A variety of businesses, especially those in creative industries such as design and media production, rely on Apple products as an integral part of their respective technology stacks. In turn, this creates a need for technologists who can install and maintain Apple hardware and software. And that led Apple to launch an updated set of professional certifications for IT support and management.
These certifications are associated with two training courses available through the company’s training portal: Apple Device Support (which is more entry-level) and Apple Deployment and Management (which is more advanced and builds on the concepts keys of the other course). Courses culminate in certification exams (which cost $149 each).
The Apple Device Support course covers the tools and services technologists would need to support Mac, iPhone, and iPad users within an organization. it takes 14 hours. If the student passes the associated exam, they earn the Apple Certified Support Professional certification.
The next level, the Apple Deployment and Management course, is approximately 13 hours long and covers how to configure and manage Apple products through mobile device management (MDM). After passing the exam, students earn the Apple Certified IT Professional certification.
“To help those entering the workforce or changing careers, Apple is partnering with community colleges and universities to offer on-campus preparation courses for the Apple Certified IT Professional badge,” Apple wrote in a press release accompanying the announcement. “Through its Community Education Initiative (CEI), Apple will provide scholarships to cover the cost of exams for participating students at its CEI partner institutions.” Austin Community College in Austin, TX, and Maricopa Community Colleges in Chandler and Mesa, AZ, are two of the first institutions, with more to be announced at a later date.
Those who want to get certified but have financial need can apply for a voucher through the Mac Admins Foundation.
Technologists often wonder if getting certifications is worth it. Granted, they’re a great way to show you have certain skills, and some jobs explicitly list certain certifications as a requirement, but they can take a lot of time and money to earn. According to Dice Tech’s latest salary report, some 47% of technologists had certifications in 2021; Of those who did not have certifications, 52% said certifications were not necessary for their role.
That being said, certifications can prove more vital when trying to land jobs in highly specialized fields such as cybersecurity. Certifications also provide additional leverage in negotiations for salary, benefits, and increased responsibility.