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Tech-Know: The Value Of IT Certifications

March 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 103

Information technology certifications have become the standards by which employers distinguish serious, competent professionals from technical hobbyists. Many government agencies now require personnel who handle sensitive information to hold one or more IT certifications. The Department of Defense (DoD) is particularly stringent in its requirements for certified technical professionals. Through a 2004 mandate called The Information Assurance Workforce Improvement Program, otherwise known as DoD 8570.01-M, the Defense Department required all military or civilian staff who access classified systems to be either currently certified or to obtain certification within a certain period after commencing work in certain capacities. The ubiquity and importance of modern information technology has revolutionized the way government, military and private industry leaders manage their operations. It is not uncommon for managers to require staff to demonstrate firm technical and operational proficiency as non-negotiable conditions for employment.

Why do managers often consider certifications more important than experience as measures of aptitude? One reason has to do with the discipline required to obtain the credential. Most modern IT certifications demand that students undergo rigorous preparation to pass the relevant exams. Many employers admire the perseverance of IT workers who can adhere to such challenging study regimens. Frequently, workplace IT problems require technicians to overcome frustration and remain focused when dealing with thorny issues that don't lend themselves to easy resolution. This is especially true when troubleshooting complex systems involving long-distance networking or multiple layers of security. Often, there is no single source of technical problems. Many malfunctions stem from several interrelated factors that combine to impede normal system operation. A certified IT professional is most likely to have demonstrated the intellect and drive necessary to competently tackle these tough issues.

Another element that contributes to the appeal of certifications involves the professional credibility that these credentials confer on their recipients. Many organizations lack staff with the specialized skills to implement proposed high-tech initiatives. Such firms generally opt to hire contractors for these specialized tasks. IT consulting firms that are pursuing contracts need to demonstrate that their employees are competent enough to responsibly handle privileged data and computer systems. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by hiring applicants who have demonstrated mastery of skills widely recognized as essential in the field.

Because information technology changes rapidly, organizations need to know that their system technicians and managers know about current hardware, software and operational practices. The organizations that sponsor certifications have recognized this and begun to require professionals to regularly update their technical credentials. CompTIA, a prominent vendor-neutral certification organization, now requires recipients of its certifications to either retake the exams every few years or participate in activities such as conference attendance, publishing or relevant continuing education classes.

The complex and dynamic nature of information technology demands that the credentials used to signify mastery of the subject matter reflect the nature of the profession itself. Just as hardware, software and procedures evolve, the associated certifications must evolve in order to remain relevant. Similarly, because good customer service requires soft skills, such as listening and asking pertinent questions, the latest certification tests specifically cover these interpersonal abilities. This ensures that IT workers can balance esoteric technical knowledge with the personality traits needed to function as true professionals.

Knowledge Center Inc is a leading provider of information technology training courses. Computer training programs offered include CompTIA, Cisco, ITIL, CISSP, ISO20000 & Microsoft certification courses. Computer certification classes are held at KCI computer training center located at Ashburn, VA.

Source: EzineArticles
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