From MCSE to CCNA: the Best IT Certifications for Job Placement

Students who are studying information technology may leave college with four years of education behind them, but at graduation, their journey of learning has only just begun. IT graduates must dive into another level of education if they want to stay competitive and secure job placement.

The material covered for IT certifications moves just as fast as the rapid pace of technology. As a result, many career hopefuls cannot distinguish which certifications will serve their purpose in the short term and for the remainder of their careers.

Beyond the Basics

The best certifications are those that meet the current industry need and are in high demand, and corporations require these slips of paper as a rite of passage. IT professionals know they must obtain CompTIA’s Network+ and A+ certifications to be considered. Many corporations will expect these certifications at a minimum since the material learned covers the basics of networks, hardware and software technology.

Beyond these fundamental certifications, many IT professionals disagree as to which designations will best serve career hopefuls. Different certificates apply to varying industries and each will have its place. Most would agree, however, that the following will “separate the men from the boys” and help professionals shine in an ultra-competitive career landscape.

MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional): Enterprise and Database

Microsoft continues to dominate the industry. For this reason, career seekers will become competitive by securing the MCITP Enterprise Administrator certification. Corporations look for proficiency in Active Directory and the ability to configure on the network and application side for all types of environments. They are also interested in professionals who have experience managing small businesses to enterprise-level organizations. The more diverse the professional, the greater the chance of longevity in the IT industry, and the MCITP is the stepping stone to achieve this distinction.

The MCIPT Database is also esteemed in the industry and one of the highest paying technical certifications. Other Microsoft certifications such as the MCITP Virtualization Administrator and the MCITP Enterprise Messaging Administrator on Exchange are recent additions and will become increasingly important and more relevant in the years to come.

IT Certifications

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CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert)

Cisco has been fueling corporations since 1984 and its influence has extended worldwide. For professionals seeking top-level training, the CCNA is the first step towards standing out in a competitive IT landscape.

The CCIE is the elite of Cisco certifications and only a select few will ever see this designation hanging above their desks. The CCIE exam is lengthy and many IT professionals would argue it is not worth the effort. While the CCIE will catapult people into an elite group of IT professionals, many organizations will not pay a CCIE what he is worth, especially if their network needs are already met with CCNA and CCNA Security recipients.

CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)

Security is an increasing concern among organizations that house enormous data and valuable information they must protect. From personal and corporate data to sensitive and proprietary information, securing this data has shifted from a high-priced luxury to an industry necessity. As hackers become more and more intelligent, the need for security professionals will continue to evolve.

The CISSP is administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium Inc. IT Professionals who possess knowledge in securing an organization’s environment against vulnerabilities will stand out from the crowd. Security experts stay abreast of regulations and new developments that could potentially threaten the infrastructure of organizations. Their demand will never wane, for vulnerabilities could potentially cripple an organization and destroy their entire infrastructure.


Though Windows IT Professionals are in high demand, Apple computers are still one of the top choices among end users. IT career seekers will round out their resumes by receiving the ACSP (Apple Certified Support Professional). Windows engineers routinely encounter Mac machines, and knowing how to offer support at the client level will not only enhance their skills, but also attract the eyes of hiring managers fleetingly sorting through hundreds of resumes.

To stand out from the pack, today’s career hopefuls must make an impact and secure the certifications that will not only help them land a job, but ensure them longevity in a dynamic, ever-changing industry.


Technology is the future and today’s college students know where the industry is headed. For this reason, the IT industry is inundated with qualified professionals ready to jump in head first. Article courtesy of Southern New Hampsire University Online

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