Technology evolves constantly. If you’re an ambitious IT professional, you should seek to constantly expand your experience, your skills, and your certifications, right along with evolving technology, in order to develop your career.
The good news is that you also can often reap financial rewards during this process. If you’re looking to boost your salary while you develop your skills, take a look at these five in-demand certs.
Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)
Citrix certifications are generally very popular across the industry, and the financial component keeps up with salaries ranging from $99,411 to $105,086. The popularity makes sense because organizations are increasing their investment in cloud-based infrastructure with solutions like those Citrix provides, and IT pros who are virtualization experts are in high demand to help companies keep pace with the change.
The CCP-V certification sits at the top of the salary range for Citrix certs, focusing on Citrix’s flagship XenDesktop application and delivery platform. To earn your CCP-V, you will first need to conquer the CCA-V cert.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The first of two on this list of certs provided by the ISACA, the CISM is a vendor-neutral certification that focuses on enterprise-level security management. This cert is great for IT pros who already work in network security and are ready to level up in their careers. Preparing for this exam, you’ll hone your expertise in strategizing the development and management of information security programs at organizations.
To get certified, not only do you have to pass the exam, you also must have five years of work experience in the field of infosec, with three years as a manager. If you meet the requirements, you can look forward to a salary topping $122,500 per year.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
AWS certifications target IT pros who design and manage applications on AWS; expertise in this market-leading cloud technology will take you far. The Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is one of the highest-paying certs around, easily topping $100,000 in salary. It demonstrates that you have mastery over AWS best practices, and further, can design distributed applications and systems on AWS.
You’ll need experience designing hybrid components (on-premises plus AWS), expertise with one programming language, and more. Once you acquire the cert, you’ll join a relatively small pool of certificate holders, which gives you a competitive edge — especially in salary negotiations.
Project Management Professional (PMP®)
One of the classic IT certs, the PMP® is widely held but also flexible, internationally recognized, and applicable to all kinds of industries, and garners a well-paying salary across roles. To pass the exam, you’ll need to demonstrate mastery in five areas of project execution: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing the project. It requires a fair amount of planning and preparation to meet the requirements and pass the exam, but it’s arguably the most valuable certification for soft skills that an IT pro can get.
Hot tip: if you’re looking to move up in management, combine the PMP® with another certification to boost your salary potential and become even more indispensable to your organization.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
If you haven’t noticed already, security is a recurring theme on this list. That’s because security skills are some of the most in-demand right now, and it’s important to managers that employees back up security knowledge with targeted certifications like CISA, another ISACA certification. If you have experience in infosec auditing, control, and risk management, this cert may be for you.
In addition to passing the exam, you’ll have to show five years of experience. Hop on the path to CISA and look forward to roles with salaries topping $100,000 per year.
Whether you’re assessing security systems, leading IT projects, or something in between, there’s a certification that meets your needs and can propel your career forward. At times it can be difficult to choose which certification path to pursue, so don’t shy away from using a salary boost as one of your criteria.
Trends such security and virtualization, as well as major industry players like AWS and Citrix, will continue to produce in-demand certs that can help you rise in the ranks and reap the financial rewards.
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