In today’s business world, information has become the valued asset on which business decisions are made. Information Technology (IT) is crucial in business, especially in regard to customers. IT systems like a patient web portal for retrieving medical records or a customer-facing ordering website are vital to an organization. IT leaders and CIOs must ensure their systems are maintained, secured, and available to meet the customer and business needs of the organization. The critical systems must be supported by well-educated and trained staff with proven abilities like IT certifications.
IT staff can demonstrate their skills and knowledge of critical systems by becoming certified in such areas as Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, EMC, NetApp, and many more. As shown in the list of companies, certifications mainly focus on becoming qualified on a company’s product (Microsoft = Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) instead of a particular job. However, due to the popularity of certifications, many positions are focused on IT jobs for specific certifications. Certifications in IT usually require an exam, while other more extensive certifications will add simulation in which the student will perform administrative tasks associated with the relevant product.
Microsoft originally established engineering certifications, such as Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, that were focused on specific platforms like server, desktop, and exchange (Aranda, 2006). This has since been replaced and expanded to multiple Microsoft certifications that focus in the areas of infrastructure, developer, and database. An example below shows a pictorial graph of Microsoft certifications:
Another great certification program is from Cisco. The Cisco certification program focuses on networking systems technology for their gear. In 1993, the company established the Cisco Academies and soon after created benchmarked standards for network technicians (Aranda, 2007). Like other certifications, the company felt that other educational institutions were not qualified in preparing students for such specified exams. Cisco has many certification tracks, such as Routing and Switching, Content Networking, Unified Communications, Optical Networking, Network Management, Cisco Security, Cisco Unified Wireless, Network Infrastructure, and Cisco Storage Networking (Aranda, 2007).
IT security is very big today due to the recent high profile data losses of Target, Sony, and Home Depot. Therefore, there is a great need to have security personnel who are certified. In 1989, a non-profit organization, (ISC)2, was established to create a global informational security certification process for professionals. Five years later, the first security professional credential was established, CISSP (isc2.org, n.d.). Security certifications have grown to over six tracks and many levels, as shown below:
VMware Certification Program
One of the top certifications on the market today is from VMware. According to data provided by Foote Partners, “VMware cloud certifications are all pretty hot right now according to data” (VMware, n.d.). Those individuals who have pursued a career in virtualization have seen a significant increase in pay over the last year. As an example, pay for VCDX certification has increased 28.6 percent, and VCP-Cloud certification positions have shown an increase in pay of 12.5 percent (VMware, n.d.). While there hasn’t been significant growth over the last year, recipients of the VCAP-CID certification, according to Foote Partners data, are receiving 8-13 percent of base pay salary as a “skills pay” premium from employers (Hein 2014). VMware has many certification or solution tracks and different levels of certifications that range from Associate to Expert. Below is a list of the tracks and levels (VMware, n.d.):
Besides pay, VMware certification has several benefits such as (VMware, n.d.):
- Recognition of your technical knowledge and skills
- Greater opportunities for career advancement
- Complimentary VMware Workstation license (for new VCP5-DCV certifications)
- Press release support (for VCDX level certifications)
- Bio featured in the VCDX Directory (for VCDX level certifications)
Since information is such a valued asset on which business decisions are made, IT is crucial for businesses to become industry leaders. Business and IT leaders must ensure their systems are maintained, secured, and available to meet ever increasing customer and business demands. One of the best ways to meet those demands is to employ well-educated and well-trained IT staff with appropriate IT certifications from companies like Microsoft, Cisco, (ISC)², and VMware.
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Aranda, N. (2007). A Brief History of Cisco Certification Training. Retrieved from…
Hein, R. (2014). 2014’s Hottest IT Certification. Retrieved from…
isc2.org (n.d.). History of (ISC)². Retrieved from…
VMware (n.d.). Industry Leading Certification Programs To Demonstrate Your Expertise. Retrieved from…
Wyrostek, W. (). Top 10 Problems with IT Certification. Retrieved from…