Online Vendor Certifications Programs
Because businesses around the globe rely on the products of companies like Cisco, Microsoft, and Oracle, they traditionally need employees who are thoroughly trained in these technologies. Employers often look for job candidates with specific vendor certifications to work on technology-specific projects.
Each of these vendors offers a variety of certifications and career paths for professionals, depending on their job requirements or career interests. Earning a vendor certification can be a great way to build your resume and demonstrate an area of expertise to prospective employers.
Examples of some widely south vendor certifications include:
- Microsoft Certified Software Engineer (MCSE)
- Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
- Sun Certified Java Developer (SCJD)
- Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA)
These four companies are the most popular vendors who provide certification, and should be the most widely recognized by businesses and employers.
Online Training for Vendor Certification
While different than degree programs, these certification programs are usually rigorous and competitive. They often require months and even a year of study before taking the exam. Many training programs have originated from this need to prepare for these valuable certifications.
Online certification training is available from a number of sources, preparing you to take and pass exams months beforehand. This training typically takes the form of classes in vendors' technologies and products. Coursework focuses on the specific certification you are pursing, and term lengths vary based on the level of expertise you are pursuing.
For example, Cisco offers a wide variety of certifications including storage networking, design, routing and switching, as well as voice technologies. In addition to general certifications, Cisco also offers a series of advanced certifications such as:
- Data center
- Advanced routing and switching
- IP communications
- VPN and security
- Wireless LAN
How Valuable is My Certification?
Employers may require specific certifications for specific positions, but others may leave the choice up to you. Consider asking your employer which vendor certifications are preferred. Generally, the more job-specific certifications you possess, the higher your pay will be. Your chances for promotion or mobility within the industry also increase as you earn vendor certifications.
Ongoing training is an important consideration with vendor certifications, as some certifications can become outdated as technology advances and new programs are developed.
Career Earnings for Vendor-Certified Professionals
Your earning potential as an IT professional will vary depending on your education level, your employer, and how much experience you have.
In 2007, network systems analysts earned a median annual salary of $68,220, computer scientists earned $97,070, and a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) earned $54,146.
Vendor certifications generally increase your earning potential, but your career path can take a variety of directions. It is important to research the best certification for you, and consider what positions you are most interested in pursuing before beginning a training program.