Here is a quick guide to the current market IT certifications
The popularity of networking vendor certifications has continued for 10 years now with millions of network engineers attaining the Microsoft Certified Professional Designation (MCP)and hundreds of thousands obtaining the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE). In addition hundreds of thousands have earned Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) designations.
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Developers often select the Oracle or Microsoft programming certifications. There are alot of benefits whether you select the Microsoft or Cisco network vendor certifications. The benefits include salary increase, job promotion, learning new skills and improved marketability. The Cisco CCNA wireless network certification as an example, is a great way to learn new wireless networking skills if you have no on the job experience.
The most popular networking certifications today include MCTS, MCITP, MCSE, CCENT, CCNA, CCNP, CISSP, MCAD and MCSD. The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) are the basic Microsoftnetworking certifications that have replaced the older MCP designation. The MCSE is comprised of additional more difficult exams focused on advanced network administration, troubleshooting and design topics. Check out microsofts certification page.
The Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) is their entry level certification and required before attaining any additional certifications. CCNA is popular and covers basic networking topics such as routing, switching, protocols, osi model, wireless, troubleshooting and security. The CCNP is much more difficult than the CCNA and focused on similar topics with increased depth. The CCIE certification is the most difficult Cisco offers with a written and lab exam. Having a certain number of network engineers on staff with the CCIE certification is a prerequisite for companies wanting Cisco Gold Partner status.
Microsoft developer certifications including the MCSD .NET developer course while the MCAD covers programming and software engineering topics. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a Cisco security certification that has become increasingly popular with the increased complexity of security design and companies wanting improved security on the internet.
The process most often involves the use of study books, courses, practice exams and forums. Vendors publish study guides that describe what topics will be tested and the exam format. Practice exams with a question and answer format using similar questions found on the exams have been proven to work however best suited to those with experience. Candidates must register with Prometric (Microsoft) or Pearson VUE (Cisco) as the approved vendor testing sites.