Top Certifications for 2015

Security, Business, Networking, Software/HardwareIT PRO Certification


Tech skills and certifications are important for all roles from the engineering side to project management. There are several recent surveys that highlight the certifications that are most in demand or that provide the best pay off. This article highlights a few of those surveys (with links to them) as well as discussed general skills trends that Redfish Technology has identified.


According to the UCLA Extension, tech certifications that make the most impact on your career and pay scale are the Microsoft Certified IT Professional, and the Cisco Certified Network Associate. A+, Server+, ACMT are the top hardware/software certifications requested in IT job postings.


The IT professionals merit badge is the Project Management Institute (PMI)’s PMP certification which enhances most any other technical credential. PMP and CAPM are the most requested project management certifications. Database technology is at the heart of many roles from analytics to data scientist.


Oracle 11g and MongoDB/NoSQL are clearly leading the job board requirements for DBAs, database developers/analysts/architects, business intelligence and other data professionals.


For the best certifications in Help Desk, Linux, IT Governance, Enterprise Architecture, System Administrator Certifications, Storage and Web see the Tom’s IT PRO Best IT Certifications For 2015 article.


In-demand programming certifications for IT Pros include: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) for Developers, (ISC)2 Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP), and Google Apps for Business Certified Deployment Specialist (CDS). See the Tom’s IT PRO Best Computer Programming Certifications for 2015 article for more details on these.


Software programming skills can be both language-specific or platform-oriented. Programming language credentials offered in A+, C/C++ and almost any other. Vendor platform certifications from Adobe and Microsoft to Cisco and Juniper to the quickly growing demand of Amazon’s AWS also give you a leg up on the competition.


But the top paying certifications forecast in 2015 by John Hales from Global Knowledge are in security, business and networking certs. Based on the findings of the 2015 IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro, Hale’s excellent article 15 Top-Paying Certifications for 2015 provides expanded information on both salary and trends. His advice is that to improve both skills and pay, get a certification! For example: If you already know storage or networking, consider a certification in virtualization. Or, break out of your technical track into a management track by taking ITIL or PMP training and getting certified in one of those areas.


The top security certifications include: the top paid for 2015, the CRISC – Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), the CISM – Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), the CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and a personal favorite the CEH – Certified Ethical Hacker.


Business certifications that pay best according to Hales are the PMP – Project Management Professional, Certified Scrum Master and the ITIL v3 Foundation, Networking certifications with a great ROI in 2015 are: the CCDA – Cisco Certified Design Associate, Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching, and Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate – Junos.


More top certifications: Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV), and Certified Novell Engineer (CNE). And keep your eye on the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate and three additional certifications – with the continuing growth of the cloud for businesses of all sizes, this will surely be a big certification going forward.


In terms of the technical recruiting that is the forte of Redfish Technology, in the sectors of software, security, cloud, mobile, big data, and cleantech most roles don’t have lengthy certification requirements. Typically teams have identified the specific language and coding skills necessary to a role. Technical product manager roles most often require Agile (PMI-ACP)/Scrum training or a PMP when a certification is required. Networking roles most often require certifications like the CCNA. But of course the main certification is a degree in Computer Sciences.


That said, even when certifications are not a specific requirement, they do differentiate candidates. Certifications and professional education show a commitment to professional development and staying on top of one’s game. Touting certifications can also go a long way to reassuring companies that you have the know-how and skills necessary and can minimize the candidate testing process.

Reference articles & further reading:


15 Top-Paying Certifications for 2015

Top 5 Programming Certs for IT Pros

Best IT Certifications For 2015

8 Professions Where You Can Make Way More Money With A Certificate