Are you Looking for your career track? IT certifications are the first way to show your current or future employer that you have what it takes to do the job! So, which certifications are likely to land you a high-paying position?
We took a look at some of the certifications that pay the most in 2017. Based on the results of an income survey by Global Knowledge, we found that networking, security, virtualization, and cloud computing are favorites.
This is probably not surprising, given the trend towards “hyper-networked” systems — everything connected to something, somewhere, sometime. There is a definite need for technicians capable of designing, operating, and securing these complex networks.
So let’s run through 10 high paying IT certifications that — on average — pay over $100,000 per year.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate: $125,871 per Year
Topping our list of high paying certifications is the Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect — Associate level. According to Computerworld, cloud computing ranks second only to security, as the place where organizations are increasing their 2017 IT budgets! Riding that wave of investment, Amazon Web Services is generating the need for certified architects, as well as staff to deploy and manage AWS solutions.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): $122,291 per Year
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is more business and management focused than the CISSP. What it aimed at management level IS professionals, who need a top-down view enterprise information security. As with the CISSP certification, CISM candidates must have 5+ years information security sector work experience. CISM covers four management-level domains of information security: Information security governance, information risk management and compliance, information security incident management, and information security program development and management.
ISC2 Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): $121,923 per Year
This Cert is the second security-related certification on our list. The vendor-neutral CISSP certification is for security and IT audit professionals responsible for the overall information security programs to protect their organizations from internal and external threats. First, CISSP candidates must have at least five years of specific work experience in the information security sector. They also must pass an exam that challenges their mastery of eight technical security domains, including security and risk management, communications and network security, and identity and access management.
Project Management Professional (PMP): $116,094 per Year
Just search any job site, and you’ll see that project management continues to be an in-demand skill! The Project Management Professional (PMP)certification is perhaps the leading industry-recognized certification for project managers. PMP is a global certification and — according to the Project Management Institute’s Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey — PMI-certified practitioners earn 20 percent more than their noncertified peers.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA): $113,320 per Year
It’s no secret! Systems are enterprise critical! It’s imperative that enterprise systems and data are secure and that organizations can withstand and recover from threats and calamities. For public companies, the regulatory reach of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act begins with financial records but can extend deep into their systems and network operations. With that background, it’s easy to see why companies place a premium on the vendor-neutral CISA certification for their IS audit and security personnel.
Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing and Switching: $112,858 per Year
This expert-level certification is one of the toughest to get! First, candidates are required to pass a 2-hour written exam on Cisco routing and switching; then they must give an 8-hour lab exam that tests their aptitude to configure actual equipment and troubleshoot the network in a timed test condition. Network engineers holding this Cisco CCIE certification are recognized for expert network engineering skills and rewarded appropriately. Not surprisingly, training for CCIE certification is extensive and covers six topic areas: Network Principles, Layer 2 Technologies, Layer 3 Technologies, VPN Technologies, Infrastructure Security, and Infrastructure Services.
Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center: $107,045 per Year
With an average surveyed salary of $107,000, this certification demonstrates the importance of networked data centers in today’s world. Cisco-certified data center network administrators are in demand to design, install, and maintain data centers that use Cisco technologies. These specialists are expected to understand both the networking and the data center technologies involved. This thing reflected in the certification exams and associated training courses: Cisco CCNA Data Center 200–150 DCICN: Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking and Cisco CCNA Data Center 200–155 DCICT: Introducing Cisco Data Center Technologies.
Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP): $105,008 per Year
This certification covers the professional knowledge and techniques needed to design an enterprise-grade, Cisco-based network from the ground up. Cisco Certified Design Professionals are expected to know a broad range of the technical information required — not only to design and implement a network but also to diagnose sub-optimal systems and restore their operation. Pro tip: Most Cisco training will provide the necessary foundation you need to pursue many high-paying areas of IT.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH): $103,297 per Year
This cert is the first of the security-related certifications we’ll discuss. The vendor-neutral Certified Ethical Hacker certification covers the penetration testing techniques that are used to uncover weaknesses and vulnerabilities in computer systems security. CEH certified professionals use the same knowledge and tools as malicious hackers but legally.
Citrix Certified Professional — Virtualization (CCP-V): $102,138 per Year
According to a Computerworld survey, virtualization is one of the top five areas of increased enterprise spending in 2017. With Xen as the basis for Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) services, Citrix arguably owns the world’s most-used cloud computing software. In the enterprise, XenDesktop, XenApp, and XenServer are common technologies. It reflected in demand for technicians with the Citrix Certified Professional — Virtualization certification.
At the End
There are many certifications available to you across a broad spectrum of vendors and functional specialties. Other high paying certifications we found included Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) — Security ($101,414 per Year), ITIL v3 Foundation ($99,869 per Year), and VMware Certified Professional 6 — Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) ($99,334 per Year).