Do you want to grow your IT career? You may discover that to do that, you have to be certified. The right certification can raise your annual salary by as much as $5500 a year. That’s a great return on investment.
As you start to explore IT certifications, you’ll find that there are hundreds of IT certifications. Some certifications will be better than others. One of the ones that you’re likely to come across is through IBM.
IBM has been one of the pioneers of the computing industry, and IBM certifications carry a lot of weight when you’re applying for jobs. Of course, you’ll discover that there are dozens of different certifications that you can get.
Keep reading to learn about the different IBM certifications and how to decide which ones are right for you.
The Types of IBM Certifications
The way that IBM certifications are organized is that you have a particular topic and then a series of different certifications underneath that topic.
There are currently 13 different topics that IBM offers certifications for. Here are the areas where you can be certified:
- Cloud computing
- Data and AI
- Collaboration and Social Business
- Global Technology Solutions
- Watson Internet of Things
- Watson Health
- Watson Customer Engagement
- Watson Financial Services Solutions
- Global Financing
These certifications are geared towards IT professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge in one or more of these topic areas.
IBM has gamified the world of certifications. You can earn badges with each certification. As you earn badges, you can add them to your LinkedIn profile or on your online resume.
Some topics have more opportunities to earn badges than others. Right now, there are 9 badges for blockchain, but several hundred for systems.
These badges can look impressive and allows you to show off your expertise in a certain topic area.
To become IBM certified, you need to pass a standard exam by IBM. The exam lasts anywhere between 1-2 ½ hours, depending on the certification.
The exam fee is usually between $100 – $200. Again, it depends on the certification. If you fail the exam, you can take is again at any time. However, if you fail a second time, you’ll have to wait at least a month before taking it a third time.
IBM doesn’t offer any type of preparation for the exams. You’ll want to find an IBM training partner that offers courses to help you prepare for and pass the exam.
What’s great about getting certified with IBM is that each topic has a clear path. You can start at an entry-level position in a given topic and grow to mastery.
The certifications often are geared towards different career paths, too. There are 29 certifications for IBM Systems.
You don’t need to take all 29 to become a master in IBM systems. There are different certifications if you are selling IBM systems solutions. There are also certifications for users, advanced users, and professionals who are charged with implementing IBM systems.
How to Choose a Certification Path
Since there are so many options to become certified, you can easily get overwhelmed by the choices available.
Interests & Career Vision
One of the ways to choose a certification is to look at your interests and the vision you have for your career. Are you interested in artificial intelligence?
You also want to look at your career trajectory. Are there companies that you would love to work for? Check to see what certifications they value the most.
Before you commit to a certain certification path, take the time to think about what you want to achieve in your career and how you want your day to look.
Potential for Growth
One of the most lucrative and in-demand jobs is cloud computing as more companies are migrating their IT infrastructure to the cloud.
Data analytics is another career path that you can be sure will be in demand for years to come. You want to choose a certification path that will reward you now and throughout your career.
After You Earn an IBM Certification
How can you promote yourself and upgrade your career with an IBM certification? That largely depends on where you currently are in your career.
Someone who’s just starting their career may want to get their foot in the door with an entry-level job. A person with years of experience has more flexibility to negotiate a higher salary or begin to look elsewhere for a job.
IBM offers a number of opportunities to promote yourself. There is a Professional Certification Membership Site. You’ll want to register on this site, which allows you to connect with other IBM professionals and stay up to date with the latest from IBM.
Another thing you can do is put the IBM certified logo on your business card to show that you’re an IBM certified partner.
IBM Certifications to Grow Your Career
The IT world is full of certification paths. You need to show that you’re more than capable to be able to handle the complexities of your work.
There are IBM certifications for just about any career path you want. Before deciding which path is right for you, take time to map out the vision for your career and research where the best opportunities are now and where they will be.
You’re going to invest time and resources into growing your career. You want to make sure that you’re giving yourself every chance to be successful for years.
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