The IT industry is filled with possibilities. The sheer number of choices and the variety of options is part of what makes it such an appealing career path. But at the same time, the variety of options can make it confusing for someone interested in a career as an IT professional. It’s not just a matter of considering which career path is right for you, you also need to pick the right educational experience. Once that’s decided, there’s also the question of what the best way to earn that degree and prepare for the CompTIA certification exams.
Thankfully, navigating the path to computer coursework isn’t as confusing as it might seem at first glance. By looking into the most important options, it’s easy to see what the best path for you is, and you can start by asking a simple question. Which computer certification is the most valuable? This involves looking into the most important certifications and asking how they meet your needs. No single certification is a perfect choice for everyone, but it’s almost certain that there’s a certification that can pave a path to a great future in IT. So, what are the most important certifications? And which jobs can you find with them?
CompTIA A+ Certification
CompTIA A+ covers a wide range of computer related topics. In some ways you can look at it as a foundational certification that covers most aspects of IT. For example, A+ covers the basics of digital networking. However, it doesn’t go as in-depth into networking as the Network+ certification exam. A+ certification covers IT security. But, likewise, it doesn’t cover security as in-depth as Security+. In general, A+ is a great match for those who want to have a basic foundation in IT. This includes every popular operating system, from Windows to Linux.
A+ certification covers the operational procedures used for most popular systems. This includes an understanding of best practices for many different concerns. The A+ exam tests you on the needs for safety, environmental concerns, professionalism and communication with coworkers.
The A+ certification exam also covers most of the hardware found in most computer systems, on a fairly general level. You don’t need to know how to design a processor from scratch to pass the A+ certification exam, but you will need to know how to build a working system around components such as processors, motherboards, and RAM. You will also need to diagnose hardware issues to track down problems with any of those components.
The variety of topics covered by A+ certification makes it a good match for many different career paths. This includes help desk tech, desktop support administration, technical support specialist, and field service technician.
CompTIA Network+ Certification
The Network+ certification is, as the name suggests, focused on computer networking. Networking is such a ubiquitous part of information technology that it’s common for other certifications to cover similar networking knowledge. However, Network+ certification is the path for those that want a career in networking. Some of the positions available to those with a Network+ certification include network engineer, NOC technician, datacenter support technician, and telecommunications technician.
Many other certifications cover the basics of networking, but Network+ provides an in-depth look at the subject. Of course, the Network+ certification does cover the foundational elements of networking as well as the more advanced subjects. These subjects include physical network connections, architecture, and cloud computing, but this is only the basic topics of the Network+ certification. To earn a Network+ certification, you will need to understand how to take those general ideas and apply them to more advanced areas. This includes implementing ethernet solutions or wireless technologies from scratch.
Network+ certification also covers all aspects of network operations. These are the tasks that include keeping a network running smoothly in any and all situations. To pass the Network+ exam, you need to find problem areas in a network, fix them, perform optimizations, as well as harden network security. However, to fully understand computer security issues it’s best to earn the CompTIA Security+ certification.
CompTIA Security+ Certification
As Network+ is to networking, so Security+ is to IT security. Many of the IT certifications cover aspects of computer security. For example, Network+ looks at the basics of network security, but Security+ takes digital security to the next level. It’s a certification intended for those who work with IT security on a more advanced level. Some of these jobs include security administrator, system administrator, security engineer/analyst, and IT auditor.
In addition to basic IT security, the Security+ exam looks at complex enterprise-level security concerns. Someone with Security+ certification will be able to design, implement, deploy, and support security for almost any digital environment. This covers everything from the Internet-of-Things to mobile and more traditional IT networking.
The Security+ certification proves that you are able to work with and maintain the security of almost any digital system within even the most complex enterprise-level settings. The Security+ certification is even approved by the US Department of Defense to meet directive 8140/8570.01-M requirements.
How To Prepare for Certification Exams
At this point, it should be clear that certifications are both important to your professional career and cover a lot of material. It’s true that each certification covers different subject matter. However, they’re joined together by a common theme, depth. Each certification exam will cover information in their particular sphere within information technology as a whole.
The prospect of learning lots of information can be daunting, and certifications often call for both academic and practical skillsets. This all comes together to form an important question. What’s the best way to prepare for certification exams?
You might think that the varied topics covered in the certifications would require an equal number of options to prepare for the exam. But in fact, there’s one certification path that has proven its merit. That method is an information technology program with an emphasis in cybersecurity. To fully understand why that’s the case we’ll need to delve a little deeper into the subject.
The Benefits of a Formal Education
Regardless of which certification you are looking to take, they all have that one element in common, a large scope of information. This highlights one of the most important parts of a formal education. They are able to cover the entire scope of any given subject.
Take an Active Role in Learning
Consider how experienced faculty can impact your understanding of any subject. You might begin the learning experience in a passive manner. You might learn new information about the subject through lectures, but as your understanding grows you are able to participate more actively. You work with the new material, you ask questions, and take in even more information as a result while attending an information technology program.
Take Practice Exams
Formal coursework also provide you with the chance to take practice exams. You often learn best when putting your skills to the test, and this can come true in a quite literal sense with practice exams. A practice exam is almost identical to the real thing. The questions on a practice exam cover the same areas as the full certification exam. Even the procedures involved with administering the practice test are the same. It is a great way to prepare for exam day.
Build Confidence for Exam Day
An information technology program gives you a valuable chance to prove your mastery of the subject matter. However, it’s not just about getting a passing score on the practice exam either. Practice exams are also a way of proving something to yourself. When you take and pass the practice exams, you know for a fact that you have fully mastered the material. Having full confidence in yourself is an important part of doing well on a certification exam. Once you know you can pass a test there’s no reason to feel jitters or pre-test anxiety. You will also see that confidence is one of the many benefits of certification.
The Importance of Certification
Confidence isn’t just useful when you are getting ready for a certification exam. It’s something that’s further bolstered once you have been certified. You may think about certifications as a way to announce skills to your potential employers, but certification also helps you realize just how well you have mastered your particular specialty.
It’s normal to wonder how well you might do in a professional situation, but that second-guessing is ultimately detrimental to success. Worries and concerns weigh you down. Confidence in your skill set helps you to push yourself to new heights, and that’s exactly what the certifications provide.
Likewise, you know that you can have confidence in coworkers who have similar certifications. This is one of the reasons why certification is such an important part of any resume. Certification can be the uniting principle when building teams within a workforce. The shared certification means that everyone knows that their coworkers have mastered the same skills.
Administered by IT Authorities
Certifications come from the absolute authorities in the IT field. When you have earned those certifications, you know for a fact that you have lived up to the expectations set by the authorities in IT. This confidence can be a huge boon when you are facing new challenges in information technology.
Stand Out in a Crowd
Certification also makes you stand out from competition when applying for a job This can come in the form of employers working to make a unified team, but certification also stands as a testament to an individual’s ability to further themselves within their career path. It’s not just a sign of where someone is at the moment, it signifies someone who’s pushing forward to learn new things and master new technologies.
This applies to promotions as well. Moving up in a company often means taking on new responsibilities. Certification stands as evidence that you are up to the task of working on technologies similar to what you already work with.
We began by asking which computer certification is the most valuable. The true answer is that the most recognized certifications will almost always impart many benefits. Whether you are looking to take the CompTIA A+, Network+, or Security+ certification exam, taking the time to prepare with an exam prep course is a good idea. Confirm your knowledge of information technology and build confidence at the same time. It’s a win-win.
Information Technology Degree Program
The Bachelor Degree program in Information Technology with emphasis in Cybersecurity introduces you to a variety of topics, such as assessing the security vulnerability of computer and network systems, various computer and network safeguarding solutions, and managing the implementation and maintenance of security devices, systems, procedures and counter measures. As a graduate of the program, you will be prepared for an entry-level career as an information support analyst, junior ethical hacker, or network and security support analyst related jobs.
Ready to move from the classroom to a career? Florida Technical College is here to help. Contact us to learn more about completing the information technology degree program at Florida Technical College.
These examples are intended to serve only as a general guide of possible employment opportunities. There are many factors that determine the job an individual may obtain and NUC University – Florida Technical College (NUC-FTC)cannot guarantee its graduate any particular job. Some positions may require license or other certifications. We encourage you to research the requirements for the particular position you desire.