Successful IT pros know that you keep evolving and fine-tuning your skills or you’ll quickly find yourself out of a job. The best way to keep your skill-set up to date is to earn a certification in a high-demand domain. And with more than 1,700 IT certifications currently available there are plenty of choices.
Some IT pros sit for different certification courses simply because they want to flood their CVs with an impressive list of acronyms. Some IT certifications in India, however, may not always impress current or future employers. Some certifications are so easy to get that you may not even want to brag about them in front of your relatives or friends.
Below are five IT certifications that do have some value, but are so easy to earn that bragging over drinks with your mates about having them isn’t going to impress anyone.
Most IT students have a solid grasp of the MS Office tools Excel, PowerPoint, Word and Outlook. In fact, many have expertise in using these tools before they even leave school. The trend now is to teach children at younger ages how to use Microsoft’s office suite.
Becoming a Microsoft Office Specialist is actually fairly simple. Certification is available for Microsoft Office 2007, 2010 and 2013. You can also complete this certification for one or more particular MS Office tools, for example:
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft Access
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft SharePoint
Ideally, even an IT fresher is expected to know the majority of the above tools. Certification in any of the above tools is not likely to offer you an edge over your IT competitors, and an MS Office certification won’t do a whole lot to help fetch you a job as an IT professional.
One advantage to this certification is that you can learn some clever office tool short-cuts and tricks that can make things easier while you are on the job. Additionally, an MOS certification can be the stepping stone you need for higher level certifications, such as the Microsoft Office Specialist Expert or Microsoft Office Specialist Master.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) foundation certification course is not a technical certification. What it does is enable an IT professional to understand IT service management and the fundamentals of transforming business processes. Completion of this certification will help you understand how the various departments in your company relate to one another.
There are no pre-requisites to this certification, so anyone can take a course and sit for the exam. However, it would useful if you already have some basic IT work experience before doing the course. The exam is fairly easy—one hour in which to complete 40 multiple-choice questions with a score of 65 percent (26 out of 40) to clear.
ITIL Foundation can be an asset, but alone it will not create new job opportunities for you. That is because it does little more than enhance your knowledge and encourage you to continue with higher levels of ITIL certification which of themselves can be most useful.
The IT Fundamentals certification is offered by CompTIA, the computing industry’s highly respected non-profit trade association. No prior experience is required to enter this certification — it’s designed as an introduction to the world of IT. The exam covers the foundational concepts of identifying and explaining computer components, installation of software, network connectivity and basic security protocols.
The course is aimed at individuals considering an IT career, or who work in a related field that requires a broad understanding of IT. The exam is straightforward: 75 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 60 minutes. A score of 650 is required to clear.
This certification is good for beginners, but by itself isn’t enough to land a job in the IT industry. However, it can be an ideal stepping stone for advanced CompTIA certifications, such as A+, Security+ and Network+. One advantage to any CompTIA exam is that there are excellent preparation materials available through the organization.
This is part of the IEEE Computer Society Associate Software Engineer certification suite. It is aimed at enhancing a candidate’s knowledge of software engineering, enabling them to acquire an understanding of the basic development principles and processes of software products — the requirements, design, construction and testing of software.
Since certification covers all the general topics related to software engineering, you do not have to be an IT expert in any particular area to start the course. Upon completion, however, you will not be an expert in any particular area of software development. You will know enough to ask questions of more experienced software developers, but no one is going to be looking at you for any solutions. So, it would be futile to expect this certification to create job opportunities for you or even to help you get promoted.
The most difficult part of this certification is the three hours you’ll have to sit for the exam while answering 160 multiple-choice questions.
The CLDA certification course is offered by Novell Corporation in the United States. You can complete this certification exam in India, however, by paying approximately $125 U.S. It is a standalone, entry-level certification designed for Linux professionals and Windows administrators who want to install, configure and manage a Linux desktop environment.
It also explains the various tasks that a Linux system administrator performs, using SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and so forth.
Novell does recommend that prior to the exam candidates complete a five-day SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop Admin course either in a classroom or via self-study. However, the course content for CLDA is quite simple, and it’s not mandatory to go through any training before appearing for the 70 minute, 66 question exam.
Getting Value from Easy Certs
The above five certifications are fairly non-challenging and easy to earn. They may not test your real IT skills, and they won’t land you any great jobs. This doesn’t mean they are completely useless. You may still prefer to earn them for various reasons. For example, you may need to build your confidence in passing an IT exam, or you may need to complete an easy certification as a precursor to moving onto a higher-level certification in the same IT domain.
I personally think that any IT training is a good thing, even if it only helps remind us why we got interested in the filed in the first place. I hope that the above information proves useful to you. If you have questions, please feel free to leave your comments below and, as always, thanks for reading!