Top 5 Certifications ranked based on market request
When the conversation amongst IT professionals turns to IT Certifications, one of their first thoughts is of high salaries – different money signs dancing in their heads. While some certifications do command a six-figure salary, this is not true for all. With the recent completion of our annual IT Skills and Salary report, I thought it would be a great time to look at some of the more popular certifications – and their associated pay.
Note: The rankings below are based on certifications that received the minimum 200 responses required to derive a salary figure that is statically accurate. There are certifications that pay more that are not represented due to their exclusive nature. These include CCIE: Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert and VCDX: VMware Certified Design Expert, for example.
1. PMP® - Project Management Professional – ($111,209)
The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is recognized as the most important certification for project managers and is globally recognized and in heavy demand. The PMP credential demonstrates that you not only have the requisite, real-world experience, but that you also have the education to successfully lead and direct projects. The PMP credential should only be attempted by experiencedproject managers as the qualifications and testing for this certification are very rigorous. In addition, the PMI requires continued validation through required continuing education requirements. All of these factors ensure
that the PMP credential is widely respected. The PMP experience and exam requirements focus on five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing.
2. CISSP® - Certified Information Systems Security Professional - $110,342
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential is for security managers and professionals who develop policies and procedures in information security. The CISSP certification has become the gold standard in information security certifications. Earning and maintaining a CISSP certification is required for many governmental, military, and civilian security positions. The CISSP was the first credential in the field of information security, accredited by the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) to ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Standard 17024:2003. Earning your CISSP certification is not only an objective measure of excellence, but it is a globally recognized standard of achievement.
3. CCDA® - Cisco Certified Design Associate - $101,915
The Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) demonstrates that the individual who has passed the required exams has the requisite knowledge, experience, and understanding required to design a Cisco converged network.
A CCDA-certified individual has the skills to design a routed and switched network infrastructure and services involving LAN, WAN, and broadband access for businesses and organizations.
4. ITIL® v3 Foundation – ($97,691)
What is this ITIL that we hear so much about? The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITILv3) is a foundational process that provides for quality IT Service Management. The success of ITIL is through the use of documented and proven processes that cover the entire Service Lifecycle. The ITIL Expert level is the third of four levels. The ITIL Expert level certification is aimed at those individuals who are interested in demonstrating a superior level of knowledge of ITIL Version 3 (v3) in its entirety. Once you have achieved ITIL Expert level, you will also satisfy the pre-requisite entry criteria for the ITIL Master Level. This is the highest level of certification within the ITIL v3 scheme, though the Master level is still under development
5. MCSE - Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - $91,650
The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification ended with Server 2003, though you can still earn it (as well as the MCSE on Server 2000, though many of the tests are retired). The continued use of Windows Server 2003 in the market suggests that the demand for related expertise will continue for some time. The MCSE certification demonstrates to clients and employers that you are skilled in designing, implementing, and administering infrastructures for business solutions based on Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows 2000
Server. Implementation responsibilities include installing, configuring, and troubleshooting network systems. In order for you to earn your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 certification (or Windows 2000 Server), you must pass seven exams: four exams on networking systems, one exam on client operating systems, one exam on design, and one elective exam. One thing to be aware of is that many of the exams are retired or will be retiring soon. If one of the required exams is retired and you have not passed the exam, then you cannot earn the certification.
If you have passed the exam before it retired, than it still can be applied to the certification.