Path Towards Certification

IT Certification - SeniorDBA

If you are an IT professional interested in network security, a certification can be helpful in demonstrating your commitment to the subject matter, regardless of your work experience. In this article by hackingloops, we get some advice on which certification you might need to look at based on the direction of your career and interests.

To succeed in any I.T. discipline, there’s three main things you need: a degree, certifications, and experience. And of those three qualifications, experience reigns king. That said, degrees and certifications certainly have their importance on a resume as well. The problem is that some young go-getters think that college degrees and certifications will propel them to the front of the job-hunting pack, and instantly gratify them with a high salary.

But that isn’t the case, because you need all three factors in order to secure a high paying job. A college degree will certainly help you qualify for better positions, whether you are studying for a Bachelors Degree or a Masters Degree. If you have the time and energy during your studies at a college or university, it would be highly advantageous for you to get a few entry level certifications under your belt (as we’ll discuss next).

If you can land an entry level job out of the gate, then the future is going to be a lot easier, because you’ll have your foot in the door and can start building up the most important qualification: experience. You don’t necessarily need certifications to land an entry level position. However, today’s job market is extremely competitive, and certifications could be the deciding factor between you and another entry level candidate.

Just remember this key distinction: certifications do not guarantee a job position or a salary. Instead, they help show employers that you’re serious enough about your career to pursue certifications on your own and they help validate your knowledge of crucial industry topics and concepts. Nevertheless, now we need to ask ourselves an important question. Where on earth should you begin your certification journey?

  • Comptia A+ – not the most impressive certification, but a great place for newbies with little to no knowledge to start building a foundation of hardware concepts

  • Comptia Security+ – an entry level certification that will help job seekers understand high level security concepts

  • Comptia Network+ – like all Comptia certifications, the Network+ is vendor neutral and serves as an introduction to networking design, operating, configuration, and more

  • Comptia Linux+ – any competent hacker or penetration tester is going to need to know their way around Linux systems, and this cert offers introductory and foundational knowledge regarding the wide world of Linux

  • Entry Level LPI Certifications – there are many various Linux Professional Institute certifications, and they’ll look good on your resume if you need to use network mapping tools, vulnerability scanners, and similar tools from a Linux command line in real world scenarios

  • Cisco CCNA – The CCNA is typically more highly regarded than the Comptia certifications, and serves as the first stepping stone to other Cisco certifications

  • CEH – the Certified Ethical Hacker certification is a great way for future penetration testers to build their skills, though it is a little more challenging than the Comptia examinations

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