Leadership

Top three IT certifications you can get from scratch

Accessible online training can help you conquer some of the barriers to pursuing IT certifications.
Information technology certifications are highly respected testaments to a professional's training and expertise in Information Technology. Whether you're changing careers, branching into another facet of IT, or completely new to the IT sector, pursuing certification is a fast track to recognizable and transferable skills attractive to many employers. For example, studies show that certified professionals are able to handle over a third more tech support cases than non-certified employees.

Pursuing IT certifications used to be both expensive and inconvenient. New online courses enable you to jumpstart a new career through straightforward and highly accessible online training. Brenner Spear, a content developer at OpenSesame, a company that offers online training courses, talks about the top three IT certifications and how you can get them.

Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 6 Programmer

Prerequisites: None Time Commitment: 21 hours of course material + 2.5 hour exam Financial Commitment: $80 course + $300 exam fees

The median starting salary for an individual with an OCPJP certification is $50,800, which usually grows by $11,000 within the first 4 years of certification. There are currently 130+ jobs on Freelancer.com that require a Java programmer.

To become an OCP Java Programmer, there's only one exam you have to take: the Java SE 6 Programmer Certified Professional Exam. OpenSesame.com offers 1Z0-851 Study Exam Material, a comprehensive 21-hour interactive course covering the seven sections of the exam. These are a few of the topics covered in each section of the exam:

Section 1: introduces classes, methods, objects and arrays as variables, and how to declare an interface. Section 2: covers if & switch statements, for loops, for-each loops & while loops, and exceptions & exception handling (try, catch, finally). Section 3: teaches how to navigate file systems using FileReader and FileWriter, as well as integrate data from other code using APIs. Section 4: explains the different states in which a thread can exist. Section 5: describes the effect of modifiers on inheritance. Section 6: explains the process of determining which collection of classes would be best for different designs, as well as the different versions of the collections API. Section 7: introduces the garbage collection system, and how to recognize when objects are ready for garbage collection.

Alternatively, you may purchase a self-study CD set for $660 from Oracle themselves. When you have completed the study process, you can take the certification exam at an Oracle Testing Center or through Pearson VUE. Register for either through Oracle. This is probably the fastest way to get a credible certification stating you're a "professional."

Oracle Database Administrator Certified Associate

Prerequisites: None Time Commitment: 31 hours of course material + two 1.5-2 hour exams Financial Commitment: two $80 courses + $320 (total) exam fees

OCA Database administrators earn a median of $40,000 annually, which usually grows by $23,000 within the first 4 years. To become an OCA Database Administrator, you must complete two required exams, the 1Z0-051: Database SQL Fundamentals & the 1Z0-052: Database SQL Administration. Mindleaders, a seller in the OpenSesame marketplace, offers material for both.

The Oracle 1Z0-051 Exam Study Material presents 12 hours of material cut into seven sections which cover the basics of SQL database management. No experience is needed to take this course. Some of the topics in each section include:

Section 1: introduces the SELECT statement and how to limit/sort the rows retrieved. Section 2: introduces and explains the four main functions: SELECT, INPUT, DELETE & UPDATE. Section 3: covers group functions, and how to use GROUP BY & HAVING. Section 4: explains how to use JOIN commands, as well as what subqueries are. Section 5: describes, in depth, DML (data manipulation language) and DML statements. Section 6: teaches how to create tables and add constraints during their creation. Section 7: describes simple & complex views, and the differences between them. Explains sequences & indexes, as well as public & private synonyms.

The Oracle 1Z0-052 Exam Study Material has 19 hours of material cut into 10 sections which build off the foundational knowledge provided in the previous course. These more advanced topics include:

Section 1: explains memory structures and storage structures, and how to use all the tools for administering an Oracle database. Section 2: teaches how to create a database with the DBCA (Database configuration Assistant) and set it up the way you want/need it. Section 3: shows how to manage database storage structures and schema objects, as well as how to correctly use temporary tables. Section 4: covers network architecture and how to configure an Oracle Network Environment correctly. Section 5: explains how to keep an Oracle database secure by controlling accounts and privileges, as well as standard database auditing. Section 6: teaches how to recognize PL/SQL objects, and how to use undo and undo data. Section 7: covers an array of helpful tools, such as: automatic memory management, AWR (automatic workload repository), advisory framework, and memory advisors. Section 8: explains the concepts of backup and recovery, and how to make automated routine incremental backups. Section 9: covers the types of failures Oracle databases can experience and how to recover from them. Section 10: teaches how to import and export data using the Oracle data pump, as well as manage any patches released.

Both courses include three full-length practice exams to test your grasp of the material. When it comes to exam day, only a 60% and 66%, respectively, are required to pass. If you have some database experience, passing the 051 with no studying is probably possible, but it won't help your overall understanding of Oracle-specific topics, which could be a hindrance when taking the 052 course and exam.

Interested? Register for both exams with Oracle - the 1Z0-051 exam is even available online. Oracle also offers on-demand prep-seminars (videos) for both the 1Z0-051 and the 1Z0-052, for $650 a piece.

Linux Red Hat Certified System Administrator

Prerequisites: None Time Commitment: two full work-weeks Financial Commitment: two $2700 classes + $200 exam fees

OR Prerequisites: 1-3 years of full-time Linux administration experience Time Commitment: 21 hours of course material + 2 hour exam Financial Commitment: $80 course + $400 exam fees

For the last decade, Red Hat has been the leading Linux operating system for the enterprise user. Earning an RHCSA certification demonstrates your ability to administer Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments, including important common core skills like handling command-line environments and network file systems.

To pursue a Red Hat certification, you must attend Red Hat's on-site training, virtual training, remote classroom training or in-person training.

Linux Red Hat System Administration I (RH124) is the introductory course. Classroom training by Red Hat Inc. and classes from certified Red Hat instructors from sites like ExitCertified are available for $2,700. A few skills taught during the course include:
  • The how-to's of the graphical Installation of Linux
  • Dealing with physical storage
  • Using command line
  • Installing local components and services, as well as configuring them
  • Creating and securing networks & network services
  • Keeping files secure and organized
  • Creating and overseeing users and groups
  • Using file-sharing services
  • Using GUI-based tools and important command-line concepts
Linux Red Hat System Administration II (RH135) follows the RH124 course. Both classroom training from Red Hat Inc. and ExitCertified offer the course with the RHCSA exam included, but the class is $2900 (which means you're saving $200 on the normally $400 exam). The more advanced skills taught in this course include:
  • Troubleshooting networks, file systems and logical volumes
  • Handling file systems and logical volumes, and using a LVM (Logical Volume Manager)
  • Managing user and file access, as well as packages
  • Installing and managing services and processes
  • More important command-line operations
If you have 1-3 years of full-time Linux administrator experience, OpenSesame offers a course to prepare for the required RHCSA Exam (EX200). The RHCSA EX200 Exam Study Material comprises 21 hours of material cut into 9 sections. This course focuses on topics included in the exam that even experienced administrators will need to review, including:
  • Hardware and installation requirements
  • Installing RHEL 6 on a virtual machine over a network with the help of Kickstart
  • An overview of all the required command line skills
  • Controlling Security using firewalls, access control lists, file permissions, and SELinux
  • Everything that goes on during a startup
  • Filesystem maintenance, including logical volumes, storage encryption, and partitions
  • The Red Hat Package Manager
  • Managing users and groups
  • Administration tasks

Have certs helped you?

With excellent online and in-person training options, certification in the in-demand IT sector is within your reach. Do you have any of these, or other start-from-scratch certifications? Have they helped you start down a new career path?

Brenner Spear is a content developer at OpenSesame, the world's largest marketplace for buying and selling elearning courses. He is currently a student at Chapman University in Orange, California, majoring in CIS (Computer Information Systems) and Business.

49 comments
keithmayer
keithmayer

If you're interested in exploring certifications in the IT Profession, you'll find that certified professional demand can vary quite widely by geographic area. Payscale maintains a nice system that can filter certified IT Professional pay ranges by certification and geo based on real survey responses from employed IT Pros. This may be helpful in selecting an appropriate certification path that will be better aligned to demand in your area. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Certification=Microsoft_Certified_Technology_Specialist_(MCTS)/Salary#by_State If you're interested in pursuing Microsoft certification, you may also want to check out the FREE study guides that help prepare candidates for Microsoft certification, including the new MCSE: Private Cloud certification, available online here: http://aka.ms/studyguides Hope this helps! Keith http://KeithMayer.com - IT Pros ROCK!

ITCompGuy
ITCompGuy

When you have a job in IT and no certifications, it is easy to say that certifications are not needed. In a tough economy, you need every extra you can have when you are searching for a job or trying to change positions. Experience is great, but when you have the experience plus industry certification you will have a leg up on the competition. Try searching IT jobs in various cities. Even some of the jobs that those working in the field would consider entry-level are looking for experience, a BS degree, and preferably multiple industry certifications.

Knighthawk5193@Yahoo.com
Knighthawk5193@Yahoo.com

I can say that I havce been on both sides if this fence. I was once a LAN Administrator for a large internet / portal company, and they paid for my certification for Windows 2000 Administration, but when they went under, I found that the one cert wasn't enough, after a while I branched out and discovered Linux, I've been pursuing a certification in Linux ever since, I don't have the "chops" to go for the Oracle Red/Hat stuff.....but the "beginnier" Oracle cert should be easy to get....and if I can ace it, then I can use the increase in my current salary to finance more certs in Linux, which I've noticed pays extremely well....better than a Microsoft cert! I really admire those people who earn their CCNA / CCNE etc. to me THOSE people are "special" in that they have a skill that could be compared to a biological thing! I owuld love to get one of those, but the price to get one is way beyond my reach...unless I take out a loan for one!

mtho.ncube
mtho.ncube

Excellent article. I agree that certs set one apart from the rest the pack, moreover,they're an indespensable show of commitment to ones trade! I like the analogy that certified folks can handle a "third or more support cases" which simply shows the breadth and depth of these exams.

tedatwork
tedatwork

Top Three??? According to whom? It's obvious a blatant Ad, at least try to get something that's believable. This article is just ridiculous. 2 Oracle certs and a Linux cert are detailed in this? No Microsoft, no Cisco, no CompTia. Where do I nominate this for worst TechRepublic article of the year?

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

We had a major failure in a very good complex Cisco networks with about 20 vlans, several call managers, several Unity voicemail servers, 3 ASA firewalls, IDS, , riverbed accelerators, forescout security, etc. The provider we had with contract dispatch several technicians and no one was able to find out the problem we had with some tunnels and other network stuff. Another provider dispatch a guy who is CCIE and fix the problem in 2 hours. He spend 1 hour making diagrams and anotations, gather info from cisco devices, etc. When everything was clear for him, he not only fix the issue, he setup the devices to be fault tolerant. After the fix, I spoke with this guy. He say he learn more by experience, but the specific items he fix in our office, was learn during ccie training. So certs are really important in some cases.

mark.railton
mark.railton

I got my first main break in IT working for IBM with zero certs and only a little bit of experience that I had gained from helping a friend in his shop. SInce then I have had 3 other IT jobs, one as IT Administrator without certs. When trying to break into IT, certs dont mean all that much, you need to be able to show potential, and alot of companies dont always want people with certs for entry level jobs, as they can then train them to do it the way they want, thats how it worked in IBM doing tech support, I helped a friend get a job that could just about turn on a computer. I am now getting certified as I have a defined career path I want to take and I know that its going to take alot of hard work, study and time to get there. And to get into the position I want, I know for a fact that I am going to need some certs.

gmonahan
gmonahan

Security+, LPI Essentials, Linux+, are other contenders

MeijerTSR
MeijerTSR

No mention of a median starting salary, nor what it usually grows to within the first 4 years for any of the Red Hat Linux certs. Can any body expound on it? I know, salary will vary depending on what area of our great country we live in, but some idea would be nice.

bonnie
bonnie

I just applied and had an initial interview for an IT job. I have 20+ years in the field but no college degree and just a couple of Mickey Mouse certs (CIW and iNET+). The job is an excellent fit for my skill set... I have hands-on experience in everything the job requires and have even worked in a similar non-profit orginazation. What do you think my chances are when they compare me to someone with a Bachelor's and an A+, CCNA, MCP, etc. and only 2 or 3 years of actual on the job experience? How fair is that?

gurumentality
gurumentality

I just entered IT 7 years ago and I was over 30 years old. I was going to school for my bachelors degree in Business Administration and I had already obtain my A+ and Network+ certification. I was told by so many interviewers, I need experience not schooling. (Note: I agree with xangpow (A+, Network+, and Security+) are the best certs to start with. You can also pass these studying on your own with having a lab. That's very important.) So after being told I need experience, I quit school, and I received my first IT job a month later. A ton of jobs require A+ certifications and it has boosted my career a lot even over other qualified candidates.

jfuller05
jfuller05

I would say the A+ certification would be a good one. I'm not diminishing the "goodness" of this cert in any way by my saying you can get this cert from scratch. Instead, what I mean is that this cert forces you to get involved with core IT concepts: hardware, software, networking, and soft skills. The book I used advanced my knowledge. Yes, one can study the book, soak up the knowledge and pass the exam, but if one truly immerses himself in the book and couples that with hands on training (there were excellent lab setups in my book) then he will gain excellent foundational knowledge and hands-on skills. One truly just needs a good A+ book (Meyers'), lab manual, a few pcs and a 5 port switch to learn this stuff from scratch.

LinuxJC
LinuxJC

Of all the Certs listed in this article, the annual income benefit for Red Hat certifications is not given. Is it because the financial gain is so low, especially since their training is the most expensive by a long shot! I've taken the Red Hat training from Red Hat and for the cost; their classroom training is NOT designed to give the students a better chance of passing the exam than those who do not take their courses. It is my understanding that very few students pass the exam the first time even after taking the classes. For the amount of money Red Hat charges for their classes, their students should have a much higher success rate in passing the exam the first time, especially after taking RH124 & RH135! The problem I found with the class was that the instructor was more focused on covering the material in a given time frame, rather than making sure the students understand and gain a working knowledge of the material. For example, several Projects and Criterion Test were skipped over in order to stick to the timetable for covering the material. Not allowing adequate time to complete the projects during the class and not providing lab time after the 9:00am to 5:00pm class to finish and better understand the projects is the biggest downfall of the Red Hat training. Especially, since students can't go back to their hotel, office or home and create a similar problem on their Red Hat machine to solve. These hands on projects provide some practical experience which students cannot get elsewhere or in a production environment, that is, without bringing down the production system. Thus, these projects are extremely important to the student's success in fully grasping the material, as well as, in passing the exam. If not, then Red Hat should redesign their courses.

jownas
jownas

I am an IT zero knowledge. If I am going to study, what is the best course will I take or maybe the best path to take to become an IT? Any help will be appreciated.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

From scratch as in you know "nothing" and then you learn how to pass the exam for the certification. In what way is this valuable to anybody except the myopic fools promoting the certs? You are just going to end up with more cookie cutter types, who are useless as soon as they step out of their comfort zone. As soon as the version changes they'd have to take another one. Oh I get it..... Stop being part of the problem...

divyashree
divyashree

Its true that, these can be achieved from scratch, for that the career goal should be clear. For someone who wants certification from scratch, is hungry for deep knowledge . But what if some one wants having multiple certifications like RHCE+OCA ?? Will it be a positive for future ??

xangpow
xangpow

As a person that has looked for work with AND without certs, certs help. The only way to get a job without certs is to already have 10-20 years experiance working with other companies (or one company) and maybe know someone in the company. Other than that first get the "easy" certs (A+, Net +, Microsoft) then work on the harder ones (CCNA and Microsoft servers). I am still working on getting the Microsoft server certs. CCNA is a beast if you have never done networking before.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

despite of some comments I normally see on several forums regarding IT certifications, I can tell you certs are very usefull. I see scenarios where we need to hire one IT guy and we have two options... yes, sure, we interview both of them, both seems to have similar skills, but we pick up the guy with A+, N+, CCNA, MCP, MCTS, CEH instead of the other guy with no certs. This is the real life.

SerrJ215
SerrJ215

I am suprised that there were no MS certs on this list.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

Median salaries plus 4 years experience for these jobs only brings me to what I'm currently earning, barely. Although I am where I am now (System Administrator & Medical Analytics) partly due to taking a couple of semesters of Oracle Database programming with Boston University 10 years ago.

cwan21
cwan21

If I've never had any experience in programming at all, do you think the Java certification or the Database certification would be easier/a better first foot into the tech world?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

but when I say you don't need them to do the job, I most carefully point out that you will to get one, and probably some experience as well. People like me got in the job along time ago, short of gambling and starting your own business based being damned good, no experience, no certs and no degree = no response from HR and recruiters. It is what it is.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

All those in the pack not applying for an IT job? Unless you've gone majorly academic (honours etc), you be lucky as a new starter to get a "don't call us, we'll call you" note trying to get your first IT role without a cert. Buzzword bingo boys will have you filtered out at the first cut. And you analogy is rubbish, it's the learning and being able to apply it, that means you'll be more productive. Stop doing yourself and others down, you are certified because you are good, not good because you are certified.

OurITLady
OurITLady

If you have 20 years plus in the industry then unless the hiring manager is an idiot I'd say you have at least as much chance, if not more, than someone with a degree, few certs and 10% of your experience. Depends on the field though, some fields seem to like certs more than others. If you are worried though, why not "challenge" a few certs - with experience in the field I've found that the easiest way. Just pick up a book that gives you the details of what they test for (or get the syllabus from the net), make sure there aren't areas you're missing as I've found there's always at least one area that I've never seen used in the real world - just google it or download a trial version and play. Then when you're ready simply sit the exams, got most of the certs I have doing it that way and it's far cheaper. I've found a few certs scattered around my resume does help a little when job hunting so I just go sit the exams when I'm thinking of jumping ship, that way I don't waste money on the versions in between and I can usually be in and out of the exam in a lunch hour if I find a testing centre close enough.

xangpow
xangpow

I tried for many years to try and convice potenial employeers that experiance, not certs, make for better workers. Yet, while they all agreed, they all also said that company policy states that they cant hire anyone without any certs. Very few companies hire without at least an A+ cert.

BrennerSpear
BrennerSpear

The point of certs is to prove your knowledge of certain topics that the company that gives out the cert has deemed important. If you've gained this knowledge through your experience, it wouldn't be a bad idea to take the exams just to put them on your resume.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

even an A+ basic certs needs knowledge and study. You definitely need to start with Comptia A+ to gain knowledge about hardware and software. You can move now to MCP and start working with Network stuff. N+ from comptia will be good. After you get A+, MCP and N+, you can start getting another certs by self study or getting a MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) in your local training center. You can get MCTP, etc. But real life experience will be needed. Be ready to setup labs at home and use Vmware to test lot of services and scenarios.

steverzdnet
steverzdnet

Having many years of experience and having hired several - I hire the guy who works on his own car or fixes his plumbing over someone with certifications. Troubleshooting is the name of the IT game most of the time. Yes, tips and tricks from classes and certifications help, but that is quickly picked up. Being able to look at a problem and identify good information from bad and then be able to apply a fix and figure out what else broke is mastery and is not easily taught. I have not been bitten once when using this to hire someone. Yet I have seen guys with CCNA's not be able to wire a network when it was not right out of a text book.

jjintheuk
jjintheuk

Oh yeah and CompTIA A+ also seems like a "not too hard" one to get under the belt if relevant

jjintheuk
jjintheuk

I agree, what about MS Certified IT Professional? It's a hefty book to read, but pretty good value. Then as far as I remember, only a couple of online exams to take. I'm going to try and complete it over the next 12 months, I have a loan of the book and so far in the first 2 chapters, nothing has been too tricky so seems like a good cert to get.

SheFixesThings
SheFixesThings

The salary ranges that were posted could be much different in your area. You have to ask around and do some research to find out if it ends up being more profitable. Since you are already in the "world" taking a good class and paying less than $1k on a cert class can surely help you in the long run.

david.urano
david.urano

I would not suggest any certification as a "first step" into IT. If you truly have zero IT experience, I suggest taking an online or onsite course from your local community college. If possible, find an introductory programming course or/and an introductory database course. Some libraries and community centers offer free courses too. After taking the courses, you should be able to make a more informed decision.

OurITLady
OurITLady

a DBA or a programmer. One thing I would suggest is if you're trying to get into the tech world pick a path and stick with it - at least for now. While some companies do want/need a "jack of all trades" I suspect you're more likely to be able to get an entry level position if you show you are dedicated to the path you have chosen rather than try certifying in a bit of everything.

mtho.ncube
mtho.ncube

The point here is that when there is a job opening out there, say with 300 applicants, you will have 1 happy guy and 299 folks disappointed to angry at the end of that process. I think it's imperative for us to prescribe approaches that work or have demonstrated to repeatedly bring success to those that seek a job in the IT space... in such a market. About the analogy; I think its helpful to respectfully disagree with other contributor's viewpoints as a matter of style. While on that, certifications are outcomes based which means that they already have a set standard level of competence expected; knowledge, skills and attributes - which is confirmed for holders and demonstrates potential which hiring managers and recruiters understand, at least for international orgs I've worked for. Hiring managers and recruiters narrow their selection decision to folks who are most suitable for a job. Folks with desirable skills and any additional relevant experience standout and CERTS have proven to be handy when such decisions are made...hope this serves to clarify!

JohnBoyNC
JohnBoyNC

Nowadays (sadly) HR has (IMHO) WAY too much intrusion into the hiring process. Most HR's use filtering SW to screen inbound resumes. If the open position's description contains certs, then they are plugged into the screening SW. No certs mentioned in your resume/CV = no resume landing on the hiring managers desk for review. Hiring manager being an idiot (or not) will not even enter the equation. It's a truly sad state of affairs, but seems to be the norm. Until companies wake up and smell the coffee about HR, many truly qualified applicants will never get to the interview stage.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

to me as they would be say if I was doing admin, where the version-go-round seems to be a lot more important. Can't say how I would do now, if I could wind the clock back 30 years. I'd have to have a degree, and certs, who knows may be I would say stuff this for a lark, and do something else. One thing I can say, is there would be none of this from scratch drivel.

rcallen
rcallen

Professor Messer has a web site for certifications. Do you like what he is doing?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Of course this is a tad diminished by the "get from scratch" manouvre. It's almost as though some would suggest that instead of a cert validating experience, it substituting for it.... Can't even begin to imagine, why some would have such a view! :p

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Presumably incovenient for the person of courageous convictions who down voted me... Don't anybody take it away, not being liked by gutless conniving incompetent wimps is a worthy accolade...

jcoleman86033@gmail.com
jcoleman86033@gmail.com

couldn't have put it better myself, too bad there isn't a certification for people with years of hands on experience, actually fixing things and making it work. Guess I'm showing my age.

OurITLady
OurITLady

I agree that the A+ would be useful for someone trying to get into a helpdesk, support or similar role, but it wouldn't be that relevant to someone trying to get onto the ladder in DBA or programming. A generic college course in programming principles or database admin, as suggested by David a few posts above, would be a great idea though. That way you'd get a good overview and find out whether you actually enjoy it and have an aptitude before you spend the money on certifying in something you later you find you hate.

cjreynolds
cjreynolds

Got those - like fallin off a log :)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

especially starting out, aside from anything else the damn things are expensive. About the only advice I'd give a new starter in the current market, would be to think long and hard about an IT career. If you really want to do it, choose the discipline that best suits your innate talents, and go for it. At thirteen years old I decided I wanted to be a programmer, it sure as heck wasn't for big bucks, an onwards and upwards career and so I'd have to turn down repeated offers of sex. Which is pretty fortunate really...

Sarah Eadie
Sarah Eadie

Good advice for job seekers. "Jack of all trades" often look like they're either too good to be true, or not focused. Acknowledging your weaknesses or 'blind spots' in addition to your strengths, not only gains respect from employers but makes you seem more competent at the things you *can* do.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Many will have both, so they are the pack. To standout you need a bit internship, voluntary work, freelancing, recognised contribution to open source, or may be just held down a non-IT job. Certs aren't that rare, if you have anything about you they aren't that demanding, well certainly not ones you can take from scratch.... The only only part they play as a differentiator, depends on what keywords a recruiter numpty uses in a word search. "demonstrates potential which hiring managers and recruiters understand" If that was true, there would be no certification merry-go-round. In fact that deliberate lack of understanding was created by the cert vendors to promote reselling.

boudy00
boudy00

Sorry but i had to agree and vote ... its just too true to not to vote for it ..

cjreynolds
cjreynolds

If you're thinking of going into SW training (MS Office courses, etc.) consider one or more MOUS certifications (MS Office User Specialist) they're a little pricey, but opened doors for me when I was needing part time teaching work. I had gotten the training/testing for free when I worked at a help desk (sweet!)

OurITLady
OurITLady

I'd describe myself as a "jack of all trades" but that's more from experience than design - I know what I want to specialise in but the work just isn't there (looking for a full time domino admin anyone?). As someone trying to get to the first rung on the ladder by all means have good overview of a decent number of areas, but certify in just the ones you want to progress in so you look like you have a decent career path in mind.