IT Certifications 101 – Part Two

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Recapping on part one of IT certifications 101, their importance is increasing, growing in popularity and their benefits are nothing short of powerful.

Number four on The 10 best IT certifications:2012, is Cisco Certified Network Associate certification. This is also a great alternative to another more complex certification, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certification, which requires a huge exam. CCNA is also a fine substitute because most organizations do not require a CCIE.

CSSA, Certified SonicWall Security Administrator, is number five on the list because it’s helpful to IT professionals that deal with small business.

Number six, PMP. Project Management Professional certifications are provided by the Project Management Institute. An IT certification on PMP is,  “Globally recognized and demanded, the PMP® demonstrates that you have the experience, education and competency to lead and direct projects.”

Eckler continues the list with CISSP as number seven. Certified Information Systems Security Professional is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium.  This IT certification is important because it deals greatly with legal regulations and security.

ACSP, falls at number eight on the list of Top 10 IT Certifications. The purpose of the Apple Certified Support Professional certification is to prove mastery of all things Apple.

IT Certification number nine is the CompTIA certificates Network+ and A+.  According to CompTia, the Network+ the exam is comprised of “network technologies, installation and configuration, media and topologies, management, and security. Candidate job roles include network administrator, network technician, network installer, help desk technician and IT cable installer.”  The A+ certification has two exams.  Both these IT certifications made the list because of their fundamental skills.

Lastly, CompTIA Healthcare IT Technician finishes up the Top 10 list.  According to CompTia, this 60 minute exam “is intended for IT professionals who are CompTIA A+ certified or have 500 hours of hands-on IT technical experience in the lab or field, plus the knowledge/skills necessary to deploy and support healthcare IT systems in clinical settings.”

So, depending on your field of expertise, the list above should help in determining which direction to go in. Remember, the reasons to get an IT certification far outweigh the reasons not to. They can only help enhance your career.

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IT Certifications 101 – Part 1

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IT certifications and their importance are a hot topic in the world of IT. Some professionals view IT certifications as nothing more than a learning tool, while others see it as a requirement to prove your knowledge.

There are many benefits to having an IT certification. Advantages start as simple as meeting the job requirements to even booking an interview and being able to provide your future employer with validation of your skills and knowledge. The Importance of IT Certifications also highlights more key factors in having an IT certification. Getting a higher salary and providing job security are a couple more reasons.

So, where to begin? IT Certifications are extensive and so are the lists that provide you the “best” and “hottest” certifications to have.

According to Erik Eckel, Author of The 10 best IT certifications:2012, IT certification lists should be comprised of the most needed certifications in the workforce.  If it’s not valuable for the IT pro to hold a specific certification currently, then it’s off the list.

In order of highest importance, the number one spot goes to MCITP, or Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008. Why is this one at the top of the list, you ask? Because the vast majority of servers are Windows, and apparently there aren’t many Windows server experts around.

Second place goes to MCTS. The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist certification is a great alternative to MCITP and according to Eckel it is, “among the smartest accreditations an engineer can currently chase.”

Rounding off the top three IT certifications is VCP or VMware Certified Professional. As per the VMware website, this certification is absolutely necessary to IT professionals looking to “design, operate and evolve your cloud environment.”

Find the rest of the Top Ten IT certifications and their importance in part 2 of IT Certifications 101.

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How to Improve Your Chances of Landing Your Dream IT Job

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Senior year and college graduation often sneak up on students. Many feel like they were just moving into their very first dorm room and now they are facing the real world eye to eye. The uncertainty of employment is a common fear among those in any major or field of study but as with anything else, preparation can ease some of the pressures that life in the real world can often times hammer down upon the recent graduate.

As we mentioned in our last blog post, breaking into the information technology world can be a daunting and competitive process. The following are a few tips for recent graduates or college seniors looking to land a quality IT job after graduation.

  • Get an internship before graduation – Most programs at the university level now require an internship in order to earn your degree, but even if your program does not require an internship, we highly recommend building your experience early in any way you can. An internship is a great way to gain “real world” experience with an expected learning curve and safety net. Experience will set you apart from your competition, show that you are ready for more responsibility and are qualified for the position available.
  • Have a portfolio of work – All of the work you have done in your undergraduate and professional studies should be highlighted in one clean and organized location. Even if you are not currently employed, we advise seeking out opportunities that could be highlighted on your resume and in your portfolio. Developing a portfolio of work will allow potential employees and clients to see your quality of work and your stories of success. Be sure to include only quality work that would leave a positive impression on potential employers.
  • Research Employers – Be proactive!  Make a list of the top 10 companies you would like to work for and make a substantial effort to research their methodology and missions. Preparing your resume and your work experience to fit into the specific skills set that is required by the companies you seek out will drastically impact your chances of landing a job at that company. Begin networking with the people that could potentially impact your employment future. Joining societies and professional organizations will be helpful when it comes to starting a positive dialogue with IT professionals.

The “real world” can be a scary place, but with the right preparation on your part, you can find an immense amount of success right out of college. As always, be sure to do your research and equip yourself with all of the tools needed for success in the IT field. The tips we have mentioned are supplementary to the acquired skills and education naturally required to break into the information technology industry. For a deeper look at the skills required to break into the IT world, take a look at our last blog post here.  At Alliance IT we are always looking for quality professionals to join our team, be sure to check our careers page for opportunities and Good luck on your job hunt!

 

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Information Technology – The Top Ten Traits You Need in Your Toolbox

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Whether you are you a recent college graduate who is eager to start working or a college student with an interest in information technology, this blog is for you. Breaking into the IT field can be difficult but with diligence and a commitment to bettering the skills required to be successful, no hurdle will be too high.

There are a set of skills that any aspiring professional should be aware of and should strive for and in this blog we will uncover exactly what those skills are and how they can help you become the most effective information technology professional possible.

  • Get a Degree: It will be essential to receive a degree and the appropriate education in information technology, computer programming, computer engineering, computer science or any other relevant program. Education is the foundation of all the concepts a good IT professional will build upon throughout their career.
  • Have Initiative and Be Self Disciplined: having a natural understanding and ability to work hard will serve you well working in information technology.
  • Be Detail Oriented and Intricately Focused: Computer technologies and all that comes with information technologies are intricately designed programs. The small details are what matter most in IT and having a mind for those details and a strong focus will prove to be incredibly relevant everyday on the job.
  • Affinity for Problem Solving: Technological issues are usually rooted in a problem that needs to be solved. It is essential to have a natural liking of the idea of problem solving in order to enjoy being an IT pro but also to be an effective one.
  • Solid Mathematical Skills and Understanding of Advanced Equations: Mathematical equations will surround you in information technologies. Be sure to have an intricate understanding of as many concepts as possible.
  • Data Manipulation: It is imperative to have an understanding and skill set in data manipulation to understand how changes can be made to fit the needs of the technology.
  • Additional Certifications: Having a specialization or a focused knowledge base can be a secret weapon when it comes to applying for jobs or being effective at the one you may already have. Consider taking courses on specific courses like Java, C#, Informatica, SAP BusinessObbjects, Cognos,  etc.
  • Willingness to Continue Education: Technology is ever changing and with that comes a need to constantly adapt our mindset. Having a constant willingness to learn will keep you current and will always keep you and your job relevant to the information technology sector.
  • Understanding of Multiple Step Logic: Understanding of philosophical reasoning and logical concepts will be tools to help you excel further in information technology.
  • Enjoy Technology: If you have chosen to pursue a career in information technology, it will prove to be very necessary to have a natural passion for technology and for your job.

These ten traits among many others are essential in building a career within the realm of information technology. Combined they will serve you well as you begin or continue your search for a rewarding career in IT.

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