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Best Foundational Certifications in detail to start your Career

People who want to work in IT are rightly puzzled. They are aware of all the job openings and possible prospects, but they frequently do not know how or where to begin. This is where this article would guide you. We are here to help newcomers by highlighting some of the greatest IT certifications for individuals wishing to start a career in IT.

Certifications boost the credibility of your resume and make you more appealing to recruiters and hiring managers. At the entry level, they are a wonderful opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition – and even boost your compensation.

As your career progresses, you should explore more advanced qualifications that would further develop your professional career. You will know what specialities to pursue and what skills you would require for your intended career path by then. However, at the starting level, it is best to stay with more basic certifications that will help you get your job in IT.

We will list some basic certifications to help you launch your career, whether you have recently graduated or have decided to make a professional move.

Microsoft Technology Associate courses (MTA)

The MTA certifications are intended for entry-level people who are just starting out in IT or those who want to change careers in IT.

The exam is designed to help you establish your professional path in IT by allowing you to choose the topics you wish to focus on.

Course Structure: There are a number of exams to take and they offer IT Infrastructure (Windows, Windows Server), Databases (MSSQL Server) and Development (Visual Studio).

IT infrastructure- MTA certifications are an excellent place to start whether you want to work in desktop infrastructure, server infrastructure, or private cloud computing. There are five basic exams which include topics on Mobility and Device Fundamentals, Security Fundamentals, Networking Fundamentals, Windows Server Administration Fundamentals, and Windows Operating System Fundamentals.

Developer-Start with an MTA in Software Development Fundamentals, and then select specific language certifications like Programming Using Java, Introduction to Programming Using HTML and CSS, Introduction to Programming Using JavaScript, and Introduction to Programming Using Python.

Database- MTA Database has one track exam called Database Fundamentals

The certification and exams for the MTA are part of the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) program. Passing these exams are the first stage in acquiring advanced certifications like the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

Exam fees: varies on geographical locations

Exam Duration: 45-65 minutes

Passing Score: 700 or greater (on a scale of 1 to 1000)

Microsoft 365 Fundamentals (MS-900)

This exam is designed for candidates who want to demonstrate core understanding of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to improve productivity on-site, at home, or a combination of the both.

Candidates may be familiar with cloud-based solutions or fresh to Microsoft 365. Candidates can utilise this certification to prepare for other Microsoft certifications, although it is not mandatory for any of these.

Microsoft updated the certification on Oct. 25, 2021, to include new details about the licensing options for Azure Active Directory Premium P1 and Premium P2.

Course Structure: This certification will explain cloud concepts, Microsoft 365 core services and concepts, security, compliance, privacy, and trust in Microsoft 365. You’ll also be tested on your knowledge of the Microsoft 365 products, services, and pricing structures.

Exam fees: $99 (varies based on geographical locations)

Exam Duration: 45 minutes

Passing Score: 700 (on a scale of 1-1000)

Microsoft Azure Fundamentals (AZ-900)

This certification does not require any prior programming skills or experience with cloud computing.

It is ideal for those who are already active in the purchase and sale of cloud services, even if they do not have a technological background. The exam will also be useful for those who want to validate their fundamental knowledge of cloud services or solutions.

Course structure: This module introduces you to the basics cloud concepts and core Azure services, as well as security, compliance, privacy and trust. It also describes Azure pricing, service-level agreements and lifecycles.

Exam fees: $99 (varies based on geographical locations)

Exam Duration: 45 minutes

Passing Score: 700 (on a scale of 1-1000)

CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+)

The CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ (ITF+) certification is ideal for those who want to start a career in IT or change careers.

The exam is designed to validate your fundamental IT knowledge and give you a better understanding of what it is like to work in IT. It's also a fantastic place to start if you want to continue your CompTIA certification journey.

Course Structure: The certification exam covers networks, infrastructure, IT concepts and terminology, applications and software, security, database principles, and software development.

Exam fees : $126 (varies based on geographical location)

Exam Duration: 60 minutes

Passing Score: 650 (on a scale of 900)

CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002)

CompTIA A+ is categorised into two courses, they are designed for support specialists, field service technicians, desktop support analysts, and help desk support.

If you want to work in a related sector, this is a great entry certification that is well-regarded in the industry.

Course Structure: Core 1 - covers mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization and cloud computing, and network troubleshooting.

Core 2 - covers installing and configuring operating system, expanded security, software troubleshooting and operational procedures.

Exam fee : $232 per exam

Exam Duration: 90 minutes per exam

Passing Score: Core 1- 675 (on a scale of 100-900)

Core 2- 700 (on a scale of 100-900)

Note: To obtain certification, candidates must pass both exam

CompTIA Network+

The certification is designed for anyone looking to break into IT and also for junior network administrators, network field technicians, junior system engineers, IS consultants, and network field engineers.

Before taking the exam, it is advisable that you have your CompTIA A+ certification and at least 9 to 12 months of networking experience.

Course Structure: This course and certification covers the networking concepts, troubleshooting common wired and wireless networks, operations, tools, critical security concepts, key cloud computing best practices, typical service models and IT infrastructure

Exam Fees : $338

Exam Duration: 90 minutes

Passing Score: 720 (on a scale of 100-900)

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is designed for IT administrators and those interested in a career in security should consider taking this course.

Earning your Security+ certification displays to employers that you can install and configure systems to keep applications, networks, and devices secure in accordance with compliance standards.

Course Structure: This course covers threats, attacks, and vulnerabilities; risk management; architecture and design; technology and tools; cryptography, public key infrastructure (PKI) and Identity and Access management

Exam fees: $499

Exam Duration: 90 minutes

Passing Score: 750 (on a scale of 100-900)

Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)

The Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP) certification is designed for help desk professionals, technical coordinators, power users who support macOS users, manage networks and provide macOS technical support.

If you're looking for entry-level IT support work, this is a good certification to acquire because it shows companies that you can operate Apple devices and software.

Course Structure: The certification validates your knowledge of macOS core functionality and your ability to configure key services, perform basic troubleshooting, and support multiple Mac users.

Exam fees: $250

Exam Duration: 150 minutes

Passing Score: 75%

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

This certification helps students learn the fundamentals of the AWS Cloud, such as its major features, pricing models, and core AWS services.

It includes a logical sequence of digital training, classroom courses, videos, white papers, and certificates.

Course Structure: The exam covers subjects such as coding, designing cloud architecture, cloud security, troubleshooting, implementation, migration, load performance testing, and business applications.

Exam fees: $100

Exam Duration: 90 minutes

Passing Score: 700 (on a scale of 1- 1000)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)

Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is an entry-level course designed to give professionals getting started as Scrum practitioners an understanding of the project management methodology.

It's a valuable course for anyone aspiring to be a Scrum master, but it's also beneficial for anyone aspiring to be a software engineer, business analyst, or project manager.

Course structure: The certification topics includes such as Scrum and agile, Scrum theory, Scrum values, Scrum teams, Scrum master role, Scrum events, and Scrum artifacts.

Exam Fees: $400 to $1,000 (It varies based on location)

Exam Duration: 60 Minutes

Passing score: 74%

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA 200-301)

The CCNA training course and exam lay the groundwork for you to take your career in any direction.

It is best suited to people seeking entry-level network engineer, help desk technician, network administrator, or network support technician positions. Designed for agility and versatility, CCNA validates that you have the skills required to manage and optimize today's most advanced networks.

Course Structure: CCNA exam covers networking fundamentals, IP services, security fundamentals, automation and programmability.

Exam Fees: $300

Exam Duration: 120 minute

Passing score: 800-850 (on a scale of 1000)

Cisco Certified Technician (CCT)

This course is intended for anyone interested in understanding the basics of routing and switching and also networking fundamentals.

The Cisco Certified Technician (CCT) certification validates your competence to diagnose, restore, repair, and replace essential Cisco networking and system components at client sites. There are two CCT options: data centre or routing and switching.

CCT Data Centre certification:

The course covers the fundamentals of data centre networking, field servicing and equipment replacement, including identifying Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) component models, accessories cabling, and interfaces.

Before you take the exam, You’ll need to take the course Supporting Cisco Data Centre System Devices (DCTECH) v2.0

Exam fees: $125

Exam Duration: 90 minutes

Passing Score: 750-850 (on a scale of 100-1000)

CCT Routing and Switching certification: The online self-paced course covers networking fundamentals, Cisco router and switch models, Cisco IOS software operating modes, and the Cisco command line interface (CLI). Before you can take the exam, you’ll need to take the course Supporting Cisco Routing and Switching Network Devices (RSTECH)

Exam fees: $125

Exam Duration: 90 minutes

Passing Score: 800 (on a scale of 100-1000)

ITIL 4 Foundation

ITIL 4 Foundation is designed for anyone who needs to learn the fundamentals of IT and digital service delivery and wants to assist their organisation in adopting the new service management culture.

It is designed for professionals who are just beginning their ITIL 4 journey or who want to refresh their existing ITIL expertise.

Course Structure: The ITIL 4 Foundation certification teaches the fundamentals of IT service management as well as best practises for creating, delivering, and improving technologically enabled goods and services. The exam covers the ITIL 4 guiding principles, the four service management dimensions, and essential concepts such as Lean, Agile, and DevOps.

Exam fees: Varies based on geographical location

Exam Duration: 60 minutes

Passing score: 65%

Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification (PDC)

The Linux Essentials Professional Development Certification (PDC) is designed to demonstrate your understanding of Linux, a popular open-source operating system and it is designed for professionals who aspire to become IT developer, administrator, or engineer.

Course Structure: The certification covers Linux hardware, software, processes, and programmes, as well as system security, file permissions, public and private directories. It also covers open-source applications, command-line operations, creating and restoring compressed backups and archives, developing and running simple scripts.

Exam fees: $120

Exam Duration: 60 minutes

Passing score: 500 (on a scale of 200-800)

PMI Certified Associate in project Management (CAPM)

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® is intended to prepare candidates for entry-level project management employment. It is managed by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a global leader in project management.

Before you can take the exam, you'll need a secondary degree and at least 23 hours of project management instruction, which you may get through PMI's Project Management Basics course.

Course Structure: PMI designed the course to prepare you for the CAPM certification exam; it covers project management fundamentals and abilities required for an IT project management position.

Exam fees: PMI members: $225

Non-PMI members: $300

Exam Duration: 180 minutes

Passing Score: 70%

Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP)

SSCP certification demonstrates you have the advanced technical skills and knowledge to implement, monitor and administer IT infrastructure using security best practices, policies and procedures established by the cybersecurity experts at (ISC)².

The certification is best suited for network security engineers, systems administrators, security analysts, systems engineers, security consultants, security administrators, database administrators, systems and networks analysts.

Course Structure: This certification covers SSCP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) ensure its relevancy across all disciplines in the field of information security. Course covers important domains like Security Operations and Administration, Access Controls, Risk Identification, Monitoring, and Analysis, Incident Response and Recovery, Cryptography, Network and Communications, Security Systems and Application Security.

Candidates must have a minimum of one year of cumulative work experience in one or more of the seven areas of the SSCP CBK, with a one-year prerequisite pathway granted to candidates who have completed a cybersecurity programme (bachelors or masters). A candidate who does not possess the experience to become an SSCP may become an Associate of (ISC)2 by passing the SSCP test. If you pass, you will have two years to complete the one year of required experience.

Exam fees: $249

Exam Duration: 4 hours

Passing Score: 700 (on a scale of 1 - 1000)

I hope that this extensive information on these courses will assist you in starting a career in a wide range of technical industries.

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