Practical Technology

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The Top IT Certifications

It’s a rough job market out there. The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.4% in December 2010. That’s better than it has been, but it’s still not great. And while some groups, like the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), expect things to get better – “Overall, employers expect to hire 13.5% more new graduates from the class of 2011 than they hired from the class of 2010,” says the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) – anyone searching for an IT job needs to do whatever is possible to improve the chances that an employer will pick you. That’s all well and good, but what can you do to improve your chances of getting an IT job? Well, the right certification won’t hurt – and it might help.

The good news: IT is a good place to be looking for a job. According to CareerCast, two of the top ten best jobs in 2011 will be IT-related: software engineer and systems analyst.

Certification can give your resume an extra “oomph” but don’t expect a certification alone to have employers beating a path to your well-papered door. No certification, not even becoming a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), can get you a job without experience, and you likely can’t get a job without sensible job searching and networking.

Still, the right certification can help you get into IT or encourage a raise or a promotion.

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