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How Do I Earn IT Credentials?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: Rachel Catherine Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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You can earn Information Technology (IT) credentials by determining which specific certification you would like to achieve, taking needed courses either online or in a traditional classroom, and then passing the needed exams to become certified. IT credentials can be beneficial for a range of specialty jobs in software operation, computer networking, web design, and programming. Some of these certifications are vendor-specific and test for skills in the use of certain software brands. Others are vendor-neutral and test your ability to use other technologies such as coding or computer equipment installation.

Once you have determined your specific IT career area of interest, the next step is generally to research the types of credentials recommended for many jobs in this area. Basic exam information is often available in information technology textbooks designed to prepare test-takers for specific IT credentials. Exam material and sample questions for vendor-specific certifications can also usually be found on the vendor's company website. Many exams for IT credentials require the purchase of a voucher before you are able to take the exams, so this expense is another consideration.

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Education and training for IT credentials are generally some of the most important steps of this process, and you will usually have a range of options. Many vocational schools and community colleges offer courses to prepare students for some IT certifications. The availability and quality of courses can vary by school, and the best ones often depend on the credentials you have in mind. If you want to become certified in hands-on technology areas such as computer repair or network installation, the most effective courses are held in a traditional classroom and include practice time with the required equipment. Courses for credential preparation in software use or computer programming can be effective when taken either online or in person.

Independent online companies also offer many different online courses to prepare you for taking IT credential exams. A good number of these courses are self-paced, although they can also vary in quality and price. Testimonials from past exam-takers can often be reliable sources of information about a certain course vendor's quality. Once you have completed your training for your IT credentials, you are ready to purchase your exam voucher and schedule your test date. Your certification exam will generally be held at a testing center in your local geographic area, though some minor travel may be required depending on availability.

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