Whether you’re new to the IT field or deep in the technology trenches, knowing what is hot and, sometimes more importantly, what is not, can be critical to the next step in your career path. That’s why we’ve got you covered with the latest and greatest certifications that should be on your radar, based on sales trends and unshakeable predictions from a team of experts. So, let’s dive in on what you should be looking to get certified in for 2020!
10. CompTIA Linux+ (XK0-004)
What is new is old again! With the resurgence of Linux distros in the security and cloud realms, it is little surprise that brushing up on your bash scripting and command-line troubleshooting is what employers want to see these days. CompTIA released a new version of their Linux+ certification in October, streamlining their previous two exams into one and adding in security ninja skills to XK0-004.
9. Microsoft MCSA SQL Development (70-76x)
Cloud databases may be all of the rage, but the basics are still in style. The staying power of Microsoft MCSA SQL Development (70-76x) is a strong testament to that. for database admins and developers is a strong testament to that. We predict that business intelligence solutions around Azure will grow to eventually replace this certification, but not anytime soon. Whether on-premises or in the cloud, this certification hasn’t lost its shine within the database market.
8. (ISC)2 CISSP (CAT, April 2018)
Despite interest in other specializations like CCSP and CSSLP, the CISSP continues to be the top dog in the security industry. Although slipping in this list compared to other IT certifications, CISSP remains a gold standard that any IT professional, especially in a management role, should consider. These initials are not disappearing from the thousands on LinkedIn anytime soon!
7. Cisco CCNA (200-301)
Although well-known in networking circles, the CCNA has remained the same certification program for many years now. But in the Summer of 2019, all of that changed with a new blueprint emphasizing cloud-based automation. You’ve got until February to test on the old CCNA exam objectives, but stay tuned for a huge update that will be sending network engineers scrambling to update their skills and prove their mettle in 2020!
6. Oracle 12c SQL OCA (1Z0-071)
From self-healing databases and automated cloud AI, the Oracle database has many bells and whistles and still remains a popular choice for large, multinational enterprises. Not without its controversial claims, there is no doubt it is a titan in the database realm, and skilled administrators are in high demand. This is one of the first exams needed to certify as an Oracle Certified Associate (OCA). We saw this title jump into the top ten last year and believe it is a trend we’ll continue to see in 2020.
5. Network+ (N10-007)
This may seem like a head-scratcher, but it is clearly based on our 2019 numbers that more newbies are willing to learn the dark arts of networking. Some of these can be explained away by the huge IoT demand and the growing needs to better support the infrastructure for these devices. As we become more connected, we’ll need to grow the workforce to ensure those connections stay reliable and secure. Also as part of what many consider a core understanding of cybersecurity starting in A+, Network+, and Security+, it is a great start to whatever branch of cybersecurity you are interested in. With that in mind, it’s good to see some growth in this introductory networking certification.
4. EC-Council CEH (v10)
Certified Ethical Hacker is still the ultimate in red team certification, enticing many a hacker into the cameras-lights-action of penetration testing. This is a great, high-level introductory look into the world of a white hat hacker, as it covers ethics, reporting, and a general review of the types of tools used. Though we predict that this certification will continue to grow in 2020, expect blue team related certifications like Certified Network Defender (CND) to rise as more organizations focus on automated protection and scanning over manual exploitation.
3. CompTIA Security+ (SY0-501)
As the IT skills gap, especially in the security space, continues to exist, more individuals will be gravitating to the field with little or no knowledge. Vendor-neutral certifications targeted at the entry-level, specifically well-known ones like Security+, will continue their popularity, as it is again part of the core understanding, of getting a high-level look through the field of cybersecurity. Now this certification has dropped a couple of spots since last year, mainly because more IT professionals are honing their existing skills or dipping their toes into more specialized security professions. If 2019 was the year of security, expect 2020 to re-emphasize traditional IT roles.
2. Microsoft MCSA Windows Server (70-74x)
This certification is also showing some age, but Windows system admins are still needed even in the age of Azure. So it is no surprise that this certification continues to be popular. We expect continued popularity in 2020, but we’re also watching the trend of companies moving toward machine learning to maintain their virtualized networking solutions. Although not as many companies adopted machine learning in 2019 as expected and it is not likely increase significantly in 2020. it is a long-term trend that we’re keeping our eyes on.
1. CompTIA A+ (220-100x)
The future in IT has never been greater with more advanced devices requiring more skilled technicians to manage them. The new 2019 exam emphasizes the newest technologies found in the field, making it a must for a full-fledged hardware technician, or anyone looking to hone their tech support skills. We expect to see this certification’s popularity only grow in 2020.
This was a new Cisco specialization in 2018, but we’re finally seeing some growth here. Keep your eye on this space.
This agile project management certification is one of PMI’s fastest growing, but it’s still not as popular as other project management certs. In 2020, this certification will remain a force to be reckoned with, even as the field of agile certification continues to widen.
Microsoft MCSA Azure
The slew of new Azure certifications, hot on the heels of the huge moves from various enterprises, including the DoD, ensure this certification will only grow in 2020. By adding performance-based labs to these exams, expect to see more and more cloud admins/developers jump on the bandwagon.
Slow to catch on until late last year, this certification is now growing steadily. We have every reason to expect its popularity among candidates will only grow in 2020. This certification hits right below the CASP and above the Security+ as an interesting intersection between a security auditor and analyst.