4 Essential IT Certifications for New Industry Professionals

Starting your career as an IT professional is both exciting and overwhelming. There are so many IT certifications available in the ever-evolving field it can seem like too much to decipher and decide where to turn first. While all certifications serve an individual purpose, there are some that are of greater necessity for you as you get started in the industry. Let’s take a look at four IT certifications that should be on your must-have list and why they are essential for your IT future.

1. CompTIA A+

This certification could be considered your foundation to demonstrate the range of your necessary skills for the field. CompTIA A+ is international and vendor-neutral, providing the widest range of practical on-the-job application. Basic networking, troubleshooting, installation, and maintenance are all abilities tested for this IT certification. Abilities examined even transcend the technical aspect of the job, as professionalism and safety are also elements addressed.

It’s all about the basics! Employers want to know you have a solid foundation to build on when hiring new industry professionals.

Why It’s Essential

Besides being a very well rounded and complete IT certification, CompTIA A+ is a requirement for many major companies like Microsoft and HP. If you are looking to be marketable to a wide range of employers and positions, this is the certification to start with. Possessing it is basically your way of saying to the job world that you are a highly competent professional and can handle all basic responsibilities expected from you. There is no better place to start than there!

You create more job security when you have abilities desired by the big league companies in the industry.


CCNA, or Cisco Certified Network Associate, certification is used to gauge the professional’s ability to successfully complete tasks such as verifying remote site connections in a Wide Area Network (WAN). Professionals are also confirmed to have the capacity to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks.

Why It’s Essential

CCNA certification is a great way to show to potential employers that you possess skills to perform crucial IT tasks and can deal with basic mitigation of security threats, a major aspect of the IT field.


The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is utilized to demonstrate your ability to control all elements of an origination’s security program, from designing to managing. Major curriculum categories include Asset Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Operations and Security Engineering. IT professionals with this certification will be able to engage in discussion about any topics from the common body of knowledge relating to CISSP worldwide.

CISSP will allow to be able to keep an organization’s security under lock and key. Figuratively, of course.

Why It’s Essential

If you are looking to get involved and build a loyal working relationship with a company through your skillset, CISSP is for you. Due to the nature of the skills for CISSP, you will gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the company, from the how’s to the why’s of their internal systems. This brings a close relationship with management and other key members of the organization.


The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator certification is geared towards professionals who demonstrate the ability to configure and work within the constraints of Microsoft Windows Desktop and Server System software. Skills include managing Windows infrastructures and interpreting the business requirements for information systems solutions.

Why It’s Essential

MCSA certification provides skills to last for the long haul, as Windows has such a foothold in the field and will continue to have a presence in the years to come. This IT certification makes you a great investment for a potential employer.

Are you ready to jumpstart your IT career? Start on the road to gaining your essential IT certifications and take our computer aptitude test today!

Want to Jumpstart Your IT Career? A CompTIA A+ Certification is Just What You Need

Interested in pursuing a career as an IT tech support specialist? Maybe a job as a network administrator is more your thing. Or perhaps what really gets you going is the thought of working as a cyber security analyst? Whichever path sounds most in line with your goals and aspirations, a CompTIA A+ Certification is your ticket for getting there.

What Is Involved In The CompTIA A+ Certification?

Certifications and degrees help you stand out among job applicants. These prove that you’ve mastered certain skills that are in high demand in the workforce, and also serve as platforms for moving up the ladder in the IT department.

A CompTIA A+ Certification through a reputable institution like PC AGE can be easily followed up with supplemental certifications, according to exactly what IT career track you most wish to pursue. For example, you can follow up your A+ Certification with CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, or CompTIA Linux+. These supplemental certifications get you closer to a job in your preferred area of expertise.

To begin your path toward a lucrative and engaging IT career, the CompTIA A+ Certification program teaches you the most up to date and essential skills for your career as a computer or technical support professional. This certification is recognized internationally, and is completely vendor neutral (which means you aren’t limited to working with just Microsoft products or just IBM products, for example). However, the certification is recognized by all of the major hardware and software vendors, distributors, and resellers.

The A+ Certification assures that you have the skills necessary to perform tasks like hardware and software installation, configuration, diagnostics (diagnosing problems), preventative maintenance, and basic networking procedures. The program includes examinations to assure that you’ve mastered the skills necessary to do these activities in the real world.

The exams necessary to achieve an A+ Certification cover topics like security, safety, and the environmental impact of these technologies, as well as how to communicate in the professional realm. This certification is a necessary part of several tracks that are required to work with some specific vendors and their products, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Cisco, and Novell. Some tech companies even require the A+ Certification to be employed with them as a service technician, including CompuCom and Ricoh.

What Can You Do With A CompTIA A+ Certification?

Many positions are not even open to candidates that don’t have specific certifications or degrees. Achieving an A+ Certification opens up doors in the best businesses, including those giant tech companies that pay so well and offer excellent benefits.

The CompTIA A+ Certification is recommended for students who wish to pursue a career in positions like IT technician, enterprise technician, PC technician, and help desk support personnel.

What Comes After Your A+ Certification?

After achieving the A+ Certification, it becomes much easier to follow this up with other certifications in order to get more in-depth learning for other IT and tech jobs. For instance, the CompTIA Network+ Certification is a gateway to jobs like network technician, network administrator and network support specialist.

Similarly, the CompTIA Security+ certification is an excellent path to pursue careers like network security administrator, security specialist, and network security technician. This is often a prerequisite to other, more advanced security certifications. Those who achieve the CompTIA A+ Certification may also choose to go on to a program like Linux+. This certification is an excellent track for those interested in jobs like systems administrator, junior Linux administrator, junior network administrator, Linux database administrator, and Web administrator.

Once you achieve your A+ Certification, the sky’s the limit! Want to check and see if a career in IT is right for you? Take our computer aptitude test to find out now!

What’s in IT for Me?

The rapidly rising cost of college education has been the subject of many news headlines in recent years. Many college graduates pick up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt alongside their degree, and depending on their career field, it can take decades to pay all that money back. Even law and medical graduates, who can be expected to earn high salaries, are finding student loan debt overwhelming.
IT career

In late 2015, Wall Street paragon Goldman Sachs, which has always had a ruthless focus on bottom line results, concluded that earning a degree from a college considered to be of mid-tier prestige or lower doesn’t, in many cases, produce a return on investment. But information technology (IT) education is different. In many ways it turns the traditional higher education model on its head. IT students earn certifications by passing rigorous exams on specific subject matter, and these certifications are a key to building an IT career.

IT Education Makes Sense for Many Reasons

The primary reason IT education makes sense is because it’s one of the most rapidly growing career fields. As more industries incorporate automation, IT specialists will continue to be in high demand. An IT specialist with the right suite of in-demand certifications can look forward to a prosperous career with much more career security than in many other fields.

IT education also makes sense because it costs less than a traditional college degree, can be completed more quickly, and allows establishment of an IT career within a shorter time frame than earning the typical bachelor’s degree.

Network Engineering Prepares Students for a Promising IT Career

IT specialists in general have strong career options, but network engineering certifications in particular offer a promising future. The servers and clients that make up modern networks, along with switches, routers, and other appliances, are only multiplying in number. The network engineering certifications that lead to bright career possibilities require mastering a number of tools and technologies.

A basic portfolio of certifications for an IT career as a computer support specialist or network administrator may include these industry certifications:

  • CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+ & Linux+
  • Microsoft MCSA
  • Cisco CCENT & CCNA
  • VMware

IT career
Those who want to specialize further in network engineering by delving into cybersecurity can do so by earning the following certifications:

  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator (CHFI)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Some Certifications Won’t Add to Your Earning Power

While students are obviously free to obtain whatever certifications they want to earn, the fact is, some certifications do little or nothing to increase earning power or IT career opportunities. That’s why it’s important to select an information technology education program that is also backed by a strong career services staff that keeps up with industry trends and can advise students on which certifications will add the most earning power to their IT education.

Information Technology Education Helps Students Land a Better Job Sooner

The traditional college degree, sadly, is simply not a worthwhile effort for many people today in terms of return on investment. Information technology education, on the other hand, offers an alternative education model that costs less, teaches skills that are in high demand, offers certifications demonstrating mastery of important IT concepts, and allows people to build a satisfying, secure career much sooner than the average bachelor’s degree.

PC AGE was established in 1991, and was among the first career institutes in New Jersey to offer IT certifications, including programs for working adults. The school is accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and is Federal Title IV eligible. Quite simply, PC AGE strives to help people improve their lives through IT education with efficient and productive programs that lead to in-demand certifications and the best opportunities for career success. We encourage you to contact us at any time to receive a no-charge, no-obligation IT career kit, or call us at 888-269-5760 if you have questions.

Top 7 High-paying Information Technology Careers of the Future

Information technology (IT) is a booming industry of the future. Entering this field gives you access to many perks, such as job growth and a high salary opportunities. Below are the top seven IT careers with high pay and job prospects through 2024.

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts help organizations improve their computer systems and procedures. They research emerging technologies, analyze costs and benefits of infrastructure upgrades, and test systems to ensure they function properly.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science can help you get this job, but it’s not required. These analysts typically earn around $85,000 per year. Job prospects include 118,600 new openings for the future.

Software Developer

If you love using apps, a career as a software developer may work for you. Software developers specialize in creating applications for computers and other devices. More specifically, they study users’ needs and develop applications to help them complete tasks and solve problems.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science is typical for this job. These developers usually earn around $100,600 per year. Job growth includes an estimated 135,300 openings.

Information technology
Web Developer

These individuals are very similar to software developers. The biggest difference is that they focus on websites instead of apps. Web developers are involved in every aspect of designing websites. This includes their appearance, performance, capacity, speed, security, and more.

An associate’s degree in web design or a related field can help you score this job. If you do land this role, you can expect to earn around $65,000 per year. Approximately 39,000 jobs are expected to open in the future.

IT Manager

If you’re good at directing others, becoming an IT manager could be a great option. IT managers help organizations navigate the complexities of modern technology. Tasks include negotiating with technology vendors, upgrading an organization’s computer network, and protecting systems from hackers and malware.

A bachelor’s degree in computer or information science can lead you to this role. Expect to earn around $127,600 per year. Job prospects include 53,700 openings.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts aim to help organizations use technology safely. They are responsible for carrying out security measures to protect computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities increase with rising rates of cyber attacks.

If you think you have what it takes to keep hackers away, a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field can help you gain cybersecurity training. You could be earning a salary of approximately $90,000 per year. About 14,000 job openings are expected to be added in the future.

Information technology
Database Administrator

Database administrators (DBAs) store and organize data using unique software. They typically work with data such as financial information and customer shipping records. Preventing data loss and security problems are also core duties of being a DBA.

DBAs normally receive a bachelor’s degree in a computer- or information-related area. A salary of approximately $81,000 accompanies this role. Expect job growth of about 13,000 openings.

Computer Support Specialist

Want to provide computer assistance with a little less hands-on effort? A career as a computer support specialist may be just the thing for you. This specialist uses computer software and equipment to help people solve computer problems.

A bachelor’s or associate’s degree are good options to prepare yourself. On the other hand, PC AGE’s Internetwork Engineering program can sufficiently provide you with IT certification training to succeed on this career path. You could earn a salary of about $51,000. Over 13,000 job openings are expected to appear in the future.

You don’t need a fancy college degree to gain an awesome IT career. PC AGE Career Institute offers educational opportunities, such as A+ certification training, at several IT school campuses for less time and money.

7 Tips To Ensure IT Career Success

IT career
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics IT careers are expected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024. IT is a hot career with many options for those considering it as a profession. These seven tips will help set you on a path to have the IT career you want.

1. Choose Your Specialization Wisely

While having a career you’re passionate about is advice not to be taken lightly, the other side of the coin is that it is sometimes important to choose something you won’t hate doing every day. Take the time to figure out what aspect of IT interests you most, then get the proper IT certification training so you can spend your career doing something you enjoy, even if it’s not your primary passion.
When famous cartoonist Scott Adams says “Passion is Bullshit,” he has a point. Your passion will disappear quickly if you are not making enough money in the field you are passionate about.
Choose High Potential IT Careers – Some IT careers have much higher income potential than others. For example, Technical Support Specialists are limited to a median salary of about $49K/year but Network Administrators with Cisco, VMware or Cybersecurity certifications can earn a median salary of about $73k to $89K/year or even a six-figure income. Similarly, Web Application Developers can have a career with six-figures but a Web Design career will limit income prospects to a much lower salary. Your best bet is to identify a high potential IT career and choose an intense school before starting your training.

2. Manage Your Career

When asked what advice he had for new IT professionals, David Wright, CIO of McGraw-Hill Education, said “Manage your career. Don’t let your career manage you.”

Your IT career won’t magically be what you want it to be. You have to have a plan in place to move your career forward. Sit down and create a one year, two year and five year plan for your career. Everything won’t happen as you planned, but without a plan in place, you’re just passively letting your career happen to you instead of actively managing your career.
Success will not come unless you figure out the price and then pay it.

3. Network. Network. Network.

Sometimes it’s not about what you know, but who you know that will determine the level of success you have in your career. Take the time to meet major players in the IT field through work events, local networking events and industry conferences. The relationships you build will prove valuable as you move along in your career.

4. Always Be Learning

In the movie “Glengarry Glen Ross,” Alec Baldwin gives his famous “always be closing” speech to a room full of struggling salesman. For IT professionals, the message should be “always be learning,” as IT is a fast moving field that’s constantly evolving. The hot new certification today will be the outdated script tomorrow. If you aren’t constantly learning you will be easily replaced in this industry.

5. Find A Mentor

A mentor can help guide you in the early days of your career. Find someone you can trust and who has the type of career you’re looking to have one day. Nurture this relationship and take the time to learn what they are trying to teach you.

6. Branding is Key

With the advent of social media, branding is everything. Many companies these days want to hire people who already have a proven track record of success. You can use social media, a personal website, or video to showcase your talent and your knowledge in the IT field. Branding yourself can go a long way to helping you stand out with a potential company, in a crowded applicant pool.

7. Develop Soft Skills

Being successful in your IT career isn’t solely about being a great technician. Your ability to interact and communicate well with those around you will go a long way to advancing your career, particularly if you’re looking to go into management in later years.