Tips for the IT Pro: 4 Ways to Advance Your Career

IT professional is checking server's wires in data centerInformation technology or IT is an in-demand service among businesses today. So if you’re planning to grow your career in this industry, you should expect to have a lot of competition. Here are some steps you can take to stand out as an IT professional.

Earn Certifications

Taking a CompTIA A+ practice test or any similar testing procedure would lead to a certificate proving your knowledge and skills in IT. Having a certificate would give you an advantage because it would make you more capable in the eyes of a recruiter compared to other IT job applicants who haven’t taken any skills tests yet.

Get Recommendations from Peers

It’s also helpful to maintain a network of co-workers and peers who could provide recommendations to companies that you’re reliable and skilled. Of course, you’d have to act the part and do hard work for your peers to be more willing to take time making recommendations for you.

Broaden Your Work Experience

Speaking of co-workers, your past employers would also be a key factor in your reputation as an IT professional. Make sure that every business you work with is satisfied or impressed with your work. Always part with them on good terms, so that they could give good feedback about you.

Establish an Online Presence

Lastly, you’d also need to build a strong online presence by having a website, a professional networking account, and an online portfolio that could show your past work. These could then be viewed by recruiters to see if you’re qualified for the job you’re applying for.

IT professionals are indeed key players in today’s business world. If you plan to build your career in this industry, you need to stand out by earning certificates, building good relations with your co-workers, and such.

How Much Do Certified IT Professionals Earn in a Year?

IT guy diagnosing serversCertification from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) will be necessary if you want to earn a higher paycheck, aside from meeting the required skills for a certain role. One of these certifications include the CompTIA Network+. CertBlaster explains that a practice test allows you to prepare for a 90-minute exam that contains 90 questions.

In 2017 alone, those who received Network+ certifications earned an average annual salary of more than $81,000.

Why Certification Matters

If you plan to pursue Network+ certification, CompTIA advises you to have some work experience in the IT industry. However, entry-level IT professionals can still plan to have this type of basic credential, since it mostly serves as the stepping stone for more prominent vendor-specific specializations.

In some cases, an employer would require Network+ certification before they would hire someone. Take note that the certificate has a three-year validity from the test date. Other types of CompTIA certification include the Security+ and A+ credentials, which paid annual salaries of almost $89,150 and $80,000 in the previous year.

More Jobs

Increasing employment in the IT sector serves as another reason why professionals should pursue certification. If in case you want to find a new job, it would be easier for you to land one if you already have the required skills.

The workforce comprising network and computer system administrators in the IT industry is expected to increase by 31% between 2014 and 2024, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In March, CompTIA said that the industry added around 9,000 new jobs. IT services and custom software led four of the five employment categories that added new workers for the month.

Certification is important for professionals in the IT sector, which is mostly similar to how doctors and engineers prove their skills and capabilities through an industry license. How do you plan to prepare for an IT certification test?