IT training courses online offer the opportunity to achieve a formal, recognized certification in your chosen software, program, skill, or specialty–with classes structured around your time availability.

Many certifications are tiered, with fundamental-level courses for those looking to improve their understanding or augment their knowledge within the workplace. Associate and expert-level IT certifications can build on that basis of learning and provide a more advanced ability to carry out roles within an IT function or elsewhere.

Today, we’ll explore the relevance of IT certifications and where these are more than sufficient to demonstrate your capabilities without necessarily requiring a further accreditation such as a degree.


Which IT Certifications Are Most Valuable?

There are a vast number of potential courses, study programs, and training sessions you might choose to enroll in. The suitable options very much depend on the nature of your profession or future career aspirations and the types of software or systems you need to be able to use. 

You may also wish to choose certification courses based on whether you are working toward a career within IT, such as being an IT technician, app developer, or security specialist, or need a robust working understanding of the programs necessary to your position.

Can I learn IT online? Absolutely–many courses are delivered digitally, either through on-demand sessions or pre-scheduled live training modules. Using the functionality available within virtual training may help learners grasp the real-world applications and tools within the technology they are using, with seminars, webinars, group discussions, and exercises all facilitated from any device and location.


How Can I Ensure My IT Qualifications Are Beneficial?

Employers will select candidates for IT-based roles based on how well they meet the recruitment criteria. Many will prefer applicants with experience or a recognized certification in:


  • Widely used applications such as the Microsoft 365 suite and Microsoft Project Management
  • Office Business applications, including Access, Excel, and PowerPoint


However, if you are applying for a role with an e-commerce business, they may be looking for alternative certifications such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) credentials. In contrast, an organization recruiting IT developers with a familiarity with Python might prioritize those with a certificate in the programming language.

The best starting point is to consider your existing know-how and those applications, systems, or software suites used throughout your target industry or setting. By studying IT courses online that match your current skill level, you can progress through more advanced studies, supplementing your abilities as you go while collating additional certifications to include on your resume or transcript.


Can I Work in IT With a Certification Rather Than a Degree?

Some higher-level, managerial, and executive IT positions may require a degree or accreditation, making IT degrees worth the work. For example, IT security advisers and consultants commonly need a bachelor’s degree or professional certification, provided their qualifications are approved by the Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2).

However, a certification in the relevant operating systems, data protection techniques, and strategic security may be just as applicable, accompanied by real-world experience in troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and addressing hacking attempts. Other careers are suited to any IT professional with the requisite skills and knowledge. A UX designer might hold a certification within their chosen IT field and have qualifications in web development, web design, and programming.

The level of qualification you will need, therefore, depends on the sector and field you work within. Still, multiple careers require professional certifications without a mandatory requirement to hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree.


Are Role-Based IT Certifications More Desirable Than Degrees?

For many businesses, the most important aspect when hiring IT professionals is that they hold the right experience, certifications, and education to meet the needs of the organization. A degree course is advantageous, particularly in IT jobs with a degree-level qualification as a mandatory eligibility criterion. 

However, much of the IT industry places a higher value on experience because many on-campus graduates cannot immediately transfer their knowledge into real scenarios or match the pace of responsiveness required to manage an IT crisis or data breach. Obtaining an IT certification alongside gaining experience can be the ideal approach, allowing you to develop the skills needed to progress to more advanced positions–with both the verified achievements and the experience of working within an IT team.

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