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 tech stacks. In turn, that creates a need for technologists who can install and maintain Apple hardware and software. And that has led Apple to launch an updated set of professional certifications for IT support and management.
These certifications are paired to two training courses available via the company’s Training portal: Apple Device Support (which is more entry-level) and Apple Deployment and Management (which is more advanced, and builds off the other course’s key concepts). The courses culminate in certification exams (which cost $149 each).
The Apple Device Support course covers the tools and services that 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, takes an estimated 13 hours and covers how to configure and manage Apple products via 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 prep 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 the exams for participating students at its CEI partner institutions.” Austin Community College in Austin, TX, and the Maricopa Community Colleges in Chandler and Mesa, AZ, are two of the initial institutions, with more to be announced at a future date.
Those who want to earn a certification but have a financial need can apply for a voucher via the Mac Admins Foundation.
Technologists often debate whether earning certifications is worth it. Granted, they’re an excellent way of showing you have certain skills, and some jobs explicitly list certain certifications as a requirement—but they can take quite a bit of time and money to earn. According to the most recent Dice Tech Salary Report, some 47 percent of technologists had certifications in 2021; of those who didn’t have certifications, 52 percent of them said certs weren’t needed 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.