What is the Best IT Certification for Job Placement?

There are many reasons to get professionally “certified”: future job opportunities, education, and, let’s not forget, higher salary. However, when it comes to the IT industry, which certification is most valuable for your career?

There are many to choose, from Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) to Project Management Professional (PMP), depending on hardware, job responsibilities, and your ultimate occupational goals. And while everyone will have an opinion on the topic, there is an IT certification for everyone.

However, following market trends is not the direction an IT professional should take. While Apple sales are up, IT is still very Windows-oriented, especially when you focus on the back-end. You will find that every Mac deployed will be connected to a Windows server; however, there are few Windows server experts in the field. MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) and MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) are incredible skill sets to add to your resume as it will illustrate to current and future employers how proficient you are in configuring network and application infrastructures.

Virtualization is also an important technology sector to enter. While it’s only getting started by many of the big tech corporations, it’s what everyone from Microsoft to IBM to Oracle are focusing on to maximize their technology infrastructure investments, and in a decade or so administrators will need to know these skills to stay competitive in the job market. A great place to start is with VMware and its VCP (VMware Certifified Professional), which will show employers that you can implement and maintained virtual environments. The Microsoft alternative is Hyper-V, and while VMware is the leading producer in the market right now, in a few years both will be viable options.

However, implementing and maintaining a network is one thing; what about illustrating your ability to manage and schedule a project on time? Or determining the resources needed to get the job done? That’s what PMP (Project Management Professional), from the Project Management Institute, is for. This certification isn’t for a specific product, but it will illustrate to your current and future employers that you have the ability to plan, budget, and complete projects efficiently and on time. It’s great to know all the new and fancy products and networks, but your bosses will be happier when you can prove to them that you won’t overrun any of their project’s budgets.

Other basics certifications, like Network+ and A+, every tech professional should master. There are many more, but what’s most important when choosing the right IT certification for job placement is to judge the future of the market and know which direction you want to head towards.

Some people will say that the right certification is dependent on the job you have right now, but you also need to look at the future of your career because, otherwise, you’ll begin to tread water.

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