In the era of rapid digital transformation, the need for a sustainable IT workforce has never been greater. Businesses are rapidly shifting to cloud computing, and increasing cybersecurity threats require advanced technical capabilities to combat them.
As a result, organizations across all industries are looking beyond traditionally qualified staff and seeking qualified specialists to meet this demand.
Gaining an IT certification can lead to job security, a higher job rank, and a sense of credibility in the eyes of future employers. The numbers also speak for themselves: In a recent report from edX and the Linux Foundation, 72% of hiring managers said they’d be more likely to hire a candidate with an IT certification.
IT professionals often handle highly-sensitive data, so it’s not enough to simply “say” you’re experienced. Instead, companies want proof that you know what you’re doing. Here’s where IT certifications come in.
Obtaining an IT certification is a great way to demonstrate your technical know-how, boost your earning potential, and give yourself a competitive edge in the job market.
But with so many IT certifications available, how do you know which is worth the investment?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the best IT certifications across various IT skill sets.
- CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Google Professional Cloud Architect
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
- Google cloud digital leader certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified Data Professional (CDP)
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer
- Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert
- Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)
The 15 best IT certification programs
Now that we’ve established the value of an IT certification, let’s dive into the 15 best IT certifications you can invest in—and how much they cost.
1. CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program
Web development has remained one of the most in-demand IT disciplines throughout the pandemic. According to BLS, web developer job opportunities are expected to grow 23% between now and 2031—much faster than the average for other roles.
CareerFoundry’s Full-Stack Web Development Program offers an accessible, beginner-friendly approach to learning web development.
Unlike other IT certifications, CareerFoundry gives learners the best of both worlds: A self-paced online platform allowing you to master the fundamentals of frontend and backend development and a dedicated support team of mentors, tutors, student advisors, and career specialists to help you forge a successful career in today’s job market.
CareerFoundry also offers data analytics and digital marketing programs, both also highly sought-after IT certifications.
2. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a certification that demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts related to AWS (Amazon web services). It’s designed for people with no previous experience in cloud computing, making it the perfect starting point on your journey to becoming cloud-literate.
This 90-minute exam will see you learn your way around the AWS platform, from use cases and security concepts to billing and pricing models. With an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner under your belt, you’ll navigate a switch to cloud computing with ease.
3. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
Offered through ISC2, the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) is popular among more experienced cloud computing and application security professionals.
The CCSP proves your expertise in designing, managing, and securing data and applications within cloud environments. Obtaining the CCSP is no small feat; you’ll need extensive knowledge of best practices for cloud security design and utilization, plus a commitment to upholding industry standards in cloud security.
But for employers, the CCSP reassures them that they’re hiring a trained individual who’ll keep their organization’s sensitive data secure.
4. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is an international credential developed and managed by the ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association).
This certification verifies that an individual has the knowledge, experience, and capability to develop and manage information security programs. Professionals holding the CISM Certification have demonstrated their ability to function as trusted advisors on security strategies, making them highly valuable for any organization.
5. Google Professional Cloud Architect
The Google Professional Cloud Architect certification is one of the most sought-after credentials in cloud computing. This IT certification acknowledges professionals who are skilled in designing, developing, and managing Google Cloud environments.
To earn this award, candidates need practical experience deploying secure and reliable solutions, knowledge of designing cloud architecture, and a working understanding of key concepts related to Google Cloud platform technology.
6. Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a business concept designed to help organizations ensure their processes fit their strategic goals.
Once you’ve passed the foundational ITIL exam, you’ll have to choose between two paths to gain the qualification: Managing Professional (MP) or Strategic Leader (SL).
An ITIL certificate shows potential employers that you understand the best practices for delivering quality of service, as well as being able to develop creative solutions to complex problems in a business setting.
7. Google cloud digital leader certification
Created in 2021, the Google Cloud Digital Leader is a foundational-level certification that demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of the Google Cloud Platform. There are no set requirements for the exam, but participants should familiarise themselves with Google Cloud security and operations to gain the qualification without any problems.
The program covers multiple aspects of cloud-based technology, including serverless computing, application modernization, DevOps, and big data analytics. Getting this certification will see you troubleshoot complex cloud problems (and impress your employers in the process).
8. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
The term ‘ethical hacker’ might seem like a contradiction, but ethical hackers play a crucial role in cybersecurity. They find and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems, so the organization can address them (and avoid non-ethical hackers attacking). And how do ethical hackers prove they’re qualified to do this work? By becoming CEH certified.
The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) is an industry-leading cybersecurity certification program created to equip IT professionals with the same techniques and tools used by malicious hackers to attack systems. This qualification shows businesses that you have what it takes to protect their systems from future attacks.
9. Certified Data Professional (CDP)
The Certified Data Professional (CDP) is a widely respected credential in the data world. Being CDP qualified showcases a mastery of the core concepts of modern data management, and a working knowledge of the latest data technologies and trends.
The CDP provides several learning paths across multiple domains, including data analytics, data governance, data warehouse, and data architecture. You can also obtain different CDP certifications based on your experience, starting with the foundation (entry-level) and ending with executive management (expert level).
10. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
A Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is catered to professionals with a wealth of knowledge and technical expertise in networking. In short, the CCNP allows you to design and implement complex local and wide area networks, as well as troubleshoot technical issues.
CCNP-certified professionals have experience with firewall implementation, wireless network implementation, and virtual private network (VPN) solutions. These unique skills can be leveraged across various businesses, from small startups to large enterprises.
11. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) is Cisco’s most advanced technical certification, and the most esteemed networking certification program in IT. As the name suggests, obtaining this IT certification makes you an officially recognized networking infrastructure and systems expert.
Naturally, this certification requires relevant previous experience—at least five to seven years, to be exact. But even for mid-level professionals, becoming CCIE certified is a surefire way to propel your career forward.
12. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification is a globally recognized standard for cyber defense skills. Businesses trust this certification to guarantee that cybersecurity specialists can manage enterprise data against cyber-attacks.
The CISSP credential demonstrates experience in identifying risk management concepts, cryptography, and security protocols. To qualify, participants need to pass a three-hour multiple-choice exam covering topics like asset security, networking systems, and access control systems.
13. Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer certification
The Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer certification helps professionals gain a deep understanding of the Salesforce development cycle and deployment process. This certification focuses on a broad range of topics, including writing Apex code, configuring deployments, and troubleshooting tools.
Once completed, applicants will become official Salesforce Certified Development Life Cycle & Deployment Designers. They’ll be qualified to design, build, test, and deploy scalable applications on the Salesforce platform.
14. Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert
The Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert is an industry-renowned certification that allows architects and developers to navigate complex challenges in Microsoft Azure. Exam-takers will learn how to design and implement solutions that use Microsoft Azure tools and services.
Microsoft recommends exam-takers have some experience in Azure administration, as well as DevOps, networking, and data security.
15. Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)
The Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) is aimed at individuals who are skilled in data privacy regulations and solutions. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) offers the certification.
Having this credential will see you establish yourself as a reliable source in data privacy solutions engineering. You’ll be able to demonstrate their expertise in understanding industry standards, best practices, and compliance requirements for protecting sensitive information.
An IT certification is a great way to show employers you’re qualified, credible, and ready to make an impact. Feeling overwhelmed by choice? Don’t rush it! It’s important you opt for the IT certification that complements your existing skillset, so be sure to do your research.
For IT certification programs that are exclusively online, check out our list of the best 12.
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