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certification

In information technology as in other fields such as teaching, accounting, and acupuncture, certification is a formal process of making certain that an individual is qualified in terms of particular knowledge or skills. Certification programs are often fostered or supervised by some certifying agency, such as a professional association. Some major computer software and hardware vendors provide a certification program for installers of their product, such as Microsoft's Certified Systems Engineer ( MCSE ) for its Windows operating systems, IBM's Certified Lotus Specialist (CLS), and Cisco's Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP). The A+ certification program is a certification that attests to general computer installation and customization knowledge and capabilities.

Within the IT world, certification is not always absolutely required and there remains some discussion comparing the relative merits of experience and certification. Nevertheless -- all other things being equal -- certification may give the job (or raise) seeker a critical edge over the competition.

This was last updated in January 2006

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I think that it's a big deal to be certified in the right areas, and by the right organization. It seems like companies are looking for competent people, and the best way to gauge that is by the certifications they have been able to earn. If you can earn the certifications, there's no doubt it would increase the chance to get a particular job as well as increase the amount of money that you're worth, right?!
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I found a website that really helped me to pick up my A+ certification by offering practice tests for me to take in advance. I wanted to make sure my $293 to take the exam wasn't going to waste. I was successful with www.certfaster.com. Has anyone else had a chance to use them as well? Thoughts?
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