Certification in an IT Discipline Can Advance Your Career

The IT world is an ever-evolving landscape. What is hot today, is passé tomorrow. The skills required in 2017 and beyond are a world apart from what they were several years ago. A Bachelor’s degree is often an entry level requirement for a job in IT. Five years after you’ve earned it much of what you learned is no longer cutting edge. Certifications help to keep your skills fresh and documented.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Certification in a needed skill area is a great way to show current and prospective employers that you are dedicated to continuous improvement. It demonstrates that you are keeping aware of current trends and future trends. Certification indicates that you have proven yourself knowledgeable to a trade association, user group, or vendor and have the skills and techniques to approach and execute the projects and tasks that employers need.

Vendor Certificates

Most major IT vendors provide their own certification tracks. CiscoMicrosoftIBMApple and AWS all offer certification tracks around their hardware and software programs and equipment. These certifications are all valuable to the IT professional looking to make a career of their products.

Other Certificates

Non-vendor/product certificates can also be advantageous. ITILPMP and CISSP, in conjunction with the previously mentioned certifications, display a well-rounded approach to IT integration to other disciplines. The application of the knowledge gained in acquiring these certifications to the technical knowledge gained through the other certifications improves the specialized knowledge of the specific help to prepare you for management-level positions.

COMMON Certificates

If you use IBM Power Systems and IBM i, you should investigate COMMON’s certification options. There are six different options, some for new professionals, some for those more experienced. Topics range from Business Computing to RPG, IBM i and AIX. Certification exams can be taken at locations throughout the United States or at COMMON events.

Considerations for Selecting the Right IT Vendor

As always, the field of information technology is growing exponentially. Along with ever-expanding growth comes a plethora of players, all seeming to offer the perfect IT solution for your company. Here are a few tips to consider when determining how to select the best IT vendor in order to meet both current and future technology needs.

Does the vendor believe in the product?

One of the most telling signs as to whether an IT vendor really believes in their products, is if they actually use what they are selling. If they do, it certainly speaks volumes as to the confidence level in their own products. If they don’t, it certainly is a tough sell to tout their products to others. Most vendors promote their products based upon the promises of reduced costs and increased productivity. If you want to determine whether or not that is actually the case, take a look at their financial reports. Their promises should show up for the vendor company or any other company they might mention as a reference.

Does the product “play nice” with others?

Another important consideration is interoperability. Do the products an IT vendor offers play well with others? Although there is the advantage of initial simplicity when choosing homogeneous products, potentially it does narrow one’s future and reduces the opportunity for diverse expansion and growth. Many companies these days see the value of solutions with built-in flexibility and are shying away from getting locked into homogeneous solutions.

Will the vendor be there for you?

Of course, service after the sale is important as well. When problems crop up, it’s important to know your IT vendor provides the stability and continuity in their workforce so you have a solid relationship upon which you can rely. For honest reviews of a particular company, you can check out sites like Glassdoor. If the employee turnover rate for a particular IT vendor is high, then chances are you will spend a fair amount of time re-making initial connections with reps instead of interacting with someone who knows you and your company very well.

Conclusion: Do Your Research

In essence, selecting a good IT vendor is not only about listening to sales presentations and then selecting the one with the most appeal. It also involves conducting further research to verify sales material and understanding the relationship with the vendor after the sale is just as important as the product itself.