If you'd like a career in information technology, or IT, the first step is choosing a type of technology to focus on. Once you know what you're interested in you'll have to master the skills that will give you an advantage in this branch of IT. Although certification isn't necessary, it will give you a competitive edge in the job market. Here is how to get certified in IT:
- Do some research to decide what interests you. Find courses that will enhance the skills and knowledge you already have. For example, Microsoft certification is available for most of their technologies and skill levels [source: Microsoft].
- Take classes at a college or university. Numerous colleges and universities provide training programs in information technology. Many of these programs can be pursued on campus or online [source: NJC Communiversity, University of Hawaii]. You'll have the opportunity to learn about microcomputer hardware and operating systems. You'll also be able to use different computer applications and to maintain, troubleshoot, and install microcomputer hardware components and software [source: mticollege]. Certification is often offered upon the completion of IT training programs. Try to enroll in an accredited certification program. Some employers will cover the cost of certification through their tuition assistance programs [source: Microsoft].
- Obtain training from the industry leaders. Every major company offers training on their systems. You can design your own IT career by getting training on products and technologies offered through their training programs [source: Microsoft]. Students often receive certification after completing these training programs.
- Obtain independent certification. This involves passing three objective examinations. Thereafter you'll need to recertify every year, which involves paying annual membership dues to the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) and a fee [source: ICCP].