It's often easy to forget that there's much more to the IT industry than simply Microsoft and it's influence.
Whilst it's accepted that Microsoft has much to offer, and has made some incredible developments within the IT industry, surely one of their main indirect achievements has to be the professionalisation of IT certification.
Over the last 2 decades, all systems and software manufacturers have had to improve their support services and training, which in a competitive environment has been a tremendous benefit to both the IT professional and the industry itself.
One excellent example of this has to be the vendor-neutral CompTIA (Computer Training Industry Association.)
It's core product set of A+ and Network+ certification has become an essential consideration for any potential IT student; or indeed any IT professionals seeking to demonstrate their abilities.
Rather than being a commercial producer or supplier in the normal sense, CompTIA is an independent certification body. As such, they have the advantage of focusing on vendor-neutral services, products and procedures. It's interesting to note that they're the largest developer of vendor-neutral certification in the world, and now lead the way with their cutting-edge research & development.
Experts and industry leaders from both the public and private sectors (including training, academia and the government) work with CompTIA to develop broad-based, foundational & intermediate exams that validate an individual's IT skill set.
There have been a number of studies to support CompTIA Certification. One such example was undertaken by the Kotler Marketing Group. The study reviewed the responses from a total of 966 managers and IT professionals, with the goal of identifying organisations' policies & practices regarding employee development:
56% considered CompTIA certification to be an important factor in hiring. 34% went as far as to require it.
53% would offer a higher salary to a job candidate who had CompTIA certification.
74% said that CompTIA certification was an important factor in considering a candidate for promotion.
78% believed that CompTIA certification was an important step in validating an employee's skills.
69% agreed that certification also helped to identify gaps in that skill set.
53% felt that having CompTIA-certified employees made their organisation more attractive to business partners and clients.
CompTIA-certified employees were rated substantially higher than non-certified employees for their ability to handle the most difficult questions.
The array of options available to students considering the IT industry can often be very confusing (and we should never lose sight of the fact that most will do so to gain employment or promotion).
Therefore, these responses from employers & management should be treated with some considerable weight. Rather than allying themselves to a single company, the advantage of CompTIA qualifications is that they are recognised and easily assimilated within a range of operating systems and companies. The argument being that it will widen a candidate's opportunities and give some level of flexibility for further development within the industry.
This is most important if, during the early stages, a student is not 100% certain of the path that suits them best. The CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications are also highly respected internationally, because they're perceived as being better value for money - especially when compared against the high costs imposed by some of the more expensive distance learning providers.
CompTIA Training Programs(17 Related Products : 9 Shown)
Really informative & very positive... They cut out all the nonsense and just gave it to me in plain terms: This is what you're going to get - and this is where you'll end up. That's all I wanted really.
David : UK
My advisor told me absolutely everything I needed to know. If I needed to know the specifics of a certain subject, he told me everything about that. He was friendly and really helpful.
Leroy : UK
They seemed very knowledgeable about the course... I made a decision quite easily, based on what they said.
Donna : UK
The advice was good. It wasn't overly complicated, so I wasn't bogged down with words that were unnecessary - and I understood where they were coming from. It was very professional.
Hayley : UK
I'd definitely recommend them. I think the price was very competitive - some of the courses out there were three times the price of what they were offering. To me, it's ideal.
Clive : UK
I feel I got good value for money. If you're a practically minded person, the course is perfect. I've also passed your details onto some other people I work with, because they're also interested in that field.
Lee : UK
I'd give the course 10/10. I've already convinced someone else to do one. I just think it's awesome to be quite honest - as long as you're prepared to put the effort in.
Leroy : UK
The advisor was absolutely brilliant. I felt like he was honest... I just can't fault it really.
Shelley : UK
The advisor was very friendly. He came across as very competent with his knowledge of the industry. He gave me a lot of confidence from that point of view.
Tim : UK
The advisor was fantastic I have to say - the way he described everything and helped me to find the right course. Everything he said made sense.