7 min read

Certifications have always proven to be one of the best ways to boost one’s IT career. Irrespective of the domain you choose, you will always have an upperhand if your resume showcases some valuable IT certifications. Certified professionals attract employers as certifications are an external validation that an individual is competent in that said technical skill. Certifications enable individuals to start thinking out of the box, become more efficient in what they do, and execute goals with minimum errors.

If you are looking at enhancing your skills and increasing your salary, this is a tried and tested method. Here are the top 10 IT certifications that will help you in uprising your IT career.

AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate:

AWS is currently the market leader in the public cloud. Packt Skill Up Survey 2018 confirms this too.

Packt Skill Up Survey

Source: Packt Skill Up Survey 2018

AWS Cloud from Amazon offers a cutting-edge platform for architecting, building, and deploying web-scale cloud applications. With rapid adaptation of cloud platform the need for cloud certifications has also increased. IT professionals with some experience of AWS Cloud, interested in designing effective Cloud solutions opt for this certification. This exam promises to scale your ability of architecting and deploying secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. Individuals who fail to pass an exam must wait 14 days before they are eligible to retake the exam. There isn’t any attempt limit for this exam. AWS Certification passing scores depend on statistical analysis and are subject to change.

  • Exam Fee: $150
  • Average Salary: $119,233 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 65
  • Types of Question: MCQ
  • Available Languages: English, Japanese

AWS Certified Developer – Associate:

This is another role-based AWS certification that has gained enough traction for industries to keep it as a job validator. This exam helps individuals validate their software development knowledge which helps them develop cloud applications on AWS. IT professionals with hands-on experience in designing and maintaining AWS-based applications should definitely go for this certification to stand-out. Individuals who fail to pass an exam must wait 14 days before they are eligible to retake the exam. There isn’t any attempt limit for this exam. AWS Certification passing scores depend on statistical analysis and are subject to change.

  • Exam Fee: $150
  • Average Salary: $116,456 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 65
  • Types of Question: MCQ
  • Available Languages: English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project management Professional is one of the most valuable certifications for project managers. The beauty of this certification is that it not only teaches individuals creative methodologies but makes them proficient in any industry domain they look forward to pursuing. The techniques and knowledge one gets from this certification is applicable in any industry globally. This certification promises that PMP certified project managers are capable of completing projects on time, in a desired budget and ensure meeting the original project goal.

  • Exam Fee: Non-PMI Members: $555/ PMI Members: $405
  • Average Salary: $113,000 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 200
  • Type of Question: A combination of Multiple Choice and Open-end
  • Passing Threshold: 80.6%

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP is one of the globally recognized security certifications. This cybersecurity certification is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and build industry-level security skills. On achieving this certification users will be well-versed in designing, engineering, implementing, and running an information security program. Users need at least 5 years of minimum working experience in order to be eligible for this certification. This certification will help you measure your competence in designing and maintaining a robust environment.

  • Exam Fee: $699
  • Average Salary: $111,638 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 250 (each question carries 4 marks)
  • Type of Question: Multiple Choice
  • Passing Threshold: 700 marks

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ certification is a vendor neutral certification used to kick-start one’s career as a security professional. It helps users get acquainted to all the aspects related to IT security. If you are inclined towards systems administration, network administration, and security administration, this is something that you should definitely go for. With this certification users learn the latest trends and techniques in risk management, risk mitigation, threat management and intrusion detection.

  • Exam Fee: $330
  • Average Salary: $95,829 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 90
  • Type of Question: Multiple Choice
  • Available Languages: English (Japanese, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese estimated Q2 2018)
  • Passing Threshold: 750/900

CompTIA Network+

Another CompTIA certification! Why? CompTIA Network+ is a certification that helps individuals in developing their career and validating their skills to troubleshoot, configure, and manage both wired and wireless networks. So, if you are an entry-level IT professional interested in managing, maintaining, troubleshooting and configuring complex network infrastructures then, this one is for you.

  • Exam Fee: $302
  • Average Salary: $90,280 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 90
  • Type of Question: Multiple Choice
  • Available Languages: English (In Development: Japanese, German, Spanish, Portuguese)
  • Passing Threshold: 720 (on a scale of 100-900)

VMware Certified Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6.5-DCV)

Yes, even today virtualization is highly valued in a lot of industries. Data Center Virtualization Certification helps individuals develop skills and abilities to install, configure, and manage a vSphere 6.5 infrastructure. This industry-recognized certification validates users’ knowledge on implementing, managing, and troubleshooting a vSphere V6.5 infrastructure. It also helps IT professionals build a  foundation for business agility that can accelerate the transformation to cloud computing.

  • Exam Fee: $250
  • Average Salary: $82,342 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 46
  • Available language: English
  • Type of Question: Single and Multiple Choice
  • Passing Threshold: 300 (on a scale of 100-500)

CompTIA A+

Yet another CompTIA certification that helps entry level IT professionals have an upper hand. This certification is specially for individuals interested in building their career in technical support or IT operational roles. If you are thinking more than just PC repair then, this one is for you. By entry level certification I mean this is a certification that one can pursue simultaneously while in college or secondary school. CompTIA A+ is a basic version of Network+ as it only touches basic network infrastructure issues while making you proficient as per industry standards.

  • Exam Fee: $211
  • Average Salary:$79,390 per annum
  • Number of Questions: 90
  • Type of Question: Multiple Choice
  • Available Languages: English, German, Japanese, Portuguese, French and Spanish
  • Passing Threshold: 72% for 220-801 exam and 75% for 220-802 exam

Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA)

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching is one of the most important IT certifications to stay up-to date with your networking skills. It is a foundational certification for individuals interested in a high level networking profession. The exam helps candidates validate their knowledge and skills in networking, LAN switching, IPv4 and IPv6 routing, WAN, infrastructure security, and infrastructure management. This certification not only validates users networking fundamentals but also helps them stay relevant with skills needed to adopt next generation technologies.

  • Exam Fee: $325
  • Average Salary:$55,166-$90,642
  • Number of Questions: 60-70
  • Available Languages: English, Japanese
  • Type of Question: Multiple Choice
  • Passing Threshold: 825/1000

CISM (Certified Information Security Manager)

Lastly, we have Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), a nonprofit certification offered by ISACA that caters to security professionals involved in information security, risk management and governance. This is an advanced-level certification for experienced individuals who develop and manage enterprise information security programs. Only users who hold five years of verified experience, out of which 3 year of experience in infosec management, are eligible for this exam.

  • Exam Fee: $415- $595 (Cheaper for members)
  • Average Salary: $52,402 to $243,610
  • Number of Questions: 200
  • Passing Threshold: 450  (on a scale of 200-800)
  • Type of Question: Multiple Choice

Are you confused as to which certification you should take-up?

Well, leave your noisy thoughts aside and choose wisely. Pick-up an exam that is inclined to your interest. If you want to pursue IT security don’t end-up going for Cloud certifications. No career option is fun unless you want to pursue it wholeheartedly. Take a right step and make it count.

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