It’s one of those professions where the optimal skill set fluctuates constantly. We keep track of the top ten highest-paying certifications in IT, and the top ones have yet again been surpassed by new entrants in 2020, while the average salary is on the rise.
The good news is that if you get trapped in your home during the Coronavirus pandemic, you can learn new skills that will help you survive.
Some certification programs are fully optimized for remote learners with most guided lessons, practice sandboxes and even the certification exam being available online and on demand. This makes preparing for and achieving a new certification feasible for people who work from home.
Certifications can be useful for careers in information systems management, networking, cloud computing, project management, and security. Eighty percent of IT professionals say certifications are beneficial, the challenge is deciding which area to focus on.
Using data provided by professional development solutions and course provider Global Knowledge, we determined the highest-paying IT certifications in the world. The data comes from what Global Knowledge’s customers are studying and what they find after graduation. We’ve broken down the top choices based on the specialization and the salary range. Cloud and project management skills currently dominate the top five slots.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
ITIL has been the world’s leading framework for IT management for the past 30 years, but it fell from the seventh place last year to number 10 in 2020.
There are various IT best practices for putting IT services in line with the requirements of organizations, which include incident management, capacity management, availability, to name a few. Best practices aim to control or reduce IT costs, improve IT services, and balance IT resources.
In addition to offering a general understanding of the IT service management process, the ITIL Foundation offers certification and an average salary of $129,402 per year.
VCP-DCV: VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization
VCP-DCV: VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization validates the skills necessary to build a scalable virtual infrastructure based on VMware vSphere 6 technologies, such as Distributed Resource Scheduler clusters and vSphere High Availability.
The Global Knowledge list reveal that the average number of career certifications earned by professionals with this certification is 7.4. A salary of $130,226 per year is expected of professionals with this certification.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
AWS Cloud Practitioner, new to the top 10 list this year, is the prerequisite for a range of popular cloud certifications, such as AWS Solutions Architect, Developer, DevOps Engineer, and SysOps Administrator.
It is commonly held by individuals early in their careers, as it serves as a springboard to more advanced AWS certifications later on. The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification will continue to grow with cloud computing and AWS cloud management in high demand this year.
Cloud Practitioner credentials validate an individual’s ability to define AWS cloud infrastructure and architecture principles, as well as key services. Certified Cloud Practitioners should also know basic security and compliance aspects of the platform. The average AWS Cloud Professional earns $131,465 per year.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Among the oldest and most respected credentials is the Certified Information Systems Auditor accreditation. New to the list in 2017, the CISA accreditation validates audit, risk and cybersecurity skills. CISA-certified IT experts ensure a company’s critical assets are secure and well-maintained.
It requires passing five tests including Auditing Information Systems, Governance and Management of IT, Information Systems Acquisition, Development, and Implementation, Information Systems Operation, Maintenance, and Service Management, and Protection of Information Assets in order to earn this certification.
A CISA certification holder’s salary averages $132,278 per year, and the most common job roles for this certification are IT auditors.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
You might need the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification if you work in analysis, auditing, systems engineering, or anything in between. CISSPs are security professionals responsible for the architecture, management, design, and controls that ensure your company’s security.
The average salary for this profession is $141,452, though she has to have a minimum of five years of relevant experience. It is important to note that even after getting the certification, you must continue taking continuing education courses to stay qualified.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
Developed and administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is one of the most recognized project management credentials available today.
A Project Management Certification provides evidence of your competence when it comes to managing projects and project teams. It involves five specific sections: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
Getting certified can take years if you haven’t completed 35 hours of related training, and you’ll need at least 4,500 hours of project management experience, even with a bachelor’s degree. PMPs earn an average of $143,493 per year.
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
You’ll be tested on four major areas: Identification, Assessment, Response, and Mitigation, as well as Control Monitoring and Reporting. Previously the ninth most popular IT certificate, CRISC has risen rapidly as a reflection of business’ renewed focus on IT risk.
Identifying and managing risks is an area of interest to people who have three years of relevant experience, so this certification may be worth exploring if you meet the prerequisites.
The average salary for professionals with the CRISC certification is $146,480 per year, with 150 questions. It is administered over four hours. The test has 150 questions.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is expected to jump from eighth place last year to third spot in 2020. It will become the highest-paying credential focusing on information security management.
As a CISM, you will create, engineer, and manage security protocols. You will also have the ability to deal with business lines outside of IT, making you a critical part of a company’s security team. Registration is available via the ISACA website and this exam locator.
In addition, CISMs earn on average $148,622 per year as an independent contractor. However, if you choose this path, you’ll have to pass a 200-question test covering information security governance, information risk management, and incident management.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect- Associate
Last year, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification returned to the list, catapulting it to the second most in-demand IT certification for 2020. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam tests your expertise in designing systems on Amazon Web Services.
You must pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam to earn this certification. Candidates with extensive hands-on experience with AWS services and experience designing large-scale distributed systems may be eligible for this certification.
It is also recommended that you have hands-on experience designing systems on AWS before taking this exam. The exam lasts 80 minutes and is administered at PSI centers across the United States. Successful candidates generally earn $149,446 per year.
Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
For the second consecutive year, the Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification has topped the list of top IT certifications. This process lets professionals certification as Google Cloud Architects, handling cloud architecture, development, and management using GCP technologies.
It requires a deep understanding of what solutions apply to different scenarios. Cloud skills continue to be in high demand, and mastering Google’s tools will be critical for most organizations for quite some time. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architects earn an average salary of $175,761 per year.