1. Computing
5 Top Certification Mistakes to Avoid
By Jide Awe
Publisher, Jidaw.com
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• Part 2: The Real Cost
• Part 3: Expectations and Failure
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"I am looking to get more information on certifications, particularly those relating to security. "
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In the IT Industry, certification has become a globally recognized tool for professional development. Globally there is a huge need for qualified IT specialists. This has resulted in a mad, or is it gold, rush into certification. Certification is now a buzzword in IT. Unfortunately, many who go through the certification process get their fingers burnt. Even though certification has been a powerful advancement tool for some time, it has not been smooth sailing in all cases. There are many fallacies running riot within the industry regarding the requirements to get into and be successful in the I.T. industry. Let us attempt to look at the most common certification mistakes with a view to getting certification candidates to avoid them.

We will look at why it is possible to spend money, time and effort and still not get the desired results. We will not be able to cover every single certification blunder, but let's look at the 5 most common howlers.

1. Choosing a certification because it is hot.

This is a common problem I encounter with most certification candidates. They have no idea of what the certification involves but they love it because it is hot. Should you be picking a certification that does not match what you want to do or be? Do you know what you want to do or be? Don't just go for an MCSE and assume you'll make it. Going for certification for the wrong reasons is wasteful and unreasonable. Are you new in IT? Your first step towards a successful career should be researching the different options available. Learn about these options. Yes, you may love computers, but what aspect? What is your background? Skill base? Personality? All of these factors can tell you not only if you're really cut out for IT, but what type of IT field might be best for you. MCSEs, for instance, look after Microsoft servers and networks. But if programming is your passion, go for a developer's certification such as MCSD or Java. For those already in IT, are you choosing a certification because your job requires this specific certification or is it a crucial step in the direction of your long-term career goals? Otherwise, it may not be worth your time and resources. Whether you're new to IT or already in IT, certification should not be seen just as a meal ticket. It should be part of an individual's career development strategy. Don't rush into it because it is the vogue in town. Depending on what stage you're at and your career interests, your need for certification and type of certification vary from individual to individual. Certification is only for you if you have identified your career goals and you see it as a tool for getting you from where you are to where you should be. The worst thing you can do is to choose a certification without thinking about your long-term career path.

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