What Certification Is Needed for an IT Professional?

By FredrickHobbs

If you are interested in making a career in the information technology field, you may probably be aware of the fact that certifications are very important to prove your expertise and skill set in a certain domain. A host of certification programs for IT professionals in the areas of project management, design and development, database management, IT security & network management, operating system, troubleshooting and repairing etc. can be found these days. These certifications can be vendor specific like the ones offered by companies such as Microsoft, CISCO, Oracle or they may be vendor neutral like the ones offered from CompTIA, PMI (Project Management Institute), (ISC)²(International Information System Security Certification Consortium) etc. These certifications are recognized world over and often used as a benchmark to gauge the capabilities of an IT professional. The most popular certifications needed for IT professionals in different areas are given below:

Project Management Certifications

These days, there is a lot of emphasis on project management in IT. Project management certifications are designed to test an individual’s abilities to plan, lead and direct a team for a successful and timely completion of projects within the constraints of budget and resources. CompTIA Project+, PMI’s PMP (Project Management Professional), ITIL V3 are some of the project management certifications designed for managers and leaders.

Development Certifications

The development certifications are meant to test the developers and programmers abilities to build and maintain applications and programs. For example, Microsoft’s MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer) certifications identify developers who demonstrate comprehensive skills in designing, developing, and deploying applications for a particular job role and MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist)

Troubleshooting Certifications

These certifications are meant to gauge a hardware/software support IT professional’s installing, maintaining and troubleshooting skills, which are required to keep a companies IT infrastructure running. The most popular certifications falling in this category are CompTIA’s A+ and Microsoft’s MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist).

Database Management/Server Administration Certifications

These certifications are designed to test designing, implementing and administering skills required for database or server management. Popular certifications in this category are Microsoft’s MCDBA (Microsoft Certified Database Administrator), Oracle’s various database certifications including MySQL and CompTIA’s Server+.

Network Management Certifications

These certifications are intended to prove an individual’s ability to design, install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot route and switched, wired as well as wireless networks. Cisco’s CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate) is the most popular certification in this category. A few others are Cisco’s CCA (Cisco Certified Architect), CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate), CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) and CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert).

IT Security Certifications

Security forms an important part of any companies IT infrastructure. The proficiency of a professional involved in this area is validated by IT security certifications like CompTIA’s Security+ and (ISC)²’s CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) etc. Cisco, as well, offers certifications on IT security.


The above list enumerates only a few of the certification programs. In fact, there are many other vendor specific as well as vendor neutral certifications in demand these days. Some of them are, for example, CompTIA’s Linux+; Oracle’s Linux, Solaris; Microsoft MCITP (Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional) etc. The choice of a certification may depend on your education, skills and the industry you are working in. Therefore, you must choose a certification depending on these factors as well as your career goals.