IT certifications require a significant investment of time and (usually) money. Because of this, tech professionals need to be judicious about which certifications they pursue, ideally seeking certifications that provide the most return on investment.
According to a recent international survey of IT professionals by the tech training company Global Knowledge, 85 percent of tech professionals hold at least one certification. The company also noted a direct connection between holding a certification (in North America) and higher pay. Furthermore, average salary increases with each certification earned. Those holding six or more make an average of more than $117,000, $13,000 more than the average for professionals with none.
Not every certification commands a higher pay rate. For instance, certifications in cybersecurity and project management are associated with higher pay increases more so than other certifications, according to a recent study from Foote Partners, LLC.
On the bright side, more companies appear to be supporting their tech workers getting certified. A recent study from Dice and the Linux Foundation indicated 55 percent of employers are prepared to cover the cost of continuing education, including getting staff members certified; which is a 22-percent rise since 2016.
Whether you are paying for a certification yourself or your employer is footing the bill, it is essential to know which ones translate into higher pay. Below are just a few certifications that tend to return a significant return on investment.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Cloud Architect
Cloud computing abilities are valuable for every company. Debuting in 2017, this certification indicates the capability to design, create, and manage a dependable cloud architecture with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) technologies.
The certification exam is meant for an architect that must determine what cloud solution works best for a range of different situations. The exam doesn’t include specific questions on how to use the technology.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Developed and maintained by ISACA, the CISM certification meant for management professionals who create and oversee an enterprise’s data security. To be eligible, you must have at least five years of experience in data security, with a minimum of three years as a security manager. Certification status must be maintained by earning continuing education credits. The certification exam is offered during specific testing windows and is computer-based.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
This certification indicates the ability to design and launch scalable systems on AWS. Due to ongoing growth in cloud computing, there is a massive need for skilled and certified AWS solutions architects, and year after year, this is a certification associated with higher pay.
Those seeking the certification should have six months or more of experience working with AWS. Computer-based and taken at PSI testing, the certification exam focuses on topics like choosing the most suitable AWS services for given scenarios, moving data to and from the AWS ecosystem, calculating AWS costs, and figuring out cost-control measures.
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