Top 10 Entry-level IT Certifications for Beginners

Certifications increase the credibility of your resume and make you more marketable to recruiters and hiring managers. And, at the entry-level, they're a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition — and even increase your pay.

By then, you'll know what specialities to pursue and what skills you'll require for your desired career path. As your career progresses, you should consider more advanced certifications to further your professional development. However, at the entry-level, it is preferable to stick with more generalised certifications that will assist you in getting your foot in the door. Here are ten IT certifications to help you launch your career, whether you just graduated or want to change careers.

CompTIA A+

Employers frequently consider this popular certification a prerequisite when interviewing candidates for support-related positions at a service centre or help desk. CompTIA A+ validates a person's ability to troubleshoot and solve issues with networking, operating systems, mobile devices, and security—all of which are required for today's IT support jobs. CompTIA A+ can be used to apply for entry-level positions such as field service technician, help desk support technician, desktop support analyst, or system support specialist.

While there are no prerequisites for this certification, it is recommended that candidates have at least nine months of IT work experience before taking the exam. Those with no IT work experience and are unsure whether IT is the right career path for them may want to start with the CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+) certification before moving on to the CompTIA A+ certification.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

The Amazon Web Services Certified Cloud Practitioner exam is an entry-level cloud certification that covers the fundamentals of IT services and how they are used in the AWS cloud platform. The exam covers coding, cloud architecture design, cloud security, troubleshooting, implementation, migration, load and performance testing, and business applications. While this is an entry-level certification, it is recommended that you have six months of AWS cloud experience and knowledge of core AWS services, use cases, billing, pricing models, security concepts, and how the cloud affects business.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco previously offered several individual certifications as part of the Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification scheme, but it has recently consolidated all CCNA certifications into a single CCNA certification. The new CCNA certification validates your network fundamentals, network access, IP connectivity, IP services, security fundamentals, and automation and programmability skills and knowledge.

The CCNA is intended to cover a broad range of fundamentals based on the latest technologies, software development skills, and job roles. It is an entry-level certification that will bring you up to speed on the most recent IT fundamentals in order to launch your career. It is best suited to those seeking entry-level network engineer, help desk technician, network administrator, or network support technician positions.

Find CCNA Jobs on IT JOB BOARD to see real time job vacancies and employers hiring currently.

Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)

Cisco's CCT certification emphasises the ability to diagnose, repair, restore, and replace Cisco system and networking devices. It is available in various technology tracks, including Cisco data centre, collaboration, routing and switching, and cloud computing. The routing and switching certification has no prerequisites. However, you must have data centre certification before taking the exams for the other two credentials.

The exam consists of 60 to 70 questions that must be answered in 90 minutes. The examination costs $125. Every three years, your certificate must be renewed. Additional exams or up to 120 continuing education credits may be required depending on your credential level.

Find Cisco Jobs on IT JOB BOARD to see real time job requirements and employers hiring.

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

With Microsoft's pervasive presence across the IT landscape, it's no surprise that the Redmond behemoth makes this list. The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification scheme offers exams in three key areas and covers a wide range of topics for those looking to start a career in IT.

The first is IT infrastructure, which is intended for people who want to learn about desktop infrastructure, server infrastructure, and private cloud computing. The second category focuses on databases and has been designed for those interested in working in data platform administration or business intelligence. Third, the Developer exams cover a wide range of topics relevant to beginning software developers, such as web development, Microsoft.NET, gaming, JavaScript, HTML and HTML5, Python, software testing, and so on.

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)

The Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) certification validates your skills as a help desk representative, technical coordinator, or technical support representative for Mac users. The certification validates your knowledge of macOS core functionality and ability to "configure key services, perform basic troubleshooting, and support multiple Mac users." If you're looking for entry-level IT support jobs, this is a good certification because it shows employers that you know how to manage Apple hardware and software.

CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+)

If you're changing careers or starting in IT, the CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ certification is ideal. It is intended to test your fundamental understanding of IT fundamentals. While the ITF+ is not required for other CompTIA certifications, it is a good place to start. The exam lasts 60 minutes and consists of 70 multiple-choice questions about software development, database fundamentals, security, software, applications, IT terminology and concepts, infrastructure, and networks. It costs $126 and does not need to be renewed.

Microsoft 365 Fundamentals

The Microsoft 365 Fundamentals certification covers the fundamentals of the Microsoft 365 product and service suite. It validates your understanding of the considerations and benefits of adopting cloud services in general and the Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud model.

CompTIA Security+

Security is an essential IT skill for any technology role, so earning your CompTIA Security+ certification at the entry-level is a good idea. It is appropriate for network, systems, security administrators, security specialists, junior IT auditors, security consultants, and security engineers. A new exam will be introduced in November 2020 that complies with ISO 17024 standards and has been approved by the US Department of Defense to meet specific security requirements.

Threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities; risk management; architecture and design; technology and tools; cryptography and PKI; and identity and access management are all covered in the 90-minute exam. Earning your Security+ certification demonstrates to employers that you can install and configure systems to keep applications, networks, and devices secure, following compliance laws.

Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification (PDC)

The Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification (PDC) is intended to demonstrate your knowledge of Linux, a widely used open-source operating system in various industries. It is best suited for those aspiring to be IT developers, administrators, or engineers. The exam covers Linux hardware, software, processes, and programmes, as well as system security, file permissions, and public and private directories. It also covers open-source applications, command-line operations, creating and restoring compressed backups and archives, and writing and running simple scripts.