As the recovery begins to take hold, many of us want to move on from the COVID-19 crisis and get on with our lives — and our work. But if you or your technicians or engineers are still experiencing some downtime, it might be a good time to focus on learning a new skill or getting another certification under your belt.
According to Global Knowledge’s 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report, 63% of certified employees said the economic benefits of certifications exceed $10,000 a year, while 22% said it equated to as much as $30,000. That’s a lot of value from a virtual piece of paper, even when you take the cost of the exam and/or study materials into account.
But getting certified isn’t just about the potential pay bump, it can make you and your team more versatile at a time when the field service industry is evolving. We hope this guide can help and inspire you to make the most of 2020.
Top certifications requested on Field Nation
Many buyers on the Field Nation marketplace seek out specialized IT technicians, and sometimes require that technicians have certain certifications to be considered for work orders. Here are a few of the most sought-after certifications on the Field Nation marketplace:
Top Cisco Certifications
- CCNA (CCNA Routing and Switching, CCNA Security, CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate, and CCENT: Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician are now rolled into a single, foundational CCNA certification)
- CCNP Enterprise (replacement for CCNP Routing and Switching)
- Licensed Electrician (qualifications vary based on jurisdiction)
- Low Voltage License (allows electrical work with systems up to 95 volts in most states)
- Crestron Technical Institute – training and certifications for AV Installers, Design Engineers, and Programmers
- Extron certification – available to industry or AV professionals interested in validating their knowledge of current technologies
Other top technician certifications on Field Nation include:
- CompTIA A+ Certification
- CompTIA Network+
- MCP: Microsoft Certified Professional
- Various certifications from Dell’s new certification portfolio
Top certifying bodies for IT certifications
BICSI is a professional association supporting the advancement of the information and communications technology (ICT) profession and currently serves more than 26,000 members and credential holders.
Over 100 online courses are available in categories including:
- Data Center
- Intelligent Building
- Optical Fiber/Copper
- Outside Plant Design
- Project Management
- Telecom Distribution
BISCI offers certifications in:
- ICT Cabling Installation
- Data Center Design
- Data Center Design Consultant® (DCDC®)
- Project Management
- Outside Plant
- Distribution Design
Deals or discounts
In addition to paid courses, BICSI offers free and discounted training.
AVIXA™, the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association, is one of the leading resources for AV standards, certification, training, market intelligence, and thought leadership.
Its members include individuals in manufacturing, systems integration, distribution, consultancies, programming, live events, technology management, content production, and multimedia.
AVIXA offers a variety of general, specialized and continuing education online courses on:
- AV design
- Networking & technology
- Technology management
- Project management and business
- Live events
All three of AVIXA’s certifications are ANSI accredited under the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) ISO/IEC 17024:2012 General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Schemes of Persons program. They include:
Deals or discounts
With a free, basic membership, you get access to free webinars, and a 30-day online training pass discount ($175).
CompTIA is one of the world’s leading tech associations. Their organization sets industry standards and seeks to foster development by offering membership benefits and quality certification programs.
CompTIAs online learning resources are all about getting you prepared for taking certification exams. These options include:
- CertMaster Learn – a comprehensive eLearning platform
- CertMaster Labs – provides hands-on experience in virtual environments.
- CertMaster Practice – an online knowledge assessment tool to prepare for certification exams
CompTIA offers two certification pathways, core skill certifications, and certifications associated with project management and training.
- Infrastructure pathway
- Cybersecurity pathway
- Core skills certifications
- Additional professional certifications
Deals or discounts
CompTIA has six ways to get a voucher discount. These discounts include bundling and financing options, and coupon codes.
Apple charges for its AppleCare Mac Technician (ACMT) credential opportunity for anyone not employed by an Apple Authorized Service Provider (or that has a Self Servicing Account). If you are employed by a company with a GSX account, you have access to the training materials for free.
Deals or discounts:
Through May 31, Pearson is offering 30% off virtual classes with the promo code Virtual30.
Additional certification and training websites for technicians
Field Nation asked a few technicians about the types of resources they use to develop their own knowledge and skillsets. Here‘s a list of some of their favorite alternative training options.
- ITpro.tv – CompTIA’s official video training partner, offering 5,800+ hours of IT skills and training courses
- PluralSight – browse thousands of expert-led, in-depth courses on software development, IT ops, data analytics, information and cybersecurity, and more. Plus, you can validate your skills with online assessments
- O’Reilly Learning – intensive, hands-on training in critical technology, design, and business topics, led by instructors, tech innovators, and expert practitioners
- Cloud One – Conformity – AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner with AWS Competencies in Security and Cloud Management Tools. Free knowledge base, a 2-week free trial
- Udemy – affordable online IT and software courses taught by professionals
- TestOut – online courses, labs, and certifications IT professionals
- Cybrary – a cybersecurity and IT career development platform
- Nerdio Academy – training on Azure for MSPs
- Pax8 – Microsoft certification training
- CBT Nuggets – offer on-demand training videos, virtual labs, Kaplan® practice exams for top certifications, and coaching
- StormWind Studios – offer IT training classes, hands-on labs, and practice exams for cert prep
Top general skills websites
Now owned by LinkedIn, Lynda.com is an online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Some local libraries can get you free access to Lynda.com (your library card number can act as your user ID).
Related IT courses on Lynda.com include:
- IT and hardware
- IT training
- Audio engineering training and tutorials
- Network administration training and tutorials
Coursera has hundreds of free courses—on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. There are also paid courses with quizzes, projects, and a shareable Course Certificate upon completion.
In terms of IT-related courses, Coursera offers:
Dale Carnegie is an organization that doesn’t focus on technical training but offers important leadership and soft skill development.
- Leadership training
- Presentation training
- Sales training
- Customer service training
- People skills training
- Org development training
We hope you find these resources meaningful in your career development!