Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cheap certifications to help start your IT career - episode 1

Okay, I know the title sounds dodgy, but I'm not going to sell you anything. Not cheap exam PDFs, not braindumps, nothing.

Getting a BSc or MSc takes years (and money), and sitting exams for major certificaions (MCSE, CCNP, etc.) also takes time and also costs decent money.

The following is a list of fairly easy and cheap entry-level IT certificaions, to get you started. The list is not comprehensive, so look out for follow-ups.

If you want an MS certification, the MCSA is not your only option. Gettign a single MCTS (Technology Specialist) is better than nothing, and the new MTA (Technology Associate) certifications -while aimed mostly for students- ain't too bad either. They are around $120 in developed countries, and around $75 in developing countries (including East-Europe). MTA topics include server OS, networking, security, .net development, etc.

Servers: HP
HP offers free web-based training and non-free exams for its servers and networking tracks. Look for the ATA and ATP levels, where "HP2-" exams are needed on ExpertOne. One exam costs around $20, but this information is a bit old.

I do admit, I'm a bit biased towards Brocade at the moment, as I'm getting ready for my BCLP. Still,they offer free training material and $20 exams for their accreditations, which is nice. For details, see this previous post.

While not the most recognized networking vendor in Europe, they do some serious stuff, and you can get several ZCNP certifications (training+exams) for free at their education website. Certification tracks include switching, security, FTTx, xDSL, VoIP, WiMax, etc., so it's fairly diverse.

Now Juniper is a recognized player in the networking field, and with their fast-track program, they offer free web-based training and 50% vouchers for some exams, so they are below $100.

So even if you're coming from the east, with not a lot of cash to spare for exams, you can still make do. Also, look out for offers from anybody, so check their facebook, linkedin, website and whatever else they have.
If you have more recommendations or recent experience with these, comments are always welcome.

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