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.