Obtaining IT certifications are a great way to not only learn more about your passion but also prove to employers that you are skilled in a specific area of expertise. Earning certifications can open you up for high-tier jobs, increased pay, as well as provide you with the information to succeed in any IT career. Per a Global Knowledge report, IT professionals who are certified earn 22% more than those are not.
While there are many to choose from, I wanted to share the highest-paying certifications in IT for 2018. I hope this information sheds light onto which certifications to strive for.
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate
- Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) – Server Infrastructure
- Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching
- Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)
- Certified ScrumMaster
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N)
- Six Sigma Green Belt
While these might be the highest paying, there are several IT certifications that you should focus on first. Some of these include:
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- Cisco CCENT
- Cisco CCNA
- MCSE: Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert
- MCSA: Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate
- MTA: Microsoft Technology Associate
Several of these certifications can be quite tricky as the tests themselves are complicated, often expensive, and can even require a certain length of time in hands-on training. So, here are some tips that I have found for making sure you succeed.
- Get to know your exam
First, merely understand what both the certification and exam are about. Every exam will have some form of a candidate/exam guide and an official site; this should be your initial task. You want to know what the exam is about, the length of time allowed to take it, what it costs, when the exam is available to take, and most importantly, what it can do for your career.
- Create a study guide
Like any test, studying and preparation is key to achieving optimal results. Start off by creating a checklist covering the following items.
- How soon will you take the exam?
- How much time can you spend studying?
- Time for preparation courses?
- How do you learn best? Visual, hands-on?
- Preparation Courses
Many exams have optional classes you can enroll in to help you with the material. Some of these classes are often described as ‘boot camps’ or ‘exam preps,’ where the courses are directly related to passing a specific exam. While these can be costly, there is no greater tool you can utilize in your quest for obtaining certifications.
- Practice Exams
Pretty much every exam you will take will have numerous practice exams you can take that are very similar to the actual test; these can be found online, included in exam prep books, as well as offered in exam prep courses. Make sure you only sign up for the actual exam when you can score high enough to pass the course, repetitively, and in the allotted time that is allowed.
Finally, realize that these tests are not for the faint of heart. These exams are set in place to ensure that only the most proficient IT professionals can pass. If you fail, do not take it too hard; simply try again, and never give up. I promise it will all be worth it once you see your increased paycheck for the first time.
Global Knowledge. 2018. “2018 IT Skills and Salary Report”. Retrieved from https://www.globalknowledge.com/us-en/content/salary-report/it-skills-and-salary-report/.
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