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8 “Must-Have” Technology Certifications to Benefit Your Future Career


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alballblogImagine a tripod. It has three legs, each of which relies on the other two to provide support. However, if one leg were to be removed, the stability of the tripod would be compromised. This is not to say that the tripod would be ineffective, but it would need the extra stability from the user to effectively work.

The same analogy applies to the technology field. Imagine possessing the education and experience, but not having the certifications to provide you the extra boost you need to reach your highest potential. The same applies to having the experience and certifications, but not the education. All three are crucial to achieving and maintaining a lucrative career in the field of technology.

According to the “HR Perception of IT Training and Certification Study” conducted by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), “91 percent of employers believe IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process and that IT certifications are a reliable predictor of a successful employee.”[1] Additionally, the study suggests 92 percent of employers said, “IT certified individuals receive higher starting salaries than those without IT certifications.”

Hodges’ Tracey Lanham, professor and computer information technology program chair, believes there are at least five benefits to becoming certified, which include:

  • Demonstration of industry standard of knowledge
  • Employability
  • Position advancement
  • Wage advancement
  • Additional career opportunities

“Companies that hire specifically for positions including interaction with hardware, software, networking, cybersecurity and programming typically list a variety of certification requirements within the job listing. Technology companies are not the only businesses looking for applicants with certifications, but all industries hiring for IT positions generally provide a listing of preferred certification requirements,” Lanham explained.

Learn more about certifications with Professor Lanham and Professor Nichols.

Now that you have a better understanding of why you should be certified, here are 8 industry-recognized technology certifications to benefit your future career in the technology field:

  • CompTIA A+: Do you enjoy solving technical problems? If so, earning an A+ certification will enable you to work across multiple devices, providing support to users. In addition, you will possess the knowledge to program, problem solve and support your company’s IT department.
  • CompTIA Network+ (Net+): A Network+ certification provides you with the tools and knowledge you need to manage and troubleshoot various network devices and developing technologies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “employment of network and computer systems administrators is projected to grow eight percent from 2014-2024…Demand for information technology workers is high and should continue to grow as firms invest in newer, faster technology and mobile networks.”[2]
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS): Earning your MOS certification is a great way to display your proficiency in Microsoft Office programs to future employers. According to the Microsoft Productivity Survey conducted in 2012 by Certiport, “Microsoft Office Specialist certified employees gain valuable skills that improve their efficiency and productivity, encourage them to seek opportunities to perform more complex tasks and assist their co-workers, and enjoy more satisfaction in their employment.”[3]
  • CompTIA Security+: Businesses and organizations are always looking for qualified individuals to serve in IT security. Securing networks for safe data transmission and file storage are essential to the success and safety of a company. A Security+ certification will tell your employer you are equipped with the knowledge and tools to handle a network security crisis should one arise. In addition, you are prepared to detect potential security threats.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): If you are interested in working as a network administrator, a CCNA certification will help you in your pursuit. . NetworkWorld.com reported network and computer systems administrators to be one of the top 10 best jobs in IT and engineering.[4] Hodges University offers courses in Internetwork Routing and Switching, as well as Local Area Network Routing & Switching to assist you in achieving your certification.
  • Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP): Becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional will make you more competitive among other aspiring IT professionals. In a White Paper sponsored by Microsoft and IDC, Anderson Cushing and John F. Gantz stated, “Five times as many high-growth/high-salary positions require experience with Office than all non-Microsoft software skills combined.”[5]
  • CompTIA Linux+: Are you familiar with Linux operating systems? If so, earning your Linux+ certification will provide you with opportunities to earn more advanced Linux+ certifications. A Linux+ certification proves you are knowledgeable in areas of the Linux operation system such as configuration, security and hardware. In the computer information technology bachelor’s program at Hodges, the course Linux System and Security Administration is offered to students following the networking track.
  • C++: According to the C++ Institute’s explanation as to why it is important to be certified, “It is becoming more and more important to showcase and validate your knowledge, especially when you’re looking for a new job and have to compete on the job market with dozens or even hundreds of other applicants.”[6] While Hodges does not offer the C++ certification exam as part of the degree curriculum, students who successfully complete the advanced C++ course will have the knowledge to sit for the C++ certification exam.

[1] “5 Reasons Why Employers Look for IT Certifications,” CompTIA, https://certification.comptia.org/docs/default-source/downloadablefiles/hr-perceptions-of-it-training-and-certification.pdf (accessed September 28, 2016).

[2] Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Network and Computer Systems Administrators,
on the Internet at
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm (visited September 28, 2016).

[3] Microsoft Office Specialist Productivity Survey, conducted by Certiport, 2012. https://downloads.certiport.com/marketing/MOS/doc/MOS-Productivity-Study.pdf

[4] “10 best jobs in IT and engineering,” Network World, Nov. 23, 2015. http://www.networkworld.com/article/3007765/careers/10-best-jobs-in-it-and-engineering.html#slide5

[5] Cushing, Anderson and Gantz, John F. “Skills Requirements for Tomorrow’s Best Jobs: Helping Educators Provide Students with Skills and Tools They Need,” Microsoft and IDC. October 2013. https://news.microsoft.com/download/presskits/education/docs/IDC_101513.pdf

[6] Get certified and make an impact! C++ Institute. http://cppinstitute.org/why-get-certified?PHPSESSID=gfum9ad5onpfk46tl5h3rnsn31