12 IT certifications that deliver career advancement
With more than 1700 professional IT certifications running the gamut of IT technologies, knowing which certifications are the most important for your specialty can seem an insurmountable task. To help you meet the challenge, we've sifted through data from Robert Half Technology to narrow your search and bring you a manageable list of the most relevant IT certifications for the remainder of 2012.
Knowing which IT certification is right
Before you jump into a specific certification, there are some important questions that you need to ask yourself about your career goals and objectives:
What demographic of IT do you fall into? (Security, Web Development, Programmer and so on)
What are your career objectives?
What IT career are you most interested in?
What type of resources are needed (i.e. money and time)?
Will this certification have a significant impact on my career?
Taking the time to think about and document your response to these questions can help solidify your future goals and narrow your list of potential certifications further.
If your area of expertise is related to a listed certification's focus and you don't have that certification, you will definitely want to delve into it further. Now without further ado, here are our Top 12 IT Certifications.
1. Project Management Professional (PMP)
Completing the Project Management Professional certification shows employers that you have the necessary skills and resources to get the project done from start to finish, on time and on budget. It's never been more relevant than in today's IT industry where we all have multiple responsibilities. Average salary: US$101,000.
2. Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSP)
CISSP is a vendor neutral security certification. People who hold this certification have the skills and knowledge to complete high-level tasks involving architecture, design, management and/or controls that assure the security of business environments.
If you keep up with the news, you've seen all the latest security breaches at Sony, LinkedIn and many others; security is at the top of everyone's list today. To punctuate that the Robert Half Technology Salary Guide reported that 24 percent of the 1,600 polled CIO's stated security as their top concern. The amount of data companies now store can be mind boggling. Breaches cost money, man power and many times credibility. As threats continue to escalate, so will the demand for professionals who can find security holes and ward off the attacking hordes. Average salary: US$97,000.
3. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
RHCE is a Linux Red Hat Entperprise Linux certification and demonstrates that the holder has the skills and knowledge to perform the duties of senior system administrator, responsible for Red Hat systems. Deployments and migrations are second nature to an RHCE.
Linux continues to be adopted by more and more companies in an effort to decrease operating costs. Demand is outpacing supply making this one of the hottest Linux certifications. Note: In order to be eligible for this certification you must receive your RHCSA certification. Average salary: US$90,000.
4. VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
VCP VMware's first level of certification that focuses squarely on the vSphere virtualisation platform. Recipients should have the skills to install, deploy, scale and manage vSphere environments, as well as general virtualisation skills.
Virtualisation is more popular than ever in today's IT world and with cloud computing-based virtualisation becoming more and more common this is sure to be a skillset that will be in demand for the next few years. Average salary: US$95,000.
5. CompTIA A+
A+ from the trade group CompTIA, is another vendor-neutral certification and is considered entry level. It encompasses a number of different foundation level IT skills.
This is an industry standard for IT and tech support folks. Earning this certification indicates that you have the skills and knowledge to install, secure and troubleshoot networks as well as conduct preventative maintenance. Average salary: US$47,000.
6. Oracle DBA
Every company has a database that is crucial to its operation and most have several, making Oracle certified professionals in demand. The Oracle DBA certification factors in training, experience and testing to establish a strong foundation and expertise in Oracle9i Database techniques, including backup and recovery, performance tuning and administration. Average salary: US$103,000
7. Information Technology Infrastructure Library
The ITIL certification is the basis of the worldwide standard for quality IT Service Management and is considered to have laid the groundwork for effective IT departments. It outlines non-organizational specific "best practices" that are used by companies to establish a level of competency. There are four flavours for this cetification: Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master. It's hard to imagine a company these days that doesn't maintain some type of web presence and as more and more businesses become dependent on IT, the skills to manage IT services have become a "make or break" role. Demand for this certification has skyrocketed over recent years and it should continue to grow into 2013 and beyond. Average "ITIL Expert" salary US$98,000.
Cisco Certifications, like Microsoft and others, have been IT industry standards for years and are used to validate knowledge of Cisco products and technologies. So much business passes through Cisco systems that these always seem to be in demand. The two listed below should continue to grow well into the foreseeable future.
8. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
CCIE demonstrates that the recipient has all the expert-level skills required to plan, prepare, operate, monitor, and troubleshoot complex data center networks. CCIE is a common goal for network professionals who want to be recognised as experts in their field. Cisco touts this certification as "the most prestigious networking certification in the industry" and this certification has also been called out by RHT as one of the most in-demand certifications for 2012. Average salary, US$103,000.
9. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
CCNA certification is a second-level Cisco Career certification. It lets employers know that you have demonstrated the ability "to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks, including implementation and verification of connections to remote sites in a WAN". Anyone who wants to work in the newtworking field or if you happen to work on Cisco hardware on a regular basis should consider adding this certification to their skillset. As mentioned earlier, security is going to continue to grow and according to RHT data so will the need for this credential. Average salary, US$86,000
Microsoft software and systems are a staple in most IT departments making these and other Microsoft certifications in demand skills. The RHT Salary Guide calls out all three of the Microsoft certifications listed below as top needed skills in today's job market.
10. Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
MCITP certifications, one of Microsoft's newer certifications, tests technical proficiency in the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certifications. There are many different areas of certification. Average salary, US$85,000.
11. Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
MCTS certification validates skills on a particular Microsoft technology. As with MCITP, there are many technologies that you can certify for, for example, Exchange server, Lync Server and Office Communications Server, virtualisation and more. There are simply to many to list them all by name here, 57 in fact. The entire list can be found here. Average salary: US$90,000
12. Microsoft's Certified Systems Engineers (MCSE)
An MCSE certification demonstrates that the recipient can design, implement and administer technology infrastructures using Microsoft 2000 Windows Server and other Windows server platforms. This certification is common to systems engineers, tech support engineers, system analysts, network analysts and technical consultants. Average salary: US$77,000.
CIO100 2013 Overview: Chief transformation officer
CIOs are across a raft of programmes using disruptive and traditional technology - effectively leading change throughout the organisation in a tough economy.
Fighting for privacy
An interview with Kaliya Hamlin, aka 'Identity Woman' and head of the Personal Data Ecosystem Consortium, which aims to give individuals control over their personal data and how it is used by corporations.
Posted by Murray Wills at 01:41 on September 4, 2012
ITCP (IT Certified Professional) is growing in importance and demand also.
Posted by Murray Wills at 01:39 on September 4, 2012
- New Zealand’s IT leaders announced at CIO Awards
- Amazon CTO: Stop spending money on ‘undifferentiated heavy lifting’
- CIO Agenda: Innovate and transform on the ‘third platform’
- Five ways to create a collaborative risk management program
- BlackBerry pitches to NZ businesses in bid to recapture market share
CONNECT WITH @ CIO NZ
CIO is bringing together the best of MIS NZ and CIO, the new look CIO is the only magazine that focuses on the unique management needs of senior IT professionals.
Get the latest news from CIO delivered via email.
CIO 100 REPORT
The definitive guide to New Zealand's largest and most significant ICT users.
READ NOW »