Its up to tech staffers to sift through the bad offerings and find certifications that Hopkins refers to as legally defensible. That is, certifications put together with such rigor, and with enough reputation in the industry, that theyre an unquestioned credential.
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These tests can be expensive in relative terms, but they should be," he says, because the student can present the cert and honestly claim real proficiency.
Still, he realizes that some IT workers even knowing that some certs are well regarded say, Why should I get certified, I should go and just prove that I have the knowledge to do that. But, Hopkins says, The old question arises, how do you prove it? Its the immediate proof of competency that certs offer that make them valuable.
Naturally, Hopkins recommends CompTIAs certifications as among those worth taking. The CompTIA certs are designed to lay the groundwork for a tech career at a fundamental stage.
Among those offered by other vendors, at an upper level, he notes the continued popularity of Microsofts MCSE and MCSA, and the more specialized niche offerings by Microsoft. Additionally, he points to those offered by Sun and by Oracle.
And, I certainly wouldnt overlook the open source products, he says, pointing to certs by LPI, Red Hat, and Novell, which he calls the market leaders. There are more and more Linux servers being deployed I think those certifications are becoming a little bit more in demand than they used to be.
Also hot: networking and security. Weve seen a huge surge in security certification, Hopkins says. Theres a huge demand for people with broad security knowledge in the IT industry that seems to be one of our fastest growing areas.
And dont forget help desk certification, however unglamorous. Surprisingly, the help desk is still a hot job, says CompTIAs Steven Ostrowski. Theres a high demand for help desk technicians.