There are many thoughts and opinions among IT specialists about technology certifications. Some believe that they’re just a key for a better job offer or salary, others believe that they’re not even worth the cost of the paper they’re printed on, the third say they help you to improve your professional skills and to grow as a highly-valuable specialist. But this post is not about the value of the certificate – you have to decide yourself whether you need it or not. This post is about how to get a certificate and not spend all your money while studying and passing the exam. This post is for those ones that have already decided to get a certification and what can help you during the process of achieving this goal in order to become a certified IT specialist.
Resources and tips for studying
Try the following listed methods for saving money while studying for any technical certification.
Check your school resources
If you’re still a student at a college or university then check with your academic authorities for all available resources, such as paid access to software development tools, operating systems, and office software. Also probably there’re some special offers or discounts for students who are willing to purchase computers or hardware.
And don’t forget about your college library where you can find some useful technical literature, certification study guides, and example of possible certification tests.
Subscribe to Safari Books Online
This is a digital library that has a collection of 20,000 technology, digital media, and development books and videos. A free trial can be used for 10 days or 1,000 page views. After that the rates range from $20 per month.
You can read these books and watch videos on you PC, or on a tablet using the iPad app, or on any mobile device using the mobile site of the resource.
Check out online discussion forums
Where you can find the most updated details about passing these or some other certification? Right, on online discussion forums are a great place where you can find some advice from those who have already taken a certification test. Participants often share their ideas on what they found interesting, useful or necessary during their preparing and passing of the exam.
But you need to remember that publishing copied questions from an exam can be strictly prohibited by examiners.
Look for free an online educational platform. Take a course on the Ukrainian free educational platform – Skillsacademy
Free online courses in high-tech topics are becoming more and more popular. There is no need to present such online educational sites like Coursera, edX or Udacity. Probably such courses are not focused exactly on technical certification, but they could lay the background in learning the required IT topics. Coursera has a partnership with some top universities in order to provide some courses in computer science, security, and networking.
Also we have already told about the Ukrainian free educational platform – Skillsacademy. The leading technical university of Ukraine – Kyiv Politechnic Institute, was the first member of this educational platform.
Check for study materials from the certification vendor
Some certification vendors, like Cisco or Microsoft, provide some free basic resources that can help you while preparing for the certification. While you won’t find detailed courses, you can find some videos, articles, webinars, and discussion panels that can be really useful.
Asses your knowledge with some practice tests
Try some that are available to understand what you know and what you need to know more of. The questions in such practice tests should be similar to the real tests and cover the certification topics.
After this, it is really important to work on your mistakes. Try to understand why your answer was wrong and what the true correct answer is. Just Google your test’s name and you will definitely find some sites offering your type of tests.
Visit some IT events and meetings
The online experience is good but offline communication is better. Visit some webinars, IT conferences, and meetings in order to share your experience and to get some advice from certified specialists.
The most interesting IT event in Kyiv will take place just a day after tomorrow (October, 9th – 10th). Read more about IDCEE 2014 and other IT events in our blog post.
Between all other, Softheme covers all expenses that its employees spend on trainings, conferences, and certifications. So don’t worry if your certification isn’t really cheap. Just “worry” about the new experience and new knowledge.