A GUIDE TO 15 BASIC IT CERTIFICATIONS OF 2024

The graph of the IT field is always on an elevating slope in terms of the career and scope. Mostly candidates prefer to take the AI certification. But which AI certification is best for you to take? Where to start the study path from? This is the most bewildering situation for any person. There are many leading cloud platforms like AWS, Google and Microsoft, Cisco, RedHat, etc. Each of them offers their own fundamental credentials. But which of these basic certifications are fit for you as a starter? This blog will provide you 15 fundamental certifications that covers all the broad fields of Information Technology. The basic certifications are crucial to form a strong basis for the advanced and professional certifications. The details of each certification will help you to choose an appropriate credential.

Scope and Importance of IT Sector in 2024

The scope of the IT (Information Technology) field is vast and continually expanding, offering a wide range of opportunities across various industries. Here are some key aspects that highlight the scope of the IT field:

1. Diverse Career Paths Available

IT encompasses a diverse range of career paths, including software development, cybersecurity, network administration, database management, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data science, IT consulting, and more. IT professionals often work with emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality. These technologies offer new possibilities and contribute to the expansion of the IT field.

2. Constant Technological Evolution

The IT industry is characterized by rapid technological advancements. Professionals in this field work with cutting-edge technologies and are involved in the development and implementation of new solutions. The increasing volume of data generated by businesses has led to a demand for professionals skilled in data management, analysis, and interpretation. This includes roles in data science, business intelligence, and data engineering.

3. Global Demand for IT Professionals

The demand for IT professionals is global, with organizations worldwide seeking skilled individuals to address their technological needs. This creates opportunities for professionals to work in various countries and industries. Many industries are undergoing digital transformation, relying on IT solutions to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and stay competitive. This trend has increased the demand for IT professionals who can contribute to these transformations.

4. Remote Work Opportunities

The IT industry has embraced remote work, allowing professionals to work from different locations. This flexibility has become even more pronounced with advancements in communication and collaboration tools. There are many job seeking sites like Glassdoor, Payscale, Indeed etc. Recruiters hire online IT workers through these sites. 

5. E-commerce and Online Platforms

The growth of e-commerce and online platforms has created opportunities for IT professionals to develop and maintain robust systems for online transactions, customer engagement, and digital marketing. This growing demand in the IT and commerce stores have, in turn, raised the scope and demand of the IT professionals. 

Basic IT Certifications of 2024 to Track Your Career

The following is a precise synopsis of the best fundamental or basic IT certifications. Each certification has an overview, covered skills, cost, prerequisites, and job opportunities open to each of the certification. 

1. CompTIA A+:

  • Overview:  CompTIA A+ is an entry-level certification covering IT fundamentals, hardware, software, and troubleshooting.
  • Exam Cost: $ 246
  • Skills Covered: Hardware, networking, mobile devices, operating systems, security, and troubleshooting.
  • Job Opportunities: Beginners in IT, support technicians, and help desk professionals, IT support technician, desktop support specialist. 
  • Prerequisites: This certification requires no formal prerequisites, but it is recommended to have 9-12 months of hands-on experience in the lab or field.

Read more: CompTIA A+ Certification Cost 

2. CompTIA Network+

  • Overview: CompTIA Network+ validates networking knowledge and skills, including configuration, management, and troubleshooting.
  • Exam Cost: $358
  • Skills Covered: Network technologies, installation, configuration, troubleshooting, and security. 
  • Job Opportunities: Network administrators, technicians, and support professionals.
  • Prerequisites: This Credential requires no  mandatory prerequisites, but it’s recommended to have CompTIA A+ certification and 9-12 months of networking experience.

Read more: How Hard is CompTIA Network+

3. CompTIA Security+

  • Overview: CompTIA Security+ Focuses on cybersecurity fundamentals and best practices.
  • Job Opportunities: Security analyst, systems administrator, Security professionals and IT personnel with a focus on security.
  • Exam Cost: $392
  • Skills Covered: Threats, vulnerabilities, risk management, cryptography, and network security.
  • Prerequisites: This Credential requires no strict prerequisites, but it’s recommended to have CompTIA Network+ certification and two years of work experience in IT with a security focus.

Read more:10 Effective tips to pass CompTIA Security+ Exam

4. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

  • Overview: CCNA is  an Entry-level Cisco certification for networking professionals.
  • Job Opportunities: Network administrators and support technicians.
  • Exam Cost: $300
  • Skills Covered: Networking fundamentals, routing and switching, basic security concepts.
  • Prerequisites: This Certification requires no formal prerequisites, but a basic understanding of networking concepts is recommended.

Read more: Is CCNA is good career? Discuss perks and Benefits

5. Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

  • Overview: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals introduces fundamental concepts of Microsoft Azure cloud services.
  • Job Opportunities: Individuals new to Azure and cloud computing.
  • Exam Cost: $99
  • Skills Covered: Azure services, cloud concepts, pricing, and support.
  • Prerequisites: This Certification requires no prerequisites. It’s an entry-level certification suitable for individuals new to Azure and cloud computing.

Read more: Highest Paying Azure Certification  in 2024

6. Microsoft Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate:

  • Overview: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate validates skills in deploying, configuring, securing, and managing devices and applications in an enterprise environment.
  • Job Opportunities: Desktop administrators and IT professionals.
  • Exam Cost: 
  • Skills Covered: Windows 10, device management, security, and troubleshooting.
  • Prerequisites: This Certification requires no strict prerequisites, but some experience with Windows 10 is beneficial.

Read more: Azure Certification Cost in the current year

7. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

  • Overview: AWS Solution Architect demonstrates expertise in designing distributed systems on the AWS platform.
  • Job Opportunities: Solutions architects and professionals working with AWS.
  •  Exam Cost: $150
  • Skills Covered: Architecting on AWS, designing scalable systems, security best practices.
  • Prerequisites: This Certification requires no prerequisites, but it’s recommended to have at least one year of hands-on experience designing distributed systems on AWS

Follow up: AWS Solution Architect SAA-C03 Exam Guide 

8. GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (GISF)

  • Overview: GIAC Information Security Fundamentals beginner certification focusing on the security fundamentals 
  • Job Opportunities: Non-IT security managers, entry cybersecurity professionals, hacking assistant 
  • Exam cost: $979 (USD)
  • Skills Covered: Application Security, Network Attacks, Systems Security, Wireless Security Technology.
  • Prerequisites: This Certification requires no formal requirements. Candidates who have no prior IT knowledge or experience

Read more: Are GIAC Certification worth it? 7 Reasons to get this certification

9. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

  • Overview: CEH focuses on ethical hacking skills for penetration testing.
  • Job Opportunities: Ethical hackers, penetration testers, and security professionals.
  • Exam Cost: $1,199
  • Skills Covered: Network scanning, system hacking, web application penetration testing.
  • Prerequisites: Certified Ethical Hacker requires no formal prerequisites, but it’s recommended to have two years of work experience in the Information Security domain and to attend official EC-Council training.

Read more: The value of CEH Certification? IS it worth your Investment? 

10. Project Management Professional (PMP)

  • Overview: PMP is a globally recognized project management certification.
  • Job Opportunities: Project managers and professionals aspiring to enter project management.
  • Exam Cost: 

Member: $284.00      

Non-Member: $555.00

  • Skills Covered: Project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, closing.
  • Prerequisites: This certification requires a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or equivalent), 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education. Alternatively, a four-year degree, 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education

Follow up: All You need to know about PMP Certification

11. ITIL Foundation

  • Overview: This Certification introduces IT Service Management (ITSM) best practices.
  • Job Opportunities: IT professionals involved in service management.
  • Exam Cost: US $314
  • Skills Covered: Service lifecycle, service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, continual service improvement.
  • Prerequisites: ITIL Foundation no formal prerequisites for the ITIL Foundation exam.

Follow up: Guide to ITIL Certification: Everything You need to know

12. Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

  • Overview: This Certification validates knowledge of Scrum principles and agile methodologies.
  • Job Opportunities: Project managers, team leads, and individuals in agile environments.
  • Exam Cost:  $100
  • Skills Covered: Scrum framework, roles, ceremonies, and artifacts.
  • Prerequisites: Completion of a two-day CSM course taught by a Certified Scrum Trainer.

Read more: PMP vs CSM 

13. Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer

  • Overview: Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer is an Entry-level certification for individuals working with Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
  • Job Opportunities: Cloud engineers, administrators, and beginners in cloud computing.
  • Exam Cost: $125
  • Skills Covered: GCP services, deploying and managing applications on GCP.
  • Prerequisites: This Credential requires no formal prerequisites, but it’s recommended to have hands-on experience with Google Cloud Platform.

Read more: Google Cloud Certification Latest Exam Cost 

14. Oracle Certified Associate (OCA)

  • Overview: Various tracks available, including database administration and Java development.
  • Job Opportunities: Database administrators, Java developers, and IT professionals.
  • Exam Cost: $95
  • Skills Covered: Database administration, Java programming.
  • Prerequisites: This Credential requires no strict prerequisites, but some certifications may require training and/or passing a prerequisite exam.

Read more: Best Oracle Certification to Acquire in 2024

15. Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA)

  • Overview: CWNA is Ideal for professionals working with wireless networking technologies.
  • Job Opportunities: Wireless network administrators and technicians.
  • Exam Cost: $274.99
  • Skills Covered: Wireless LAN hardware and software, security, troubleshooting.
  • Prerequisites: This Credential requires no formal prerequisites, but it’s recommended to have a basic understanding of networking.

Which IT Certification is Right for You?

It is the most challenging task to decide the most appropriate IT certification for you. After diving into the list of certifications, consider the following factors to help narrow down your options. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right IT certification:

1. Identify Your Career Goals:

Determine the specific career path you want to pursue within the IT industry. Are you interested in networking, cybersecurity, cloud computing, programming, data science, or another specialization?

2. Research In-Demand Skills:

Investigate the skills and certifications that are in high demand in the IT job market. Look at job postings, industry reports, and discussions within the IT community to identify trends.

3. Assess Your Current Skills:

Evaluate your existing skills and knowledge. Consider your educational background, work experience, and any previous certifications you may have. Identify the gaps between your current skill set and the skills required for your desired career path.

4. Consider Entry-Level Certifications:

If you’re new to IT, consider starting with entry-level certifications. These certifications provide foundational knowledge and are often prerequisites for more advanced certifications. Examples include CompTIA A+, Network+, and Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals.

5. Explore Specialized Certifications:

Once you have a foundation, explore specialized certifications related to your chosen field. For example, if you’re interested in cybersecurity, certifications like CompTIA Security+, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) may be relevant.

6. Vendor-Specific vs. Vendor-Neutral Certifications:

Decide whether you want to pursue certifications from specific technology vendors (e.g., Microsoft, Cisco, AWS) or opt for vendor-neutral certifications. Vendor-specific certifications are often tailored to a particular technology or platform, while vendor-neutral certifications focus on broader concepts.

7. Consider Industry Recognition:

Look for certifications that are widely recognized in the IT industry. Industry-standard certifications often carry more weight with employers and may enhance your credibility.

8. Review Certification Paths:

Some certifications offer structured paths with multiple levels (e.g., associate, professional, expert). Review the certification paths to understand the progression and plan your learning journey accordingly.

9. Evaluate Certification Costs and Resources:

Consider the cost of certification exams, study materials, and any training programs you may need. Explore available resources, such as official study guides, practice exams, and online courses.

10. Check Prerequisites and Exam Requirements:

Make sure you meet the prerequisites for the certification you’re interested in. Some certifications require prior experience or the completion of specific courses. Understand the exam format, duration, and passing criteria.

11. Seek Advice from Professionals:

Connect with IT professionals who have experience in your desired field. Seek advice on which certifications are valuable and relevant to your career goals.

12. Plan for Continuous Learning:

Choose certifications that align with your long-term career goals. IT is a rapidly evolving field, so plan for continuous learning and consider certifications that allow you to stay current with industry trends.

Read more: Best IT Certifications for Remote job

Conclusion

Choosing the right IT certification is a strategic decision that requires careful consideration. Assess your goals, interests, and current skill set to make an informed choice. Remember, certifications are valuable tools for career advancement, and the right certification can open doors to exciting opportunities in the dynamic field of IT. The scope of the IT field is dynamic and responsive to technological trends and societal needs. As a result, individuals entering the IT industry have the opportunity to explore diverse roles and contribute to innovations that impact various aspects of daily life and business operations. Continuous learning and adaptability are essential for professionals to thrive in this ever-evolving field.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This is a subjective question. But on a general basis, each fundamental certification is reliable to acquire if you have a proper understanding of the exam topics. CompTIA A+ and Azure Fundamentals exams are relatively easy. If you have a prior experience in IT or if you have been working in IT, it will get much easier for you to prepare. 

Preparation of the IT certification is a bit challenging task. The exams are trickier than the rest. You must always opt for the reliable exam preparation course. The official exam courses offered by exam vendors like Microsoft, Amazon and Cisco are reliable. Alternatively, you can opt for the course providers like Udemy, Coursera, Pluralsight.

It has become a fortunate career. Over the past few year, IT holds a crucial place in all the major sectors like banks, healthcare, education, data management and trade. The technicality in the field makes it a demanding field. The salary of the IT professionals is much higher making it a reliable career. 

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>   CISCO Certifications

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