Important IT Certifications

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by phas3, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    So right now I'm working on a bachelors degree in Business. However I've always had a keen interest in the IT world. Now I'd like to start getting certifications and was wondering what do you guys consider are the top must have certifications to get your foot in the door at an entry level job?
  2. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    wow. entry level for what ?!? degree in business, cert in? = what are you looking for?!?

    compTIA is basic for computer repair, but would seem a waste of your degree.

    there are several MS certs that would matter if you were headed in the MIS directions.

    everything else would be aimed at the CS crowd and would be a waste for you.

    if you are still in school, and wish to work in computer/IT, continue to the MS in information systems level. better jobs, better opportunities, better everything.

    based on being a MS solution provider and System builder for 15+ years. just my two cents...
  3. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008

    Entry level job doing IT work is what I meant, given that I'm almost done with my bachelors i'm kind of having a mid life crisis. I want to have a career in Information Technology unfortunately I thought the world of business was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life hence my educational path to a business degree.
  4. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    What area do you want to go into? IT is very diverse. Are you looking for sysamin, network admin, programming, or what?

    In general, the A+ is pretty standard entry level cert. From there, decide which way you want to go. For networking, I would recommend the CCNA. For sysadmin, you could pick the OS you like, and go from there. Microsoft has their line of MCP/MCITP certs for their server line. For Linux, there is the Linux+, and Red Hat line of certs.
  5. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    A few years after I got my four year degree from business school, I got an MCP Microsoft certification in 2000. It opened a lot of doors, and certainly more then than a degree.

    However, while certain certifications are more powerful than degrees in IT, I don't know which ones are hottest right at the moment.

    In the old days there were four that were common:

    MCP (from MCP, MCP+I, and MCSE)
    Cisco (CCNA, CCNP)
    Novell (CNA)

    Now there's Security+, Network+, CCISP, the new alphabet soup in the Microsoft world, and maybe not so much Novell anymore.

    If you are ambitious, get more than one and also update them whether the industry says it's mandatory or not. I would hire somebody with current A+ information than somebody equal but with A+ knowledge from ten years ago.

    If you go further in business and get your MBA, it's the only acceptable place to put it on a business card without being laughed out of the room. IT people love letters behind the name and any business degree coupled with an IT certification is a good thing and while IT doesn't teach business skills, there are sometimes need for managers and a business degree then puts you in contention.
  6. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    Like others have touched upon before me, what area of IT do you want to get into? Help-desk, sys admin, database architect, project manager,etc.
  7. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone, in terms of what kind of area in the diverse world of IT I am not sure. I know that I like to do alot of hands-on with hardware and fixing pc etc.

    Does anyone know of a website I can go on to see all the different types of jobs in the IT field?
  8. 63dot, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    For general hardware and network there's and for MS there's and click on Learning Home tab. Both the A+ or basic Microsoft certifications can be great ground floor certifications for getting you in. My wife went the A+ route and I went MCP and once we were in then either you can learn in the field or choose more certifications.

    Learning by doing is best as many fall into the trap of simply getting a lot of certifications but never doing work in the field. They have a lot of paper certifications and thus are called paper tigers. Degrees and certifications let you know some of what is going on, with certs being a little more targeted, but neither are close to the real life demands needed to succeed. It's not the programming, science, engineering, tech skills, math, tests, or anything else that is key but doing what is needed. Most of a degree will be wasted and much of any expensive certification training. What you need to do is be willing to learn what your employer or clients want and be patient enough to get confident and competent in your tasks. Be patient and when you reach that point, if you still like the field, then you should be able to get a job anywhere.

    If you can handle stress and boredom, and most importantly angry and impatient end users who know nothing about technology, then you are cut out for the field. The people side of IT is usually what makes most techies quit. It's not about being good at gadgets/gear and going in and getting it done. No matter what certifications or degrees you have, you won't be treated as an equal and be seen as the slaves from IT that have come to fix stuff. You may very well get paid more than your customers and be smarter and more educated, but be ready to be abused and treated like dirt.

    IT has better advancement possibilities and better pay than almost any field out there but be ready for the frustration the higher pay will warrant. Every now and then somebody will understand and be very appreciative of your presence and let those times be the ones you remember.
  9. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I think 63dot brings up a good point. Be prepared to be beat up when something goes wrong and ignored when everything goes right. It comes with the job.
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I hate to be "that person" but usually if you are undecided I recommend looking into (in no particular order):

    1. Network administration
    2. Database administration
    3. Security

    Places may vary but in my experience those three usually have the most job openings and pay well.
  11. bronner, Mar 14, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013

    bronner macrumors newbie


    Mar 11, 2012

    Not sure how relevant this is, and I may get laughed away, but have you gotten your CIW certs?

    I just passed IBF (Internet Business) and SDF (Site Development) and I'm studying for NTF (Networking), and there's a couple others too, but I'm not quite sure what they are. I'm a junior in HS and passed the first two with a 76% and 73%, respectively.


    Tried to change title capitalization also, it didnt work. U guys probably wouldn't have noticed, but now im paranoid someone will. So, that's why I edited it.
  12. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    The first time I got certified I did an internship for free and it seemed kind of pointless. We set up a cash register connected to a single PC in the back room for a small store. Nobody complained and it went well. We did have to carry the stuff which didn't get shipped all at the same time, so we didn't know which day to show up at store, and then get the heck out so the store could do business. We were kind of rushed.

    Then I found out that the single job was billed out at $10,000 dollars for the setup, delivery of the machines, and cleanup of mess and takeaway of old register which was tossed at nearby dump. The cash register and PC, though nominal, was paid for by the client. Wow, this may be a way to make some money!

    At the time, height of, an average A+ technician in California made more money than any person starting out with a bachelor's in electrical or electronic engineering. I think the lack of respect and aggravation of the job makes those A+ techs who are usually self employed worth every penny to a client.
  13. phas3 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 5, 2008
    thanks for this list, does anyone else have any recommendations as chrono in terms of job field?

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