Whether you are a recent IT graduate or a seasoned network professional, figuring out what’s next on your IT career roadmap is an important part of your professional success and journey.
An immediate consideration is, “What IT certifications will make you a desirable information technology candidate, while boosting your paycheck?” When analyzing the vast array of IT certifications, there are considerations; let’s examine them.
Vendor-Specific vs. Discipline-Based IT Certification
Vendor-specific certifications are available from leading enterprise IT corporations like Microsoft, Cisco, AWS, Citrix, etc. Smaller, niche IT providers also offer certifications for their products and services, but it is advisable to first obtain a foundational certification that is widely desired by many potential employers.
Discipline-based certifications demonstrate to employers you are committed and invested in your career. Once you have decided the direction of your technology career, (i.e., networking, security, cloud, software development), then choose the professional certification that matches your experience level. Examples of highly desired IT discipline-based certifications are listed below; the estimated annual salary is from Global Knowledge’s 2018 survey:
CGEIT - Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT, annual salary of $121,363
PMP - Project Management Professional PMP, annual salary of $114,473
CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional, annual salary of $111,049
Today’s Trends & Employer Needs
When our IT recruiting team is speaking to employers that are searching for contract or permanent IT project managers, application programmers and systems analysts here’s what’s on their shortlist of desired certifications:
Networking: Cisco CCNP - Cisco Certified Networking Professional, $99,402
Summary: The CCNP is the leading midrange credential across a wide variety of disciplines.
Cisco offers several variations that allow you to focus on your IT career path, for example: the most popular is Routing and Switching, but there is also Data Center, Cloud and more.
Cloud: AWS Certified - Amazon Web Services Certified, $114,148
Summary: AWS is the dominant provider in the public cloud platform and there is an IT staffing shortage of AWS-certified IT professionals, in particular AWS certified architects. AWS offers five different certificates: Cloud, Architect, Storage, Developer and Operations.
Security: CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional, $111,475
Summary: The CISSP is for the seasoned IT security professional and has a prerequisite of at least five years of cumulative, paid full-time work experience. CISSPs are an elite class of InfoSec and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has an expected job growth rate of 18 percent between 2014 and 2024.
Arming yourself with at least one enterprise-level certification is critical for an InfoTech professional beginning or transitioning their career. As your career progresses, continue to add complementary certificates from products or services that integrate with your core skills or vendors. This shows future employers you have the ability to manage an IT multi-vendor ecosystem.
You’re Credentialed, Now What?
Well, technical staffing and HR consultancy services that specialize in IT recruitment want to find you! So make it easy for them.
Here Are Three Easy-to-Deploy Tips:
1. Update your LinkedIn profile. Now!
When adding your credentials, write out the entire certification name and use the acronym.
Example: CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional
2. Update your skills section in LinkedIn.
This is how information technology recruiters search for candidates with your specific skill set.
3. Use Badges & Icons.
If the vendor supplies a certification icon, use it! Also add your credentials to your business cards, email signature, company biography and update your college alumni association.
Get Paid Your Worth
You’ve invested in your career, what’s next?
A professional recruiter can provide you with accurate salary information and current employment placement opportunities that your skill set is in high demand for. At ASB Resources, we are continually recruiting certified IT professionals, like you. Connect with one of our IT recruiting specialists today for a bigger paycheck tomorrow!