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IT Certification FAQ

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Certification?

How long it takes is largely up to you. If you choose a route that includes one four-day class followed by an exam, then you will finish in less than a week. But to do this, you will either have to have a depth of knowledge in the relevant technologies already or select a certification that is very narrowly focused.

There is also the cram course version, where you basically put the rest of your life on hold and completely immerse yourself in training for an extended period. For many people this is not practical because it would interfere with their home and work obligations. It can also be physically and emotionally exhausting. Of course it can also be exciting if you are learning technologies you are passionate about.

The most common path is less frantic: you sign up for self-study for the first course, complete it, take the exam. Then you move on to requirement number two, and so on. This method is not as likely to consume all your spare time and allows for less rushed learning.

Most certification programs specify a time limit within which you must meet all the requirements. Such deadlines are particularly helpful for procrastinators but can help anyone determine a workable pace.

The bottom line is that earning certification can take a week, or it can span several years. It's basically up to you.

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