As the field of information technology (IT) continues to expand, there are many opportunities for career development and financial success available. A certification can help you develop the necessary technical skills and open many doors for advancement, regardless of whether you are an experienced professional or a new graduate looking to start your career in IT.
Certifications in IT can provide you with the tools you need to advance your career and increase your earning potential, so you should consider pursuing them.
In the current state of the IT industry, cloud technology is one of the biggest demands. The skills required for designing applications, conducting analytics, automation, and security are distinct from those needed for working with on-premises hardware. The best way to stay on top of the latest technologies and advance in your career, no matter what field you work in, is to acquire training and expertise in the newest technologies.
What are the IT certifications?
As evidence of an individual's proficiency in a specific area or aspect of technology, IT certifications serve as a tangible method to validate that individual's competence. Certification is earned by successfully completing an assessment, an examination, or a review that is usually completed after completing a course of study that leads to the certification. Obtaining an IT certification is an excellent way for an individual to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in the field of IT in a thorough and legitimate manner.
Why should you consider earning the IT certifications?
Expanding your knowledge and skills:
IT certifications can assist you in staying current with the latest technologies and industry standards in your field. They also provide a structured learning path that aids in deepening your understanding of specific technologies or areas of expertise.
Improving your resume and job prospects:
IT certifications can make you stand out in a competitive job market and showcase your dedication to your career. They can also provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue new job opportunities or advance in your current role.
Enhancing your credibility and trust with clients:
IT certifications can establish you as a knowledgeable and reliable professional in your field, particularly when working with clients, as it can help gain their confidence and trust in your abilities.
Increasing your earning potential:
IT certifications can lead to higher salaries and better job prospects, as they demonstrate your expertise and commitment to your field. According to the Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, IT professionals with certifications tend to earn higher salaries than those without them.
Expanding your professional network:
IT certifications can assist you in connecting with other professionals in your field, both through the certification process and through ongoing networking opportunities that may be available through professional organizations or industry events.
Best IT certifications in 2023
These are some of the most highly sought-after IT certifications currently available. Each program offers a range of specializations to choose from.
1. GCP Certified Professional Cloud Architect
The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Certified Professional – Cloud Architect certification is a professional-level recognition that attests to an individual's ability to design, develop, and manage solutions on the Google Cloud Platform. It is intended for individuals with experience using GCP and a thorough understanding of cloud computing concepts and practices. The exam covers a wide range of topics related to GCP such as architecture, product offerings, virtualization, networking, security, cloud computing concepts, and the design and implementation of solutions using GCP services. Additionally, it examines topics related to the management and optimization of GCP resources, including cost optimization, monitoring, and automation.
2. PMI – Project Management Professional (PMP)
The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This certification attests that an individual has the capability to manage projects and project teams. Being one of the highest-paying certifications, it prepares individuals for the PMP and CAPM exams. It provides a wide range of learning tools, practice questions, and post-learning resources that are based on the Project Management Institute (PMI) terminology.
3. Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Certification imparts knowledge about basic cloud concepts and services, with a specific focus on security, privacy, compliance, and underlying technologies. It is tailored for individuals from a non-technical background who are responsible for procurement, sales, and marketing of Microsoft Azure cloud-based services. This certification is suitable for those who are new to Azure and want to begin working with cloud-based solutions and services. It serves as the initial step on the path to obtaining Microsoft’s role-based certifications, but it is not a mandatory requirement.
4. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification, offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), is created to evaluate the skills and knowledge needed to establish and oversee an enterprise-level information security program. It is intended for individuals such as information security managers, IT auditors, and IT consultants and managers who assist in information security program management.
5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate certification is one of the most sought-after IT certifications for achieving success in 2023. As more companies adopt cloud services, there is a growing demand for cloud professionals with specialized cloud security skills who can utilize cloud security tools. This certification equips individuals with the fundamental skills to design IT solutions on AWS, providing a deep understanding of the AWS platform and the ability to utilize AWS services effectively.
6. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a highly sought-after cybersecurity certification that is designed for experienced security professionals, managers, and executives who wish to demonstrate their expertise across a broad range of security practices and principles. CISSP holders have knowledge of vulnerabilities in network systems and develop policies to secure those systems and reduce risk.
7. Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation
As companies strive to enhance their project delivery and service through the implementation of best practices, there is a high demand for ITIL certified professionals. The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation certification is an excellent way to stand out from the competition and increase your chances of securing better job opportunities. It is specifically designed for IT executives, IT architects, IT audit managers, operations managers, and IT managers. The ITIL Foundation certification course provides a comprehensive understanding of the ITIL 4 framework, core concepts, and terminologies of the ITIL service lifecycle. It familiarizes individuals with the ITIL framework and teaches them how it can be applied to improve IT service management.
8. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification serves as a foundation for many other popular cloud certifications, such as the AWS Solutions Architect, DevOps Engineer, and SysOps Administrator. The exam is intended for individuals who possess the knowledge and abilities to demonstrate a broad understanding of the AWS Cloud. It validates professionals' skills and knowledge, including understanding of core AWS services, AWS architecture best practices, and the ability to develop, deploy, and debug cloud-based applications using AWS.
The bottom line
Once you have a good understanding of which certifications can lead to high-paying career opportunities, the next step is to identify which certification aligns most closely with your skills, talents, and preferences based on what responsibilities each of the certifications entails.
People with top IT certifications are often considered to be high-quality candidates, and many organizations are willing to pay more to hire professionals. Sometimes, certifications may even play a significant role in the decision between two candidates who are similarly qualified. Therefore, obtaining certifications is a worthwhile investment for someone who wants to advance in their career.