How do you launch a career in IT? A college education is helpful, but not necessary. What you really need is tech training—and a certification. That’s because several IT positions require knowledge in dealing with specific technical procedures or software. By becoming certified, you’ll prove that you have the skills needed to succeed.

Don’t know which IT certifications will give you the most bang for your buck? Real-time job analysis software was sourced to identify more than 400,000 entry-level IT job postings during a 12-month time period, identifying the top five IT certifications employers are seeking from candidates.*

Earning one of these in-demand certifications can help you launch a rewarding career in the IT industry:

  1. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

    A lower-level certification, the CCNA assures employers that you’re able to install, operate and configure enterprise-level switches and routers. CCNA-certified pros can also detect and solve common network problems. With this certification, you also have the options of specializing in security, voice or wireless networking.

    Most common job titles:

    • Network engineer
    • Network administrator
    • Systems administrator

    Certification process:
    Become CCNA-certified by passing a single 90-minute written exam with 50-60 questions. Learn more


  2. CompTIA A+ Technician

    This entry-level certification is a basic starting point for a career in IT. Certified A+ techs handle PC maintenance, operating systems, printers, mobile devices and laptops.

    Most common job titles:

    • In-home support specialist
    • Desktop support technician
    • Help desk technician

    Certification process:
    You must pass two exams—one multiple choice and one performance-based. Learn more


  3. Network+

    A globally recognized certification, Network+ verifies your ability to design, manage and troubleshoot wired and wireless networks.

    Most common job titles:

    • Helpdesk technician
    • Information technology specialist
    • Information technology technician

    Certification process:
    Pass a single 90-question exam on the configuration of wired and wireless network devices and other emerging technologies.

  4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

    This globally recognized credential verifies information security competency in order to protect organizations from attack. It also proves extensive technical and managerial abilities to engineer and manage information security programs.

    Most common job titles:

    • Information technology auditor
    • Security analyst
    • Information security analyst

    Certification process:
    Eight subjects are covered in the CISSP exam: security and risk management, asset security, security engineering, communications and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations and software development security. There are 250 exam questions that take approximately six hours to complete. Learn more


  5. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE)

    This mid-level certification validates your ability to build innovative solutions across multiple technologies. MCSE certification is offered in specializations that include server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, enterprise devices and apps, data platform, business intelligence, messaging, communications and SharePoint.

    Most common job titles:

    • Systems administrator
    • Field systems technician
    • Systems engineer

    Certification process:
    Depending on your preferred concentration, the steps to become certified vary. The exam is a five-step process that incorporates various question formats from multiple choice to drag-and-drop to simulation problems. Learn more

Source: *BurningGlass.com (Analysis of 445,293 entry-level IT jobs, Apr. 1, 2015 – Mar. 30, 2016)
Technology adopter. Doubles player. Pug lover. Martini drinker. Snow skier. And rabid reader.

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