IT Support

IBM IT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE REVIEW – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

1. Introduction

IT Support is a common entry point for many IT professionals. Whether you want to transition from a non-tech discipline or are just about to launch your career, IT Support can be a great way to get some insights into an IT career. The IBM IT Support Professional Certificate can be what you need to start.

This blog post will review some key aspects of the IBM IT Support Professional Certificate you need to know. It will explore key areas such as the curriculum, benefits, career prospects, salary, industry recognition, the certificate, cost, duration, and whether it is worth your investment in time and money.

2. What is the IBM IT Support Professional Certificate?

The IBM IT Support Professional Certificate is an online certification that validates the skills required to work as an IT or Technical Support Professional. The IBM Skills Network Team teaches the courses and is available through the Coursera platform.

IT Support

It is a beginner’s level course to gain in-demand skills and hands-on experience to take on entry-level job responsibilities in IT Support.

There are 9 courses that make up the IBM IT SupportProfessional Certificate. We will explore these courses shortly.

What Is IT Support?

IT Support is the professional career of providing technical assistance to persons and organizations to solve problems, or optimize personal and organizational efficiencies. A common example of this is in Customer Service on tech products and solutions.

Other examples include troubleshooting, setting up computers, setting up network and WIFI connections, simple installations

IT Support certification gives you a window to explore various aspects of IT in general. The IBM IT Support Professional Certificate covers the introduction of key IT areas like

  • Software, Programming, and Databases
  • Hardware and Operating Systems
  • Networking and storage
  • Cybersecurity Essentials
  • Cloud Computing

Who Is The IBM IT Support Professional Certificate for?

The Certificate program is a beginner’s level certification, for people who want to start a career in a technical support role. You do not need to have prior experience and no prerequisite. Also, you do not need to have a college degree to take this course.

The requirement is for you to know the basics of how to use a computer and have a strong desire and commitment to learning.

3. IBM IT Support Certificate Curriculum and Course Content

The IBM IT Support Professional Certificate comprises 9 courses. Each course covers a separate area of IT Support and can also be a standalone course. If you are familiar with any of the course’s content, you can skip them. You however earn a separate IBM badge for each course you complete.

The general advice is to take the courses serially especially if you are new to IT Support.

I have highlighted the breakdown of each of the courses below;

Course i: IBM Introduction to Technical Support

This course describes many essentials of Technical Support to lay the foundations in the field. The course has five modules and consists of about 12 hours of course content.

In this course, you will learn;

  • The roles and responsibilities of Technical Support
  • IT Supports career pathways and progression
  • Ticketing Systems
  • Support tools
  • Technical skills and Soft skills

The five modules of the course are

  1. Industry’s Professional’s Guide to Technical Support
  2. Technical Support Skills and Opportunities
  3. Support tools, Support tiers, and Service-level Agreements (SLAs)
  4. Ticketing Systems
  5. Hands-on Project and Skills

Course ii: IBM Introduction to Hardware and Operating Systems

This course is a basic introduction to core computer hardware and operating systems – for skills fundamental to IT Support. The course has 7 modules and contains about 17 hours of learning materials.

IBM IT SUPPORT : Hardware and Operating Systems

In this course, you will learn;

  • Internal hardware computer components like the CPU, Motherboard components, hard drives, and extension slots
  • Basic Workstation setup.
  • Commonly used Operating Systems settings (Windows)
  • Effective Troubleshooting of basic computer problems
  • Screen capture commands

The Seven modules of the course are;

  1. Introduction to Computing Fundamentals
  2. Computing devices and peripherals
  3. Interfaces and connectors
  4. Internal computer components
  5. Windows workstations set up, evaluation, and troubleshooting
  6. Final Quiz and Assignment
  7. Exploring Additional Desktop and Mobile Operating Systems

Course iii: IBM Introduction to Software, Programming, and Databases

This course covers the basics of software, cloud computing, web browsers, application development concepts, programming languages, and database fundamentals. The course has five modules and will take about 18 hours to complete.

In this course, you will learn about;

  • Software
  • Web browsers
  • Software development
  • Programming languages
  • Database management

The Five modules of the course are;

  1. Computing platforms and software applications
  2. Fundamentals of Web browsers, Applications, and Cloud computing
  3. Basics of Programming
  4. Database Fundamentals
  5. Final Quiz, Optional Lab, and Honors Project

Course iv: IBM Introduction to Networking and Storage

The IBM Introduction to Networking and Storage course is a beginner’s course to enhance your knowledge of essential skills in networking, storage, and system administration. The course has 5 training modules and takes about 12 hours to complete.

In this course, you will learn;

  • How to Fix basic Network and Security problems
  • Network Types and Standards
  • Wired and Wireless Connections
  • Network Storage
  • Network sharing options

The course Modules are as follows

  1. Networking Fundamentals I
  2. Networking Fundamentals II
  3. Configuring and troubleshooting Networks
  4. Storage Types and Network Sharing
  5. Final Quiz and Assessment

Course v: IBM Introduction to Cybersecurity Essentials

This course is a beginner’s introduction to the fundamental Cybersecurity and the development of crucial skills for anyone using computing devices and connecting to the Internet. It takes about 12 hours to complete and consists of 4 modules.

You will learn in this course;

  • Fundamentals of Cybersecurity
  • Recognizing common Security threats and Risks
  • Cyber attacks
  • Securing and Managing Confidential Information

The course Modules are as follows;

  1. Common Security Threats and Risks
  2. Security Best Practices
  3. Safe browsing Practices
  4. Final Quiz and Assessment

Course vi: IBM Introduction to Cloud Computing

This course introduces the basic concepts of Cloud computing you need to know as a beginner and as an IT Support Professional. There are 6 modules in the course and will take you about 12 hours to complete.

In this course, you will learn;

  • Definition and Elements of Cloud Computing
  • Cloud Service Models (IAAS, PAAS, SAAS)
  • Cloud Service Deployment models – Public, Private, Hybrid
  • Cloud Infrastructure and Security
  • Emerging trends and job roles in the Cloud industry

The course modules are as follows

  1. Overview of Cloud Computing
  2. Cloud Computing models
  3. Components of Cloud Computing
  4. Emerging Trends and Practices
  5. Cloud Security, Monitoring, Case Study, Jobs
  6. Final Project and Assessment

Course vii: Practice Exam for CompTIA ITF+ Certification

This is a 2 hours short course to help you prepare and test your readiness for the industry standard CompTIA ITF+ Certification exam. There are 3 modules in this course, they are

  1. Information about the CompTIA ITF+ Certification exam.
  2. Practice Exam for CompTIA ITF+ exam certification
  3. Course wrap-up and Cloud Basic exam

Course viii: IBM Technical Support (IT) Case Studies and Capstone

This course is about applying the knowledge and skills you have gained in the previous courses to solve a real-world Technical Support challenge. The case study and capstone project cover all sections of the entire IBM IT Support Certification.

In this course, you will learn

  • Real-world IT Support Scenarios
  • Prepare for the CompTIA ITF+ certification exam

There are 5 modules, these are as follows;

  1. Hardware and Operating Systems
  2. Software, Programming, and Databases
  3. Networking and Storage
  4. Cybersecurity
  5. Cloud Computing

Course ix: Tech Support Career Guide and Interview Preparation

This course is designed to help you land a job and prepare you for a professional career in IT Support. It covers what you need to know to enter the job market as a technical support specialist. It guides the regular functions and tasks of support professionals and options for career development.

There are 3 modules in the course and it takes about 9 hours to complete.

The 3 modules are ;

  1. Building a Foundation
  2. Applying and preparing for an interview
  3. Interviewing

4. Benefits of the IBM IT Support Professional Certificate

The IBM IT Support Professional Certificate validates skills to function as a Technical Support, HelpDesk Specialist, IT Support Professional, or related job roles. The courses are beginner-friendly, making your transition to IT much easier. Other key benefits of the IBM IT Support certification are as follows;

  1. It unlocks the door on your path to a high-paying career in IT.
  2. Industry Recognition and Credibility – IBM is a leading global brand recognized by employers in the IT industry.
  3. The IBM Certification can significantly increase your chances of landing an entry-level job to kick-start a career in tech
  4. The Certification training also helps you prepare for the CompTIA ITF+ professional exam and get some discount on the exam.
  5. It offers you the potential for a salary increase or a better prospect of earning more.

Discount Voucher For CompTIA IT Fundamentals + Exams

The IBM IT Support Professional Certification comes with the additional benefit of a 30 percent discount voucher for those who intend to take the CompTIA Professional exam. This discount voucher is only available for those who complete the IBM IT Support Certification on Coursera.

Since the CompTIA IT Fundamentals+ is $138(for US Residents, $77 in some other countries), you will be saving about $41.1 by using the discount code on the IBM IT Support certification.

5. Duration of the IBM IT Support Certificate

The IBM Professional Certificate takes 2-3 months on average to complete for most people. The certification training is self-taught and fully online. So how long it takes to complete it will depend on the individual background and the time they devote to studying the course materials.

The entire 9-course series in total has about 105 hours of course content.

6. Cost and Financial Aid

The Cost of the IBM IT Support Certification is the amount you pay for the subscription on Coursera. This varies depending on your location. In the US/Canada, it is $49 per month, UK £47 per month, and $39 per month in many other regions. The total cost of the IBM IT Support Certification is $98 – 147$ for US/Canadian Residents, ($78 -$127 in other regions), and £94 – £141 (UK residents) for a 2- 3 months completion time.

For people who may not be able to afford the Coursera subscription fee, there are two options available to access the Courses;

  1. Financial Aid
  2. Coursera Audit Option

The financial aid option is available for eligible candidates on the Coursera platform. It gives you access to the Certification Courses for 180 days, and the official certificate. You can find more information and apply for Financial Aid on the Coursera page.

The Course Audit option allows you access to the courses for free. You will however not be eligible for an official certificate upon completion. See HOW TO GET FREE COURSES ON COURSERA to learn how to use this option.

7. Demand and Salaries for IT Support

There is good demand for the IBM IT Support Certificate. According to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics(BLS), there are about 66,000 IT new IT Support job openings in the US alone. From the same report, the job growth projection is 9 percent through 2030.

The US median salary for IT Support and related disciplines is about $60,800 per year or $29.24 per hour(According to BLS).

Glassdoor shows that the salary of IBM IT Support is $55,000 – $92,000 per year.

In the UK however, the salary of IBM IT Support is between £44,835 – £71,901 per annum with an average of £56,778 per year, while in Canada, the range is about CA$70,340 – CA$109,984 per year.

8. Career Opportunities for the IBM IT Support Certification

The Career Opportunities of the IBM IT Support Certification can vary across different industries and enterprises. With the skills you gained from the IBM IT Support Certification, you can apply for entry-level IT Support jobs. Some of the typical job titles are as follows;

  • IT Support Specialist
  • Technical Customer Service Representative
  • IT Helpdesk Associate
  • Enterprise Help Desk Technician
  • Desktop Support Engineer
  • Computer Support Specialist
  • Datacenter Support Engineer
  • Field Support Specialist
  • User Support Analyst
  • PC Support Technician
  • Technical Support Associate

Transitioning from these roles to other more sophisticated IT career specialties like Networking, Cybersecurity, Cloud, and Database administration is also relatively easier. IT Support roles lay some foundations and give you a better industry overview.

9. How to Enroll and Start the IBM IT Support Professional Certificate

To enroll for the IBM IT Support Certification, simply navigate the Coursera registration link at https://www.coursera.org/professional-certificates/ibm-technical-support?action=enroll and click on Enroll for free. You will be prompted on the 7-day free trial. Fill in your name and card details.

Alternatively, if you are using the Course audit option, you will have to register for each course separately and then click on the audit option.

Tips for Taking the IBM IT Support Certification

I find the following tips helpful in taking and completing the IBM IT Support Certification training.

  1. Create a study plan that suits your schedule and stick to it. Devoting 1 or 2 hours will be sufficient for you to the certification in a couple of weeks.
  2. Take the courses serially i.e. Complete Course 1 and complete it, before going to Course 2 and then Course 3.
  3. Ensure you complete all the hands-on practicals and projects. They are an integral part of the certification.
  4. Share the progress of your work online by displaying the badges you earn.

10. Is the IBM IT Support Certificate worth it?

Many positive aspects of the IBM IT Support Certification make it a good certification to have as a beginner. This includes the fact that it teaches you skills to start a career in IT Support, the Industry recognition and credibility of the IBM Certificate, and that it is relatively cheap.

The curriculum is also properly designed, easy to follow, and suitable for beginners. Also, the potential earnings and career opportunities that the certification offers are also good.

Some of the downsides include the fact that include the fact that the certificate only addresses just the basics and may not be adequate for more demanding Technical Support roles. Another is that it is a certificate of completion, rather than an actual certificate from taking a professional standard exam like the CompTIA ITF+.

Overall, the IBM IT Support Professional Certificate is worth taking for starting a career in IT Support.

See GOOGLE IT SUPPORT PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE – IS IT WORTH IT?

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