In many industries, a professional certification or license shows that you have the minimal educational background and experience necessary to offer a service. It’s a basic legal requirement.
IT is not one of those industries. Unlike legal, medical, financial and many other professional services, no certification is required by a government agency or industry association. Many types of certifications do exist, but the responsibility lies with IT companies to educate and train their employees. That’s why certifications are an important metric to consider when choosing an IT firm to support your business.
In the world of IT, the A+ certification administered by industry association CompTIA indicates core knowledge of Windows and other operating systems, networking, security, and desktop and mobile devices. The individual who holds the A+ certification also understands best practices for installation, customization, troubleshooting and support.
In addition, many software and hardware vendors – Microsoft, Cisco, IBM and others – offer certifications to individuals and companies that install, maintain and service their products. Other companies may provide these services, but only certified IT professionals have completed the highest level of training on these specific products, enabling them to solve more problems more quickly and more effectively. This is important when choosing an IT firm to help you with such a critical part of your business strategy.
Your IT firms should not only employ certified professionals, but keep those certifications up to date. Computer hardware and software are constantly evolving, as are the business uses for this technology. For example, someone who is certified on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 may not know everything there is to know about the 2016 version.
The A+ certification is good for just three years. IT professionals must participate in the CompTIA continuing education program to extend their certification in three-year intervals.
Current IT certification is more than a piece of paper that documents a certain level of knowledge. It shows a professional is committed to a career in IT and has the initiative to stay up to speed on the latest technology. It also shows a commitment from that professional’s employer to offer the best possible services to its customers and valuable growth opportunities to its employees.
While certification is an essential part of the IT equation, it’s not the only part. Passing tests and performing in the field are two very different things. In addition, successful IT professionals look beyond the technology and understand how it affects real businesses and real people. Similarly, the IT firm as a whole must embrace a culture centered on customer service and problem solving.
At SSD, we empower our employees to advance their skills through training and certification. Our business is built on customer service, and the investments we make in certifications only enhance our ability to meet our customers’ business and IT needs. We also encourage our team to expand their knowledge beyond their core area of expertise so that we can offer a broad range of services and support our customers’ diverse IT environments.
The right IT firm can dramatically improve how you do business. Make sure the firm you choose has up-to-date certifications and a genuine commitment to customer service.