It’s a normal human tendency to parade something that sets one apart. Something that makes you appear extraordinary, albeit for a fleeting moment. Flaunting sunnies, watches, sneakers are passé! It’s time to flaunt Certifications!
For starters, let me delineate why Certifications are coveted in the IT profession:
- It is a stamp of approval that one knows his/her business. The right Certification lends the credentials that help you get your foot in the door.
- Preparing for a Certification involves tedious work, poring over intricacies, which adds to your knowledge and problem-solving skills.
- A certification gives confidence to operate a new product / in a new domain.
- With the glut in the availability of IT professionals globally, a certification is a reliable ammo in your arsenal to land that job!
Once you are convinced that a Certification is the way to go, the next step is to identify which Certification is right for you. Identifying the appropriate Certification is half the job done. This would involve studying the market and industry, reading blogs, talking to peers and doing a careful self-analysis.
When you have identified the target Certification, you must meticulously plan the mission. It’s not very different from cracking any entrance test – you will need to create a time-table devoting adequate hours to study the available material, practice mock tests and revise. For many, the certification you would like to undertake may not relate entirely (or even adequately) to your day-job. Setting a clear deadline for taking the exam is crucial.
Theoretical knowledge tends to wither away if it’s not constantly applied to real-life situations. If you are aiming to achieve a Certification to land a higher role/new job, which is unrelated to your present work, then you must be mindful of adhering to the time-table and taking the exam as planned. In my experience, it’s likely to dither and digress from the plan and therefore I cannot overemphasize the significance of sticking to the plan. When certifications are progressive and build on each other – such asAWS Associate Architect < Developer < SysOps < professional …………….it is prudent to keep the momentum and acquire all successively without losing steam.
Lastly, a bit about my own journey in AWS certifications – Identifying the Certifications was relatively easy since I am working in this space and my manager and peers already were certified. I signed up for CloudGuru/WhizLabs and a few other sites that offered coaching videos and practice tests. I followed a simple regimen of –
- study course material
- practice question banks
- time the practice tests
- revise the day before certification
After each certification, I gave myself a week to relax and then kicked-off the next prep. This approach worked like a charm for me. I hope my experience is useful to you.