IT Certification Courses and Staying Up to Date
If you are familiar with IT certification courses, you are probably also familiar with how often IT certifications are changed and updated.
It can be frustrating to complete a course and pass exams, only to find out shortly afterwards that the qualification has been updated. So, just how important is it to keep your own qualifications up to date?
Why Are IT Certification Courses Updated?
Usually, courses are updated because new versions of products have been released. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that your older certifications are worthless—all certifications are likely to increase your credibility with prospective clients.
Taking the Microsoft Windows Server family of products as an example, there are various principles of Windows domain networking that have remained constant since Windows 2000. People who have taken IT certification courses in Windows 2000 will still be utilizing much of that knowledge.
At the same time, though, many new features have been introduced in Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. While many will have learned the differences in the field, there is an obvious benefit to learning how to use the new products the way that Microsoft intended.
It is unlikely that, as a busy IT consultant, you will have the time or resources to stay completely up to date across a range of different IT certification courses.
However, try to strike a balance between having certifications purely for increased credibility and studying for them to increase your own competence and expertise.
Think of the technologies your customers are using, and the systems you need to implement.
If the IT certification courses you have completed pre-date the technologies considerably, you may need to make time for more training.
But, given that small companies are often a couple of years behind in rolling out new systems, you only need to obsess about the latest course updates if you have the time, inclination, and financial resource to do so.
What’s been your experience in trying to stay current on the latest IT certs? How do you keep up? Please share your tips in the comments area below.
And to follow-through on the ideas introduced in this short post, download your free quick reference guide to the Top 21 IT Certifications for Small Business VARs, SPs, and Computer Consulting Businesses.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr Jim Linwood