IT certification training is a great option for high school grads who are not sure pursuing a college degree is right for them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. The IT sector is projected to add about 667,600 new jobs in that time. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security. The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $97,430 in May 2021, which was over twice the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760.
Certifications boost employability
For the young adult trying to map out a career path that will earn a strong income and not require a college education, it’s important to understand how certifications can boost earnings.
With rapid growth projected in IT support services over the coming decade, those aspiring to a career path within the field might wonder what that looks like? While some employers may seek a degree, others are looking primarily for relevant certifications like CompTIA A+, Security+ and Network+. Certification validates knowledge of and best practices required by computer support specialists.
Employers value these in-demand certifications so much that they are willing to pay a higher salary for them. All of these door-opener certifications carry sizable net salary premiums, independent of skill, experience, education, other certification requirements, occupation, and wage levels for the industry.
This salary premium is particularly notable because certifications usually demand less investment compared to degree credentials, such as an associate degree. For instance, A+ certification requires a $200 fee and an average of six weeks of preparation time to pass the exam. Yet A+ certification commands a 5 percent salary premium, more than half as much as the average premium for IT workers with a two-year associate degree (9 percent).
Even in the best of economic times, data show that workers who have higher levels of education typically earn more and have lower rates of unemployment compared with workers who have less education. In the challenging economy created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the data tells a similar story. That is why it is so important for those who have only completed high school to pursue certifications that can open new, stable career prospects that offer a higher salary.
A faster path to prosperity
While most degree-granting institutions require years of study, a trade school can have students job-ready in a matter of months. Career schools like ACI Learning offer a much faster timeline from beginning training, to testing for credentials and being able to start a career. In addition to this, many colleges offer little in the way of career services support. At ACI Learning, it's our goal to make sure each graduate finds work in their field. We offer one-on-one Career Services support for each graduate. This includes resume help, interviewing practice, job hunting tips plus all the connections with local IT employers looking to hire.
IT training at ACI Learning: How to begin your future here
Our Computer User Support Specialist program is designed for those who have no prior experience in IT. This program trains students for four industry-standard certifications, including ITIL, CompTIA A+ (in two parts), CompTIA Security+, and CompTIA Network+. Each course takes 10 days of part-time instruction on a morning, afternoon, or evening schedule. For students with full-time jobs or other commitments, this can give them the flexibility they need to study for certifications. After completing the courses, students take advantage of the resources and practice tests that ACI Learning provides to help them study and prepare for the exams.
Each hub has an Instructor Mentor that is available for one-on-one support while studying for exams. Our online Learning Portal is full of resources and tools designed to help students master the material - not just so they can pass the exam -but so they are fully prepared to take on a job using these skills. We want to make sure our students have every advantage and are fully prepared when the time comes for them to take the exam and earn that certification.
Your future is our priority
After classes are complete, graduates work with our Career Services team to start their career. Each campus has one or more Employment Development Managers that work with students to perfect their resume, help them successfully apply to jobs in the area, and get them ready to interview successfully. Our Career Services team also helps to create a network of local Employer Partners who have a regular need to hire IT workers. When possible, we connect our students with job opportunities from our Employer Partners to help them get hired.
Ready to get started on a fast track to being certification-ready for a career you’ll love? Fill out the form below, and our staff will call you today.