March Madness is here and, with regard to the NCAA basketball tournament, March has been just that — madness. There have been game winning buzzer beaters, a comeback of epic proportions, and one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. (That game didn’t just bust my bracket, it decimated it.) When watching these tournament games, one can’t help but notice the effort that is being put into every possession. These players are fighting for their chance to be put in the history books, clawing their way to the coveted national championship. Why, it’s enough to make me want to bust out the old NCAA Tournament theme music.
For many of these players, this tournament is a chance to show what they can do, on a national stage, in front of a number of professional scouts. Each tournament game is an opportunity for them to increase their draft stock on the path to becoming a paid professional, either in the NBA or overseas.
IT students may not have a nationally televised tournament to help increase their professional draft stock, but they do have certification. When thinking of IT certification as a way to increase your “draft stock,” it’s easy to see that the more certifications you receive, the more likely you are to catch the eye of an employer and land a job.
A recent GoCertify.com article by Tim Warner, IT professional and technical trainer, listed five core skills that every IT professional should spend time developing. Along with this list, Warner named the certifications that are likely to help you develop that core skill. Here is his list of skills, along with the corresponding certifications:
- Cloud Computing: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Google Cloud Systems Operations Professional
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): VMware AirWatch, Apple Profile Manager, IBM MaaS360, Cisco Meraki Systems Manager, Citrix XenMobile, Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS)
- IT Project Management: CompTIA Project+, Prince2 Certifications, PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), PMI Project Management Professional (PMP), PMI Agile Certified Practicioner (ACP), Scrum Alliance Certifications
- Business Intelligence: Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), EMC Data Science Associate (DSA), Cloudera BI Certifications
- Security and Compliance: CompTIA Security+, EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), GIAC Information Security Fundamentals (CISF), ISACA Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), (ISC)2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Warner states that it is nearly impossible to master each of these skills, but much like a basketball player working on, say, shooting free throws, to increase his draft stock, these skills can be practiced through certification. So get to work, and sharpen up those skills. Your next employment opportunity could be merely a certification away.
About the Author — Jake Slater is the social media manager for GoCertify and a graduate of Brigham Young University. Jake was not drafted, but he makes some wicked cuts to the basket in Friday afternoon pickup games.
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