New IT Certification Programs Offered at Ramapo

On Sept. 26, Ramapo College announced certification programs with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Cisco. Both companies were founded in the 1980s – CompTIA 1982 and Cisco in 1984 – and have become leaders in information technology and networking ever since. Cisco itself has made more than $2 billion in net income this year alone.

Students who are interested in IT but are new to the field can receive certification with CompTIA A+, which is the industry standard in demonstrating competence as a computer technician. The CompTIA A+ exam will give students competence in installation, networking and other fields of computer technology with mainstream computing technologies and operating systems such as Microsoft and Apple Inc.

After the CompTIA A+ certification, students can take the CompTIA Network+ course.  The CompTIA Network+ exam will test students competence in managing, maintaining, troubleshooting, installing and configuring basic network infrastructure.

After CompTIA Network+ certification, students will have the option to continue to get certified as a Cisco certified entry networking technician, or CCENT, and later become a Cisco certified network associate, or CCNA. The initial examinations are completed in 35 hours, explains Rosanne Rosty, director of customized training, workforce development and outreach.  Students who have achieved the CCNA status can pursue careers as network administrators, network engineers, network support specialist and many more, with some career salaries that reach over $100,000 a year.

It may seem like with the certifications alone a student can gain a successful career; however assistant vice president of innovative and professional learning, Rosa Diaz-Mulryan, wants it to be clear that there is no substitute for a college degree to advance a career.

“The certification helps students become more competitive,” says Diaz-Mulryan.

According to Diaz-Mulryan, the certification can help land a job because it confirms to employers that you have the knowledge and skills to be immediately effective in your career.

“These new information technology certifications are strong credentials in the marketplace,” says Diaz-Mulryan.

Both Rosty and Diaz-Mulryan spoke about how computer science is one of the highest growing fields in today’s society. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also known as the BLS, reports that since 2003, the IT industry has grown by 37 percent. The BLS also projects that from 2012 to 2022, software developers will have the 26th highest employment rate and the second highest median salary of any other occupation.

For students interested in pursuing a career in IT, and are interested in doing so through Ramapo’s certification program, contact Ramapo College Center for Innovative and Professional Learning at 201-684-7370. Also, students can e-mail to have any questions answered.