Certifications: Why Should You Get Them?

July 25, 2019

Certifications: Why Should You Get Them?

By Brandan Merrick, A+, Network+, MCP, MCSA

All of our IT students here at Empire College know we push to get your certifications while you are in school. Today I’m going to address some of the questions you may have about why we do this. 

Why do I want to get my certifications while I’m still in school?

You want to get your certifications while you are still in school for three reasons. 

  1. The knowledge is fresh in your mind from your classes and projects.
  2. While you’re in school, your primary focus is on studying.
  3. Once you start working, your focus is on work. Finding the motivation and time to study for and schedule your certification exam takes second, third, or even lower priority.

Will certifications help me get a job?

A certification may not directly get you a job, but if you browse through IT job postings, you will see that most of them will have say A+, Network+, MCSE or other certification required. If you don’t have the certification, you won’t even get an interview. You can’t get the job if you don’t get an interview! Even if you do find a job posting that does not require certifications, having them puts your resume that much closer to the top of the pile.

What certifications do I need?

All of them. Seriously, the more you have, the more doors open to you. Which certification exams you choose to take during your career will depend on what you choose to specialize in, but there is no such thing as too many. If you have even one certification, you are no longer unskilled labor. You have now proven that you have a skill that employers need.

Extra: Are certifications hard to get?

This is a very subjective question, so I’ll just say this. You will need to put in extra study time to prepare for each test. Certification preparation is included in your courses, so you will have tools and time to ready yourself for the exam. Some of the tools you may use are practice tests, flash cards, online resources, and your instructors and classmates.