Best Help Desk Certifications for 2015
Technical support and help desk positions remain traditional points of entry into IT for many people nowadays. One way to make yourself stand out as a help desk professional is to validate your knowledge and skills through one of these leading help desk certifications.
Although training and credentials for help desk positions are available, a large number of candidates come into these jobs fresh out of school or from other fields without the benefits that help desk certifications can provide. Nevertheless, we're seeing increasing interest in help desk certifications, and an increasing tendency for high schools, community colleges and even some four-year institutions to include elements of help desk training in their curricula, where some also embed certificate or certification content or credentials in their programs outright.
When it comes to help desk positions, there are a small number of certificate and certification programs that focus more or less exclusively on the help desk function, and the various job roles it supports. A greater number of credentials that style themselves as verifying technical support skills are also available, where most such credentials focus on particular sets of vendor platforms and products.
We include a mix of such credentials in our list of leading help desk certifications, understanding that in some organizations, help desk positions may be staffed to meet support requirements for specific vendor products, platforms and tools, whereas other positions may be open to anyone with a good general technical background and an understanding of IT operations, practices and procedures.
Not coincidentally, it is this latter set of skills that most out-and-out help desk credentials seek to inculcate and cultivate in their recipients.
Knowing which certifications that employers want their employees to have can be a big help when choosing the best cert for you. Table 1 compiles information from searches performed on five different job-related sites. The clear winner is CompTIA A+ (which is also why it moves into the top 5 this year) followed by the MCSA and ACSP credentials. However, two other top 5 certs -- the Service Desk Analyst and Service Desk Manager -- don’t appear in the table. That’s because those certs are more popular in Europe than the US, so they don’t appear very often in US job boards. Second, because those cert names are frequently the same as help desk position titles, the results were muddied, at best. Interestingly, while spot-reviewing the US results, we did find that more US employers look for persons with an ITIL background or ITIL Foundation credential than they look for one of these two specific certs.
Table 1: Job Board Survey Results
We hope you find our top five help desk certification picks for 2015 useful.
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