Certifications more often than not are required in today’s job market. However, certifications are no substitute for experience. The experience gained from installing a vendor’s system from the ground up or even upgrading it to the latest version can prove invaluable, especially for high paying contract jobs. If you’re just starting out, try evaluating a product at home and then find a training resource that can lead to certification. Once you know what it takes to earn a certification and you’ve found one that will add value to your career, it’s time to sit for the exam and add the alphabet soup of letters behind your name.