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IT Career Paths And Certification Guides

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

If you love technology, then the IT field can offer a number of opportunities and areas to specialize in. As you hone in on your skills, you can validate your knowledge by advancing up the certification ladder to achieve new career heights. Whatever path you choose, we'll help you figure out the right steps to take.

The certification guides listed below illustrate the different certification paths from tech companies and organizations in core technical areas including information security, networking, virtualization, storage, project management, big data, mobility, and a lot more. From entry-level to architect credentials, each certification guide will walk you through the offerings from the sponsoring organization, whether it's a company, like Microsoft, or a vendor-neutral organization, like CompTIA.

We also include information on certification requirements, training options, and advice on which credentials go well with others. Each certification guide will also give you an overview of the certification sponsor with links to additional resources. And once you identify the certification path or area you'd like to specialize in, take a look at our list of the best IT certifications in more than 20 different areas of IT, including cloud computing, computer forensics, healthcare IT and more.

Before diving into the individual certification guides, take a look at our introductory guide where we walk you though the typical IT certification pyramid, from entry-level certs to pinnacle credentials.

Vendor-Neutral Certification GuidesVendor-Specific Certification Guides
CompTIA Certifications & Career PathsApple Certifications & Career Paths
EC-Council Certifications & Career Paths
Avaya Certifications & Career Paths
Help Desk Institute (HDI) Certifications & Career Paths
AWS Certifications & Career Paths
ITIL Certifications & Career Paths
Brocade Certifications & Career Paths
ISACA Certifications & Career Paths
Check Point Certifications & Career Paths
(ISC)2 Certifications & Career Paths
Cisco Certifications & Career Paths
LPI Certifications & Career Paths
Citrix Certifications & Career Paths
PMI Certifications & Career Paths
Cloudera Certifications & Career Paths
SANS GIAC Certifications & Career Paths
Dell Certifications & Career Paths
SAS Certifications & Career Paths
EMC Certifications & Career Paths
Scrum Alliance Certifications & Career Paths
F5 Networks Certifications & Career Paths Certifications & Career Paths
HPE Certifications & Career Paths
Six Sigma Certifications & Career Paths
IBM Certifications & Career Paths
SNIA Certification & Career Paths
Juniper Certifications & Career Paths
The Open Group Certifications & Career Paths
Microsoft Certifications & Career Paths

MongoDB Certifications & Career Paths

NetApp Certifications & Career Paths

Oracle Certifications & Career Paths

Red Hat Certifications & Career Paths

Salesforce Certifications & Career Paths

SAP Certifications & Career Paths

VMware Certifications & Career Paths

Apple Certification Guide And Career Paths

IT pros and creative professionals working with Apple technologies have several certifications to choose from in addition to the Apple Certified Trainer option for those interested in teaching others about Apple systems and programs.

>> See All Apple Certifications

Avaya Certification Guide And Career Paths

IT pros know Avaya for its networking and unified communications products, as well as its CRM integration. The Professional Credential Program emerged from the need for highly knowledgeable and skilled individuals who could sell and design solutions for customers as well as deploy and maintain Avaya products and solutions.

>> See All Avaya Certifications


AWS Certification Guide and Career Paths

Amazon Web Services, or AWS for short, offers relatively few certifications, but they pack a powerful punch. Check out these sought-after certifications to see how they can boost your salary potential and up your knowledge base.

>>See All AWS Certifications


Brocade Certification Guide And Career Paths

Brocade's certification program includes three certification levels across four networking-related tracks. IT professionals working with Brocade technologies should take a closer look at the benefits of these certs.

>> See All Brocade Certifications


Check Point Certification Guide And Career Paths

Check Point creates business security products for enterprises, service providers, SMBs and consumers. The Check Point certification program offers credentials designed for systems and network admins, engineers and security managers.

>> See All Check Point Certifications

Cisco Certification Guide And Career Paths

Cisco's networking and communications certs focus on three main segments: enterprise and service provider, small business, and home. Although Cisco offers a number of certifications, the most prominent ones are the CCNA, CCNP and CCIE.

>> See All Cisco Certifications

Citrix Certification Guide And Career Paths

Citrix certifications focus on mobility, app and desktop virtualization, and cloud networking, spanning three certification levels, from associate (CCA) to expert (CCE), with professional (CCP) in between.

>> See All Citrix Certifications


Cloudera Certification Guide And Career Paths

Cloudera focuses on big data and data analytics certifications for IT professionals working in data scientist, data engineer as well as Hadoop administration and development roles.

>> See All Cloudera Certifications


CompTIA Certification Guide And Career Paths

CompTIA's vendor-neutral certifications are some of the most comprehensive and globally recognized entry-level credentials for IT pros. The popular A+, Network+ and Security+ certs ave helped many IT professionals get their start in IT.

>> See All CompTIA Certifications

Dell Certification Guide And Career Paths

Dell's certification program focuses on deployment services covering Dell's SC and PS series storage as well as networking hardware. Dell Education Services also partners with third-party certification providers including Microsoft, CompTIA and SNIA.

>> See All Dell Certifications

EC-Council Certification Guide And Career Paths

The EC-Council is known as a leader in information security education, training and certification. The vendor-neutral certification program includes the popular Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) cert and other globally recognized credentials.

>> See All EC-Council Certifications


EMC Certification Guide And Career Paths

EMC's storage certification are geared towards data scientists, data center architects and cloud architects. EMC's certification tracks are designed for the company's partners, customers and anyone else that's interested in mastering storage technologies.

>> See All EMC Certifications

HPE Certification Guide And Career Paths

If you work with HP's enterprise hardware or software products, then investing in the company's certifications is a no-brainer. HPE's ertification program offers a number of associate, professional, expert and master level credentials for IT pros.

>> See All HP Certifications

IBM Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

IBM's professional certification program offers over 100 certifications in software, hardware, solutions and more. IT pros who work with IBM products are ideal candidates and can usually achieve certification status by passing one or two exams.

>> See All IBM Certifications

ISACA Certification Guide And Career Paths

With a focus on IT governance, ISACA offers four professional certifications geared toward information systems auditors and managers, including the CISA, CISM, CGEIT and CRISC certifications.

>> See All ISACA Certifications

(ISC)2 Certification Guide And Career Paths

(ISC)2 is a nonprofit organization that offers vendor-neutral security certifications. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is one of the most popular security certifications and is highly regarded in the IT industry.

>> See All (ISC)2 Certifications


ITIL Certification Guide And Career Paths

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the de facto standard for IT service management frameworks. ITIL's certifications are spread across five different levels and focus on the five phases of the ITIL lifecycle.

>> See All ITIL Certifications


Juniper Certification Guide And Career Paths

Certifications from Juniper Networks can offer career growth opportunities, along with greater insight into the products and services. If you work for a company that utilizes Juniper Network technologies, participating in this certification program is a must.

>> See All Juniper Certifications

LPI Certification Guide And Career Paths

The Linux Professional Institute's (LPI) certification program is simple and includes just three vendor-neutral certs. See what the LPI program has to offer and how you can build your career in this in-demand niche.

>> See All LPI Certifications


Microsoft Certification Guide And Career Paths

Microsoft's certification program is divided into five main categories including server, desktop, application, database and developer with certifications available at the MTA, MCSA, MCSE, MCSD, Specialist and MOS levels.

>> See All Microsoft Certifications

Oracle Certification Guide And Career Paths

Oracle's certifications fall into five different levels across nine categories, including applications, database, enterprise management, industries, Java and middleware, operating systems, systems, virtualization and cloud.

>> See All Oracle Certifications


PMI Certification Guide And Career Paths

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is best known for its highly sought-after PMP certification. In addition to certification and training, the nonprofit offers educational resources and professional development assistance for project managers. 

>> See All PMI Certifications

Red Hat Certification Guide And Career Paths

Red Hat provides open source software solutions to more than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Red Hat's professional certifications are based on its operating systems, virtualization, storage and cloud-based solutions.

>> See All Red Hat Certifications


Salesforce Certification Guide And Career Paths

Salesforce is one of the top customer relationship management companies today, offering more than just its cloud-based CRM. IT pros, developers as well as sales and marketing professionals can take advantage of the certifications that Salesforce offers. 

>> See All Salesforce Certifications

SAP Certification Guide And Career Paths

SAP offers over 160 certifications around its enterprise business software with plenty of options for IT professionals including SAP system administrator, architect, developer and technology consultant certs.

>> See All SAP Certifications

SANS GIAC Certification Guide And Career Paths

The SANS Institute's Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) program has over 20 vendor-neutral information security credentials at introductory, intermediate, advanced and expert levels.

>> See All SANS GIAC Certifications

SAS Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

The SAS Global Certification program focuses on business intelligence, analytics, as well as data management, administration, mining and warehousing. IT pros can choose from eight vendor-neutral certs from five different categories.

>> See All SAS Certifications


SNIA Certification Guide And Career Paths

The Storage Networking Industry Association's (SNIA) mission is to educate and certify IT professionals working with storage. SNIA's vendor-neutral storage credentials fall into three primary domains, including Professional, Engineer and Architect.

>> See All SNIA Certifications

The Open Group Certification Guide And Career Paths

The Open Group has developed a comprehensive yet vendor-neutral set of IT certifications, standards, relevant training programs to help develop "T-shaped people" -- those who have broad range of experience in IT, but also have a specialty area.

>> See All Open Group Certifications


VMware Certification Guide And Career Paths

VMware offers certifications in cloud management and automation, data center and network virtualization, as well as desktop and mobility across five certification levels.

>> See All VMware Certifications


MongoDB Certification Guide And Career Paths

MongoDB database administrators and developers are in high demand and today can take advantage of the company's certs to validate their knowledge and skills. Learn more about the current and upcoming credentials from MongoDB.

>> See All MongoDB Certifications

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