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IT Certification and Career Trends for 2004
are your IT Career and Certification expectations for year 2004? While
certifications can give you an edge, going for just any certification
doesn't help. What is your career focus? New Year, New ...? New Year,
same old story? New or old activities, what is your focus? New does not
always translate to good or wise. It makes sense to review and analyze
trends that will affect your career in 2004.
are the opportunities - new or old? Growth areas? How do you intend to
sharpen or expand your skills? Start your career planning for 2004 (More
on Career Planning).
If certification is a solution, make sure you focus on certifications
that will aid your career growth. Resources (time and money) are limited
so you need to weigh the pros and cons of certification carefully.
you concentrate on maintaining your core skills, you should observe
technology trends and developments. Monitoring these trends in line with
your career focus should help you in setting goals for the year. It can
help in staying ahead
of the crowd.
look at some interesting career and certification expectations in 2004.
IT security is an
area that is witnessing tremendous growth and interest. Security is a
major with viruses, spam, denial-of-service attacks and privacy
concerns. But security
is more than a catchy IT trend. Security is to IT as a roof is to a
The ease with which computer crime is growing is alarming. More sophisticated and daring threats are expected from hackers and virus writers in 2004. The growing recognition of security management increases the value of security-related skills and certifications.
Recognized security certifications are: CompTIA's Security+, MCSE:
Security, MCSA: Security, Certified
Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information System Auditor (CISA) and Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP). More
on Security Certifications.
Networking support and administration encompassing Network Design, Network Installation, and
Network Security continues to attract attention. With businesses and
individuals investing more in network infrastructure, there is always a
need for professional and experienced Network administrators. All the
new technologies can only perform on reliable, high-performance network
infrastructure. Microsoft for example, has one of the highest installed
user bases of any software manufacturer due in part to its popular
network operating systems.
is one of the most popular areas of IT that has also closely embraced
certification. The trend is likely to continue. Indeed Cisco's CCIE is
regarded as the toughest and one of the most respected certification
programs in the IT industry. Certifications
to be considered for the networking world are CompTIA's
MCSA/MCSE and Cisco's
you ignore Linux? Advances
in Linux adoption globally means you have to take note of Linux
developments. The growing increase in Linux installed base means
industry needs more pros with Linux skills. No wonder, Linux
certifications are getting stronger. Despite Microsoft's attempt to
protect its territory, IT manufacturing giants - IBM, Sun Microsystems
and Novell - don't think Linux is a joke. They are all investing
heavily in Linux. Certifications that validate Linux skills and
knowledge are CompTIA's Linux+, Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) /
Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) and Linux Professional Institute (LPI)
global trend towards outsourcing seems set to grow. But as many
investors have found out, Project management makes the difference
between wishful thinking and wise investments. Outsourcing requires
effective project designing, scoping, scheduling, budgeting, and
managing by all parties involved in the process.
as IT professionals need to develop their business and non-tech skills,
project management expertise is particularly useful in closing the soft
skills gap. Project management certifications for IT professionals are
CompTIA's IT Project+ and the Project Management Institute's
(PMI's) Project Management Professional (PMP).
or onshore, Programming is still a major and essential activity
required by the IT industry. With web developments and services growing,
programmers are needed to build applications for the web, operating
systems, new IT-driven products and services or for dedicated devices.
developer certifications are Microsoft's MCAD, MCSD and Sun Certified
Java Developer. Again Microsoft certifications are to be considered
because of its virtual dominance of the PC market.
Java developed by Sun Microsystems is no pushover. Java's platform independence can't
be ignored. Additionally, there is a growing demand for wireless
software programmers - mobile application development. Programming is
required for applications on cell phones, PDAs and other handheld
devices. Java and C are in fact the major programming languages
supporting mobile programming.
you develop and grow your career in 2004, an area you should take a
close look at is Wireless Networking. It's no longer a question
of whether business will accept wireless LANs or not. WLANs and WiFi
hotspots should experience growth as standards mature. Already today,
Network Administration refers to the administration of both wired and
first and only vendor neutral exams to certify wireless networking
knowledge are Planet3
Wireless Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) certifications.
The existing demand in the database
market sustains the need for Database administrators (DBAs) who
maintain the information the corporation needs to be successful. DBAs
help to eliminate the inefficiencies and increasing management and
administrative costs associated with business. DBA certifications are
usually middle level to advanced level certifications. Relevant DBA
certifications are Oracle's 8i/9i OCP (Oracle Certified Professional) DBA,
Microsoft's Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) and
IBM's DB2 Universal Database Certifications.
What are the trends for Beginners to IT? Getting experience is still a major mountain most newcomers encounter. Get Tips for getting IT Job experience here. Regrettably many newcomers get attracted to high-level certifications expecting immediate employment or multiple job options. Certification, even the most popular, does not guarantee a job. Newcomers need to become more creative in their job search efforts.
certification is a route you must follow, it is wiser to start with
entry-level certifications. CompTIA's A+ still leads the pack. It is
globally accepted as the best certification for newcomers covering
fundamental hardware and software skills. What
foundation level certifications are Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
- focus on Microsoft Network software and Cisco Certified Network
Associate (CCNA) - focus on Cisco Network hardware. More
on MCP and CCNA.
I have covered most of the major areas of IT that recognize
certification. So how are you going to pursue these opportunities? How
will you take advantage of these trends? The approach is not to start
chasing all "hot" certifications. Keep your feet on the ground. Be Realistic.
Certification is just a career tool. It cannot replace attitude,
experience or guarantee jobs.
give you valuable knowledge and status. But in the highly competitive IT
market, relying on the right technical skills is no longer enough for
career growth. Build up your soft skills - business,
communications, presentation, personal networking, leadership, teamwork,
trend towards learning will not change. Keep on learning. Stop
learning and you become a dinosaur. You can't afford to become
a Dinosaur. Plan for new competences that are in line with your career focus. Stay
in touch with IT developments. Attend Career forums to give you updates
and a wider perspective of IT careers -More
on IT Certification / Career Seminar.
Assess imminent changes in business and information technology and be
proactive. Use the Internet to keep tabs on new technologies and
you settle into 2004, are you taking time to reflect on certification
and career trends of the past year? What are the implications for growth
in the next twelve months? Analyze and review these trends with your
long-term goals in mind.
Don't chase certification based on noise or popularity. Avoid the "can't hurt may help" mindset. Invest in certification that will help you move forward. Period! You need to be as efficient as possible and keep your focus on moving your career in the direction you want it to be going. Without a Plan this can be difficult and confusing.
are you? Where are you going? Planning is very important. "Plan
your work and work your Plan". Making clear career choices
and following through are critical. It will take time, effort and
attitude; but you can do it.
Ready to reap the benefits of an information technology career in 2004?
Stay on top of your game. Keep technically sharp. Be observant. Be wise.
Invest in yourself.
All the best in 2004! All the
best in your IT Career!
Jide Awe is the Founder of Jidaw.com.
For more coverage and information related to this
topic, head to the IT Career Resource Center: http://www.jidaw.com/itcareer.html
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