CloseUp: Telecom-Related Certification Programs
In something of a departure from my usual practice here—which is to focus on a single certification, or a single program—I’m going to perform a brief survey of certifications in the telecommunications (or telecom) area in this month’s profile. That’s because I’ve noticed the introduction of a number of new credentials in various programs in the past three months or so, and I feel like we could all benefit from an overview of this area.
Let me begin by describing the kinds of work and positions that telecom certifications usually embrace. They fall into various categories that cluster around telecom equipment—primarily PBX, voice over IP, voice and data integration, telecom infrastructure planning and management—and generally involve working either as an analyst (to help determine needs and plan solutions), an administrator or technician (to implement, manage and maintain telecom infrastructure) or a specialist (to deal with specific types of sophisticated telecom equipment and systems).
That said, Table 1 lists the vendors or organizations that offer telecom certifications, with names of credentials where applicable and pointers to additional information on each item. If readers are interested in learning more about any specific programs mentioned here or want to point out items I’ve omitted, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll respond directly and use your input for planning of future profiles here.
When it comes to picking vendor-neutral certifications, the best-known programs offer the best value. Depending on your specific needs, that means you could easily select offerings from BICSI, the National Association of Communication Systems Engineers (NACSE) or the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). (Brainbench offers starter certifications that aren’t terribly useful unless a prospective employer uses their tests to check candidates’ knowledge and skills.) Picking vendor-specific certifications is much easier and falls under the general heading of “If they have it, you can use it to your advantage”—that is, if individual prospective employers themselves place value on such credentials, you can use those to leverage your career path.
Ed Tittel is president of LANwrights Inc. and is contributing editor for Certification Magazine. E-mail Ed with your questions and comments at email@example.com.
Table 1: Telecom Certs
Avaya Certified Associate
Avaya Certified Expert
Avaya Certified Specialist