ITIL

Since the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundational certification was my "claim to tech fame" I decided to give its own page and space...because, life changing (for me). As I've mentioned in my "About Me" section, I knew I wanted to switch to tech but I wasn't sure how deep I wanted to go or how technical I wanted it to be. Remember I was in search of a cert that was quick in terms of how long I would need to study. Easy...ITIL isn't necessarily easy, the exam can be a little tricky, but again passing only required 26/40 multiple choice questions. And finally, lucrative (it makes the Forbes' top paying certification regularly).

According to AXELOS, ITIL is the most widely accepted approach IT Service Management in the world. ITIL focuses heavily on delivering value by way of IT products and services. ITIL is a set of best practices composed of 5 publications - ITIL Service Strategy, ITIL Service Design, ITIL Service Transition, ITIL Service Operation and ITIL Continual Service Improvement which maps the ITIL Lifecycle.

Being ITIL certified will assist in opening the door for roles such as System Analysts, Business Analysts, System Administrators (on IT Service Management systems), Change Managers/Analysts, Help Desk Analysts/Managers and more!

When I received my foundational ITIL cert, the certification at that time was ITILv3...currently ITIL 4. The upgrade to ITIL 4 came in 2019. The difference between the two updates is the focus on digital and cloud technologies. A further breakdown of differences can be found on Joe the IT Guy's site.

ITILv3 had been out for some time when I sat the examination so many of the resources were in abundance and free. I used Youtube as my primary study resource and Passion IT Groups course (don't worry, discussed in the next section). Contrarily, ITIL 4 is still fairly new. I havent taken the time to dive into ITIL 4 but I do have a bit of advice in terms of how to get the exam at a discounted price and the most popular site for studying according to fellow technologists.

The ITIL 4 examination voucher purchased on PeopleCert, ITIL's testing vendor, is $363. Instead I'd take a look at using Passion IT Group or Jason Dion's site instead.

Passion IT Group offers the ITIL foundation exam voucher for $255 or you can opt for the course and exam voucher for $285 (their course is actually really good). Jason Dion's course and exam voucher is $350. Since I am already ITIL certified, I probably will not be purchasing to compare the two lol. When talking to fellow technologist, they do say Jason Dion's course is great. 

No matter your decision on exam preparation, definitely make an account with Axelos so you'll have access to their official practice test that they refer to as "Sample Papers". The Sample Papers are free with an Axelos account and gives you a really great idea of how the actual examination is from the vendor. The Sample Papers are composed of 40 questions (same as exam) and allow you to familiarize yourself with the format of the exam and how the questions are worded. Once you complete your course (I recommend watching a course 2-3 times with hand written notes), use the Sample Papers to enforce your studies. I wasn't the most focused person and it took me about a month to pass because I was working full-time and tending to unimportant things (when you know better, you will focus on your career and goals to do better). I would say you are ready to sit the exam once you score about 35/40 on the Sample Papers. When I sat my ITIL examination, nearly half of the questions were from the Sample Papers. Again the passing score for the actual exam is 26/40.

Everyone will have a different experience and outcome. For me, ITIL was a great standalone cert and helped me to get my foot in the door. But it works even better with a combination of certs. I gave an example today of a typical Help Desk position. Most Help Desk jobs expect you to have hands-on-experience and some sort of CompTIA cert such as Network+ and/or Security. If you are able to add ITIL to one of these certs you'll end up forming a "dynamic duo" and instead of just being a technician, you can start to look at managerial or analyst roles in Help desk. In short, ITIL can be the difference between an Help Desk Technician and Help Desk Analyst.

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