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Monday, November 2, 2015

3 IT certifications for freelancers

The Internet has opened up a lot of opportunities for people who like to work on a freelance basis. The increasing ability to telecommute, coupled with the advancement of technological needs of the modern company have made IT freelancing an extremely lucrative way to make money on the side. 

However, the main problem IT professionals find when attempting to go into freelance work is that the competition is extremely stiff. Companies obviously want to hire the best candidate possible, which means the best way to get a freelance job is to make yourself stand out. In the IT world, one of the best ways to go about doing this is to get certified in the work you want to freelance. 

With that in mind, we here at New Horizons have used our extensive knowledge of computer training courses to put together this list of three IT certifications that will help you get the freelance gigs you've always wanted:

1. Adobe Creative Suite

This may seem like a no-brainer for those within the creative freelancing community, but the importance of these certifications cannot be understated. The problem that many creative freelancers fall into is relying too heavily on one specific program to get their work done.

Sure, you may be extremely proficient in Photoshop, but what do you know about InDesign? If your answer to that question is nothing, you're missing out on quite a lot of design options. InDesign can do multiple things that Photoshop simply can't and vice versa, so stubbornly sticking with one or the other simply isn't a good way to get a range of freelancing jobs. 

And while the knowledge itself is obviously important, the name on your resume is also something that can give you a leg up on the competition. Even if the job doesn't require knowledge outside of a specific Adobe program, being able to say you are certified in the entire suite shows that you have initiative and are the devoted, hard-working individual that every company wants to hire. 

2. CompTIA Security+

In this modern age of massive data storage and processing, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance to just about every single company. Allowing a data breach to occur will not only cost the company financially, it will also land a huge blow to its image. Sadly, the cybersecurity landscape is looking pretty bleak right now. A study by Symantec found that in 2014 alone, hackers made more than 317 million new types of malware

Cybersecurity is a great industry to get into. Hackers are making jobs in cybersecurity very lucrative.

This is why a CompTIA Security+ certification is such a great thing to have if you're trying to freelance within the cybersecurity industry. Basically, this CompTIA certification focuses on network security. Companies generally operate a private network which transfers a lot of sensitive data. Obviously, these businesses want to keep this information secret, which is where a Security+ expert comes in. 

Not only will this certification allow you to work in an industry that has serious growth potential, it allows you to take comfort in the fact that you're doing a job that really matters. 

3. Certified Ethical Hacker

We've saved the best (or maybe just the most interesting) certification for last. Much like the CompTIA Security+ certification, a Certified Ethical Hacker deals with the cybersecurity concerns of modern companies. However, the main difference here is how they go about doing it. While a Security+ expert works more on improving the network itself, CEH professionals actually work to find vulnerabilities in the system and exploit them. 

"Unlike the bad-guy hackers, CEH experts help the companies they work for."

Basically, it's all the fun of being a malicious hacker without all the legal and moral problems involved in stealing information. Unlike the bad-guy hackers, CEH experts help the companies they work for plug the holes they find in their network. And with more than 200,000 cybersecurity jobs currently waiting to be filled, it's obvious this industry needs a little help from freelancers. 

If any of these certifications interested you, or if you'd like to find other certifications to help you on your path to becoming a bonafide IT freelancer, make sure to check out New Horizon's complete list of computer training courses. With certifications ranging from advanced company IT training to basic computer training skills, New Horizons has the education path that's just right for you!

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