Certification Basics

By: karthi

Certification Basics
What is computer certification, and how do I get it?
Measuring ones skills and expertise and having a metric to do so is necessary in today's highly competitive fast paced world. Computer certifications exist for a single purpose: to provide a measurable account of a specific set of skills and/or product knowledge. If you are an expert, a certification is proof. If you are not yet an expert, the path you must take to become certified will provide you with the tools to become one. Hence certification is what you need to prove your worth. You may be real good, but how will the world know that? What is the guarantee, proof or degree? Hence the need for certifications!
There are many paths to certification and the first step is to do some research. Spend some time defining your current skills, deciding where you want to take your career, and then look at the certifications that are applicable to your goals. One of the best resources of Study materials for IT exams is http://www.certmagic.com . They provide study materials for more then 700 IT exams and almost all their exams have free demos .
Are you new to IT (Information Technology)?
There are quite a few people trying to decide how to get into IT. From those just out of school, to mid and late career changers. So what IT certification is best for entry-level professionals? The answer to this is not terribly complicated. You will need to define some simple career goals. The clearer your vision is about what you are and what you want, the clearer the solution will be for you. There are three basic steps:
1.Evaluate your current skills. Do you have any experience that will relate to an IT position? For example, you may have worked closely with IT developers or somehow ended up as the office computer troubleshooter in your previous position.
2.Decide what you are interested in. Do you want to be a programmer, network guru, system administrator, etc.?
3.Pick the certification that will get your foot in the door. Aspire to additional, more involved certs once you get a position, and always ask if a future employer provides tuition assistance.
Once you have answered these questions you have your starting point. The next step is to look for the certification that meets your career goals. For the person just starting out in IT the focus needs to be on the basic certifications. Once you achieve one of these, you can use it as a stepping stone to future certs. It will also demonstrate a willingness to learn that will help you get the promotion or job you are seeking. You may also want to look at how others are making their way into IT by tuning in to IT certification forums. Feel free to post your own questions and get advice from those who have "been there, done that". Now the question arises, where are the bucks?

Where are the bucks?

There are several certifications that can help you get into IT. The following list breaks down a few of the most popular and respected by job category. The exam prices listed are approximate. Exam prices are always subject to change and you need to expect additional costs for training, which can run into the thousands. Fortunately, most of these certs can be studied for with relatively inexpensive books or online tutorials.

We have populated a list of popular IT certifications. However, these are always increasing hence this list may not be complete but will definitely give you a fair idea.
Networking & Sys Admin
MCP - $100 - This is the most basic Microsoft Certification available and is always the first step to any other MS Cert. You can take and pass any Microsoft exam to achieve the MCP. Be sure to review the list of exams and pick one that applies to networking and to the next certification level (i.e. MCSA or MCSE).
CCDA or CCNA - $125 - A certification designed for individuals who will design simple routed LAN, routed WAN, and switched LAN networks with fewer than 100 nodes that utilize Cisco routers and switches.
IBM Certified Specialist - $175 - If you will be working with IBM products this certification will show that you can perform basic planning, configuration, installation, support, or maintenance of IBM products. There is a bewildering number of specializations available at this level so be sure to pick the area you will be working with.
A+ - $278 - This is probably the most popular entry level certification. You will need a bit of experience with hardware or just some really good study materials. This is for PC technicians who want to prove their expertise.
Server+ - $400 - The next step up from A+, this certification is for those seeking to become certified on advanced hardware issues. Server+ deals with Industry Standard Server Architecture (ISSA) issues, such as RAID, SCSI, multiple CPUs, SANs, and others.
MCSA - $400 - If you have been involved in IT at some level and want a certification to move ahead, this cert from Microsoft is just for you. Falling between the MCP and MCSE, the MCSA certification is designed for professionals who want to implement, manage, and troubleshoot existing network and system environments.
Internet & E-Commerce
CEC - Price Varies - The CEC gives you a non-technical certification designed for executives, managers and professionals who want to show demonstrated e-commerce business skills. The CEC can be obtained through current university credits, experience, or training and must be maintained through continuing education credits.
BCIP - $100 - This Brainbench cert offers a cheap way to get a certification proving your expertise with internet technologies. Four exams are required and they range in price so the $100 is just an estimate. It could be more or less. Concentrations for the BCIP include Web Administrator, Designer, or Developer.
CIW Associate - $125 - This is the first step on the CIW certification ladder. You will be required to demonstrate knowledge of HTML, networking and Internet fundamentals.
i-Net+ - $199 - This cert is for those who are looking to get their hands dirty with hands-on implementation and maintenance of Intranet and Extranet infrastructure and services. You will also learn how to develop the related applications.
Macromedia Certs - $100 - If you are looking into website development, consider getting a Flash or Dreamweaver certification from Macromedia.
Programming & Development
MCP - $100 - This is the most basic Microsoft Certification available and is always the first step to any other MS Cert. You can take and pass any Microsoft exam to achieve the MCP. Be sure to review the list of exams and pick one that applies to development and to the next certification level.
SCJP - $150 - If you know Java or want to know Java the SCJP (Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform) is Sun's entry level programming certification. You will be expected to know the basic syntax and programming structure of the Java language. The next step is the SCJD (Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform).
MCAD - $300 - This is an intermediate certification for those who want to build and maintain applications using Microsoft's .NET framework.
Database Administration
MCP - $100 - This is the most basic Microsoft Certification available and is always the first step to any other MS Cert. You can take and pass any Microsoft exam to achieve the MCP. Be sure to review the list of exams and pick one that applies to database admin and to the next certification level (i.e. MCDBA).
OCA, DBO, or OCP - $125 to 215 - These basic Oracle certifications will demonstrate your knowledge of Oracle Databases. The OCA focuses on database fundamentals and requires two exams. The DBO is designed for database operators and requires one exam, while the OCP is designed for internet operators and also requires one exam.
Security
CCSA -$100 - This certification from Check Point is designed primarily for end-users and resellers who need a good technical understanding of VPN/FireWall-1 and need to install and set up simple configurations.
GISO - approximately $1,800 - It seems expensive but this includes online courseware. Currently the cert is not available independently. When it is, it will cost $499 for the exam. This GIAC cert is for those who who want to demonstrate basic understanding of security principles and technical concepts. It combines basic technical knowledge with understanding of threats, risks, and best practices. You will be qualified to oversee the security of information and information resources.
Technical Writing
Microsoft Desktop Specialist - $100 - If you have an aptitude for communication, technical writing is a great way to get into IT and learn a lot very quickly. It will only be a matter of time before you are proficient in accomplishing the things you write about and can move into a more technical position. This price reflects the core certification which shows proficiency with one Microsoft Office Product. You can choose a core exam or an expert exam to receive the MOUS Expert Certification. Four more expert exams (and $400), and you can have the Master MOUS.
Training
There are really no beginner certifications for trainers. The basic implication behind training is that no matter how charismatic you are, you must have the technological know-how and experience to become a certified IT trainer. Most training certs require that you hold an advanced cert and maintain continuing education to keep the training certification. Advanced training certs include the MCT and CTT+. One of the best resources of Study materials for IT exams is http://www.certmagic.com . They provide study materials for more then 700 IT exams and almost all their exams have free demos .

Decide on the best certification keeping the bigger picture in mind. Certification you choose must align well with your career, ambitions, skills and budget. We wish a happy successful journey all along. Never fear treading this path as theirs is nothing to loose and all the reasons to gain.

About CertMagic.com :

Founded in 2004, CertMagic (http://www.certmagic.com) is one of the global leaders in IT certification preparation and IT skill assessment. Over the last 3 years, it has contributed to the success of over 500,000 IT professionals from over 120 countries. Committed to deliver high quality products and value to its customers, CertMagic (http://www.certmagic.com) offers Unconditional 150% Test Pass Guarantee on all of its IT certification preparation products.

Top Searches on
Programming
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Programming