By Kevin Howell
Whether you’re just starting your career or looking to advance after a few years in the profession, you probably will need certain tech certifications to get a position.
Which certification should you pursue? Obviously, you should choose one that hiring managers and recruiters deem relevant, as well as one that is in line with the type of work you desire. You should also consider the projected growth of various areas of technology and whether a certification will be in demand in the future.
Potential salary comes into play as well. Global Knowledge recently released its 2017 IT Skills and Salary Survey, which ranks the 15 top-paying certifications. However, the highest paying certifications don’t always mean there’s a high demand for those skills.
Here are some tech certifications that are in high-demand and that CIOs desire to see when selecting job candidates.
Certified Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
The CRISC certification tops Global Knowledge’s list of top-paying certifications with an average salary of $131,298. The certification is for professionals who manage and identify IT and business risks through information systems controls.
Global Knowledge estimates that more than 20,000 professionals globally have this credential and 96 percent of them keep it current. It’s the highest-paying certification because the demand far outweighs the supply of professionals with this credential.
To get the certification, you need three years of experience in two of the four areas the certification covers, as well as pass the exam.
This certification is a popular entry-level credential, but it continues to be in high-demand across the globe.
It proves your competency in installation, preventative maintenance, networking, security, and troubleshooting. It has an average salary of $79,877. Candidates must pass a hardware and software exam to obtain the certification.
The second-most popular certification according to Global Knowledge, Network+ is globally recognized and verifies your ability to design, manage, maintain, and troubleshoot networks. It can lead to vendor-specific certifications like Cisco CCNA or Microsoft MCSA.
You’ll likely need a CompTIA A+ certification or equivalent experience to qualify for it, as well as pass an exam. The average salary is $81,601.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
This vendor-specific certification continually appears on surveys of most sought-after skills by employers and commands a higher average salary than A+ and Network+ credentials at $83,945.
The certification verifies you can install, operate, troubleshoot and configure enterprise-level networks. Common jobs with this certification include network engineers, system administrators, and network administrators.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
As cloud computing becomes increasingly popular, Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate the market, with 57 percent of businesses using it as their chosen cloud platform. Therefore, AWS certifications are in high-demand (all five AWS certifications have average salaries above $100,000).
There’s a huge shortage of certified AWS architects based on the number of organizations that use the platform. The certification proves your ability to design and deploy scalable systems on AWS. It requires at least six months of AWS experience and an exam.
As technology changes rapidly, it’s important to keep your skills fresh and be aware of the latest trends. Keep abreast of what certifications companies are looking for and stay current on the certifications you possess.
Looking to apply your technological expertise for a good cause? EPICS in IEEE provides grants for engineering-related community service projects. Find out more at epics.ieee.org.