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Western Governors University ITIL Certifications

What is ITIL?

ITIL stands for IT Infrastructure Library and is part of AXELOS. AXELOS develops and promotes best practice frameworks and methods for IT professionals in the IT service management (ITSM), project, and portfolio management spaces. AXELOS acquired ITIL in 2013 and has continued to make the framework an important part of IT service management. ITIL contains a framework of best practices surrounding IT service management. ITSM and ITIL aren't mutually exclusive—IT service management is a larger practice across the information technology field, and ITIL is a set process that can be used to deliver ITSM.

This systemic approach to IT service management can help organizations in many ways as they manage risk, strengthen relationships with customers, operate in a cost-effective way, and build a more stable environment. Growth, scale, and change are all core elements of the ITIL frameworks. Service design is a crucial part of professional IT organizations, and these ITIL training courses help set standards for best practices in service design and management.

ITIL has a direct focus on service management, which is critical in helping an organization deliver to customers in the best possible way. ITIL certification demonstrates to your employer that you are well-versed when it comes to IT services and understand best practices.

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ITIL levels.

There are multiple ITIL certification levels you can pursue as part of your IT career. The levels for ITIL v3 has recently transferred to ITIL 4, and those with the ITIL v3 certification are able to move into ITIL 4. WGU currently allows students to take the ITIL 4 Foundation examination as part of their degree. All of the ITIL v3 and ITIL 4 levels require exams in order to show proficiency and earn certification.

The four ITIL 4 levels that are part of the ITIL framework include:

  • Foundation
  • ITIL 4 Managing Professional (MP)
  • ITIL 4 Strategic Leader (SL) 
  • ITIL 4 Master - coming soon

The previous ITIL v3 levels included:

  • ITIL Foundation Level
  • ITIL Practitioner Level
  • ITIL Intermediate Level
  • ITIL Expert Level
  • ITIL Master Level

While ITIL v3 is transitioning to ITIL 4, it is still extremely valuable and those certifications will still be considered relevant for IT professionals who have them. The exams are still valuable and certification for previous ITIL levels is still valid.

Two IT professionals look at a laptop together.

ITIL Foundation.

The ITIL Foundation certification is a fantastic place to start your understanding of service management, and demonstrates that you have a working knowledge of the ITIL framework. Whether or not your organization uses ITIL service management, this Foundation certification can ensure you're prepared for service management tasks.

With the ITIL Foundation certification you will demonstrate your knowledge of:

  • Guiding ITIL principles
  • A holistic approach to the facilitation of co-creation of value with customers and other stakeholders in the form of products and services
  • The four dimensions of service management
  • Key concepts from Lean, Agile, DevOps, and why these are important to deliver business value

ITIL Foundation exam.

The Foundation exam is held in the following format:

  • Multiple choice examination questions
  • 40 questions
  • 26 marks required to pass (out of 40 available) - 65%
  • 60 minutes’ duration
  • Closed book.

WGU students earning one of the connected degrees will gain knowledge and skills that will prepare them for the Foundation exam. They will receive a voucher that enables them to take the Foundation certification test as part of the cost of their degree program.

What does the ITIL Foundation exam cost? Typically the exam ranges from $150-$500, not including training and practice. WGU allows students to get training materials and their exam costs as part of their program.

ITIL certification.

After passing the ITIL Foundation exam, you have earned your Foundation certificate! Congratulations! This means you can add the Foundation certificate to your résumé and utilize it to boost your career. Your proficiency in this training course will demonstrate to your employer you are prepared for ITSM work moving forward.

ITIL Foundation and other certifications do not expire and are good for the rest of your career, however it is good to keep up with continuing education so you're aware of any updates to the ITIL framework or process. 

Many people study for up to 6 months to prepare for the ITIL certification, and WGU helps you prepare for the exam as part of your coursework, but you may need additional study time on your own as well.

There are additional ITIL certifications you can earn beyond the Foundations level, but WGU doesn't offer any additional ITIL certification at this time.

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Frequently asked questions about ITIL Foundation certification.

What is ITIL?

ITIL stands for IT Infrastructure Library. ITIL contains a framework of best practices when it comes to delivering IT services. This systemic approach to IT service management can help organizations in many ways as they manage risk, strengthen relationships with customers, operate in a cost-effective way, and build a more stable environment. Growth, scale, and change are all core elements of the ITIL frameworks.

ITIL has a direct focus on service management, which is critical in helping an organization deliver to customers in the best possible way. ITIL certification demonstrates to your employer that you are well-versed when it comes to IT services and understand best practices.

How much does the ITIL Foundation exam cost?

The ITIL Foundation certification exam alone can cost anywhere from $150 to $500. But often there are additional costs for training materials that can cost up to $1,000. At WGU, study materials and your exam costs are part of your tuition, making this certification free for students.

How long does ITIL certification take?

Some students study for the Foundation exam for up to six months, but some students will study for more or less time. The Foundation test itself is a 60 minute examination.

Can I prepare for the ITIL Foundation certification online?

Yes! The ITIL Foundation certification study materials and practices can be accessed online. WGU students will get information as part of their coursework about accessing their study materials. 

How long does ITIL certification last?

ITIL certifications never expire, so you can utilize this credential throughout your career. However, as new versions of ITIL come out, it may be wise to update your certification to the most recent version. You can also move upward in ITIL and gain more certifications as your career requires it.

Why is the Foundation certification valuable?

The Foundation certificate from ITIL is a valuable certification to demonstrate to employers that you understand ITSM basics, and have background in best practices when it comes to providing services to customers. It's a great way to add a credential to your résumé that can help you show your ability to provide insights and develop better systems in your organization. If your organization utilizes ITIL, they may require you to have this certification to show you are ready to join the team.

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