Apple continues to sell more Macs. Now it’s easier to learn how to support and manage them

Based on Apple’s recent earnings reports, a lot of people buy Macs. More than ever, in fact. I’m sure a lot of these people are college students, or parents of younger students who needed a computer while attending a school far away.

However, many of them buy it for work. The entire PC industry experienced a boom during the pandemic as millions of people worked and went to school from home. However, most PC manufacturers have seen their sales slow in the past few quarters. Most except Apple. Apple continues to sell Macs.

Of course, as more people are buying Macs for work, this means that there is an increased demand for IT professionals with the skills and training to support and manage these devices. Apple today announced a new program to make it easier to do just that.

Apple is launching two new online courses that it says provide “up-to-date professional training and certification for IT support and management.” The idea is that you can take the course at your own pace for free. Each course also includes a certification exam, which costs $149, and includes digital badges that can be displayed on a resume, website, or online profile.

Here’s how Apple explains the two cycles:

Apple’s new IT training series begins with the Apple Hardware Support course. With articles and guided exercises, the course covers the tools, services, and best practices used by a help desk specialist, technical coordinator, or service provider for users of an organization’s Mac, iPhone, and iPad. After completing an estimated 14 hours of learning content, users can take an exam to obtain the Apple Certified Support Professional certification.

The second level of training in this series is the Apple Deployment and Administration Course, which covers how to configure, manage, and secure Apple products using Mobile Device Management (MDM). With an estimated 13 hours of content, users will cover developing deployment strategy, using Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager, and configuring devices with an MDM solution. Upon successful completion of the exam, users will receive the Apple Certified IT Professional certification.

Really, this is great for two different types of people:

If you’re a small business owner, and you have more than a handful of people, you’ve probably had enough machines that at some point have started wondering who is going to run all of them. If every member of your team has a Mac or iPad, and an iPhone, that will be added. Even if you don’t have the resources for a large IT department, this is a great way to offer training to anyone responsible for keeping all of this technology working.

It’s also great for anyone considering a transition to a new career. The training itself is free, and the exams (which cost $149) include certification from Apple—something that can help land a new job. Given that millions of Americans have been looking forward to doing so over the past 18 months, Apple’s new program comes at a particularly useful time.

“Apple Professional Training helps anyone with an interest in technology — whether they are changing jobs or upgrading their skill set — pursue high-paying IT jobs with certifications that will stand out to potential employers,” Apple Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Education Susan Prescott said in a statement.

For example, Ford says it’s offering Macs as an option to employees, and will recognize Apple certifications when you hire for IT jobs. “The new Apple Professional Training Certifications will help us attract talented IT people and ensure that they successfully implement our Ford+ growth plan,” said Mike Amend, Ford’s chief enterprise technology officer.

In addition, Apple has announced a partnership with the Mac Admins Foundation to offer scholarships to individuals who wish to advance their skills. The goal is to expand access to high-quality IT training and certification at no cost as a barrier.

“There’s a lot to like about Apple’s all-new Professional Courses, which give users a solid foundation in concepts and theory around Apple product support and deployment,” said Tom Bridge, co-chair of the Mac Management Foundation.

The new Apple training program is available starting today at training.apple.com.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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