Types of ITIL Certifications and Its Benefits

What are the types of ITIL certifications and their benefits?

If you’re exploring a career in the IT industry or are working in the field, you’re probably going to need ITIL certification. The certification indicates you’re familiar with the best practices and procedures necessary for meeting a business’s IT needs. Originally, the certification only applied to government agencies but it’s now standard in private/public industries.

To receive a certificate, you must go through an ITIL course and this can get expensive. Thankfully, you can save on ITIL training classes. After all, every little bit of savings helps regardless of whether you’re getting ready to enter the workforce or are a long-term employee. However, before enrolling in online training classes, it’s a good idea to know which type of ITIL certification is best suited for your position.

The 5 Types of ITIL Certifications

There are currently 5 types of ITIL certifications. Each one focuses on a different skill set and you must take the courses in order. Knowing the type of certification you need makes it easier to know how far you want to go with the training courses. Remember, the training courses aren’t free and you probably don’t want to pay for certification you’re never going to use.

ITIL Foundation Certification

The Foundation certification is pretty much what its name implies. You’ll learn basic ITIL knowledge in the course. If you’re just starting out in the IT field or are planning on going through all of the certification courses, this is the first step.

You don’t even need to have an IT background to enroll in this course. Yes, it’s that basic. You can come from almost any work background and still excel in the course.

ITIL Practitioner Certification

This is typically the next step in your ITIL certification journey. You’ll also earn three points towards your ITIL expert certification if you’re planning on taking your coursework that far.

You’ll learn practical ITIL applications and how to apply these practices in the real world. After passing the exam, you’ll receive your ITIL practitioner certification and decide if you want to move up to an intermediate certificate.

ITIL Intermediate Certification

By the time you get to the third ITIL certification, you should have a good working knowledge of practices, protocols, and their best uses. The ITIL intermediate certification course is module-based. Each module looks at a different aspect of the services an IT specialist provides.

You have two options on how you complete each module. You can use the ITIL Service Capability Stream or go with the Service Lifestyle Stream.

If you choose the ITIL Service Capability Stream, you’re signing up for a three-day course, the Service Lifestyle Stream is a five-day class. Each covers the same various IT roles. These include the following:

  • Operational analysis and support
  • Optimizing, planning, and protection
  • Control, release, and validation
  • Service agreements and offerings

You can either take each module separately or combine lessons—think about your learning style before choosing a course. If you need time to process information, the five-day course may be the better option. 

You should have around two years of experience in the IT industry before going for this specific ITIL certification. You also earn four credits towards your expert certification.

ITIL Expert Certification

By the time you reach the expert certification course, you need to have a complete understanding of ITIL processes—and this takes time. 

Remember, it’s recommended you have at least two years of experience in IT before going for your intermediate certification. You must also have 17 credits earned by passing the above three ITIL courses. In other words, you can’t skip a course if you want to receive expert certification.

The first step towards an ITIL expert certificate is to pass the Manage Across the Lifecycle exam. Yes, there’s an exam before you even start the coursework. After passing the exam, your coursework is an in-depth review of everything you learned in the foundation, practitioner, and intermediate courses. If you plan on going for your master’s certification, passing this course is a requirement.

ITIL Master Certification

Congratulations on making it to the fifth and final ITIL certification course. With this certificate, you’re indicating to employers you’re skilled in advanced ITIL practices. 

You have more than a passing knowledge of the framework and know how it should work in a real environment. In other words, you’ve moved past using the framework in practice. You’re ready for real-time applications.

While the other four courses serve as the foundation, you’ll also need to meet the following requirements to receive your certification:

  • Pass the ITIL Expert certification course
  • Have at least five years of experience working in a leadership position using the ITIL framework
  • Create and file at least one business proposal dealing with how the company can improve its IT service
  • Show how you use ITIL practices in the real world

You must also go through an interview with an ITIL assessment panel—but don’t worry, since this is part of your training the course provider typically sets up the interview for you. Then, after completing all of the above steps, you can receive your ITIL master certification.

Benefits of Earning ITIL Certification

If you’re not sure if it’s worth the time, effort, and money to go through ITIL course certification, there are a few benefits that may change your mind.

Each certification level enhances your skill set since you’re actively demonstrating your abilities as an IT employee. With an enhanced skill set, you can often command a higher salary. You may not even need to search for another position in the same or a different company. IT personnel with ITIL certification are in demand. Even completing the first certification course is often enough to justify asking for a bump in your salary.

You’ll also find more employment opportunities with ITIL certification. Many organizations prefer hiring ITIL-certified talent over those who haven’t gone through the training. Being able to include ITIL certification on a resume is often enough to at least get you noticed by recruiters

While ITIL certification courses aren’t free. The cost is well worth it when you consider the benefits. 

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