A professional IT qualification shows you can hit the ground running and impresses potential employers. There are plenty to choose from so pick the one that suits your IT interests – and will land you a job.
Don’t forget that joining a professional institute also instantly makes you part of a giant network that will be invaluable during your career.
This field is a potential growth hotspot for graduates as more companies, both supplier and user, offer software as a service. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is the de facto standard for service management.
Eddie Kilkelly, COO of ILX Group reckons it’s possible to secure first and second jobs on the back of an ITIL qualification. “We have graduates who take the ITIL qualification and get jobs as help desk analyst, infrastructure managers and “, he confirms.
Foundation level certification covers business processes, what a service looks like and how to implement and operate a software service. Study for the foundation level can be completed in 12 hours of e-learning.
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CompTIA A+ certification has launched many IT careers, and typically leads to first jobs such as IT technician, enterprise technician and desktop support. The training provides foundation-level knowledge and skills necessary for a role in PC support.
"My first CompTIA certification took two weeks of solid study to complete. I finished the exam in 20 minutes, 23-year-old consultant, Dujon Walsham, told Computer Weekly.
Walsham has since worked on high-profile projects such as the IT infrastructure to capture programmes for ITV Player. His current job involves helping companies adopt cloud computing systems.
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Security is such a broad discipline nowadays that it’s impossible to learn everything on the job. If you join a team as an apprentice, there’s a chance that knowledge gaps could be exposed in a way that could hurt the business.
Accreditation demonstrates to an employer that you have the necessary knowledge – in a recognisable standard. CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) is the one for graduates to go for.
The wisdom to apply knowledge in order to make risk judgments comes with experience that can be measures and ratified with accreditation.
Prince2, the UK Government’s project management method, is the gold-plated standard of the software world. It offers basic ‘how-to’ building blocks for project managers and is delivery-focussed.
If you have your sights set on foreign travel, the Project Management Institute offers five certification options, recognised worldwide. Closer to home is the UK’s Association of Project Managers, starting at elementary certification.
Online communities are another valuable resource worth visiting that can help you do the day-job when you’re starting out. Linked-in, Yahoo and Google groups are very open and accepting.
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As IT has to deliver more benefit to the business, graduate business analysts are in demand. The UK’s BCS’ Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB) offers a qualification at foundation level for aspiring business analysts.
And, if you have some experience under your belt, the International Institute for Business Analysis (IIBA), offers the Certificate of Competence of Business Analysis (CCBA).
The IIBA has its own UK chapter for BA members to meet, network and swap ideas while the BCS has specialist groups in business change, requirements engineering, and consultancy.
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