For decades, college degrees have been hailed as the gateway to a profitable career path. Typically, a college degree focuses on a major study, a minor study, and is filled out with a wide range of other education, usually in areas where the student has no talent and no interest. For example, computer science majors are forced to endure countless hours of literature and history, while those wanting to major in management have to sit through classes in art or theater — studies that have no bearing on the student’s inevitable career. Students tend to spend 4-6 years in these studies, racking up bills of $50,000 and often much more.
As college education becomes more expensive, the business world is also becoming much more technical and specialized. It can take more than four years, for example, to master a field like cloud computing or cyber security. Hence, a large number of high school graduates (as well as established professionals who wish to forward their careers or change career paths) are opting for technical degrees and certifications, which focus specifically on their field of interest.
If you’re trying to break into the wide, wild world of information technology, or if you’re trying to move up in your own tech career, an IT service management (ITSM) certification allows you to do so while focusing on the areas of knowledge you actually need to apply in your job, keeping costs low in the process. ITSM certifications range in price from free to seriously affordable, and a fair portion of today’s employers will either pay for your certification (as well as give you time during the work day to pursue it) or offer generous reimbursement packages. Here are the top certifications to consider to end 2016 in a more advantageous position within the IT workforce.
It isn’t always necessary to take onsite classes to achieve a degree. Most of these programs are offered online and are designed to fit into a busy professional’s schedule.
There are five levels of ITIL certifications:
- ITIL Foundation
- ITIL Intermediate – Service Lifecycle stream and Service Capability stream
- ITIL Managing Across the Life Cycle
- ITIL Expert Level
- ITIL Master Qualification
Often, having an ITIL certification (or having a higher level of certification than the job candidates you’re competing against) means the difference in landing a job, commanding more pay, or being able to advance within your organization. ITIL certification is either required or highly valued among all IT professionals, and is equally advantageous to business managers. Many companies will require an expert or master-level certification for their CTOs and CIOs, so if you are headed for the top, this is an excellent ladder to bring along.
BMC offers the ITIL certification paths for key roles across organizations and industries.
Cisco Certified Architect
Many of the certifications offered today are vendor specific. If you are or plan to be in a work environment that heavily utilizes products like Cisco networking systems; Microsoft Azure; Amazon Web Services (AWS); or perhaps VMware and related virtualization products like Docker containers, then your ideal certification is one offered by the vendor themselves. Such is the case with the Cisco Certified Architect or CCA. This certification program is also offered in levels, ranging from entry-level to master. A CCA is the highest level of this program. Beginners should start with the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
The benefit of getting your certification directly from the vendor is that you are trained by people who are intimately familiar not only with the material, but also with the practices common to that brand.
Microsoft offers a variety of certifications to provide expertise on their specific products. A Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist, or MCTS, is a more generalized program that focuses on several key Microsoft products, including Windows OS, Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and Visual Studio. Depending on your IT infrastructure and environment (as well as what job you hold or would like to advance to), you can also achieve Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) or Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD). A MCITP is a relatively new certification that demonstrates knowledge of what it takes to plan, deploy, support, maintain, and optimize the organizational IT infrastructure. The MCPD is designed for professionals who create and support Microsoft-based software solutions in Visual Studio and the popular .NET Framework.
BMC’s ITSM platforms are leading a new era in digital service management to meet the rapidly evolving demands of the digital enterprise. BMC Education services offers the following ITSM related accreditations and certifications.
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Client Management 12.x
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Client Management Core and Inventory Manager 12.x
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Client Management Patch Manager 12.x
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC FootPrints Service Core 12.x
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Track-It! 11.x
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping 10.1
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping 10.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC MyIT 2.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC MyIT 1.0
- BMC Accredited Service/Support Engineer: BMC Remedy IT Service Management 9.x
- BMC Accredited Service/Support Engineer: BMC Remedy AR System 9.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Remedy IT Service Management 9.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping 9.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Remedy AR System 9.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping 8.3
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Remedy IT Service Management 8.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Remedy AR System 8.0
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Atrium CMDB 7.6.04
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Remedy AR System 7.6.04
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Remedy IT Service Management 7.6.04
- BMC Accredited Administrator: BMC Atrium CMDB 8.x
- BMC Accredited Support Engineer: BMC Remedy IT Service Management 7.6.04
- BMC Certified Professional: BMC FootPrints Service Core 12.x
- BMC Certified Professional: BMC Atrium Discovery and Dependency Mapping 10.x
- BMC Certified Professional: BMC Remedy Service Desk and Change Management 9.x
- BMC Certified Professional: BMC Remedy Service Desk and Change Management 8.x
- BMC Certified Developer: BMC Remedy AR System 8.0
This list is far from an exhaustive collection of the ITSM certifications available. An excellent way to decide what certification you should strive for is to check job listings for the position you desire, such as “Senior Systems Analyst” or “UX Designer”, and see what qualifications are most commonly listed in those job descriptions.