The How-To Guide to Getting Certified and Working in the IT Industry

The How-To Guide to Getting Certified and Working in the IT Industry
The How-To Guide to Getting Certified and Working in the IT Industry

Information technology (IT), is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The market for Information Technology in 2019 was valued at $2.461 million. It is a dynamic market and a place people can go to for a career.

2019 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau, Department of Commerce and other government bodies revealed that automation has a huge impact on the workforce. Automation’s impact is felt across all industries. For example, if we look at the US manufacturing sector, it is producing more than ever before. However, manufacturing’s total workforce is smaller than ever in recent decades. Automation is taking over many jobs previously performed by humans.

We are trying to show that even though the IT industry is losing jobs, it is still creating more opportunities for career advancement. It is an excellent place to begin a career or to modify your field because of its many specializations and certifications.

This comprehensive guide will help you learn everything you need about IT certification and working in the IT field. Let’s begin by discussing the benefits and drawbacks of working in Information Technology.

Benefits of getting certified and working in IT

You have many benefits as a certified IT professional. These include:

Many Certification Options

There are many certifications available, whether you are just starting in IT or looking to advance your career. Basic IT certifications are for entry-level candidates. These include CompTIA certifications and Microsoft Certified Professionals, Linux Essentials, Cisco CCNA, Linux Essentials, and Microsoft Certified Professionals. These certifications will allow you to quickly land a job as a System Administrator, System Operator, Network Administrator, Help Desk Support and more.

An information security analyst or certified information systems security professional can make a career out of cyber security by choosing EC-Council certifications and becoming Ethical hackers.

Many Job Opportunities and Attractive Wages

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the IT sector’s employment is expected to increase by 12% between 2018 and 2028. This is equivalent to approximately 546,200 additional jobs in the country. This figure is higher than the average for all occupations. It shouldn’t take long to find a job as an Information Technology professional.

The computer and information technology industries offer more salaries than the average. According to the same BLS statistics a certified IT professional will make an average of $86,320 annually. The median annual wage for all other occupations in America is $38,640. People with certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, or associate’s degrees typically earn 13.7% higher than their non-certified peers.

Better Time Management

A non-certified worker can get a job in this industry if they have enough experience and skill. Problem is, most professionals who are self-taught learned in their teens. Even if you are not among them, certification training can take several months. Online courses allow you to learn according to your existing schedule.

IT jobs don’t have a set 9-5 work schedule. It’s important to remember that IT jobs are not regulated. This allows you to be more flexible with your time. Sometimes, this means you can choose your own schedule and telecommute.

Confidence Boost: Validation, Credibility and Credibility

IT certification will increase your credibility and validate you in the eyes future and current employers. certificates increase professional credibility, and validate specialized knowledge by 95.4%, respectively. You will experience an 88.2% increase in your personal confidence. Human resources professionals will see that certificates are proof of your commitment to your career and the skills you have.

Your information technology certification will also help you in your professional and personal development. Continuing education is a great way to stay current with the latest developments in the field, and keep your skills relevant.

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The drawbacks of working in IT

There are many benefits to working in IT. However, there are some drawbacks. These are some of the things you should consider:

Stress

No matter what job you hold, stress is likely to be a part of your job description. You will likely deal with angry people if you work in Help Desk. Even the smallest error can lead to big problems if you are a Systems Administrator, Information Security Analyst, Network Engineer or any other position that deals with cyber security. This added risk and stress is usually rewarded by a higher salary than what the national average pays.

Long hours

One thing you should know about technology careers is that not all problems can be solved in a 9-5 work schedule. It doesn’t matter if it’s customer support or network and security issues. You’ll likely be faced with a problem right as you are about to leave. Some emergencies might even require that you work late at night. It’s possible to work on your own schedule. To make up the difference, you’ll usually be offered certain benefits.

Constant Complaints and Requests

Many people don’t know much about the various roles of information technology specialists. Many IT professionals will be subject to a constant stream of requests and complaints from colleagues, regardless of their job title or responsibilities. While most of these issues will be related to problem solving, they still require patience and a fair amount of time.

Despite this being frustrating, the IT industry offers almost unmatched job security. There is an estimated shortage of skilled professionals in the field of cyber security. There are approximately 40,000 open positions for information security analysts in the United States each year. Another 200,000 security-related jobs are vacant. The same applies to all other positions in the industry.

There are too many career options

There’s always a niche that interests you, whether you’re looking for network security, cloud computing, database administration, or computer programming. It can be nerve-wracking to decide what you want. You may be well on your career path and realize later that you don’t really like this specialization.

The IT industry actually rewards employees who have a variety of skills. If you are a data manager who later decided you wanted to be a security analyst, then your previous experience can actually work in your favor. An analyst who has a background in database engineering can have a better chance at landing a job with a higher salary than someone without. A few months of online certification training is sufficient to validate your skills and qualify you, given the current talent gap.

Top 5 IT Certifications in Demand

You can build your career in Information Technology by enrolling in a certificate program to become an IT specialist. We have compiled a list of top-five IT certifications to help you in your professional growth or continuing education.

  1. CompTIA Certificates The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), offers many certifications that will help you pursue multiple career paths such as Desktop Support Technician and IT Support Technician. Field Service Technician and Security Specialist are just a few of the options.
  2. CompTIA A+ is a great place to start, as it provides a lot of foundational information for your computer science skills. CompTIA Server + and CompTIA Network + are more advanced certificates.
  3. Microsoft Certifications – Becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional will open up many career options in the information and computer world. Microsoft Technology Associate is a professional development certificate that will help you start your IT career. This certification, like the CompTIA certifications, will solidify your basic knowledge of Windows 10, Networking, and Security.
  4. Linux Certifications Unbeknownst, Linux powers more global technology than most people realize. Although Windows is the dominant OS market in the world, Linux runs 100% of all world’s supercomputers.
  5. Linux is also used by 23 of the 25 most popular sites around the globe, and 96.3% among the 1,000,000 servers in the top 100. Linux is also used by 90% of cloud infrastructure, and all major cloud hosts use it. A Linux Certification will set you apart from your competitors by demonstrating that you have extensive experience with this open-source platform.
  6. Cisco Certifications – Cisco is a global leader in network routing, switching and security. This certification is valid for all engineers. This certification is valid for Network Administrators, Network Support Engineers and Network Specialists.
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The Cisco Certified Network Associate certification (CCNA), can be broken down into many specializations such as Routing and Switching and Security Analysis and Data Center Technologies. Unified Communications is another example. Cisco network associates with certification will have many opportunities for advancement and employment.

EC-Council Certificates – This certification, called Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), is for IT professionals who have a background in security, auditing, security consultants, or other specialist involved with data and network security.

CEH, among all other security certifications will show companies that you are capable of conducting computer forensics, identifying vulnerabilities in networks and computers, and setting up strong defenses against data breaches and cyber-attacks. In the industry, you will be called an ethical hacker. These resources and tools for IT security professionals will help you to improve your skills and knowledge.

What are the best skills to make it in the IT industry?

The tech industry is facing a huge talent shortage. This means that there is a greater demand for certified and qualified professionals. There are some skills that can help you get a job in this industry and excel. These skills include:

Cyber Security

Cybercrime is at an all time high. Cyber-attacks and data breaches are causing billions of dollars in losses every year around the globe. According to statistics, 65% percent of victims of data breaches lose trust in their organizations. It’s easy to see why system security is so important.

Many companies, large and small, are searching for qualified information systems security professionals, but they aren’t always successful. You will be able to get a job in high-paying IT security positions at a moment’s notice and also have many advancement opportunities.

Networking and Infrastructure

Software-defined networks (SDNs) are growing rapidly due to their adaptability and flexibility. A International Data Corporation report estimates that the SD-WAN Infrastructure market will reach $4.5 billion in 2022. IT professionals should consider Cisco certifications to improve their networking and infrastructure skills.

Systems Architecture

CompTIA estimates that 34% (or less than half) of organizations have their IT architecture strategies developed beyond 12 months. Because it is difficult to predict every change in the IT environment, this is why many organizations fail to plan ahead. Companies are under increasing pressure to align their departments with these new technologies. It is the responsibility of architects to ensure that legacy procedures and programs are compatible with current practices.

Tech Support and Help Desk

It may surprise many that tech support and help desk are extremely useful skills, especially for entry-level employees. The demand for skilled software and hardware professionals is increasing as more companies go digital. Although they are not the most lucrative jobs in tech, they can be a great way to start your IT career.

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Soft and hybrid skills

IT professionals must develop and learn soft skills as technology is becoming more common in all areas of the business world. Soft skills are different from the technical skills. They include communication, leadership, creativity, critical thinking and teamwork. It is no longer possible for tech experts to be able to only focus on their technical skills. They need to also have soft skills. These combination are called hybrid skills, and they are in increasing demand.

Career Advancement Skills

Your career development skills are the last thing to mention. You won’t be able to make it in IT no matter what your expertise is. You should also know how to create your personal brand . This can greatly assist you in your career advancement.

Don’t forget to check your social media presence on LinkedIn. You must also know what to wear to an interview and how to prepare for their questions . Don’t forget networking. Did you know that 88% of job placements are a result of professional connections? You can begin networking in this field right away you start school , both on-campus and online.

Highest Paying IT Jobs

IT professionals make more than those in other industries, as we mentioned earlier in this guide. The average increase in wage is 13.7% for those who have completed degree programs, as we mentioned earlier. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25% of IT workers do not have a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in computer science. Employers are increasingly looking for IT professionals with certificates. We’ve compiled a list of top 14 IT jobs with their average annual salaries, based on 2016 BLS data.

  1. System Administrators – $60,851
  2. Data Security Analysts $63,875
  3. Computer Systems Analysts $67,629
  4. Cisco Certified Networking Associates (CCNA) – $75,000
  5. Information Technology Consultants – $76,630
  6. Certified Ethical Hackers – $79 536
  7. Information Technology Managers – $85,826
  8. Project Managers $86,082
  9. Systems Architects – $108,053
  10. Information Security Managers $110,606
  11. Program Managers $111,309
  12. IT Directors $115,732
  13. Network Architects $118,335
  14. Software Architects $121,462

Top Cities to Find IT Jobs

Silicon Valley is the most popular place to think of when we are looking for a top-paying IT job here in the U.S. While we are right to do so, many people feel intimidated by the idea of moving. Silicon Valley isn’t the only place looking for IT professionals. Below is a list of eleven top cities for IT jobs.

  1. Hunstville (AL)
    Average base salary for IT specialists is $53,263 per year
    Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the median price: $948 per mo
    Median 3br/2ba house price: $236 628
  2. Jacksonville, FL
    Average salary: $55,002
    Median rent: $1,256
    Median home price: $250,957
  3. Salt Lake City (UT)
    Average salary: $58,801
    Median rent: $1,155
    Median home price: $381,241
  4. Nashville, TN
    Average salary: $63,423
    Median rent: $1,044
    Median home price: $332,780
  5. Cincinnati, OH
    Average salary: $58,855
    Median rent: $978
    Median home price: $290,786
  6. Columbus, OH
    Average salary: $62,328
    Median rent: $1,016
    Median home price: $252,900
  7. Raleigh, NC
    Average salary: $59 815
    Median rent: $1,155
    Median home price: $269,562
  8. Indianapolis IN
    Average salary: $58,566
    Median rent: $1,084
    Median home price: $252,385
  9. Providence, RI
    Average Pay – $57.808
    Median rent: $1,893
    Median home price: $467,360
  10. Cedar Rapids (IA)
    Average Pay – $53,272
    Median rent: $754
    Median home price: $335,179
  11. Austin TX
    Average Pay – $57.768
    Median rent: $1,411
    Median home price: $320,629

Takeaway

There are many opportunities in the IT industry to start a new job or improve your skills. It is a great way to make your career easier.