7 Best IT Certifications for a Successful IT Career

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 16 December 2022

Published 11 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're looking for a career in information technology (IT), specific IT certifications could help. An IT certificate could verify that you are competent in your field and suggest that you have the relevant knowledge to complete your job. To help you find a suitable IT job, it's a great idea to know more about the certifications. In this article, we look at popular IT certificates, which certifications you can start with and which certifications may help you earn the most.

11 Top IT certifications

Here are 11 popular IT certifications that are recognised by the information technology industry:

1. IT Support Certificate

An IT Support Certificate can help you earn the skills to obtain an IT support role. IT support is a junior role and could be an excellent first job for those looking to progress to other IT positions. Candidates don't usually require prior IT experience for most IT support certificate qualifications, so it could be the ideal course for an entry-level candidate. Furthermore, lots of reputable businesses run these courses, which could make them stand out on your CV.

These programs are typically low-cost at-home courses that you may complete independently. They can feature modules like IT security, computer networking, systems administration and operating systems. There is usually no time limit to finish the material, meaning you can complete the qualification alongside full-time or part-time work or studies.

Related: What Is an IT Consultant? (With Skills and Qualifications)

2. Microsoft Technology Associate Certification

Microsoft is a reputable company in the IT sector. A qualification accredited by Microsoft may draw potential employers to your application. The Microsoft Technology Association offers various certifications, such as IT infrastructure, database and developer certifications. Therefore, you might consider getting a certificate that is most relevant to useful skills in your relevant career.

You can study for the Microsoft Technology Associate Certification independently as there are no time limits for completion. Some of Microsoft's courses are appropriate for complete beginners in IT. For example, some modules like Windows Operating System Fundamentals, Security Fundamentals or Gaming Development are great for those with no previous IT experience. You can receive your certificate after passing the exam, which is accessible online.

3. IT Career Starter Collection

TAFE offers an IT Career Starter Collection course that features a range of modules from the basics of working in IT to more advanced skills. After learning the fundamental IT skills, you can study a range of specialised modules that may help you decide where you would like to specialise in the IT sector.

CompTIA, an international computing organisation, develops the course material based on what IT businesses are looking for to ensure the content is relevant to the modern industry. This IT certification has up to 120 hours of content, and students have 12 months to access the course.

Related: Roles of the IT Department in the Workplace (With Job Types)

4. Certificate III in Information Technology

The Certificate III in Information Technology course provided by TAFE could be suitable for anyone who has completed year ten or the equivalent and has a Certificate II in Information Technology. It may be a good choice for school leavers who have some experience in IT but want to build upon their skills flexibly.

The certificate could be an excellent base for prospective IT professionals, especially data entry operators and system administrators. The course is usually video-based, but there is a range of online support available for students. It typically takes 18 months to complete.

Related: What is a Data Entry Job? (With FAQs and Types)

5. Cloud computing certification

Various cloud systems offer certifications that can help you implement their systems. Through these courses, you may learn how to apply, deploy and debug various cloud systems. These are typically advanced courses aimed at people who already have a good knowledge of IT and development. They can be beneficial certifications to have when applying for IT technician roles in medium or large companies, as you may be asked to create a cloud system for the company.

6. Mobile application developer certification

If you are interested in becoming a mobile application developer, lots of IT companies have courses about creating applications. Typically, these courses are relatively advanced, so candidates may already have an idea of developing and be ready to transfer this knowledge to creating applications. It can be a beneficial certification to have when applying for any developer job.

7. ITLR Foundation Certification

The ITLR Foundation Certification provided by Axelos follows the ITLR framework, which helps businesses utilise technology to their advantage. The certification is widely recognised by IT professionals. If you are looking for a job in IT, this ITLR course can help your CV stand out.

Related: How to Write an IT Resume (With Template and Example)

8. Open EDG Python Institute Certifications

Aspiring developers hoping to study Python, a popular programming language, may be interested in this certification. There is no official certification for Python developers, but the OpenEDG Python Institute offers various certifications, from entry-level to advanced. Not only could these certifications give you the relevant knowledge to use and implement Python, but they could also be a tangible certification to show to employers.

9. Diploma in Information Technology

A diploma in information technology might be a good option if you want to expand your IT skills. This certification is available at colleges and universities all over Australia, but you can also study it online with the Open University.

This is not an entry-level course, and candidates may like to complete other IT certifications, such as a Certificate III in Information Technology, before enrolling. Alternatively, they may demonstrate workplace experience when applying. Candidates may also have completed year twelve with strong mathematics and English qualifications. The diploma is typically a full-time certification and includes modules like debugging computer programs, software development and statistical modelling.

10. Bachelor of Information Technology

A bachelor of information technology is an excellent qualification for IT professionals. This degree is available at universities across Australia and online with the Open University. You can use your Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) score after completing year 12 to secure a place at university. Alternatively, you can enter with a vocational education training (VET) qualification.

A Bachelor of Information Technology contains several core modules such as information security, data mining and games design. Universities often invite students to select their own major after studying core modules. Consider choosing modules that allow you to specialise in an area of particular interest. An open university course operates online with virtual seminars. It typically takes three years of full-time study, with part-time options also available.

11. Master of Information Technology

You can obtain a Master of Information Technology if you have completed a bachelor's degree or an equivalent. A master's degree can be useful if you have a degree in a field unrelated to IT or wish to specialise in a specific area like cloud computing, network and systems management and digital marketing. You might also consider becoming a Master of Cyber Security. A master's degree typically takes one and a half to two years to complete. These degrees are relatively self-led with support from skilled professors.

Frequently asked questions about certifications for IT professionals

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about obtaining an IT certificate:

What is the best certification for an IT professional?

The best IT certification is a master's of information technology. This advanced qualification may help candidates stand out and attract employers with their expertise. Other good IT certificates are multi-year qualifications such as a Bachelor's of Information Technology or a diploma in information technology. Credentials certified by respectable companies can also be highly beneficial.

What certification pays the most?

Advanced IT certificates, like bachelor's or master's degrees, may lead to high paying roles such as a technical program manager. These professionals could earn an average base salary of $133,443 per year. Certified cloud developers can also earn a higher than average salary of $103,000 per year.

What are the best certifications to start with?

If you have none or minimal IT experience, an IT Support Certificate could be a good place to start. This certificate is a low-cost qualification that starts at the beginner level and can be completed in your own time. This certification may boost your CV and can be used to gain other IT credentials.

Can you get an IT job with just certifications?

Most IT jobs require some vocational experience and certifications to ensure you have a proven skill set. Many entry-level jobs also require a bachelor's degree in IT or a related field along with certification. Coding roles may require certification in specific programming languages.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries and on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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