What Certifications Can I Get in Computer Information Systems?

Earning a certification in an area related to computer information systems is a recognized way of advancing your career and keeping up your skills. Read on to learn about some of the certifications available in the field. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Certification Options

Numerous computer information systems certifications exist, many of which are geared for specialized professionals. These specialties include operating systems, programming languages, network administration, software technology, security system protocols and information systems consulting. Obtaining certification sometimes requires holding a bachelor's degree in computer information systems (CIS) and having work experience, but this requirement can vary by the certification.

Important Facts About CIS Certification

Common Exam PrerequisitesMinimum professional work experience, bachelor's degree, postsecondary education credit hours
Exam Topics Vary by exam; IT infrastructure, systems design, IP routing, active directory administration and others
Certification Exam Prep Online courses, study guides, in-person training
Possible CareersNetwork and database administrators, computer and information systems managers, information security analysts, computer systems analysts, programmers

Information Systems Analyst (ISP)

The ISP is administered through the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP). This certification is designed for graduates of a 4-year CIS degree program. The ISP is a core exam for those entering the field and wishing to become certified in other specialty areas or levels of mastery. The core exam covers information technology, organizational and professional skills and strategic organizational systems development.

Computing Professional Certifications

The Associate Computing Professional (ACP) and the Certified Computing Professional (CCP) designations are also administered through the ICCP. The ACP is available if you are newly entering the field. Obtaining the ACP requires completing the ISP exam as well as one other specialty exam, such as business information systems, data communications or networking. The CCP is an expert, mastery level designation. You must also take and pass the ISP core exam as well as two specialty exams. Taking both exams typically require professional work experience as well as a postsecondary education credit hours.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers the CISA designation. Taking the exam requires having a minimum of five years of professional work experience. This experience can be substituted with a completed degree and work experience. In addition to taking and passing the CISA exam, you're expected to adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics and partake in continuing professional education.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

The CISSP is available through the International Information System Security Certification Consortium. Being eligible for this designation requires having five years of professional work experience. Candidates with a bachelor's degree can waive one year of the experience requirement. The process for receiving this designation requires taking and passing the exam, providing an endorsement of professional work experience and completing an audit. You're expected to adhere to a strict professional code of ethics while holding the CISSP credential.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Microsoft offers the MCSE certification with various options for specialization. One example includes the MCSE: Server Infrastructure credential. This designation focuses on installing, configuring and administrating Windows Server 2012 and its various services. Neither a degree nor work experience is required to pursue this certification. You'd have to pass five exams; however, Microsoft awards you the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) credential after you pass the first three of them. After getting MCSE certified, you must recertify every three years to maintain your credential.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching

If you're interested in working with computer networks, the CCNA Routing and Switching credential demonstrates that you can handle medium-sized networks that utilize routing and switching. You can choose to take either one accelerated exam or two separate exams to gain certification. You're required to know how to install and configure networks, identify and fix networking problems and manage networks. You'll also need an understanding of network addressing, services and protocols. Although this credential is geared toward those with at least a year of networking experience, there are no specific prerequisites.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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