best IT certifications

IT Certifications are not to be taken lightly. According to Global Knowledge, the salaries of certified IT professionals is on average 11.9% higher than their uncertified peers. Businesses explain elevating certified candidates’ compensation for a variety of reasons: they typically have a reputation for faster project delivery, more efficient implementation, and decreased inefficiencies (to name a few). Whatever the business’ reasoning, the opportunities available after a tech certification justify the investment.

Though as many as 82% of IT professionals in the U.S. have at least one certificate, it’s important to be strategic about certifications to better increase opportunities and compensation. With 2018 on the horizon, these are the best IT certifications to get noticed by your dream job (or IT staffing companies capable of connecting you with them).

AWS Certification

Amazon Web Services accounts for a consequential portion of the cloud market. They dominate approximately 33% of the cloud market share and their closest competitor hasn’t even breached 20%. Not surprisingly, getting an AWS certification has the potential to open a large segment of the job market and on average helps tech professionals earn $113,932.

One advantage of making AWS one of your primary IT certifications is that Amazon facilitates a straightforward process. They have 3 clear tiers of certification which are subdivided into relevant IT segments for security, advanced networking, DevOps, and big data (among others). Plus, they even provide a free tier account for a year to encourage people to get hands-on experience with their platform.

OCJP Certification

Becoming an Oracle Certified Java Programmer (OJCP) earns you one of the top IT certifications. Java holds steadfast to its position as among the most indispensable programming languages out there, maintaining a position toward the top of the RedMonk list and the TIOBE Index. Java’s rich API, immersive development tools, and various source libraries make it a necessary part of every developer’s toolkit. No wonder IT professionals with the OCJP Certification earn on average $111,561.

Java certifications need to be kept up-to-date and Oracle provides assistance when doing so. They have a clear certification pathway, which identifies the primary courses necessary for someone in your role to pursue. Additionally, sample tests exist in abundance to verify your knowledge and skill prior to certification time.

CISSP Certification

Data breaches constantly make the news, which then cost businesses millions and ruin brand trust. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) Certification is universally recognized and acknowledges to businesses that you have a comprehensive knowledge of how to diminish and repel the diverse range of cyberattacks that threaten them most. People with the CISSP certification can expect to earn on average $103,234.

Because the CISSP Certification is meant to cover a broad range of topics, it is crucial for cybersecurity professionals to be well-versed in the following: Security and Risk Management, Asset Security, Security Engineering, Communication and Network Security, Identity and Access Management, Security Assessment and Testing, Security Operations, and Software Development Security. Free resources exist in each of these areas to refresh and test your skills in advance of the 250 question exam for this cybersecurity certification.

PMP Certification

For those tech professionals looking to transition into a leadership role or augment their leadership experience, the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification actually provides a considerable advantage. The PMP Certification is accepted and trusted worldwide and the standards of the Project Management Institute (PMI) are high (they regularly audit 5% to 25% of applicants for quality assurance). On average, professionals with a PMP earn $99,430.

The PMI provides a variety of resources for potential applicants to navigate the exam topics, study materials, and even practice questions. Some sources recommend using the PMBOK Guide as a reference, rather than a study guide because of heavy use of potentially new terminology. Also, practice exams pay off big time with this certification (which are also available online).

Staying Aware of the Best IT Certifications

These are not the only IT certifications that can advance your career over the next year. For each type of IT role, there are a multitude of diverse certification options available. The challenge is finding out whether or not they actually result in better compensation and opportunities. That’s why it helps to work with the right technical recruiters.

Our connections with top companies throughout the Chicagoland area and beyond keep us informed about the best IT certifications for attracting your ideal job. Plus, we can find you opportunities that align with your current skills while giving you room to learn and grow.

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