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Online IT certification is becoming increasingly popular as many have chosen to expand their knowledge during the lockdown, or, are just keen on a new career. Today we’ll be going through all the ins and outs of IT training courses. We’ll discuss their effectiveness, cost, how much of your time they’ll take up and your potential ROI when it comes to salary offers post-certification. Let’s dig in!

What are the benefits of online IT certifications?

One of the biggest benefits of learning online is that it’s flexible around your lifestyle. You can work remotely, schedule hours to go through the content that works around your other work/life commitments and you can study in bite-sized chunks. One study published by The Independent revealed that we Brits have an average attention span of just 14 minutes, meaning the usual environment of sitting in a classroom for an hour probably does very little for us. We’re much less likely to retain everything we’re taught in that school-allotted time, whereas, if you decide to do an e-learning course, you can study at your own pace and will likely retain more information. 

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So, is online learning effective?

In truth, you get out what you put in from online learning. For some, it’s not as effective as going to an actual class to learn because you have to motivate yourself to actually buckle down and do the work required. However, for those of you who’ve got a get-up and go attitude, online learning can be just as effective as traditional methods. E-learning has become big business over the last decade with numbers soaring since 2000.  

Of course, as with anything, you need to be set up for success, which is why you need to find courses that are taught by experts in their field who deliver the materials effectively. If you’re browsing several different IT certification providers at the moment, make sure that you choose one that only includes exams that you need as these will be very expensive. Also, ensure that where exams are included you have a Mock Test teacher. This is vital so that you know that you have the one on one personalized support you need to be able to pass the exams when it comes to taking them. It will also create a more natural learning experience as you’ll be able to ask questions in regards to areas where you are dropping points and gaining points, which is a must-have when you are trying to break into a new career. 

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Are IT online certificates worth it?

Absolutely! As long as it’s purchased from a reputable company, the right certification could completely transform your career path and see you earning a lot more money than you do in your current 9-5. Technology is the future and a job in IT could have you set for life; after all, we always need IT support. 

How long does IT certification take?

IT certification doesn’t take as long as you think. Some courses take as little as 8-12 weeks. Once you’ve completed the course, you can brush up your CV and start applying for jobs right away. So, if you play your cards right, you could have your dream role in as little as three months from now. 

What certificates are worth getting?

This is entirely subjective and depends on which IT sector you’d like to work in. CompTIA IT Fundamentals is a great course to get started with though as it provides a more generalised overview of the industry as a whole and covers all the basics. Then, once you know which sector you’re more interested in you can look at more niche-specific certifications that’ll get you where you want to be. For example, If you want to work IT Support the CompTIA A+ is the place to start. For cybersecurity, CompTIA Security is an excellent training course. If you’re looking for some network-specific roles, CompTIA’s Network course is the way to go. Do your research and find out which sector is most appealing to you.  

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What certificates pay the most?

If a driving factor for considering a career in IT is money, then you might be wondering which IT certification will give you the most bang for your buck. Well, as with anything, the more niche you go, the more of a specialist you can become. As you gain more experience, you may be recognised as an expert in your field meaning that you can charge more than others. 

However, as a rough example, those who complete the Cyber Security Practical Experience Programme (PEP) could be looking at an average salary of around £58,000 after just 4 years of beginning their IT career. 

What certification can I get in 6 months?

You’ll be pleased to find out that many IT certification courses can be completed in three months or less (usually 8-12 weeks). This is all depending on the structure and intensity of the course material but most of the time this is all it’ll take. 

However, If you’re wanting to complete all of CompTIA’s course library, then you’ll be looking at around a 6-12 month time frame to get through everything. Nevertheless, the knowledge gained from learning such a wide range of topics could be invaluable for your IT career. 

Of course, it’s worth mentioning that these time frames depend on your own, personal circumstances. If you have a lot of free time you’d be able to complete the classes sooner. Likewise, if you’re currently working full time and want to take things at a steadier you can do so – it’s all part of the freedom of learning online. 

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How much does it cost to get certified?

There are a wealth of IT courses out there these days which can make it difficult to pick one that’s really worth the investment. With prices ranging from as little as £50 and ranging all the way up to thousands, it becomes a bit of a minefield that’s hard to navigate. 

In truth, IT certification costs can vary and expensive courses do have their own set of benefits. Having said that, if you’re just starting out, it might be overkill to invest in something that costs several thousands of pounds as it may include senior-level certifications that you don’t yet need or are even ready for.

At the same time, if you see something out there for £10, it’s going to be a big waste of your time and money. Essentially, it’s all about finding the right balance. By purchasing something that sits in the middle you usually can’t go wrong. Be sure to analyse the course’s features though before buying anything. Take a look at the topics covered, the teachers and the course highlights just to make sure. 

In Conclusion

Hopefully, now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you’ll have a much better idea about online IT certification and its benefits. IT certification can be a valuable asset to anyone who’s looking to make the transition into tech but can also help to improve your day-to-day knowledge of IT systems too. 

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