ITIL certification can help you jump into an exciting IT field.Organizations of all sizes and across all industries implement IT systems for a wide range of reasons. Aligning the business processes to those IT systems is a crucial part of the implementation process. This is where ITIL comes into picture.

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), managed and operated by AXELOS, as a joint venture between the Government of the United Kingdom and Capita, is the world’s most acknowledged IT service management certification. It is a collection of industry-wide best practices implemented by organizations as a way to align IT services with business requirements.

ITIL provides a basis for quality IT Service Management through documented, proven processes that cover the entire Service Lifecycle. ITIL’s proven benefits include reducing costs, improving customer satisfaction, and increasing productivity throughout the organization.

Some of the large organizations that have adopted ITIL include Caterpillar, Disney, Honda, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Visa, and so forth. Not only are larger, more established organizations and industry players adopting ITIL, but because of its positive impacts, even start-ups are increasingly incorporating it into their daily operations.

ITIL is increasingly popular with Indian organizations as well. As more enterprises implement ITIL there is an accompanying increase in the demand for certified professionals. A quick search of for ITIL job openings yields almost three thousand job openings. According to CRN Magazine, ITIL is widely viewed as one of the 10 most popular Certifications to improve an IT career, and is among the Top 15 Money Making Certifications for 2015.

ITIL’s framework enables an organization to develop an overall perspective of their IT department’s processes and helps practitioners understand the complete picture of how IT fits within the overall business plan. Professionals at all levels of the enterprise benefit by being certified in ITIL.

Recent surveys show that 38 percent of IT managers in service companies are ITIL certified, and that certified professionals earn 40 percent more than their non-certified peers. ITIL certification is a great asset for IT team leaders, architects, planners, consultants, auditors, and security managers, as well as anyone interested in enhancing the quality of IT service management.

ITIL certifications are designed in a modular format and are made up of a series of qualifications focused on different aspects of ITIL best practices, of differing depths and details. There are five levels to ITIL certification: Foundation, Practitioner, Intermediate, Expert, and Master. The different levels provide flexibility for candidates to focus on different disciplines and areas of ITIL.

Foundation Level

This is the entry-level certification. Credentialed individuals possess a basic knowledge of the key elements, concepts and terminology utilized in the ITIL service cycle. Certification acquaints candidates with standardized terminologies and the basic information required for further levels. Moreover candidates also develop an understanding of how ITIL can be implemented throughout different organizations.

Since this is an entry-level qualification, credentialed individuals will generally need some further training and direction in order to apply ITIL practices to projects and situations.

Practitioner Level

This stage was developed in 2015 as a way to bridge the gap between the Foundation and Intermediate levels. Practitioner’s aim is to increase an individual’s ability to adopt and implement ITIL into an organization. Practitioner covers the Continual Service Improvement approach as a way to structure improvement initiatives.

Intermediate Level

The content in the Intermediate level goes into more detail than Foundation or Practitioner. This level has a modular format with each module offering a different focus on IT service management. The modules are divided into two categories — Service Lifecycle and Service Capability.

Certification candidates can opt to specialize in one area, or as many as they wish, that is relevant to their area of expertise and accordingly choose to study from the many modules that are available.

Although there are no requirements, it is suggested that candidates have prior exposure to basic IT concepts and at least two years professional experience working in IT service management before attempting to take any of the Intermediary modules. Unlike the first two qualification levels, candidates cannot self-study for this examination — they need to attend training at one of AXELOS’ accredited training organizations.

Expert Level

In this level of certification candidates are imparted with higher level of knowledge. Credentialed individuals possess a well-rounded and superior level of knowledge and skills in ITIL Best Practices. The level of training covered in this level is enough to understand the entire ITIL framework in a detailed and thorough manner.

Candidates also have the option to select modules on their own and can develop specialization in one or more areas. Expert level qualification is required for candidates who wish to move on to the Master Level of ITIL certification.

Master Level

ITIL certification can help you jump into an exciting IT field.As the highest level of ITIL certification candidates must have extensive hands-on experience. The content in this level is designed for professionals working in the designing, implementation and management of IT service management. Candidates are required to explain and justify how they have personally selected and applied knowledge, principles, methods and techniques from ITIL to accomplish business goals in one or more real-world situations.

Candidates are required to have achieved Expert level qualification, and have worked in IT service management for at least five years at the level of leadership, management, or advisory levels. Because the theory being tested will vary depending on the nature of the candidate’s situation there is no fixed syllabus or training course.

ITIL Training

In India there are several reputable institutes that provide both online and instructor-led courses for ITIL. Three of the more respected and renowned training entities are: KPMG, NIIT and Simplilearn. Each provides complete training and exams for the ITIL suite.

ITIL has proven its value in delivering IT services to customers and employees. Evidence shows that demand in India, and salaries are climbing. If you are looking to increase your IT value to your existing enterprise or, maybe want to look for new opportunities and horizons, then an ITIL certification is a valuable certification to add to your résumé.