, which are intended for people who will be working with Microsoft Windows and with Visual Studio.

Those who want to work with Cisco networking systems may find the Cisco certification useful. These involve a lot of lab time to practice setting up networks and solving common problems, but they are useful qualifications. One thread that runs through a lot of conversations about IT certifications is that many of them are multiple choice and present leading questions where the correct answer is the one that presents the certifying body's software or hardware in the best light. This leads to cynicism about 'paper certifications' where the holder of the certification does not have sufficient real world knowledge to work with whatever product they are qualified in.

Your Portfolio Matters

What really matters at the moment is the portfolio that the person has. If you are a developer you should be able to present some examples of software that you have created. If you work on websites then you should be able to present some examples of sites that you have worked on.  If you are an ethical hacker, then you should be able to show that you have solved numerous problems on 'hack in a box' or a similar site. Being able to talk fluently about technologies is useful but being able to share code on Github and show your commits to open source projects is worth far more than any qualification.

In the age of MOOCs and tutorial videos, there is little need to pay for qualifications unless you also feel the need to pay for the learning behind them.

It is useful to have access to a tutor that will work with you and help you to understand the course material that you are working on. It is helpful to have a support network of fellow students. You are not at much of an advantage compared to a self-taught person, however, because what really shines through when you come to apply for a job in IT is the skills that you have, and there are so many easy ways to demonstrate those skills and to let what you know shine through instead of where you went to school.

Copyright statements

ITIL® is a trademark of Axelos Ltd.

PRINCE2® is a trademark of Axelos Ltd.

OBASHI® is a Registered Trade Mark in the United Kingdom and other countries

COBIT® is a trademark of ISACA® registered in the United States and other countries. 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a non-governmental organization which is a network of the national standards institutes of 156 countries. ISO is the owner of the ISO/IEC 20000 standard.

All accredited course material is provided through Accredited Training Organisations (ATO) registered with the relevant accreditation authority. For further details please contact Helix Learning direct.