Even in a difficult economy, there are invariably bright spots. In recent years, health care has been one such area where optimism prevails, and workers in a number of countries have been successfully retraining to take advantage of the opportunities there. Another area of impressive growth and job offerings has been the information technology sector, and it seems likely to continue to grow strongly throughout much of the world.

Fortunately for those who are interested in this kind of work, there are typically relatively straightforward ways of breaking into it. Low-level IT roles may involve a fair amount of more or less menial labor, but they typically also include enough in the way of learning opportunities that smart, motivated candidates will not be stuck in them for long. That can make IT an excellent option for ambitious job seekers who lack specific qualifications of other sorts, as learning on the job is still very much a possibility within that sector.

That is not to say that candidates should expect to walk in off the street and receive an offer, though. In fact, IT employers today can be fairly selective, with most wanting to see some real, concrete evidence of a facility with technology on the part of candidates. One of the most commonly requested such credentials is the comptia strata certificate, a distinction that shows that candidates understand and are comfortable with computer basics.

As the IT organization's lowest-level credential, the comptia strata is not meant to be overly hard to obtain. Many who take the exam will find a lot of the questions to require little more than common sense to answer, but this experience does not mean that the test is entirely easy to pass.

In fact, it actually includes a fair bit of quite specialized questioning that even those who have worked comfortably with computers for their whole lives are likely to need to study for. The questions on Green IT principles and technologies, for example, are not the kind of thing that most capable computer users are likely to be able to answer without preparation.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for becoming better prepared to take the test. Those thinking about taking the exam, for example, can sign up for strata it fundamentals courses from providers like Simplilearn, many of which boast passage rates for students of 90% or more. With that kind of help being available, then, it is likely that many more people will be taking advantage of the opportunity to be found in the IT sector before long.