The world of information technology is continually changing and it’s hard to tell from one day to the next what’s emerging as the “hot new” product or development. But there’s one thing for certain: If you want to stay employed for any length of time in IT, you must also be continually learning all you can. Part of this learning is going after industry certifications that prove you have the knowledge and skills to get the job done.
What are some of the best IT certifications to invest in your career in 2016 and beyond?
Here’s a rundown, based on most recent workforce data.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Being a well-trained project manager is at the helm of IT work, and so earning the PMP should be your first step in gaining respect and a better career. The PMP involves taking a number of courses (online and print available) then passing a rigorous PMP exam. The certification is worth the investment, with earnings being reported averaging $116k or more for skilled project managers in the IT field.
VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)
For over 15 years, the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) has been the top entry-level certification for It pros to earn. This year, the certification has been modified to include the data center virtualization specialization, as well as other areas of focus like security and risk management. Classes are available online and a test ensures certification is simple to achieve. Reported earnings with the VMware certifications are in the upper 90s.
Six Sigma Green Belt
The Six Sigma Green Belt certification is not IT specific, but it is highly valued in the industry for its ability to produce high-quality and detail-oriented work. Classes are available online, some with assessments, and some students earn this through college level classes or job projects. Many employers offer this certification as part of a management training program. Earning a Six Sigma Green Belt certification can elevate earnings by as much as 25 percent, according to some estimations.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Data theft is on the rise around the world, therefore, companies are seeking IT pros who are well-equipped to handle corporate information securely. The CISM, a CISCO certification, is designed to teach the foundation of data security at all levels. IT pros must meet strict guidelines to earn this certification, including at least 10 years of work experience. There are currently around 25,000 people CISM certified, so there are plenty of opportunities to earn a lot given the limited supply in the workforce.
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