CAREER DEVELOPMENT / OCT. 22, 2014
version 5, draft 5

How to Further Your Career With a Qualification in IT

IT Qualification
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For most people in developed nations, information technology has worked its way into every aspect of our lives. The need for IT professionals, therefore, isn’t expected to decrease any time soon. However, because of the number of people entering the field, you need to stand out from the crowd if you want to advance in your career. One way to do that is by achieving advanced qualifications that are well-respected in the industry. Here are a few to consider:

 University diplomas and certifications

Diploma in ICT Systems Support Level 3

This one-year course helps you build on your knowledge so that you’ll be ready to take on a role as an IT support worker, an IT technician, or an IT engineer.

Certificate and Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles Level 3

This qualification well help you prove your qualifications in things like database development, website design, IT product development, systems analysis as well as cabling and telecommunication.

Certificate and Diploma in ICT Professional Competence Level 3 and Diploma Level 4

The courses required for achieving these qualifications include things like Linux interfaces, administrative tasks, and security; learning how to plan, install, and upgrade VMware ESX/ESXi; enhancing personal effectiveness and professionalism; understanding the IT legal and ethical environment, understanding and implementing remote support strategies, etc.

Professional organizations

Professional organizations are another great resource, both for educational opportunities and for information on the types of skills employers are looking for in IT professionals.

The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) is a premier professional organization for IT professionals all over the globe. In addition to championing both the profession and its members, BCS offers a number of professional qualifications and certifications.

Their available qualifications include:

  • Certificate in IT (UK NQF level 4)
  • Diploma in UT (UK NQF level 5)
  • Professional Graduate Diploma in IT (UK NQF level 6)

Course areas include:

  • IT service analysis
  • Business management
  • Software testing
  • Information security
  • Green IT
  • Data centre management

Another organization relevant to IT professionals is the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) foundation. While the main mission of the SFIA is to help organizations manage and develop their IT talent, the website can give you a good bit of insight into what professional employers are looking for.

Industry qualifications

In addition to qualifications from universities and professional organizations, there are industry qualifications you can obtain. Examples of these include:

Comp TIA A+

Cisco Certified Network Associate

Microsoft IT Certified Professional

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

Project management qualifications

Employees who have proven their expertise in IT may want to pursue roles in IT management, such as planning, developing, and installing systems on a nationwide level. If your interests lie in that direction, you can make yourself more competitive by adding some project management qualifications to your IT qualifications.

BCS offers a course on project and programme management that is specifically designed for IT professionals. Other professional organizations that offer project management qualifications include:

Career options for IT professionals are broad, varied, and constantly changing. If you’re reading to give your career a boost to the next level, consider pursuing a qualification that will help you get there.

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