The cybersecurity and tech job markets are booming and it’s a great time to be a job seeker or employee in this field. Just because there’s job security doesn’t mean that you should let off the gas pedal. As an employee or prospective employee in the tech field, you should always be looking for ways to boost your skills.
The reasons are endless but the top include:
- More expertise in your field
- Superior job/position opportunities
- Better pay/leverage for a raise
There are many different recognized certifications that can help you achieve the goals above. So to help you navigate those choices we’ve included IT certification flowcharts by Varonis. They are organized by experience level and take you through a series of questions about your interests, proficiencies, goals and uses to find your best fit.
To start, choose the chart that matches your level of experience:
- “Beginner” is considered 0–2 years of experience
- “Intermediate” is considered 3–5 years of experience
- “Advanced” is considered 5+ years of experience
Beginner (0–2 years)
These certificates are the building blocks that IT professionals use to start out and build a resume. These certificates are fundamental to many employers and are a must-have if you want to advance in the field. These beginner IT certifications include CompTIA A+, ITIL Foundation, CCNA, CompTIA Network+ and SSCP.
Intermediate (3–5 years)
The intermediate certificates below are ideal for someone who has real-world job experience. Pay special attention to the requirements of these certifications as they may require extras like a letter of recommendation. The intermediate certifications include CompTIA Security+, CSM, PMP, CCDA, GIAC and CEH.
Advanced (5+ years)
Once you’ve been working in the field for five years you are considered to be at an advanced level and are ready to take on some more advanced courses. These certifications are highly sought after when employers and management are looking at your credentials. Depending on your position you can use a particular certification to increase your chance of a promotion or raise. The advanced certifications include CRISC, CISM, CGEIT, CISA and CISSP.
When deciding between certifications, it’s also very important to keep your ideal career path in mind. If you’re looking for a switch in your path or role, a certification can be a great gateway into a new direction. Make sure you also do research on the upkeep of your certification, as some require periodic recertification. While many of these certifications take a lot of work, they are a great investment in yourself and your company, choose wisely and never stop improving.