10 tech certifications that actually mean something...


Written on Monday, August 27, 2007 by Gemini

There are hundreds of tech certification programs and exams out there, some sponsored by software vendors, some by vendor-neutral organizations, and some by educational institutions. A number of them are easy to obtain—as evidenced by the many IT pros who list a three-line string of acronyms after their names. You pay your money and you take a multiple-choice test; if you pass, you’re in.

Others are excruciatingly difficult: Cost is high; eligibility to even take the exam is dependent on having years of experience, formal education, and/or sponsorship from others who already hold the title; and the exams are grueling, multi-day affairs that require hands-on performance of relevant tasks. Most are somewhere in between.

But which certifications really provide a measure of your knowledge and skills in a particular area? And which will really help you get a job or promotion? Here's a look at 10 of the technical certifications that actually mean something in today’s IT job market.

  1. MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)
  2. MCA (Microsoft Certified Architect)
  3. CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)
  4. CCSP (Cisco Certified Security Professional)
  5. CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
  6. SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner)
  7. GSE (GIAC Security Expert)
  8. RHCE / RHCA (Red Hat Certified Engineer / Architect)
  9. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
  10. Certifications for special situations: Many specialist exams are available in IT subcategories that can be helpful to those who want to specialize in those areas. Some of these include:
    1. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance certification
    2. Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance certification
    3. Database administration certification
    4. Wireless networking certifications
    5. Voice over IP certifications

In the next post, I would discuss these certifications in details...

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