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Click here to view a complete list of courses which help students prepare for industry certification.

1. What is an industry certification?

Industry certification is awarded upon successful completion of an exam for a specific IT industry technology or set of technologies (A+, Network+, Security+, Microsoft, Cisco, Linux, Oracle, etc.). Industry certifications demonstrate competency by certifying that you possess the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in the IT field and/or the latest technologies.

2. Why is certification important?

Certifications help build solid careers! Industry certifications demonstrate a high level of IT competency and add value to your resume when applying for jobs or seeking a promotion. Many employers preferentially hire certified employees and use industry certifications as a measure to identify qualified candidates. Certified candidates also tend to command higher salaries than non-certified candidates.

3. What courses help to prepare students for industry certification?

Computer Science and Technologies offers many courses that help students prepare for industry certification exams. For a complete list click here.

4. When is the best time to take an industry certification exam?

There is no "one size fits all" answer for this question and it varies as much by industry exam as it does by each individual student. Most industry exams presume candidates have completed coursework AND have one or more years experience working in the IT field or with the IT technology on the exam.

Many Parkland computer science and technologies students successfully take industry certification exams immediately after completing coursework that prepares them for the exam. Other students find that waiting until they've obtained more hands-on experience (through additional coursework, service learning projects, part-time IT employment, internships, etc.) better equips them to succeed at taking industry certification exams. Nearly all of our students who have obtained industry certification invested a significant amount of time (studying or working) to prepare for each exam.

Factors to consider when deciding the best time to take your industry certification exam(s) include: knowledge retention (how well you retain information/training and/or how recently you took the course prep); CSIT faculty/advisor feedback regarding your readiness for exam; previous IT coursework; previous IT work experience; current IT work experience; willingness to invest time in studying/preparing for the exam.

5. How do I sign up for an industry certification exam?

For all industry certification exams, contact PearsonVue testing centers.

  • Cisco (CCNA)
  • CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+)
  • Linux (LPI) 
  • Microsoft Certified Provider (MCPs) 
  • Oracle (OCA/OCP)

Exams can be scheduled online with PearsonVue  by following the link provided. If you prefer to call, visit their web sites to obtain specific phone numbers for each industry exam provider. Candidates will be expected to pay for the exam at the time of registration.

6. Is financial assistance available for students who are ready to take industry certification exams?

Parkland computer science and technologies offers two opportunities for degree-seeking students to apply for Industry Certification Exam Scholarships - one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. Industry Certification Scholarships pay for industry certification exam fees.

We encourage all eligible CST students to apply for these scholarships. Non-degree seeking students enrolled in CST courses for professional development are eligible to take advantage of this opportunity by declaring a CST A.A.S. or Certificate degree of study.

7. Where do I take the exam?

Exams are administered at authorized PearsonVue testing centers. Locally, Zeltech IT Services administers exams for both providers.

8. What should I bring for the exam?

You will be required to show two forms of identification in order to take an industry certification exam. Both IDs must have a signature and one must be government-issued and contain a photograph.

Acceptable Government-issued Photo/Signature IDs include:

  • Driver's License
  • Passport
  • Military ID (when it contains a signature)
  • Other government issued-ID with photo

Acceptable Signature/Secondary IDs include (all must include a signature):

  • Government employee ID
  • University or College ID
  • Credit Card
  • Debit or check cashing card
  • Non-government employee ID
  • Health insurance card

NOTE: Social Security cards, Parkland student/employee IDs, birth certificates, birth registrations, and movie rental or other club member cards are UNACCEPTABLE forms of identification.


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