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Top 10 Helpdesk Certifications

This article provides an overview of the best helpdesk certifications available to IT professionals looking to advance their career.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 15 min read

Certifications are important for a helpdesk in the job market because they demonstrate that an individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their job effectively. Certifications give employers assurance that a potential employee is qualified to perform the duties of a helpdesk professional. Additionally, certifications can help differentiate one job candidate from another, making it easier for employers to find the best fit for their organization. Furthermore, having certifications can open up new opportunities for advancement and higher pay as organizations look for candidates with specialized knowledge or experience. In short, certifications are important for a helpdesk in the job market because they show employers that an individual has the necessary skills and qualifications to be successful in their role.

This article reviews some of the top certifications for Helpdesks and explains how they can help to increase job prospects and advance a helpdesk career.

What are Helpdesk Certifications?

Helpdesk certification is a type of professional certification that can help individuals demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field of helpdesk support. Helpdesk technicians provide technical assistance to customers, usually over the phone or through online chat. This type of certification is designed to recognize the skills and abilities needed to effectively provide this type of customer service.

The benefits of obtaining helpdesk certification include greater job security, higher salaries, and better job opportunities. Those who are certified in the field have a better understanding of customer service principles, as well as being able to troubleshoot more quickly and accurately. Additionally, employers often prefer applicants with helpdesk certifications as they are more likely to be reliable and have a proven track record in providing excellent customer service.

Overall, helpdesk certifications can give individuals an edge in the job market when it comes to pursuing a career in helpdesk support. With this certification, individuals can demonstrate their skillset and commitment to providing high-quality customer service at all times.

Pro Tip: When considering helpdesk certification, look for certifications that are vendor-neutral and cover a wide range of topics. These types of certifications demonstrate your knowledge and experience across multiple platforms, helping you stand out to potential employers.

Related: What does a Helpdesk do?

Top 10 Helpdesk Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Helpdesks today.

1. CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is an industry-leading certification program that validates the skills of entry-level IT professionals. It is designed to help IT professionals develop a strong foundation of knowledge in hardware and software technologies, as well as network security and troubleshooting. CompTIA A+ certification is vendor-neutral, meaning it covers multiple vendors and technologies.

It typically takes between three to six months to prepare for the CompTIA A+ exam. The exam consists of two parts: Core 1 (220-1001) and Core 2 (220-1002). The cost of the exams varies depending on where you take them, but they usually range from $200-$300 USD each.

To become certified, individuals must pass both the Core 1 and Core 2 exams with a score of 700 or higher on each test. After passing both exams, individuals will receive their CompTIA A+ certification which is good for three years. To maintain your certification status, you must retake the tests every three years or complete continuing education credits (CEUs).

The cost of taking the exams can vary depending on where you take them, but it generally ranges from $200-$300 USD per exam. Additionally, there may be additional costs associated with studying materials such as textbooks or online courses.

2. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program offered by Microsoft that validates an individual's skills and knowledge of designing, implementing, and managing IT solutions based on the Microsoft platform. The MCSE certification is intended for individuals who have experience in network and computer systems administration.

The MCSE certification is earned by passing a series of exams that test an individual's knowledge of specific topics related to the Microsoft platform. The exams are divided into three categories: Infrastructure, Applications, and Data Platforms. Each category has its own set of exams that must be passed in order to earn the MCSE certification.

It typically takes around 6-12 months to complete all the necessary exams in order to obtain the MCSE certification. Depending on your existing experience with the Microsoft platform, it may take less or more time to complete all the necessary exams.

In order to get an MCSE certification, you will need to register for each exam you wish to take through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. You can find more information about registering for these exams on the Microsoft website.

The cost of obtaining an MCSE certification varies depending on which exams you choose to take and how many times you need to retake them if you do not pass them initially. Generally speaking, it costs around $200-$300 per exam plus any additional fees associated with retaking failed tests.

3. HDI Support Center Analyst (HDI-SCA)

HDI Support Center Analyst (HDI-SCA) is a certification program offered by the Help Desk Institute (HDI). It is designed to help IT professionals gain the skills and knowledge needed to provide quality customer service in a support center environment.

The HDI-SCA program consists of three courses: Introduction to Support Centers, Advanced Support Centers, and Professional Practices for Support Centers. The courses are offered online or in a classroom setting. The total cost of the program is approximately $2,000 USD.

The HDI-SCA certification requires that applicants pass an exam after completing all three courses. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and takes about two hours to complete. Once you have passed the exam, you will receive your HDI-SCA certification.

The HDI-SCA certification is valid for three years from the date of completion and can be renewed by retaking the exam or completing additional training courses.

4. ITIL Foundation

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is a set of best practices for managing IT services. It provides a framework for organizations to deliver quality IT services in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The ITIL Foundation is the entry-level certification for individuals who want to learn about IT service management.

The ITIL Foundation certification exam typically takes around two hours to complete and consists of 40 multiple choice questions. To pass the exam, you must score at least 65%.

To get your ITIL Foundation certification, you need to take an accredited training course from an accredited provider. This will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the exam. Once you have completed the course, you can then register for the exam through PeopleCert or Axelos websites.

The cost of taking an accredited training course varies depending on which provider you choose and which country you are located in, but typically costs between $600-$2000 USD. The cost of taking the exam itself is usually around $200 USD.

5. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) is a certification program developed by Microsoft to help individuals demonstrate their knowledge of core technology concepts. It is designed for individuals who are just starting out in the IT field, or those looking to validate their skills in a particular area.

The MTA certification consists of nine exams covering topics such as Windows Operating System Fundamentals, Security Fundamentals, Networking Fundamentals, and Software Development Fundamentals. Each exam takes approximately 90 minutes to complete and costs $127 USD.

To get the MTA certification, you must pass all nine exams within 12 months of starting the program. Once you have passed all nine exams, you will receive an official MTA certificate from Microsoft. The certificate is valid for two years and can be renewed by taking any one of the nine exams again.

The cost for the MTA certification varies depending on which country you are located in but typically ranges from $1,000 USD to $2,000 USD including exam fees and other related costs.

6. CompTIA Network+

CompTIA Network+ is an industry-standard certification for networking professionals. It is designed to validate the knowledge and skills of IT professionals who have at least nine months of experience in network support or administration. The certification covers topics such as network technologies, installation and configuration, media and topologies, management, and security.

It typically takes about three months to prepare for the CompTIA Network+ exam. The best way to prepare for the exam is to study from a comprehensive course book or online course that covers all of the topics on the exam. Additionally, it is important to practice with sample questions and take practice exams so that you can become familiar with the format of the exam.

To get CompTIA Network+, you must first register for an account at CompTIA’s website and then purchase a voucher to take the exam. The cost of the voucher varies depending on your location but generally ranges from $250-$300 USD. After purchasing a voucher, you can schedule an appointment at a certified testing center near you to take the exam.

The CompTIA Network+ certification is valid for three years after which you must retake the exam if you wish to maintain your certification status.

7. HDI Customer Service Representative (HDI-CSR)

HDI Customer Service Representative (HDI-CSR) is a certification program that provides individuals with the knowledge and skills to become successful customer service representatives. The HDI-CSR certification is designed to help customer service representatives develop the skills necessary to effectively manage customer interactions and provide exceptional customer service.

The HDI-CSR certification process consists of three parts: an online assessment, a course, and an exam. The online assessment helps determine if you are ready for the course and exam. The course covers topics such as communication techniques, problem solving, customer service strategies, and more. The exam tests your knowledge of these topics.

The HDI-CSR certification takes approximately 8 weeks to complete from start to finish. To get started, you must register for the online assessment on the HDI website. After completing the assessment, you will receive a personalized learning plan outlining what courses you need to take and when they should be completed in order to prepare for the exam. Once all courses have been completed, you can then register for the exam.

The cost of obtaining an HDI-CSR certification varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs around $500 USD for the entire program including both the online assessment and course fees as well as the cost of taking the exam itself.

8. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a certification offered by Cisco Systems. It is an entry-level certification that validates a network professional’s ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-sized routed and switched networks.

It typically takes around 6 months to complete the CCNA training program. The program consists of two exams: ICND1 and ICND2. Both exams must be passed in order to obtain the CCNA certification.

In order to get the CCNA certification, you need to pass both ICND1 and ICND2 exams. You can take these exams at any Pearson VUE testing center or online through Cisco’s website.

The cost of taking the CCNA exam varies depending on which country you are taking it in. Generally, it costs around $300 USD for each exam.

9. HDI Desktop Support Technician (HDI-DST)

HDI Desktop Support Technician (HDI-DST) is a certification offered by the Help Desk Institute (HDI). It is designed to recognize individuals who have achieved a level of excellence in desktop support. The HDI-DST certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates the knowledge and skills of desktop support technicians.

The HDI-DST certification requires candidates to pass an exam that covers topics such as troubleshooting, customer service, problem management, system administration, and more. Candidates must also possess at least one year of experience in desktop support or related fields.

The exam takes approximately two hours to complete and consists of multiple choice questions. The cost of the exam varies depending on the country you are taking it in, but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD.

In order to become certified, candidates must register for the exam online through the HDI website. Once registered, they will receive an email with instructions on how to access their exam voucher and schedule their test date. After passing the exam, candidates will be able to download a digital copy of their certificate from the HDI website.

10. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an internationally recognized certification for information security professionals. It is designed to demonstrate a mastery of an array of topics in information security, including access control systems and methodology, cryptography, telecommunications and network security, software development security, business continuity planning, operations security, and physical security.

In order to obtain the CISSP certification, applicants must first pass the CISSP exam. The exam consists of 250 multiple choice questions that cover eight domains of knowledge related to information security. The exam takes six hours to complete and requires a score of 700 or higher on a scale from 100-1000 in order to pass.

Applicants must also have at least five years of experience in two or more of the eight domains covered by the exam in order to qualify for the certification. Those who do not meet this requirement may still take the exam but will need to earn an endorsement from another CISSP holder before they can be certified.

The cost for taking the CISSP exam varies depending on where it is taken and which organization administers it. Generally speaking, however, the cost is around $700 USD for members of (ISC)2 (the organization that administers the exam) and $1,000 USD for non-members.

Do You Really Need a Helpdesk Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual situation and career goals. If you are looking for a job in the helpdesk field, then having a helpdesk certificate may be beneficial as it can demonstrate to potential employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge for the position. A helpdesk certificate can also provide evidence of your commitment to learning and development in the field, which may make you a more attractive candidate for certain roles.

However, not all jobs in the helpdesk field require a certificate. Some companies may prefer experience or qualifications from another area of expertise, so it is important to ensure that any certification you obtain is relevant to the position you are applying for. In addition, some employers may view certificates as an indication that you lack practical experience, so if you already have significant work experience in this area, then it may be best to focus on highlighting your skills rather than obtaining a new certification.

Ultimately, whether or not you need a helpdesk certificate will depend on your own personal circumstances and career aspirations. It is important to consider all of your options before making a decision as there are many ways to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in this field without necessarily needing additional certification.

Related: Helpdesk Resume Examples

FAQs About Helpdesk Certifications

1. What is a Helpdesk Certification?

Answer: A Helpdesk Certification is a type of certification that validates the skills and knowledge of individuals working in the help desk environment. It typically includes courses, tests, and assessments that cover topics such as customer service, problem solving, troubleshooting, networking, and other IT support areas.

2. What are the benefits of becoming certified?

Answer: By becoming certified in help desk support, you can demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality IT support services. Additionally, certifications can increase your earning potential as well as improve job opportunities.

3. How long does it take to get certified?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to complete a certification program varies depending on the type of certification and provider chosen. Generally speaking though, most programs can be completed within 6 months or less.

4. Are there any prerequisites for getting certified?

Answer: Most help desk certifications do not require any prerequisites; however some providers may require applicants to have prior experience in the field before they can take the exam or coursework required for certification.

5. Is there an age limit for getting certified?

Answer: No, there is no age limit for getting certified in help desk support; however some providers may have additional requirements that must be met before taking their exam or coursework required for certification.