ITIL Certifications Training

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most information technology managers enjoy solid employment and salaries, but those with professional certifications fare even better. Among the most popular professional IT credentials available are ITIL certifications.

ITIL Expert Certification Training

Many enterprises that adopt the Information Technology Infrastructure Library framework are willing to pay a premium for service managers with ITIL Expert credentials. Learn more about ITIL Expert certification here.

ITIL Foundation Certification Training

An introduction to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s entry-level certification, ITIL Foundation. This is the first step for IT pros at companies that have adopted the ITIL approach.

What is ITIL?

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a U.K.-based organization establishing what it calls the most widely adopted set of concepts and best practices for the management of information technology services, development and operations. According to its official website, ITIL has been adopted by thousands of organizations across the globe, including the likes of NASA and Disney. The ITIL provides these companies, their IT personnel and independent IT consultants with the training necessary to uphold and apply core ITIL principles. These ITIL certifications are geared toward various career levels and specialties.

Common ITIL certifications

In order to help candidates navigate through various ITIL certifications, the organization established what it calls “schemes.” The ITIL Version 2 (V2) scheme was in place for some time, but as of June 2011 was fully replaced by the Version 3 (V3) structure.

ITIL V3 certifications

The ITIL V3 qualification scheme, which replaces the V2 structure, is the current certification path available to IT professionals.

  • ITIL Foundation in IT Service Management. This certification is designed for entry-level professionals who require a basic understanding of the ITIL framework and how it can be used to enhance IT service management within a company. Students become familiar with the key concepts, elements and terminology used in the ITIL lifecycle.
  • ITIL Intermediate Level. This certification is best suited for mid-level professionals with their eyes set on managerial positions within an organization. Students can build upon Foundation-level skills in one of the following modules: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation or Continual Service Improvement.
  • ITIL Expert. The ITIL Expert certification is geared toward those who want to establish competence in the entire V3 curriculum in an effort to further advance their IT service management careers. Students are free to choose from a plethora of targeted service modules and at varying depths.
  • ITIL Master Qualification. The ITIL Master Certification is the most advanced credential in the V3 universe, establishing one’s ability to apply all ITIL principles and techniques in the workplace. According to ITIL, there is no fixed Mater-level syllabus; instead, students will choose a unique combination of emphases.

Legacy V2 certifications

On its official site, ITIL notes that the V2 certification exams are now only available to those who previously failed a V2 exam and wish to try again — all others are now encouraged to go down the V3 path.

  • ITIL Foundation. The ITIL Foundation Certificate is geared toward professionals of all levels who want to establish competency in basic ITIL principles and terminology.
  • ITIL Service Manager. The ITIL Service Manager Certificate tests the ITIL theory and practice application of management professionals and consultants. It is made up of two modules: Service Support and Service Delivery.
  • ITIL Practitioner. The Practitioner certification ensures an in-depth understanding of each discipline within the Support and Delivery modules — a separate certificate may be earned in each specialty, or in what is known as a combined or clustered discipline combining them.

The salary benefits of ITIL certifications

ITIL-certified professionals not only have an edge over career competition, but can earn more than their lesser-trained peers, too. The following represent the 2011 mean annual salaries for IT professionals with various ITIL certifications, as reported by Global Knowledge’s IT Skills and Salary Report:

  • ITIL V3 Foundation: $93,250
  • ITIL V2 Foundation: $96,128
  • ITIL Expert Certification: $107,092

ITIL Foundation Certification Training

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has been a leading framework of IT concepts and best practices for more than 20 years. It is also the basis of leading IT certifications, including the entry-level ITIL Foundation certification. The ITIL Foundation credential is an excellent way for IT specialists and managers to establish their expertise in the field, expanding their employment and earning prospects.

Who should consider ITIL Foundation certification?

According to the vendor’s website, the ITIL Foundation certification is an entry-level credential geared toward any IT professional who wants a basic understanding of the ITIL framework, especially those working for companies that have adopted or adapted ITIL concepts. The primary goal of this credential is to provide candidates with a keen understanding of how ITIL can improve the quality of IT service management.

The ITIL V3 Foundation certification is the most current intermediate-level credential ITIL offers today; the ITIL V2 certification is a prior version. Fortunately, ITIL now offers bridge exams that allow V2 candidates to earn ITIL V3 certifications without rehashing established training and skills.

The benefits of ITIL Foundation certification

Because the Foundation credential is ITIL’s entry-level certificate, it often serves as an IT novice’s gateway into the world of IT service management, basic ITIL concepts and practices, and to more advanced credentials, including the ITIL Intermediate, Expert and Master certifications. Because ITIL is so widely adopted across IT management, establishing one’s expertise with ITIL basics is an excellent way to boost one’s resume and earning potential. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median computer systems administrator salary in 2010 was $69,160. According to Global Knowledge’s 2011 IT Skills and Salary, however, ITIL Foundation certification can improve earnings considerably: those with ITIL V3 certification earned $90,000 on average.

Skills mastered: The ITIL Foundation certification curriculum

According to ITIL’s official V3 Foundation syllabus, certification hopefuls must complete training in the following areas:

  • Service management as practice
  • The service lifecycle
  • Generic concepts and definitions
  • Key principles and models
  • Processes
  • Functions
  • Roles
  • Technology and architecture
  • ITIL qualification scheme
  • Mock exam

Upon completing the above coursework, candidates must successfully pass the ITIL Foundation exam before becoming certified.

The ITIL Foundation exam

ITIL reports that the ITIL Foundation certification exam is a 60-minute, supervised test that can be completed either online or on paper. There are 40 multiple choice questions taken from the full ITIL Foundation curriculum. Candidates need to answer at least 65 percent of these questions correctly to pass the exam and earn certification.

ITIL recommends that Foundation hopefuls dedicate at least one to three hours of study time to each of the training areas covered in the exam. While professional organizations like the Association for Computing Machinery offer ITIL Foundation study materials that support self-study, there are also a number of training providers that offer more structured training. Candidates should consider their timeframe, budgets and personal learning styles before choosing the right study method that suits them best.

ITIL Expert Certification Training

The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a management framework that provides an expansive library of concepts and practices that ensure service quality. ITIL certification is an excellent way for IT professionals to become familiar with and show expertise in all parts of the framework. The ITIL Expert certification is among the most advanced and respected IT credentials available today.

The ideal ITIL Expert certification candidate

According to ITIL’s official website, the ITIL Expert certification is designed for IT service managers who would like to demonstrate proficiency with the entire ITIL curriculum, also known as the ITIL Lifecycle. Because it is an advanced credential, candidates must meet the following prerequisites before pursuing Expert status:

  • Must have accumulated at least 30 hours of formal training with an Accredited Training Organization (ATO) or an accredited online training provider.
  • Must already hold the ITIL V3 Foundation certification or a V2 equivalent with the appropriate bridging credential.
  • Must have earned at least 15 units from the ITIL V3 Foundation and Intermediate curriculum.

The benefits of ITIL Expert certification

ITIL Expert certification is a valuable learning tool that can enhance one’s overall employment and earning potential. Organizations of all types and sizes across the globe are adopting ITIL concepts and best practices, increasing demand for IT service specialists familiar with this technology. The ITIL Expert credential certifies that one has advanced knowledge with ITIL, a notable resume booster.

ITIL Expert certification holders also tend to earn more than their lesser-trained peers: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median computer systems administrator salary in 2010 was $69,160, while Global Knowledge’s 2011 IT Skills and Salary Survey reports that ITIL-certified experts earned an impressive $107,092.

How to earn ITIL Expert certification

Unlike ITIL Foundation- and Intermediate-level credentials, the Expert certification does not have a set curriculum. Instead, candidates must earn a total of 17 V3 units from the Foundation and Intermediate syllabi, plus an additional five units through successful completion of the Managing Across the Lifecycle Exam. According to ITIL, this flexible format allows candidates to tailor the Expert credential to suit their professional goals and needs.

The Managing Across the Lifecycle Exam is a 90-minute test that includes eight multiple-choice, scenario-based questions scored on a gradient. This means that each answer can earn between zero and five points. Candidates must earn at least 28 points (70 percent) to pass.

How to prepare for ITIL Expert certification

ITIL notes that its Expert certification is managed not through ITIL, but through a number of accredited classroom-based or online training organizations called ATOs. All ATOs are free to structure training modules as they see fit, so long as the entire ITIL syllabus is incorporated. Since this structure leads to a lot of variability in the time and cost required to earn the Expert credential, candidates should research a number of ATOs and choose one that best suits their budgets, goals and learning styles.

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