Top 11 Information Technology Consultant Certifications
This article provides an overview of the top information technology consultant certifications for professionals looking to expand their credentials and expertise in the field.
Published 18 min read
Certifications are important for an information technology consultant in the job market because they demonstrate that the individual has a specific set of skills and knowledge. Many employers prefer to hire consultants with certifications as it indicates that they have taken the time and effort to prove their competency in a particular subject or area. Certifications provide evidence of an individual's expertise and can often be used as a benchmark in assessing their capabilities. Additionally, certifications can help an IT consultant stand out from other applicants when applying for jobs, as employers will be able to see that the individual has taken steps to gain additional qualifications.
The purpose of this article is to review the top certifications for Information Technology Consultants and explain how they can benefit an IT consultant's career.
What are Information Technology Consultant Certifications?
Information technology consultant certification is a credential that demonstrates to employers and clients that an individual has the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to provide effective IT consulting services. This certification is typically earned by completing a specialized training program and passing an assessment.
The benefits of earning an information technology consultant certification include increased job opportunities, higher pay, and improved professional credibility. With this certification, IT consultants are better able to demonstrate their expertise in areas such as software development, network security, system design, database management, project management, cloud computing, and other areas related to information technology.
Having this certification also helps IT consultants stand out from the competition since they have proven their knowledge of the latest industry trends and technologies. Additionally, many companies prefer working with certified professionals who can provide quality services efficiently and cost-effectively. Having a certified IT consultant on staff can also help organizations remain compliant with industry regulations while reducing overall costs associated with implementing new technology solutions.
Pro Tip: When considering an Information Technology Consultant certification, make sure to research the program and its credentials thoroughly. Look for accreditation from a reputable industry organization, and read reviews from past students to ensure that you'll be getting the best possible training.
Related: What does an Information Technology Consultant do?
Top 11 Information Technology Consultant Certifications
Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Information Technology Consultants today.
1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is an internationally recognized certification that validates one's knowledge, skills, and experience in the field of information security. It is a vendor-neutral certification administered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². The CISSP is the gold standard for information security professionals, and it demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, implement, and manage a best-in-class cybersecurity program.
In order to earn the CISSP credential, individuals must pass a rigorous exam that covers eight domains of information security: Access Control; Telecommunications and Network Security; Software Development Security; Cryptography; Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning; Legal, Regulations, Compliance and Investigations; Security Architecture and Design; and Operations Security.
It typically takes about six months to prepare for the CISSP exam. Preparation involves studying both independently as well as taking courses from accredited training providers.
To register for the exam, individuals must first have at least five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains listed above. If they do not meet this requirement but still wish to pursue their CISSP certification, they can apply for an Associate of (ISC)² credential which requires three years of relevant work experience or a four-year college degree in addition to passing the exam.
The cost of taking the CISSP exam varies depending on where you take it but typically ranges from $699–$1,199 USD.
2. Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) is a professional certification program offered by the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM). It is designed to recognize and promote excellence in the field of information technology. The CITP certification is designed for IT professionals who have achieved a high level of expertise in their chosen field.
The CITP certification requires applicants to pass an exam that covers topics such as project management, systems analysis, software engineering, database design, network architecture, security, and other related areas. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and can take up to four hours to complete.
In order to be eligible for the CITP certification, applicants must have at least five years of professional experience in the IT field or have completed a degree or diploma program with an emphasis on IT-related topics. Applicants must also submit a portfolio that demonstrates their knowledge and skills in the area of IT.
The cost of obtaining the CITP certification varies depending on whether you are taking the exam online or in person. Taking the exam online typically costs around $300 USD while taking it in person can cost up to $1,000 USD. Additionally, there may be additional fees associated with submitting your portfolio for review.
3. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) is a professional certification offered by ISACA, an international non-profit organization focused on IT governance. The CRISC certification is designed to recognize individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and experience to identify and manage enterprise IT risk. It is intended for professionals who are responsible for managing risk associated with IT systems and processes.
To become certified as a CRISC, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having at least three years of cumulative work experience in two or more of the four domains covered by the CRISC exam: Risk Identification, Assessment & Evaluation; Risk Response; Risk Monitoring; and Information Systems Control Design & Implementation. You must also pass the CRISC exam.
The CRISC exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as information security management, risk assessment techniques, business continuity planning, regulatory compliance, and IT governance best practices. The exam takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
The cost of taking the CRISC exam varies depending on your geographic location but typically ranges from $575-$725 USD. Additionally, you will need to pay a one-time application fee of $50 USD when applying for the certification. Once you have passed the exam and been approved for certification, there is an annual maintenance fee of $85 USD that must be paid in order to maintain your active status as a Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC).
4. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a certification program that demonstrates an individual's expertise in designing and implementing Microsoft-based solutions. It is designed to validate the skills required to build, deploy, and maintain infrastructure solutions based on Microsoft Windows Server technologies.
To earn the MCSE certification, you must pass exams in the following areas:
- Networking Infrastructure
- Identity Management
- Data Platform
- Business Intelligence
- Cloud Platform & Infrastructure
- App Builder.
It typically takes around six months to complete all of the exams necessary for MCSE certification. However, this timeframe can vary depending on your experience level and how quickly you study and prepare for the exams. Additionally, you may need to retake some of the exams if you do not pass them on your first attempt. The cost of each exam varies but typically ranges from $150-$200 USD per exam.
5. CompTIA A+ Certification
CompTIA A+ certification is an industry-recognized credential that validates the knowledge and skills of entry-level IT professionals. It is a globally recognized, vendor-neutral certification that covers the fundamentals of computer technology, installation and configuration of PCs, laptops and related hardware, as well as basic networking.
It typically takes about three to six months to complete the A+ certification process. The amount of time it takes depends on the individual’s prior experience and technical knowledge. To get certified, individuals must pass two exams: CompTIA A+ Core 1 (220-1001) and CompTIA A+ Core 2 (220-1002).
To prepare for the exams, individuals can take online courses or attend instructor-led classes. They can also use practice tests to help them become familiar with the exam material. Additionally, they can access study guides and other resources from the CompTIA website.
The cost of taking the A+ certification exams varies depending on where you take them. Generally speaking, each exam costs around $200 USD per attempt. However, discounts are often available through various training providers or through CompTIA itself.
6. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) is a professional certification program offered by Cisco Systems. It is designed to validate an individual’s knowledge and skills in networking technologies, such as routing and switching, security, wireless networking, and more. The CCNA certification is the entry-level credential for those looking to enter the world of IT networking.
It typically takes around 6 months to prepare for the CCNA exam. This includes studying for the exam, taking practice tests, and attending training classes if desired.
To get the CCNA certification, you must pass one of two exams: either the 200-301 or 200-125 exams. Both exams cover the same topics but have different formats and difficulty levels.
The cost of taking the CCNA exam varies depending on where you take it. Generally speaking, it costs between $325-$350 USD per exam.
7. Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) is a certification program that recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in Oracle Database technologies. The OCP certification is offered by Oracle Corporation, the world’s leading provider of enterprise software and services.
The OCP certification is designed to validate an individual’s skills and knowledge in the areas of database design, administration, programming, and security. It also provides employers with an assurance that those certified have met certain standards of proficiency in Oracle Database technology.
To get the OCP certification, you must first pass the Oracle Database 12c Administrator Exam (1Z0-062). This exam covers topics such as installation and configuration, backup and recovery, user management, performance tuning, security management, data movement and replication technologies. Once you have passed this exam, you can then take the Oracle Database 12c Advanced Administrator Exam (1Z0-063). This exam covers topics such as advanced database administration tasks such as automation using SQL scripts and scheduling jobs; managing memory; creating database objects; optimizing query performance; configuring RAC databases; implementing Data Guard; performing backup and recovery operations; troubleshooting database issues; monitoring database performance; implementing security features; administering ASM storage.
The cost for taking the two exams varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $200 to $400 USD per exam. The exams are available worldwide at Pearson VUE testing centers or online through proctored remote testing centers. The exams are typically 90 minutes long with 60 questions each.
Once you have successfully passed both exams, you will receive your official OCP certificate from Oracle Corporation which will be valid for three years from the date of issue. After three years, you will need to re-certify to maintain your OCP status.
8. Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project Management Professional (PMP) is a professional certification program offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to recognize and validate the knowledge and skills of project managers in the field of project management.
The PMP credential requires passing an exam that tests a candidate's knowledge of the five process groups and ten knowledge areas defined by PMI. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions, and candidates must score at least 61% to pass. It typically takes 4 hours to complete the exam.
To get the PMP credential, you must meet certain eligibility requirements:
- Have a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent)
- Have at least 7,500 hours leading and directing projects
- Have 35 hours of project management education
- Or have four-year degree plus 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
- And have 35 hours of project management education
The cost for taking the PMP exam varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of PMI. For members, it costs $405 for the first attempt and $275 for each subsequent attempt. For non-members, it costs $555 for the first attempt and $375 for each subsequent attempt.
9. ITIL Foundation Certification
ITIL Foundation Certification is a globally recognized qualification that provides an understanding of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) framework and how it can be used to improve the quality of IT service delivery. It is the entry-level certification for those who want to gain a basic understanding of IT Service Management best practices.
The certification exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions and takes 60 minutes to complete. To pass, you must score at least 65% (26 out of 40). The exam can be taken online or in person at an accredited testing center.
To get certified, you must first purchase an ITIL Foundation course from an accredited training provider. These courses typically take 1-2 days to complete and cost between $400-$1000 depending on the provider and location. After completing the course, you will receive a voucher code that can be used to register for the ITIL Foundation Exam.
Once certified, you will receive an official certificate from AXELOS, the organization responsible for managing ITIL. This certificate is valid for 3 years and can be renewed by taking additional courses or exams related to IT Service Management best practices.
10. Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level
Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level is an industry-recognized certification that validates an individual’s expertise in designing, deploying, and operating applications and infrastructure on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The certification is designed to demonstrate an individual’s understanding of core AWS services, their use cases, and how to design and deploy secure and robust applications on the AWS platform.
The exam typically takes around 90 minutes to complete and consists of multiple choice questions. To become certified as an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Level, you must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher.
To prepare for the exam, it is recommended that individuals have at least one year of hands-on experience using AWS services in a production environment. Additionally, there are several online courses available from Amazon as well as other third-party providers that can help you prepare for the exam.
The cost of taking the exam varies depending on where you take it but typically ranges from $150-$300 USD.
11. Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals Certification
Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals Certification is a professional-level certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to design and implement Google Cloud solutions. This certification is designed for individuals who have a basic understanding of cloud computing concepts and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It covers topics such as GCP architecture, security, networking, storage, data management, compute options, and application development.
The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions and takes approximately 2 hours to complete. To get the certification you must pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. The cost of the exam is $100 USD.
To prepare for the exam you can take advantage of free training resources such as tutorials on GCP fundamentals offered by Google Cloud Platform Training & Certification team or online courses from third-party providers such as Coursera or Udacity. You can also purchase study materials from vendors like Whizlabs or Qwiklabs.
Do You Really Need a Information Technology Consultant Certificate?
The answer to this question depends on what your career goals are. If you are looking to become an information technology consultant, then having a certificate can certainly be beneficial in helping you get your foot in the door. It can demonstrate to potential employers that you have taken the time and effort to gain additional knowledge and expertise in the field.
However, if you already have experience in information technology or are working as an IT consultant, then having a certificate may not be necessary for advancement. Many employers will recognize experience and knowledge as being just as valuable as a certificate, if not more so.
Ultimately, it is important to assess your career goals and decide whether or not obtaining an IT consultant certificate is worthwhile for where you want to go with your career. If it is something that would help move you forward, then it may be worth considering getting certified.
Related: Information Technology Consultant Resume Examples
FAQs About Information Technology Consultant Certifications
Q1. What is an Information Technology Consultant Certification?
A1. An Information Technology Consultant Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates a person's competence in the field of IT consulting. It is designed to help professionals gain the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective IT consulting services to organizations and businesses.
Q2. How do I become certified as an Information Technology Consultant?
A2. To become certified as an Information Technology Consultant, you must first complete a program of study in the field of IT consulting, such as a degree or certificate program. After completing your studies, you must then pass an exam administered by a recognized certifying body, such as CompTIA or ISACA, in order to be officially certified.
Q3. What are the benefits of becoming an Information Technology Consultant?
A3. Becoming an Information Technology Consultant offers many benefits, including increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and better career prospects. Additionally, certification can help demonstrate your expertise and professionalism in the field of IT consulting to potential employers and clients alike.
Q4. What types of organizations hire Information Technology Consultants?
A4. Many different types of organizations hire Information Technology Consultants, including government agencies, private companies, non-profits, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, educational institutions and more. Some consultants may specialize in certain areas such as software development or network security while others may be generalists who are able to provide consulting services across multiple disciplines within the IT industry.
Q5. How long does it take to become certified as an Information Technology Consultant?
A5: The amount of time required to become certified as an Information Technology Consultant will vary depending on the type of certification program you choose and your current level of experience with IT systems and technologies; however, most programs require between 6 months - 1 year for completion.