As people in IT jobs are aware, there are several industry-leading qualifications that are in the field and each seemingly carry their own positives and negatives. This can make it difficult for candidates to decide just how to move forward with their careers in order to land the best fitting jobs and meet their own needs. Rest assured that dream jobs are out there, but they require a bit of forethought and insight into the qualifications available. With these qualifications, candidates are likely to meet their full potential.

IT certifications to consider

We will take a look at some of the top names in IT certifications and see just what they can offer prospective and current IT professionals in terms of their it careers.


One of the leading names for networking certificates is Cisco. This brand primarily focuses on four categories: Networking; Network Design and Security, Voice and Collaboration Solutions, Data Centre and Storage Networking, as well as service provisions. Many professionals who gravitate towards networking, in general, choose Cisco certifications because it offers a tiered approach to becoming a networking professional, beginning at entry-level qualifications including the CCT and CCENT. Once candidates have these qualifications in their possession, they are then free to specialise at an associate level into one of the four aforementioned categories.


IBM has been one of the largest names in IT since the early 1990s and their certifications accurately reflect this longstanding legacy in computing. These certifications, which focus on software and proprietary solutions like cloud computing, appeal to more management-level operators who require extensive knowledge of some of the most advanced applications available on the market today. They can also appeal to specialist operators who require certification in just one or two of IBM's software packages, so as to work within a specialised department within a company. IBM also offers a small range of hardware certifications, but again these largely focus on IBM-specific packages like Power Systems and System X.


Perhaps the most widely recognised all-purpose qualification stems from the Microsoft MCP, which allows candidates to pick up modules in Microsoft applications. These range from entry-level qualifications including Microsoft Office through to more advanced principles like Windows Sever, Exchange, and SQL. All candidates will be required to recertify their skills in order to keep them actively registered as Microsoft professionals every two to three years, depending on the level and topic of certification. However, Microsoft training schools are widely available across the United Kingdom and are typically provided within local colleges.


CompTIA offer a vendor-neutral approach, which make an excellent option for those who wish to mix their experience across a wide range of operating systems and platforms, beyond what just one certifier has to offer. Their entry-level qualification, the A+, requires candidates to demonstrate at least 400 hours of professional experience and require recertification every three years.


Apple offers certifications to those who primarily work in customer-facing roles and are required to support Macintosh systems, such as the Apple Certified Support Professional. Those who are software engineers are also beginning to receive recognition through the Apple Certified System Administrator certification.