Despite the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy, the Information Technology (IT), sector is growing quickly despite its negative impact. The coronavirus has done nothing but accelerate the demand for IT , computer science in both business and everyday life. It is important to remember that the IT industry had been suffering from a shortage of qualified workers long before COVID-19 was created. With all manner of social distancing measures in place, telecommuting and eLearning have reached an all-time high. Online Shopping is also at an all time high. This increased internet activity has resulted in more cybercrime, which is putting additional strain on already understaffed cybersecurity sector.
Being employed in the industry will provide job security, as well as a steady income and the opportunity to move up the ranks quickly. This applies to both those who are working in the field and those who are just starting. This applies to anyone looking to modify their career that might be affected by the coronavirus, or the longer-term threat from automation. It doesn’t matter what case it may be, you need to keep up to date with the latest developments in technology if your goal is to succeed in a tech career. This complete guide will help you get certifications online in information security and information technology.
Why should you become IT certified online?
CompTIA, one the most prominent vendor-neutral certificate programs providers, found that 91% employers consider IT certifications to play a crucial role in the hiring process. Over 90% of employers believe that IT certificates give credibility and set a baseline for certain jobs. They also save time and money when hiring candidates. Employers will pay a higher starting wage to certified employees if they have the appropriate certification. According to the survey, 72% of employers require at least one certificate to be eligible for certain job positions. 67% use them to assess a candidate’s work ethic and determination.
These statistics aside, IT certificates will benefit candidates in many other ways. It will give them more opportunities for promotion. This applies whether the individual is looking to move up in their company or change careers altogether. Online certification can be used to enhance professional and personal development while maintaining relevance in the field.
What does online training mean?
There are two options for you if you want to continue your education in Information Technology and pursue certification options. Either you choose an on-campus program or you can receive your certificate online. Online learning is often more affordable than traditional on-campus programs. Students can learn in their own time and from their own homes. Online learning is more cost-effective than living on campus for a time.
You can also renounce traditional education and learn by yourself with this higher level of flexibility. This is also known as non-accredited learning. It means that your course materials have not been approved or reviewed by certification vendors. If you choose to follow this path, however, you won’t be able gain a certificate.
Statistically speaking, 27.4% have received informal training. They are also self-taught. Around 37.7% of them have taken an online course to supplement their education or learned new skills. Many people have not taken advantage of the many benefits offered by online certificate programs. Apart from the above benefits, earning a professional certification means that you will spend less time learning the right skills than with individual learning. You will have access to an instructor in most cases to ask questions and get answers.
What are the Best Online IT Certifications for?
You may get a different answer depending on who you ask. There are many IT certifications that keep popping up. We can list the following:
IT Certifications For Newcomers
- CompTIA IT Foundations (ITF+). For people who are passionate about tech but don’t know where to begin, the ITF+ can help. It is a pre-career certification which will help you determine your IT competency. The exam covers all aspects of IT, which can be used to help you choose from different career options. The ITF+ will provide the foundation in terms of fundamental skills, concepts and terminology, as well as database fundamentals, security, and infrastructure.
- CompTIA This certification is another step on the path to a career in IT. As opposed to the ITF+, the A+ certification will give you a deeper understanding and practical skills. This certificate is great for those who are looking to get a job as a tech support or helpdesk technician.
- CompTIA security+. As we mentioned, cybersecurity professionals are highly sought after. This certificate is a great place to start if you’re interested in IT security. It is vendor-neutral and addresses a range of security issues such as network security, data security, compliance, threats, vulnerabilities, identity control and cryptography.
- Cisco Certified entry Networking Technician (CCENT). This certification is for people who are interested in networking. This certification provides the skills and knowledge necessary to install, operate, and troubleshoot small-scale networks.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate – This certificate is a continuation of the CCENT and provides more information about similar topics as well as how to reduce security threats.
Other In Demand IT Certifications
Other than the ones mentioned, there are many other certificates that are highly sought-after today. The following certificates are among them:
- Microsoft Certifications – Microsoft certifications are highly sought after as the market leader. The Microsoft Technology Associate certification is for entry-level professionals. It will teach you the basics of operating systems, networking, security, and more. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert is a more advanced certification that can be used to target private cloud platforms, server infrastructure, and application lifecycle management.
- Linux Certifications – Linux, like Microsoft, is a leader on the OS market. Linux’s main focus is on cloud infrastructure. This includes large companies and governmental agencies. There are many types of Linux certifications that provide skills and knowledge in Network Engineering, Security and Virtualization.
- EC Council Certifications – The Certified Ethical Hacker certification will make you an ethical hacker. This certification is only for security professionals with extensive knowledge.
What is the Difference between Vendor-Specific Certifications and Vendor Neutral Certifications
When you are looking for IT certification online, another important point to remember is the difference between vendor-specific or vendor-neutral. One, vendor-specific certifications are based on the knowledge and experience you have with a particular tool. The Microsoft MTA – Operating System Fundamentals certification proves that you have a good understanding of Microsoft’s Windows OS.
A vendor-neutral certification, on the other hand, shows that you have a deeper understanding of products and technologies that can be used worldwide. These certifications are vendor-neutral and include all CompTIA certifications as well as the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Global Information Assurance Certifications (GIAC), and Certified Information Systems Managers (CISM) among others.
How to get funding for online IT certifications
IT certifications can be expensive and can cost a lot. The benefits of obtaining a certificate in Information Technology are almost always greater than the cost, especially considering that employers will pay more for those who have them than those who don’t.
Despite this, sometimes it can be difficult to pay for them. You have several options if you cannot pay outright for your IT certifications. Most cases your financial aid options will come from the state, federal and other educational institutions. Private organizations such as foundations can also help you to pay for your education.
Federal Financial Aid
The Federal Government is the most popular source of student financial aid in the United States. Federal financial aid offers loans and grants with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options than private student loans. Students are generally more likely to be approved for federal financial aid regardless of their credit scores and financial status. Federal student loans are one of the most popular ways to pay for IT diplomas and certificates. First, you must complete a Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).. If you wish to receive the financial aid necessary to pay for your certificate program, this application is vital.
We can include these types of federal student loans as the most popular:
- Subsidized Direct Loans These loans are available for students with limited income who can prove that they require financial assistance.
- Unsubsidized Direct Loans These loans aren’t based on financial need, and are therefore available to more people.
- Direct PLUS Loans Eligibility for these loans does not depend on financial need. It is determined by the credit score of the student or their family. This loan is used to pay for any additional expenses that are not covered under other financial aid packages.
- Pell Grants These grants are available to undergraduates who have an extraordinary financial need and who have not earned a professional or higher education degree. Except in certain cases, Pell Grants are not required to be repaid.
Military veterans who want to make the transition to civilian work may also be eligible for the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI Bill to pay for their education .
Private Student Aid
Although private student loans may not be as lucrative or flexible as federal aid they can still provide a great way to pay for your certificate program. It is important to research and find the best private loan lender for you. These options may include deferment, reduced interest rates, and flexible repayment terms at competitive rates.
You may be able to get your IT certification online through a scholarship if you’re lucky. Many online colleges and universities offer scholarships. These scholarships don’t need to be repaid so they are a great option. You can also find and apply for scholarships throughout the country on several websites, including FastWeb or Scholarships.com. Some scholarships don’t require any specific requirements while others have more stringent requirements.
You can also ask your employer if he or she is willing to pay for online certifications. Some organizations have tuition reimbursement or education reimbursement programs, while others don’t. Your employer may not be willing to pay for your education if you are a benefit to the business. It is important to present your case and explain why your IT program certificate should be paid for.
Flexible Payment Plans with Your Program’s School
You may be able to negotiate a customized payment plan depending on which school you take your undergraduate certificate. Together with our Admissions Director, Financial Aid Specialists and other experts, we will help you find the right financial solution for earning certifications online that suits your needs.
How Online Education Programs Works
Earning your certifications online will allow you to study remotely. You will not be restricted by class times and can set your own study hours. However, this flexibility comes with a price. This flexibility can lead to procrastination or other distractions, which can make it difficult for you to study and possibly even prevent you from dropping out. Consider the following:
- Create a Distraction-Free Space You may find temptations all around you when you study from your home. You are just a click away from social media, games, and browsing the internet. You should avoid distractions such as social media, video games, and setting learning hours.
- Time Management You will also need to learn how to effectively manage your time. This is especially true if you have other responsibilities such as a full time job or a family. Even though you are taking an online course, there will be deadlines and assignments that you must meet. Without good time management, it is unlikely you’ll be able complete them. This is also true for developing your personal learning management system.
- Staying Motivated There will be times during the course of several months when you might feel overwhelmed or frustrated, and you may consider quitting. These are the times when you must persevere and stay motivated to the end.
- You need a stable internet connection to take part in online classes. These are designed to replicate a traditional classroom environment as closely as possible. You may miss important information and lose the chance to ask a question if your internet doesn’t work properly.
- Create To Do Lists – As simple as they might seem, task lists can do wonders for keeping you on track and on top of your daily tasks.
- Time-Tracking Apps: time tracking apps can be extremely useful for keeping you organized, productive, and efficient.
- Learn how to communicate – Even though you may be studying at home, it doesn’t mean you are learning in isolation. Your success depends on your ability to communicate with your teachers and other students. Networking with teachers and peers is also essential to your success.