I have several computer certifications ranging from A+ to MCSE: Security. I also have an MBA with a focus in information security and two university certificates in business management and information security, and I’m about to receive a certificate in strategic leadership from American Management Association. Are there any other certifications in management or leadership? If so, which would you recommend and why?
These are a few points that I picked up — and assume — from your question:
1. You are very academic.
2. I'm assuming, from the professional IT certifications that you hold, that you have at least a year of experience in IT (in the support field).
3. You want to either progress and climb up the career ladder or change jobs.
There’s one thing you don't mention and something that I can't assume: the amount of management and leadership experience under your belt. The MBA is one of the most widely known qualifications in this area; however, while some MBAs may be part vocational and part academic (others are just academic), it doesn't demonstrate the level of work and the minimum length of time you've been doing the job.
This is where the following options come in:
1. Membership with the Institute of Leadership and Management and the corresponding City & Guilds Senior Awards: Licentiateship diploma (for professional members) and the Graduateship diploma (for fellow members).
2. Membership with the Chartered Management Institute . They are the only awarding body to offer the Chartered Manager status (CMgr) and the pathway to it.
Both these organizations offer nationally and internationally recognized qualifications in both leadership and management. In my opinion, the qualifications you currently hold are excellent, but now is the time to demonstrate what you can do and what you have done.
Other options you may want to consider would be best practice methodologies-based certifications, such as the following:
1. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library ), which is the most widely accepted approach to IT service management; MOF (Microsoft Operations Framework) 4.0, as this delivers practical guidance for everyday IT practices and activities; or FITS (Framework for IT Support), as this is a more streamlined and simple version of ITIL for education but can also be used for the SMB (Server Message Block) market.
2. PRINCE2, which is a process-based approach for project management.
The main reasoning behind the above options is not to deliver and propose cutbacks, but to have the knowledge to improve services and the delivery of them to clients. Again, your former studies may have covered part of this, but all of the above options (ITIL, MOF, FITS and PRINCE2) are always being updated and improved, so what you have learned may not be up to date.
Ken Wagner is an IT network manager and part-time IT lecturer in the United Kingdom. He has lived in the United States, Asia and Europe. He can be reached at editor (at) certmag (dot) com.