The new year is rapidly approaching, and this is the time of year when many South Florida IT professionals think about their career goals. If you’re thinking about growing your career this year, professional certifications can go a long way towards increasing your marketability. However, there are an endless number of IT certifications to choose from and it can become overwhelming to think about.
If you’re planning on getting certified in 2015, here are five in-demand and highly marketable certifications that can help put you in the front running for your next IT job in the competitive Florida marketplace.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
Cisco owns almost 80 percent of the network market, and CCNP certification is in high demand. There were over 15,000 open positions for CCNPs this year alone. This intermediate level certification focuses on advanced networking skills along with the installation and support of LAN/WAN networks. The most common job titles for CCNPs in South Florida are:
- computer systems engineer,
- computer network architect, and
- software applications developer.
Three exams are required in order to achieve CCNP certification. They cover routing, switching, and troubleshooting IP networks. Those exams cost approximately $500.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
Another in-demand Cisco certification, CCNA is a lower-level program that demonstrates the ability to install, configure, and operate enterprise routers and switches. CCNAs are also able to locate and solve common networking issues. Specialized areas of focus include security, voice, and wireless networking. Common job titles for CCNAs in South Florida include computer systems engineer, network administrator, computer systems administrator, and software applications developer.
CCNA certification can be achieved by passing a 90 minute written exam that costs approximately $300.
CompTIA A+ Technician
When you’re just starting out your IT career, CompTIA A+ certification is an excellent jumping off point. These certified professionals handle hardware maintenance for things like computers, printers, mobile devices, and operating systems. Common job titles in South Florida for this certification are:
- computer user support specialist,
- computer network support specialist, and
- computer repair technician.
Two exams, one multiple choice and one performance-based, are required to achieve this certification. The cost of the exam is around $200.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project management is a skill that will never become obsolete. Project managers must be able to see the big picture of a project while managing details such as timelines, workflow, efficiencies, and budgets. As the role of IT continues to expand, project managers will play an increasing role in organizational success. A PMP certification demonstrates the capacity to lead and direct teams. Common job titles for PMPs in South Florida include IT project manager, software applications developer, network administrator, and systems administrator.
The cost for the exams varies according to preferred membership in the Project Management Institute.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
This mid-level certification demonstrates the ability to create innovative solutions across multiple Microsoft technologies. MCSE certifications are available in server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, data platforms, business intelligence, messaging, communications and SharePoint. In South Florida, common job titles for MCSEs include:
- computer user support specialist,
- network administrator,
- systems administrator, and
- Software applications developer.
Each specialization has its own path to certification, but the process involves five steps that include multiple choice exams and problem simulations. The cost of each exam is around $150.
If you are an IT professional in South Florida looking for new opportunities, the recruiters at CERS would love to talk to you. We work with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the area who are looking for experienced IT professionals. Contact us today to learn more about our hands-on approach to IT recruiting.