Tech recruiters and hiring managers have their eyes primed for candidates who hold industry certifications. These badges of honour are indicative of knowledge, the possession of up-to-date skills, and a desire to learn.  Whether you are a help desk engineer or a cloud expert, there are achievements to be had.

Separated into 2 parts, this guide makes it easy for you to identify your next professional landmark.

This first installment looks at the IT certifications you may want to target if you are new to the IT sector, or if you have a career in Networking or Cybersecurity in your sights.

If these are on your radar, here are some of the IT certifications you could consider working toward if you want to elevate your CV, skills, and most crucially, your employability.

Best IT certifications for beginners.

If you are just beginning your IT career, these are some of the introductory IT certifications you may like to consider.

CompTIA A+ Certification.

This is a foundation-level certificate, with modules in hardware, technical support, and troubleshooting. Students also cover security, networking, operational procedures, mobile devices, and various other operating systems.

Microsoft Technology Professional (MTA).

This certification offered by Microsoft covers a range of subjects including Windows Operating System fundamentals, Windows Server Administration, networking and cybersecurity, database fundamentals, and development (covering software development, web development, .NET, gaming, and HTML5).

Each of these topics is a separate certification. You can attain many MTAs if that is what you need to kick start your career.

Microsoft also offers a mid-level certification program, helping you to take your career to the next level.  The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and the Microsoft certified solutions developer (MCSD) are two of the highest industry standard accreditations in tech. Either, or both of these, will help elevate your CV to top-tier status.

Best IT Certifications for Networking Engineers.

Cisco is one of the leading providers of infrastructure products. They also offer a range of networking qualifications that are endorsed by their expertise. This notoriety makes one of their certifications the gold standard; a certificate from this organisation confirms that you’re aware of the latest developments and best practices in networking.

The most essential Cisco certifications are;

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).

A CCNA can hold expertise in the following areas – cloud, collaboration, cyber operations, data center, industrial/IoT, routing and switching, security, service provider, and wireless.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).

Following on from the CCNA, a CCNP is a more advanced IT certificate in one of the already mentioned specialty areas.  You can specialise in CCNP Enterprise, Data Center, Security, Service Provider, or Collaboration.

Best IT Certifications for Security.

The domain of cyber security and cybercrime are hot topics. As we conduct more of our lives online and continue to work remotely, IT security is a growing area of concern. If you are looking to work in or transition to a role in this exciting field, you may like to consider one of the following certifications.

ISACA is a professional organisation devoted to IT security and governance. It offers several global certification programs. These include:

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

This is considered to be ISACA’s cornerstone certificate. This assessment is aimed at information systems (IS) professionals who monitor, control and assess a company’s IT or business systems. However, this isn’t an entry-level qualification. This is open to professionals who have at least 5 years of professional experience in the field.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

The CISM is designed for people who design, build, and manage information security programs. It is highly regarded as the leading accolade for information security managers. To qualify for this award, learners must have at least five years of IS experience and three years as a security manager.

Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC).

This is an accreditation for professionals and project managers responsible for information security and its overall impact on the business. It covers risk identification, risk assessment, risk response and mitigation, and risk control monitoring and reporting.

Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT).

This demonstrates an understanding of enterprise IT governance principles and practices. Attracting the highest of IT salaries, the CGEIT is one of the most sought-after IT security certifications out there.

Cybersecurity nexus (CSX-P).

The CSX-P certification indicates that professionals are up to date on security standards and risks. Essential in a time of constantly evolving cybersecurity threats.

Other IT security certifications include;

Certified Ethical Hacker.

Professionals with this certification specialise in penetration testing. This is why it is often a prerequisite for positions like cyber forensics analysts, cybersecurity engineers, and applications developers.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Designed for experienced IT professionals, the CISSP is another IT Security certification in high demand. Holding a CISSP demonstrates that a professional understands potential vulnerabilities in networked systems and can create policies to safeguard systems and shrink risk.

Global Information Assurance Certifications (GIAC).

The GIACs come in several categories across all areas of IT Security. These include cyber defence, penetration testing, incident response, and forensics, cybersecurity management, audit and legal proficiencies, developer, and industrial control systems.  Of these certificates, the highest level is the GIAC security expert (GSE).

Next time our blog will look at the best IT Certifications for Project Management, Cloud, Database, and IT Helpdesk professionals. Come back soon for more pointers on where to concentrate your professional development efforts.

Are you a Cybersecurity or IT networking professional looking for your next role? Perhaps you are working toward one of these industry-standard certifications and hope it serves to increase your employability.

We’d love to hear from you and help you find your next career-defining role. Get in touch today.



About the author: I work hard to find the best opportunities for my candidates and the best talent for my clients. My honest and pragmatic approach helps me to build lasting relationships and deliver real value.  I have extensive experience helping organisations overcome their critical challenges in the digital environment, and have worked with everything from start-ups to major global brands.

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