IT Certifications

Top 5 IT Certifications to Boost Your Career in 2024

Staying ahead of the curve is crucial, especially if want to unlock top-paying opportunities and career advancement. That’s where IT certifications come in —  your golden ticket.

Luckily, we put together this guide. Here, we explore the top 5 IT certifications that pay well and that’ll equip you with in-demand skills and boost your earning potential. 

But remember, having the best certifications for IT jobs is just one piece of the puzzle. Continuous professional development (CPD) is the key to long-term success, ensuring you stay relevant and on top of your game.

So, whether you’re an IT veteran seeking to upskill or an eager fresh graduate, this guide is your roadmap to the best IT certifications for beginners and experts who want a thriving career in IT.

Importance of IT Certifications in Career Growth

Ongoing with CPD is crucial in IT — or any career you pursue. 

The competition is fierce. In fact, a whopping 63% of IT directors struggle to find skilled talent. 

That’s where certifications shine. It acts as validated proof of your expertise. Think of them as badges of honour, showcasing your dedication to staying ahead of the curve and mastering in-demand skills.

But, the benefits don’t stop there. Here’s how IT certifications can supercharge your career:

  • You can dive deeper into specific specialisations, acquiring the coveted skills employers crave. Remember, the best certification depends on your chosen path.
  • Studies show professionals with IT certifications can earn up to 15% more than their non-certified counterparts. 
  • IT certifications also enable you to stand out from the crowd and land higher-paying roles — whether it’s within your company or a new role.
  • It can boost your confidence since you go through challenging exams and earn certifications. Tests like that are a surefire way to bolster your self-belief and ace those interviews.
  • Many certification courses also offer access to exclusive communities and events, helping you connect with the best and broaden your network.

Top 5 IT Certifications You Should Check Out

With that said, we put together this IT certifications list for you to check out. If you are looking for career advancement tracks these are some of the top-paying IT certifications for 2023 and possibly this year as well. 

IT Certifications

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Certification Fee: USD 150

This certification is a strong contender for one of the best IT certifications for remote work. 

AWS remains the dominant cloud platform, and Solutions Architects are in high demand globally. This translates to ample remote job opportunities across various industries.

In fact, the core skills tested in the certification, such as designing secure, scalable, and cost-effective cloud solutions, are highly applicable to remote work environments. Employers recognise this and actively seek certified professionals for remote positions.

Benefits

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of designing cost-optimised, high-performance, and secure AWS architectures.
  • Earn a globally recognised IT certification that demonstrates your expertise and commitment to continuous learning.
  • Certified AWS professionals can command up to 20% higher salaries on average compared to their non-certified counterparts. Cha-ching!
  • Many companies leverage AWS, enabling you to explore flexible work options and work from anywhere in the world. ️
  • Join a vibrant community of AWS professionals for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and career advancement.

Targeted Skills

  • Familiarity with IT infrastructure and networking concepts
  • Understanding of cloud computing principles
  • Basic knowledge of Linux and Windows operating systems
  • Experience with at least one programming language (e.g., Python, Java)

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Certification Fee: USD 749

With that increase in digital threats and data breaches, cybersecurity is in high demand. Effectively protecting sensitive information and safeguarding critical infrastructure is a crucial aspect for organisations today. 

Consequently, if that is where you want to specialise then CISSP can be a transformative step. 

It is offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² and recognised globally as one of the premier cyber security certifications. Possessing this certification validates your comprehensive understanding of the cybersecurity landscape across eight domains – from security and risk management to software development security. 

In addition, earning the CISSP certificate demonstrates your ability to design, implement, and manage robust security programs, positioning you as a highly in-demand asset in any organisation.

Benefits

  • Gain a comprehensive knowledge of eight key domains in information security, making you a well-rounded and valuable asset to any team.
  • Certified CISSP professionals can earn up to 20% more than their non-certified counterparts.
  • Many companies worldwide seek CISSP expertise, enabling you to work remotely and enjoy the flexibility you deserve. ️
  • Stand out from the crowd with this globally recognised IT certification, showcasing your commitment to staying ahead of cyber threats.
  • Connect with a network of fellow CISSPs for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and career advancement. 

Targeted Skills

  • Minimum of 5 years of cumulative, full-time experience in two or more of the eight CISSP domains (or substitute with education or other approved credentials).
  • Strong understanding of IT security concepts, risk management, security architecture, and incident response.
  • Explore the CISSP exam outline, utilise CISSP training materials, and consider joining study groups or boot camps.

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)

Certification Fee: USD 100

Agile methodologies, like Scrum, have emerged as powerful tools for organisations to navigate change and deliver value rapidly. So, if you’re an IT professional or recent graduate seeking to further your career then this certification is an excellent first step.

Offered by the Scrum Alliance, CSM is a globally recognised certification that validates your understanding of the Scrum framework and its core principles. Through interactive training and an assessment, the course equips you with the knowledge and skills to effectively guide teams through Scrum practices, fostering collaboration, maximising productivity, and delivering successful projects.

Benefits

  • CSM is considered the gold standard of Scrum Master certifications, respected by many organisations and employers worldwide.
  • Get a solid understanding of the Scrum framework, its roles, events, and artefacts, preparing you for entry-level Scrum Master positions.
  • Gain scrum skills that are applicable across various industries and project types, opening doors to diverse opportunities.
  • Become a part of the Scrum Alliance, a large community of certified professionals for networking, learning, and support.

Targeted Skills

  • Understanding of Scrum principles, practices, and roles.
  • Basic understanding of project management.
  • Communication and collaboration skills.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills. 
  • Leadership skills. 

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

Certification Fee: USD 200

The cloud computing landscape is rapidly evolving, and organisations are increasingly seeking skilled professionals to design, build, and manage their cloud infrastructure. If you’re looking to carve a niche in this dynamic field, then Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification can empower you to navigate the cloud with expertise.

This is one of many Google certifications offered by the tech giant. It validates your ability to design, develop, and manage robust, secure, and scalable solutions on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Through rigorous assessment, it demonstrates your proficiency in core cloud architecture principles, best practices, and GCP-specific services. 

With that said, possessing this certification positions you as a valuable asset, capable of driving business objectives through effective cloud solutions.

Benefits

  • This certification opens doors to numerous IT certifications for remote work, offering exciting career opportunities with competitive salaries and benefits. This is because Google Cloud is a leading cloud platform, and demand for skilled architects is on the rise.
  • The course equips you with a comprehensive understanding of GCP architecture, design patterns, security, cost optimisation, and more. You’ll master essential skills like infrastructure design, solution deployment, and performance monitoring, becoming a well-rounded cloud architect.
  • Earning this certification signifies your expertise and commitment to Google Cloud, which can set you apart from the competition. Additionally, it positions you for career advancement to leadership roles like Cloud Architect or Solutions Architect.

Targeted Skills

  • Understanding core IT concepts like networking, operating systems, and virtualisation is essential.
  • Familiarity with Linux commands and administration is advantageous.
  • Deep understanding of the core GCP services like Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL, Cloud Networking, Kubernetes Engine, and Cloud Identity & Access Management (IAM). 
  • Experience with designing and implementing cloud solutions.
  • Knowledge of GCP security features and best practices, as well as compliance requirements relevant to the cloud environment. 
  • Ability to identify and resolve issues that arise during cloud deployments and operations. 

Cisco Certified DevNet Professional

Certification Fee: USD 400

Ask yourself this: Do you aspire to a career where you craft innovative, secure, and scalable solutions on Cisco platforms? 

If so, the Cisco Certified DevNet Professional certification can be your key to unlocking a rewarding future in network development.

Offered by Cisco, a leading networking technology provider, this IT certification validates your expertise in developing and maintaining applications that interact seamlessly with Cisco networks. 

Through rigorous assessment and after earning the certificate, you are positioned to be a valuable asset in any organisation you join. Additionally, you will be capable of bridging the communication gap between developers and network operations teams, ultimately driving business agility and innovation.

Benefits

  • Open doors for exciting career opportunities with competitive salaries and benefits.
  • Master essential skills like API programming, security scripting, and infrastructure automation, becoming a well-rounded network developer.
  • Position yourself for career advancement to leadership roles like Network Developer or DevOps Engineer.

Targeted Skills

  • Proficiency in at least one programming language like Python, Java, or JavaScript.
  • Understand software development methodologies, design patterns, and best practices.
  • Knowledge of RESTful APIs and experience with designing and consuming APIs.
  • Experience with Git or other version control systems.
  • Experience with Cisco DevNet tools like Postman, DevNet Sandbox, and DNA Center.
  • Basic understanding of Cisco networking technologies like routing, switching, and security.
  • Knowledge of Cisco APIs like ACI, DNA Center, and Meraki.
  • Familiarity with specific Cisco platforms like Cisco DNA Center, ACI, and Meraki.
  • Understanding of security principles and best practices for developing secure applications.
  • Familiarity with cloud concepts and platforms like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
  • Ability to identify and resolve issues related to software development and Cisco platforms.

Conclusion

The IT landscape is dynamic, and the skills that propel you forward today might not suffice tomorrow. In this ever-evolving environment, continuous professional development is no longer a desire, it’s a need for sustained success. 

While certifications like the ones we’ve explored can provide a valuable springboard, remember that they represent snapshots in your learning journey.

With that said, embrace continuous learning. Dedicate time to exploring new technologies, expanding your skillset through online courses, attending industry conferences, and actively engaging with the IT community. This not only enhances your expertise but also demonstrates your commitment to growth, making you a more desirable candidate to employers seeking future-proof talent.

Remember, the IT certifications you possess are only a badge. What truly counts is your unwavering dedication to continuous learning and professional growth. By consistently upskilling and staying ahead of the curve, you empower yourself to navigate the ever-changing IT landscape with confidence and thrive in your chosen career.

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