Best certifications for IT professionals: Is PMP best for you?

Published: 10th June 2011
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I recently met one of my best friends, who are working as a Director for training in an Information Technology (IT) organization in the US who came to India for vacation. During our meeting, we had an interesting discussion about the certifications available for IT professionals. As you may know, thousands of certifications are available in the market place and it is very difficult to find out the most important certifications for a candidate who works in an IT organization. He suggested me the list of best certifications that I mentioned below for IT professionals and highlighted who can go for the PMP certification:





Project Management Certifications (CAPM, PMP and PgMP)


Microsoft IT Professional certifications (MCAD, MCDST, MCITP, MCPD, MCSA and MCTS)


Cisco certifications (CCDA, CCDP, CCENT, CCIP, CCNA, CCNP, CCSP and CCVP)


Hardware, Networks & Operating Systems (CIW, CompTIA, LPI, RHCE, RHCT, SCSECA and SCSA)


Programming & Web development (Oracle Database Admin, SCJD, SCJA, SCJP and SCWCD)


IT security Certifications (CISSP, CompTIA Security and MCSA)


IT Management Certifications (CBAP and ITIL)





Project Management certifications help you to successfully manage your projects. Microsoft certifications help you to acquire knowledge required to perform a particular job role well. Let us say, for example if you take Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certification, this would help you to acquire knowledge required to build, deploy, optimize, and operate applications successfully by using Microsoft Visual Studio and the Microsoft .NET Framework. Several certifications available similar to that I mentioned here from Microsoft for you to improve your technical knowledge in a particular area.





Cisco certifications would help you to acquire knowledge required to plan, operate and troubleshoot complex network infrastructures including but not limited to LAN, WAN, Protocol, Switches, Gateway and Routers. Certifications under the category "Hardware, Networks & Operating Systems" would help you to become a successful networking professional. The CompTIA Network+ certification would help you to acquire knowledge in managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, operating and configuring basic network infrastructure. This is a good certification if you want to become a Networking professional.





Likewise, Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) certification helps IT professionals to acquire knowledge to configure networking services and security on servers running a Red Hat OS.


Oracle Database administrator and Sun certified Java Developer certifications would help you to improve your programming knowledge in a particular area and to become an expert in database management. CompTIA Security certification would help you to become an expert in system security, network infrastructure, cryptography, assessments and audits. The ITIL certification is getting popularity now. It helps you to learn more about the best practices for IT service management. Certified Business Analysts Professional helps you to improve your business analysis knowledge.





Now let us go back to our question. Is PMP best for you? The answer is it depends. It depends on where you want to go in your career. If you want to get into the networking field, you can go for CISCO and Comp TA Network certifications. If you want to become an expert in a particular area, you can choose the right certification from the list. But if you want to get into managerial roles, I would suggest you to go for project management certifications. It would help you to acquire knowledge and skills required to perform your managerial job. Its reputation and popularity increased dramatically. Companies have started seeking PMP certified Project Managers to fill in managerial jobs. Companies have started paying higher salaries for PMP certified Project Managers. So my answer to the question is, it really boils down to your career preference.



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