Anyone looking to improve their career prospects should strongly consider IT certifications online. Earning an IT certification can help you qualify for a better job or even help you start your own business. There are many types of IT certifications available, and the best one for you will depend on your career level and interests.
MyComputerCareer is an Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET)-accredited Information Technology trade school that provides IT certification preparedness. The school offers training for some of the most sought-after IT certificates supplied by some of the world’s leading organizations such as Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, Linux, and the EC-Council.
In this guide, we will discuss the pros and cons of earning IT certifications online, as well as some of the best options based on your career goals. Finally, we will provide tips on how to prepare for an online IT certification exam.
What Are The Benefits of Earning An IT Certification?
There are many benefits to earning an IT certification. Among these, we can include the following:
- Better Hiring Potential: IT certifications are a great way to improve your resume and show potential employers you have the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in the role. With an ever-increasing skill gap within the sector, certified professionals should have very little trouble finding IT jobs.
- Higher Salaries: IT certifications also tend to lead to higher salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for computer and information technology professions was $97,430 in May 2021, which was greater than the typical $45,760 yearly pay for all other occupations. According to Indeed.com, entry-level IT specialists earn, on average, $20.30 per hour ($57,693/year) in the United States as of September 2022. In addition, certified professionals tend to earn 7% more right from the get-go, as opposed to their non-certified counterparts.
- High Job Security: According to the BLS, computer and information technology occupations are anticipated to increase 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the overall employment growth rate. These jobs are expected to bring in around 667,600 new positions over the next decade. Increased focus on cloud computing, big data collection and storage, and information security will drive demand for these employees. This means IT certifications should continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
- Greater Opportunities for Raises or Promotions: IT-certified professionals are often first in line when it comes to raises and promotions. By completing an IT certification, you are showing your employer you are willing to go above and beyond to improve your skills and knowledge. This can lead to greater opportunities for advancement within the company. Studies have also shown that IT professionals who’ve earned a certificate in the past year have made, on average, a raise between $12,000 and $13,000.
- Improved Job Satisfaction: IT certifications can also lead to improved job satisfaction. This is because IT-certified professionals often feel a greater sense of accomplishment and mastery over their craft. A Microsoft study concluded that IT professionals who have certification are happier with their jobs and more productive than those without certification.
What Are The Pros and Cons of Online IT Certifications?
Earning an IT certification online brings both benefits and drawbacks. This is strictly in comparison with taking on-campus training courses and earning a certification in a traditional setting. It’s important to mention that, in either case, the IT certification process should always involve a certain amount of independent study outside of the classroom.
Let’s take a look at some of the key pros and cons of online IT certifications:
- Less Expensive Education: One of the main advantages of online IT certifications is they are often less expensive than traditional, on-campus education because most online courses don’t require students to pay for things like room and board, textbooks, or other materials.
- Flexible Schedule: Online IT certifications offer more flexibility when it comes to scheduling, as most online courses are self-paced, meaning students can complete the coursework on their own time. This is a huge benefit for working professionals who can’t afford to take time off from work to attend classes.
- Convenient Location: Another advantage of online IT certifications is they can be completed from anywhere in the world. This is because all you need is a computer and an internet connection. This is opposed to traditional, on-campus courses, which physically require students to be present in the classroom.
- Time-Saving Opportunity To Learn: Online IT certifications can reduce learning time as most of the coursework can be completed asynchronously, meaning students don’t have to be present at the same time for lectures or discussions.
- Less Personalized Education: One of the main disadvantages of online IT certifications is they are often less personalized than traditional, on-campus education. This is because most online courses don’t have the same level of interaction between students and professors.
- Lack of Hands-On Experience: Another disadvantage of online IT certifications is they often lack the hands-on experience gained from traditional, on-campus courses as most online courses are completed through reading and writing assignments, as opposed to laboratory work or other hands-on activities.
- Isolation from Peers: Another disadvantage of online IT certifications is students potentially feeling isolated from their peers as most of the interaction in online courses takes place through discussion boards or other online forums, as opposed to in-person.
- Not Having Access To The Right Technology: One of the final possible disadvantages of online IT certifications is not everyone has access to the right technology because most online courses require students to have a computer and an internet connection.
Overall, there are both advantages and disadvantages to earning an IT certification online. However, the pros seem to outweigh the cons for most people. If you’re considering acquiring an IT certification, then you should consider doing it online!
Which Online IT Certification Is Best?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the advantages and disadvantages of online IT certifications, let’s talk about which online IT certification is best. The answer to this question depends on your career level.
- If you’re a beginner in the IT field, then possibly the best online IT certification for you is CompTIA A+. This certification will give you the basic knowledge and skills needed to start your IT career. Other noteworthy entry-level IT certifications include Microsoft Fundamentals and Linux Essentials.
- If you’re a mid-level IT professional, the best online IT certification for you is CompTIA Network+. This certification will give you the higher knowledge and skills needed to advance your IT career. Similar mid-level certifications include CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Server+.
- If you’re an IT professional with experience, then the best online IT certification for you is EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification. This certification will give you the knowledge and skills that you need to become an ethical hacker. Put simply; an ethical hacker is someone who hacks into systems to find weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Other IT certifications at this level include CompTIA CySA+ and CompTIA CASP+.
Best Overall IT Certification
While each of the IT certifications mentioned above is great, the best overall IT certification, in our professional opinion, is the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA). This certification is perfect for IT professionals of all levels as it covers a wide range of topics. The CCNA certification will give you the knowledge and skills needed to work with Cisco networking products.
It’s important to keep in mind that Cisco provides software as a service (SaaS)/cloud, collaboration, unified workspace, security, video, and telepresence solutions to over 100,000 businesses. This includes 87% of Fortune 500 companies. The CCNA certification not only ensures job security but also allows you to work with some of the biggest companies in the world!
The CCNA is an entry-level certification that can be earned early in one’s career. It has the potential to open many doors and show potential employers you have the skills and knowledge necessary to be a valuable asset to their team. The CCNA is one of the most popular IT certifications in the industry and is a great way to take your career to the next level.
What Jobs Can You Get With An Online IT Certification?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best online IT certifications, let’s talk about what kinds of jobs you can get with an online IT certification.
One of the most popular IT jobs that you can get with an online IT certification is a Network Administrator. A network administrator is responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting a computer network. They make sure that the network runs smoothly and efficiently.
Other IT jobs that you can get with an online IT certification include help desk support, system administrator, database administrator, computer support specialist, cybersecurity specialist, network architect, system analyst, and more.
- Help Desk Support: Help Desk Support is responsible for providing technical assistance to customers or employees. They answer questions and solve problems related to computer systems, software, hardware, and more.
- System Administrator: A System Administrator is responsible for the daily maintenance of computer systems. This includes installing and configuring software, monitoring system performance, and troubleshooting issues.
- Database Administrator: A Database Administrator is responsible for the organization, maintenance, and security of a company’s databases.
- Cybersecurity Specialist: A Cybersecurity Specialist is responsible for protecting an organization’s computer networks and systems from cyberattacks. They work to identify vulnerabilities and implement security measures to prevent attacks.
- Network Architect: A Network Architect is responsible for designing and implementing computer networks. They work to ensure that the network meets the needs of the organization.
- System Analyst: A System Analyst is responsible for analyzing an organization’s business needs and designing solutions to meet those needs.
While there are many great IT jobs that you can get with an online IT certification, these are just a few of the most popular ones. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in IT, then getting an online IT certification is a great way to start. Earning an IT certification online is a great way to take your career to the next level. With an IT certification, you can get a job in a wide range of industries. In addition, IT certifications are perfect for IT professionals of all levels.
How To Prepare For An Online IT Certification
Now that we’ve gone over some of the best online IT certifications and the types of jobs you can get with them, let’s talk about how to prepare for an online IT certification. Below is a step-by-step process for increasing your chances of success.
Have A Career Plan
The first step in preparing for an online IT certification is to have a career plan. You need to know what you want to do with your certification and how it will help you achieve your long-term career goals. Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can start planning your journey.
Five broad categories make up the Information Technology sector. These include:
- IT Infrastructure: This area includes hardware, networking, storage, and more.
- IT Operations: This area includes IT security, DevOps, and more.
- IT Development: This area provides software development, web development, and more.
- IT Business Applications: This area includes CRM, ERP, and more.
- IT Consulting: This area includes project management, business analysis, and more.
Each of these categories can be further divided into subcategories. You need to decide which area you want to specialize in. Once you’ve decided on your specialty you can start researching the best online IT certification for your career goals.
Some things to consider when choosing an online IT certification include:
- The cost of the certification
- The time commitment required to earn the certification
- The difficulty level of the certification
- The relevance of the certification to your career goals
If you’re unsure where to start, we suggest taking MyComputerCareer’s free career evaluation. After this test, we can determine your level of comfort and experience with computers and networks. Based on the findings, we’ll be able to provide you with a study strategy that will help you reach your professional goals as soon as possible.
Once you’ve chosen an online IT certification, you can start preparing for it. Below are some tips to help you prepare.
Decide On A Study Method
When preparing for an online IT certification, candidates have two main options. They can either study and enroll in the exam by themselves, or they can take part in an online training course.
- Self-Study: If you choose to self-study, you’ll need to purchase the required books and other materials. In addition, you’ll need to set aside time each week to study for the exam. While self-studying can sometimes be cheaper, it’s important to note that it can also be more difficult.
- Online Training Course: If you enroll in an online training course like the one provided by MyComputerCareer, your instructors will provide you with all of the necessary materials. In addition, they’ll help you stay on track with your studies by providing deadlines and due dates. While online courses can be more expensive than self-studying, they might save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Develop A Study Plan
The best way to prepare for an online IT certification is to develop a study plan. You need to give yourself enough time to study for the exam. We recommend studying for at least six weeks before taking the exam. You should create a study schedule that outlines when and how long you’re going to study. In addition, you should create a list of goals you want to achieve to help you stay on track and motivated.
It’s also important to find resources that will help you prepare for the exam. MyComputerCareer provides students with access to comprehensive IT coursework and practice exams. These resources are designed to help you learn the material and prepare for the exam.
In addition to online resources, you can also check out books from your local library. IT certifications often have an associated textbook to help you prepare for the exam.
It would be best if you also took advantage of free online resources, such as forums and study groups. These resources can provide you with support and advice from other IT professionals.
Once you’ve developed a study plan, stick to it! It’s important to be consistent with your studies to be successful.
Take As Many Practice Tests As Possible
One of the best ways to prepare for an online IT certification is to take practice tests. Practice tests will help you understand the format of the exam and identify any areas of focus. MyComputerCareer provides students with access to comprehensive IT coursework and practice exams. These resources will help you learn the material and prepare for the exam.
For most IT certification exams, there are practice tests available. They may be found online or in some of the study materials you’ve acquired. Use practice tests that are tailored to the material you’re taking if studying on your own. Make sure you’re using a version of the exam that is most up-to-date and accurate.
Earning an IT certification online can help you reach your professional goals. It can open doors to new opportunities and help you advance in your career. IT certifications are also a great way to show employers that you’re committed to your profession. If you’re considering earning an IT certification, we recommend enrolling in an online training course. Online courses provide candidates with the materials they need to succeed and stay on track.
MyComputerCareer provides students with access to comprehensive IT coursework and practice exams both online and at our on-campus locations. These resources will help you learn the material and prepare for the exam. For more information about our program, contact us today!