Your Guide to ITIL Certification: Everything You Need to Know

12 min read

The digital transformation has changed the dynamics of the world. In order to cope with the current wild pace of change, a new service culture has emerged. ITIL 4 is an adaptable framework and offers best practices for delivering IT services using a systematic approach to IT service management. ITIL 4 provides a certification path to carry forward in the field of service management. Before you enroll in any certification, it may be helpful to read about the ITIL certification options. 

In this blog, we will discuss what is ITIL certification, including its types, benefits, and job outlooks in 2024.

What is ITIL?

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices designed to explain common approaches that ITSM can take to align IT services with business needs and deliver value to the organization. Through the best practice modules, ITIL 4 helps to optimize current digital technologies, drive business strategy, and provide value to the organization. 

Moreover, ITIL 4, currently in its latest version, builds on the fundamentals of the previous version to provide comprehensive guidance. It supports traditional service management activities, for instance, incident management, and also addresses transformative technologies, such as the Cloud, Automation, and AI.

Emergence of ITIL

The ITIL emerged in the 1980s when the United Kingdom’s Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) noticed that there was a need to make standardized guidelines in the increasingly diverse IT framework to avoid discrepancies.

Moreover, the first version of ITIL was released in 1989. The version undergoes many revisions and changes by Axelos. The ITIL 4, is the current iteration, and is developed to meet the best practices to newer IT management approaches. Thus, besides providing best practices for incident management and continual improvement, it is also aligned with cloud computing, Automation, and AI. The version also works seamlessly with DevOps, Lean, Agile, and Axelos products such as PRIINCE2 and AgileSHIFT. It is the basis for the international standard ISO20000 and the workflows in many service management software platforms.

ITIL 4 Certifications

ITIL 4 provides a variety of modules and each module is accompanied by a globally recognized professional certification. The ITIL 4 certifications are designed to validate individuals’ skills in the specific areas that ITL covers or showcase the candidate’s expertise in the overall set of ITIL best practices.

The ITIL certifications come in different levels, from which millions of professionals benefit globally. If you want to learn which certification is best for you, explore below.

ITIL 4 Certification Levels

Based on your learning requirements, you can opt for the following ITIL 4 certifications that allow you to develop a broad view of service management or to focus on specific areas of knowledge.

ITIL 4 Foundation

The ITIL 4 Foundation certification is for anyone who needs to understand the key concepts of IT and digital service delivery, and for the aspirants who are keenly interested in implementing a new service management culture to help their organization achieve optimal value. This certification establishes an end-to-end operating model for creating, delivering, and continually improving technology-enabled products and services. 

This certification is for a professional who just started their ITIL 4 journey or is looking to update their existing ITIL knowledge.

Certification Goals

The certification course will help you understand the 

  • Process of how modern IT and digital service organizations operate
  • How value streams increase speed and efficiency
  • How cultural or behavioral principles benefit the wider organization 
  • How to use basic service management terminologies and concepts

ITIL 4 Managing Professional

ITIL 4 Managing Professional (ITIL MP) is a stream of four modules that provides practical and technical knowledge about how to operate successful IT-enabled services, teams, and workflows. To obtain the designation ITIL 4 Managing Professional or ITIL 4 Strategic Leader, you must complete all the modules in the stream with ITIL Strategist being a universal module for both streams. The four modules are:

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver, and Support: This module is for IT practitioners who design digital products and services, and who deliver, develop, deploy, and monitor these services to an agreed level.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value: The course module is for IT professionals who develop and foster relationships with stakeholders to create value. The module can be helpful to anyone who can manage the customer journey, needs, expectations, and experiences.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT: The module is intended for IT managers and practitioners who work in digital and highly automated environments, or who deliver digital products and services. This included anyone involved in the digital transformation or those who are moving to Lean, Agile, or DevOps ways of working. 
  • ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve: If you are the one who is responsible for aligning your team’s objectives to the organizational strategy, this module is for you. It also guides the implementation of recurrent improvement into the organizational culture. Moreover, this module aids with planning work, improving products, and managing change.

ITIL 4 Strategic Leader

The ITIL 4 Strategic Leader (ITIL SL) is a stream of two modules. This certification demonstrates that you have an understanding of how IT influences and directs business strategy. The ITIL SL identifies the values of ITIL, not just for the IT operations but for all the digitally-enabled services. As we mentioned earlier, to gain this certification, you must complete all modules of ITIL 4 Managing Professional and ITIL 4 Strategic Leader, with ITIL Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve as a universal module for both streams. The two modules are

  • ITIL 4 Strategist Direct, Plan, and Improve: Explain in the previous stream
  • ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy: The module is intended to give guidance in crafting a digital vision and determining IT and business strategies. The stream module will be significantly great for the professionals at the leader roles in an organization including directors, department heads, and aspiring C-Suite professionals.

ITIL Practice Manager (PM)

The ITIL Practice Manager (PM) certification offers practice-based modules that provide flexible training, allowing you to bundle, mix, and match the modules. The individual practice course is designed for professionals who want to demonstrate their skills in specific practice areas. 10 practices are available currently, according to the Axelos.

  • Service Desk
  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Service Request Management
  • Monitoring and Event Management
  • Change Enablement
  • Deployment Management
  • Release Management
  • Service Configuration Management
  • IT Asset Management

To get the ITIL 4 Practice Manager certification, you have to complete the 5 individual practices and the ITIL Specialist: Create, Deliver, and Support module. The second scenario is, that you will need to complete the 3-day bundled or combined module, along with the ITIL Specialist: Create, Deliver, and Support module.

The individual practices are offered thorough one-day training or bundled and combined in 3 days of training with practical assignments that are aligned with the course to aid you in implementing your knowledge into real-life scenarios. The combined courses that are available according to Axelos are:

  • ITIL 4 specialists: Monitor, Support, and Fulfill: This combined practice module offers establishing a good cross-practice collaboration and effective service value streams. It covers the key concepts of the five ITIL practices, named, Incident Management, Service Desk, Problem Management, Service Request Management, Monitoring, and Event Management, and build your competencies in them.
  • ITIL 4 specialist: Plan, Implement, and Control: This combined practice module provides understanding and knowledge in the other five ITIL management practices such as Change enablement, deployment management, release management, service configuration management, and IT asset management. This module covered these key concepts at both strategic and operational levels and how you gain value from these practices.
  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Collaborate, Assure, and Improve: This module is intended for IT professionals wishing to establish good cross-practice collaboration  and effective service value service system. The aspirant can validate their understanding and familiarity with key concepts covered in five ITIL Management Practices at both strategic and operational level, allowing learners to increase value from these practices.

ITIL 4 Extension Module

The ITIL 4 Extension Modules consisted of a stream of four modules that have been focused on covering the main ITIL 4 framework, ITIL 4 concepts, and understating of relevant ITIL 4 guidance. This certification is intended to enhance professional competencies and guidance on how to address and overcome the challenges and chances of the latest themes and technologies that influence operations. The four modules are:

ITIL 4 Master

The ITIL 4 Master is the highest certification in the ITIL 4 certification scheme. However, this certification is demanding and requires one to pass a series of certifications, but it is highly rewarding. This certification demonstrates your understanding of business requirements, knowledge of how to make a concise and direct strategy and plan and implement them using practical methods, and tools, and your ability to lead a cross-functional team to increase business efficacy and organizational value. 

The ITIL 4 Master designation is awarded to candidates who have completed the Practice Manager (PM), Managing Professional (MP), and Strategic Leader (SL) designations. Moreover, you have to pass a series of exams that test your ability to understand, apply, and analyze many ITSM concepts, methods, and tools. This includes a case-based assessment of Digital and IT strategy, a thorough study of at least five management practices or at least one of the specialist Practice manager paths along with Create, Deliver, and Support, and an assessment of all four of the Managing Professional modules.

Read more: 14 Easy Certifications that Pay well in 2024

ITIL 4 Certification Exam Details and Cost

Each ITIL 4 certification stream module has the same exam format except for extension modules. The below table will help you to understand the exam format easily.

Exam Details ITIL 4 Foundation ITIL 4 Managing Professional ITIL 4 Strategic Leader ITIL 4 Practice Manager
No. of Question 40 40 40 60
Format Multiple-choice Multiple-choice Multiple-choice Multiple-choice
Passing Criteria 65% 70% 70% 65%
Time Allowed 60 minutes 90 minutes 90 minutes 90 minutes

ITIL 4 Extension Modules Exam Details

Exam Details ITIL 4 Foundation ITIL 4 Managing Professional ITIL 4 Strategic Leader ITIL 4 Practice Manager
No. of Question 40 40 40 60
Format Multiple-choice Multiple-choice Multiple-choice Multiple-choice
Passing Criteria 65% 70% 70% 65%
Time Allowed 60 minutes 90 minutes 90 minutes 90 minutes

ITIL 4 Certification Exam Cost and Levels

The ITIL 4 certification exam cost depends on levels and the location where the exam is being proctored.

ITIL 4 Certifications Level Cost
ITIL 4 Foundation Foundation $520
ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver, and Support Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value: Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan, and Improve Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Specialists: Monitor, Support, and Fulfill Specialist $660
ITIL 4 specialist: Plan, Implement, and Control Specialist $660
ITIL 4 Specialist: Sustainability in Digital & IT Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Specialist: Acquiring & Managing Cloud Services Advanced $590
ITIL 4 Specialist: Business Relationship Management Specialist $660
ITIL 4 Specialist: IT Asset Management Specialist $660

Benefits of Pursuing ITIL 4 Certification

There is a lot of debate going on about whether pursuing the ITIL 4 certification is worthwhile or not. There is a continuous debate and no one tells the worth because every individual has a different experience. Certainly, these certifications are widely acknowledged and significantly enhance your knowledge of ITSM. As you get acquainted with the latest skills and practices, you become more marketable. According to a survey, 76% of the candidates indicated that earning an ITIL 4 certification makes them more valuable and marketable.

As of the current competition in the job market, ITIL certification helps candidates with the competency to compete with others in the crowded job market. However, if you wish to get hired for a specific job role, ITIL Advanced and Specialist certification will help you to do that. Statistics showed that 50% of the respondents qualified for the specific role in a reputable organization by earning advanced-level certification. 

Organizations also force individuals to earn ITIL Advanced and Specialist certifications because of the improved efficiency and effectiveness. It is evident that if employees develop knowledge of ITIL best practices, earning certification will help the organization in the long term by generating great revenue and adding value.

ITIL 4 Certification Top Job Titles and Salary

The average salary of ITIL certified is $106,000 according to PayScale. However, different job titles have different salaries. Let’s explore below:

Job Titles Average Salary
IT Director $139,774
IT Manager $103,427
Project Manager, IT $101,487
Senior Project Manager, IT $122,678
Chief Information Officer, CIO $191,649
Vice President, IT $168,871
Systems Administrator $70,439
Program Manager, IT $129,665
Service Delivery Manager $104,047

Conclusion

Ever since ITIL emerged, it has gained significant value in the field of service management. From its inception, the ITIL framework continues to be the standard best practice in IT service management with many certification options available to cope with the market demand. The ITIL 4 certification is available at different levels to enhance the competencies of professionals and prove a valuable asset to an organization. The blog has taught the complete pathway of the certification to make an informed decision. So, choose your certification and get ready to navigate your career in IT service management.

Frequently Asked Questions

The cost of ITIL 4 certification ranges from $520 to $660. The foundation level certification costs $520 while the advanced and specialist certification costs $590, and $660.

Yes, the ITIL certifications are worth it and give many benefits to employees. The certification gives a strong knowledge of IT service management and also gives some increased job outlooks with higher salaries. These certifications are considered to be the best to enhance your salary hike.

Yes. ITIL certification does have an expiration date. In the Continuing Professional Development Program developed by PeopleCert, ITIL certification must be renewed within 3 years from the date certification has been awarded.

Well, it depends on the certification level and your knowledge. Usually, ITIL 4 Foundation certifications are considered easy while advanced and specialist certifications are hard to attain. However, if you’re well-prepared and acquainted with the exam structure and content, you can easily get the ITIL certification. Thorough preparation requires reliable prep resources and it is possible when you use a combination of resources and practice with Dumpsgate exam dumps.

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