Investing in your Career as an it Professional

By: Mike Allen

I recently read an interesting article in CertMag by Neill Hopkins & Jonathan Thatcher of CompTIA called Finding Your Career Coordinates. The article made a few points which I found very interesting. One of these points was that when we hear the word investment, we all think of stocks, bonds, 401ks etc. They mentioned that in reality, what makes all of these things possible is our career. Our career is one of the largest and most profitable investments we will make in our life times.
Establishing the point that our careers are a huge investment, it is important that we give our career choices as much thought as we would any other investment. Why invest in a company or market where we know it will fizzle? One of the fastest growing industries is the IT world. According to their article, the IT industry is expected to reach an increase in output growth rate of 68% between 2002 and 2012.


So how does one go about entering this market? The answer is in training. Employers want to know what you can do for them, where your skills lye. For IT professionals and those who are interested in entering this market, it is a varied opinion of what type of training is best, whether it be a four year degree or a certification. The one thing that remains the same is that employers would like to hire individuals who can perform the tasks which are required of them.
Vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA have come up with their own certifications designed to fully prepare candidates to work efficiently with their products. Each certification requires students to understand concepts which can only be learned by jumping in and getting their hands dirty. To facilitate this process IT certification training companies have developed courses which take students by the hand and walk them through these concepts. Through careful study of these courses, students increase their chances for passing certification exams, which can help in landing positions in the industry.
Another benefit of certifications is that there are so many to choose from, and each is specialized. An IT professional has the option to continue learning and seeking complimentary certifications to increase skill levels, which provides opportunities for promotions and advancements in the work place. Each certification will vary in price, but the advantages a career will see with the certification will outweigh the costs of becoming certified. Working through these types of training programs is time well spent if the IT industry is an investment in your future.

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