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How Often Should You Update Your IT Certifications?

There is such a demand for IT professionals, with many graduates lining up to fill the vacancies. This means that you need to make yourself an attractive prospective employee.

It’s not enough to have your college degree to your name. You also need to get certifications to add to your credentials. They make you more valuable as an employee and can be the difference between you getting the job or not.

However, don’t assume that you’re finished once you get your certifications. You might need to update them. How often that should happen depends on some of these factors:

1. Expiration

Some certifications don’t last forever. Before you complete a certification, make sure you know how long it will be valid. Like everything about the IT industry, the periods of validity may be subject to change. Not all certifications expire, like a Microsoft certification, which is ‘good for life’.

Allowing a certification to expire can lead to some complications. In most cases, your certification status will be suspended until you renew it. Most certifications have a grace period during which you can renew them. Keep these dates diarized so that you don’t find yourself claiming to have certifications that no longer apply.

2. Organizational change

More companies are adopting Systems Applications and Product (SAP) products. It is software that covers all aspects of the company’s management and it is usually divided into modules.

Employees get access to the modules they need to fulfill their job obligations. However, the modules do not function in silos. They are integrated to allow for the free flow of information that helps top management make decisions about the organization’s future.

As an IT professional, you need to be familiar with this type of enterprise resource planning software as you are responsible for administering it. When the company is implementing a change of software, you might need new SAP training and certification to operate and manage it. This type of certification will also benefit you if you decide to seek employment at another company.

3. Changing times

The IT world is always on the move. It seems that each day heralds the arrival of a new program, app, or technology that you need to learn about. Some products expire and are replaced with others that you need to familiarize yourself with.

So many innovations, and so little time. How will you know what to do? It’s advisable that you keep abreast of developments in the industry. That will help you find out about the most relevant and top certifications that you might need.

Looking ahead, research which certifications you’ll need to secure a promotion you’ve been wanting. Prioritize these above the others. Remember that the purpose of certification is to give yourself creditability and marketability as an IT professional. It is also a vital component of your personal development and growth as an individual.

4. Time management

Updating your IT certification takes time, dedication, and effort. You should take this into account when deciding to go ahead and update. Taking on a certification course and exam will be a wasted effort if you do not have enough time to devote to it. Your family and social life might suffer for a while, but the result will be worth the effort.

Make sure that you’ll have enough time to devote to your studies. The exams are tough, and you need to be prepared. You might have a friend or colleague who is updating their IT certification at the same time as you. Work together to achieve success. You should also work through the practice exams so that you know what to expect.

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