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To become a certified technology specialist, you will need to complete the certification requirements set by a professional or educational organization that provides certification services. While these requirements vary considerably by organization and by profession or trade, the process typically involves passing one or more comprehensive, proctored examinations that demonstrates your proficiency in a particular area.
If you are sitting for an exam to become a certified technology specialist in a computer-related field, you may be expected to demonstrate a high knowledge and understanding of a specific software platform. You may be required to take online or classroom-based courses before taking the exam, but this is not required in all cases. After you pass your certification exam, you may need to renew your certification on a regular basis by either taking an exam on a more advanced version of the software or technology, or completing continuing education courses.
Before you can become a certified technology specialist, you will need to identify the type of certification you wish to receive. While it is easy enough for any organization or business to sponsor a certification program, not all share the same reputation within your professional community. It is a good idea to speak to your employer to see which types of certification would be best for you to complete in order to advance in your career. You may also want to consider whether a certification program is recognized or accredited by a major industry association or accreditation service, such as the International Organization of Standardization.
In some cases, you may be expected to complete some type of coursework before sitting for your certification exam. On the other hand, some programs may not require you to complete coursework, though you may wish to take the course to ensure that you are prepared for the exam questions and can become a certified technology specialist quickly and at a minimum cost.
In many cases, the certification exam will be proctored by a third party testing service. This is to protect the integrity of the examination and helps in establishing the reputation of the certification that you wish to earn. Typically, the certification organization will instruct you to book your examination directly through the third-party testing service. These examinations may take several hours to complete, so you may need to prepare to spend an entire day at a testing center.
As you may need to take more than one exam to become a certified technology specialist, you may need to make arrangements to take several exams. Once the exams have been graded, you will hear from the testing service or the certification board as to whether you have passed the exam and can receive your certification. You will typically have a chance to retake an exam if you fail the first time, though some certification boards may limit the amount of times that you can take a particular certification exam.