These days, technology is the hot, not-so-new industry. For the last several decades, the tech industry has grown like a weed, with more jobs being created and profits rising by the day. So if you feel stuck in a dead-end low-paying job, you may be eyeballing a career in IT.
If you’re working a full-time job, though, especially one that doesn’t pay well, you can’t afford to go back to college for a new degree. The good news is you don’t have to. Read on to learn about the top five certifications you can earn to get you the best entry cyber roles.
CompTIA A+ Technician
CompTIA stands for The Computing Technology Industry Association, and it is an association that provides a variety of certification exams for those in the tech industry. If you’re just starting in the tech industry, you should check out their A+ certification. It covers the basics of computer repairs and will qualify you for a number of entry-level jobs.
The A+ certification will teach you the basics of computer installations and how to configure PCs. If you’d like to get a head start on the course, you can find an old desktop PC and start pulling it apart to learn about all the different parts. The certification will also teach you how to install operating systems and some basic networking.
The A+ exam will only cost you $200. You’ll have to take two separate exams to earn the certification – one performance-based and one multiple choice. When you pass it, you’ll be qualified to work as a help desk technician, a desktop support technician, an in-home support specialist, and most other help desk jobs.
Getting qualified as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional can open a lot of high-paying opportunities to you. The CISSP certification is one of the highest-paying ones on the market, and for good reason. With a CISSP, you’ll be protecting your clients and customers from cyber attacks.
The CISSP exam covers eight subjects, including security and risk management, security assessment and testing, and software development security. You have to have extensive skills in technology and management to earn this certification. The exam will take you around six hours to complete, and will cost $600.
The good news is that that once you earn this certification, you’ll be able to pay off that test fee no trouble. One of the primary entry-level jobs that uses this certification is that of a security analyst. On average in the U.S., security analysts make more than $90,000 a year, and sometimes up to $150,000.
If you’re a Cisco Certified Network Associate, you’ll deal with enterprise-level switches and routers. This certification teaches you how to install, operate, and configure them. You’ll also get some experience in networking and security.
The CCNA certification offers options for three different specializations: security networking, voice networking, or wireless networking. You’ll learn to find and solve common network problems. This will qualify you to work as a systems administrator, network engineer, or network administrator, to name a few.
The CCNA exam is much less of an ordeal than the CISSP exam. It only costs $300, and it’s a mere hour and a half long. Systems administrators usually make somewhere around $85,000 a year, so this certification is well worth the investment.
As you might expect, Network + is a certification that teaches you how to manage networks in a variety of situations. You’ll learn how to design, manage, and troubleshoot both wired and wireless networks. After the A+ certification, it’s probably the most versatile certification on the market.
While the A+ certification teaches you how to manage computer repairs and systems, it doesn’t focus much on the physical side of repairs. That’s what Network + covers. In fact, many certification programs will over A+ and Network + as a package deal that qualifies you to work just about any entry-level IT job.
The Network + exam will set you back a little less than $300. The exam should take you about two hours to complete. If you earn your certification, you’ll be set to make about $40,000 a year, and that’s just entry-level.
If you get qualified as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, you’ll have earned one of the most in-demand mid-level certifications. This program teaches you to be innovative and solve problems in creative ways across a variety of technologies. You can choose a number of areas to specialize in, including server infrastructure, private cloud, enterprise devices and apps, messaging, communication, and business intelligence.
The great thing about the number of specialties in the MCSE certification is that it allows you to customize your career path. If you’re interested in working on a variety of devices and finding creative solutions for unusual technology, you’ll want to look into the Mobility focus. If you prefer learning how to manage a highly-efficient data center, the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure route is for you.
The good news is the MCSE is one of the cheapest certifications you can earn. You’ll need to take five exams to earn the qualification, but no matter which specialization you choose, you’ll only have to pay about $150. Given that this certification qualifies you for jobs where you can earn $70,000 on average, that seems like a pretty sweet deal!
Find the Best Entry Cyber Roles
Jobs in the tech industry are abundant and pay well. With a few hours of study, a few hundred dollars, and a test or two, you could be well on your way to a new career. It’s time to stop dreaming and get going on a great new career.
If you’re looking for a better-paying job, the other field you should consider is finance. That’s where we come in; at Financial Career Options, we provide you with real career information about the areas of finance you’re interested in. Check out our careers page for more information today.