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It Certifications

Skillsoft has released its annual report of the most popular IT certifications worldwide. According to the report, 91% of information technology professionals have at least one certification. In fact, respondents hold an average of four certifications in their field, with 41% of these earned in the last six months. Of course, the potential to advance your IT career, along with the possibility of making more money, is a huge incentive to becoming certified. But IT pros of all levels have other reasons as well.

it certifications

Organizations worldwide continue investing in certifications, but there has been a decrease in investments in certain skilled areas and IT decision makers are changing up where they are investing. In 2022, the top priority among decision makers was cloud computing, with 41% of decision makers listing it as their top focus. Coming in second for the first time in three years is cybersecurity, with 31%. Coming in at third and fourth are AI/ machine learning and infrastructure/ systems. What does this information suggest? IT managers are investing in areas where skills gaps lie in an effort to upskill current staff and fill gaps. Among cybersecurity certifications, Microsoft ranks as the most popular worldwide, followed by ISACA and CompTIA.

Vendor-neutral IT certifications like CompTIA Network+ validate the skills needed to work on any equipment and provide foundational skills that will prepare you for vendor-specific certifications like CCNA.

Project management certifications help professionals to gain fundamental knowledge, terminology and processes of effective project management. Scrum certifications allow for individuals to learn the scrum framework, remove barriers to team progress, and help teams self-organize.

VMware certifications range from data center virtualization, cloud management & automation, network virtualization, desktop and mobility and digital workspace.CompTIA Network+ is a vendor-neutral certification that prepares candidates to support networks on any platform. It is the only certification that covers the specific skills that network professionals need.

These numbers illustrate not only that IT professionals are enthusiastic about obtaining IT certifications (especially CompTIA), but also that employers are regularly asking candidates to have these certifications in hand before applying.

Potential benefits to getting a certification can include improved job performance and increased competitiveness in the job market. An IT certification on your resume can also be a quick way for hiring managers to gauge your abilities. Additionally, certifications are linked to higher incomes. IT professionals who received a raise due to getting a new certification saw an average salary increase of $13,000 [1].

These are some common IT certifications designed to prepare you for entry-level positions in IT. The list includes entry-level certifications that are broad enough to expose you to a variety of skills, and certifications that will equip you with more specialized skills.

The CompTIA A+ provides a general introduction to the IT world. From there, many IT professionals can go on to specialize in a specific field of IT, like networks, security, or cloud computing, either by building experience or gaining relevant certifications.

Certification path: After the CCNA, candidates can go on to take more advanced network certifications, like the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) or the Juniper Networks Certified Associate - Junos (JNCIA-Junos).

Certification path: After the Security+, candidates can go on to take other security certifications like the ISC2 Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) or ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).

Certification path: After a Microsoft Fundamental certification, candidates may go on to receive other certifications in various specializations like Azure Database Administrator Associate or Microsoft Certified: Security Operations Analyst Associate.

Cloud computing, along with security, is one of the most in-demand fields in IT, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is currently the most-used cloud platform in the world. So learning the AWS platform may give you an edge in this growing industry. The AWS Cloud Practitioner certification is the most entry-level of the AWS certifications.

The AWS Cloud Practitioner certification is designed to help you gain foundational AWS knowledge, and can be great for those just starting out in IT. However, many cloud-related jobs ask for an associate-level AWS certification, which is a level above the practitioner certification. If you already have a year of experience with AWS, the associate-level AWS Solutions Architect, SysOps Administrator, or Developer certifications might better prepare you for entry-level cloud computing jobs. You can also consider other cloud certifications, like Microsoft Azure Fundamentals, or the Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification.

1. Decide on a certification. Pick a certification based on your interest and needs. If you need help figuring out where to start, take a look at job descriptions of positions you're interested in, and see which certifications are mentioned most often.

Alec works as a senior content strategist at Skillsoft on the Technology and Developer team. He writes about tech skills, certifications, trends and more. He's currently taking courses on Python and JavaScript, but hopes to learn Spanish too.

The list also provides a snapshot of the typical person holding certification for each credential, including the average number of certifications held, the most popular cross-certification, if they hold cybersecurity-related certifications, if they are in management, and their average age. In order for certifications to make the list, they must have had at least 50 responses in the survey. See more on our methodology at the very end of this blog.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) is one of the most highly regarded certifications of its kind, and it continues to show up on this list year after year.

Our U.S. list of the top-paying certifications is based on survey responses from the Skillsoft 2022 IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted May 2022 to August 2022. The survey asks respondents about their current jobs and experience, certifications and salaries, and more. Respondents encounter multiple choice and multi-select, open-ended, rank choice, and other types of questions while taking the survey.

But which certifications deserve your time and money investment? The most recent survey(Opens in a new window) from online technology learning company Skillsoft has some answers to that question. Not surprisingly, cloud services and security skills ranked highly in this year's results. Here, then, in reverse order, are the 10 certifications most likely to earn the compensation you deserve.

Although it has lost some of its value compared to earlier years, the Project Management Professional(Opens in a new window) (PMP) certification has held its seventh-place slot in the most recent survey. It's still one of the most mature and stable certifications an IT manager can get. In fact, the average pay that PMP certificate holders can expect has increased.

This certification was created by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, known as (ISC), and is one of the most sought-after security certifications today. Moving up from sixth place last year, the CISSP credential teaches candidates to be information assurance pros. These folks are usually responsible for determining the security aspects of an IT organization's overall architecture, controls, and management.

In 2023, the Certified Information Security Manager(Opens in a new window) (CISM) certification rocketed back into second place from sixth place last year. It was once the highest-paying discipline with a core focus on information security, but it had since fallen behind its rivals, the CISSP and CRISC certifications. This year, only CISSP is a competitive certificate in the security space (see above). It's a sad, sobering reality that information security concerns are more relevant than ever, particularly in light of such modern threats as ransomware attacks.

As a technology skills learning company, Skillsoft offers online exam prep courses for all of the certifications on its Top 10 list, but there are other options. Online learning has exploded in recent years, and sources run the gamut from university-sponsored learning tracks to courses provided in partnership with technology companies such as Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft. We're also seeing the rise of video-based learning platforms like Skillshare. We've listed some of the most popular below, but you should shop carefully because prices and training quality can vary greatly:

Udemy is a colossal online learning platform with a staggering 183,000 video courses on a wide range of subjects. Udemy is popular because it often offers significant discounts on training, which makes it one of the more affordable options for online learning. That said, Udemy enables unaccredited instructors to sell courses for profit. That can diminish its credibility for academic and certification tracks. Additionally, while it has many resources for learning programming languages, IT pros should shop cautiously when training for accredited certifications.

Have any questions about the top IT certifications? Join the [email protected](Opens in a new window) business community on LinkedIn, where you can connect with vendors, other pros like yourself, and PCMag's editors.

At WGU, we want you to succeed. That's why we offer degrees that include top industry IT certifications online. IT certifications enhance your career and make you more marketable. By giving you advanced qualifications and specific skill sets, these certifications make employers interested in you. 041b061a72


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