The World of IT Professionals - The Khuram Dhanani Foundation
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The World of IT Professionals

The World of IT Professionals

Certifications that are in demand in the profession

Every year in September, IT Professionals Day is observed. In the past, the guy under the desk fixing our computer was often overlooked, even ostracized. Now, IT Professionals don’t just keep our businesses going, but the world around us.

More companies are hiring IT professionals than ever before, and it’s not just a matter of having worked in the field. They want specialists. Much like you wouldn’t go to a podiatrist for heart problems or see a dentist for your feet, IT specialties require intensive training in general and specific knowledge.

Many certifications require specialization in certain programs or languages. The average pay for an IT professional without certification in the U.S. is currently around $42,000 per year. The following list is just some of the certifications in demand that can generally benefit IT Professionals in obtaining the positions available, throughout the industry, which can in some cases double your income or more.

5. CCSP – Certified Cloud Security Professional

Design, management, and security of cloud infrastructure, applications, and data is the key to obtaining a CCSP. The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, Inc.(ISC) is the standard for security certifications. They recommend that you have a minimum of 5 years of experience in IT, 3 in cyber security, and 1 in at least one of the six domains:

  1. Cloud concepts, architecture, and design
  2. Cloud data security
  3. Cloud platform and infrastructure security
  4. Cloud application security
  5. Cloud security operations in the CBOK (Common Body of Knowledge).

Covering concepts, design, security, architecture, compliance, and risk, the CCSP can provide an IT professional with an average salary of $119,000 per year.

4. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)   

Certified Ethical Hackers are white hats. The position entails finding weaknesses and updating systems to prevent hacks. They are the flip side of the coin when it comes to hackers. Often employing the same techniques to determine vulnerabilities. EC-Council provides the number 1 worldwide certification for CEH and they recommend that you have a minimum of two years of experience working within an Information Security domain. 

The certification covers emerging attack vectors, modern exploit technologies, malware, cloud, and IoT just to name some of the information. 

A CEH certification can lead to a position that averages $95,000 a year to start.

3. Project Management Professional (PMP)

PMI (Project Management Institute) is the leading organization for Project Management Professional Certification (PMP). The PMP focuses on all of the traits that a Project Manager needs, from the knowledge areas of planning, and risk analysis, to budgets and schedules. The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is one of the most prestigious publications for project managers and is the main source of study for the certification. In order to qualify for the exam, an individual must have a minimum of 3 years of project management experience if they have a bachelor’s degree or above, or 5 years experience if they only hold a secondary degree or its equivalent. They must also attend 35 hours of focused training before they can sit for the exam. 

While the PMP isn’t just for IT, it can gain an IT professional a salary of around $109,000. 

2. CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professionals also receive their certification through ISC. Organizational structure, security and risk management, asset security, and security operations are all part of the knowledge that you will need in order to get certified. The CBK also covers security assessment and testing, and security architecture and engineering. ISC requires 5 years of paid work experience in two domains from the CISSP CBK. An approved credential from an accredited four-year college may count towards that experience.

While the CEH certification shows your knowledge to potential employers, the CISSP takes it a step further with the experience requirements, gaining you more income at the onset of obtaining the certification, on average $118,000.

1. CompTIA A+

Number 1 on our list isn’t here because of the amount of money it can make you. The CompTIA A+ certification is the most common and one of the most recognized for IT professionals. The entry-level certification goes over the basics of hardware, technical support, and troubleshooting. For those beginning a career in IT, whether you are new to the job market, or switching gears, the certification can assist you in getting one of the many positions available such as a service desk analyst, help desk tech, technical support specialist, field service technician, or end-user computing technician. 

The CompTIA A+ certification consists of two exams. One goes over mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization and cloud computing, and network troubleshooting, and the other provides insight into installing and configuring operating systems, expanded security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures. While experience isn’t required, it is recommended that you have at least 9 months to a year of IT experience before sitting for the exams.

CompTIA A+ will garner around $65,000 a year for new IT professionals, and if you go forward with CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ the additional certifications will pay off even more.

Certifications that are in demand in the profession

The above-listed certifications are just some of those available within the field of Information Technology. More and more employers are requiring certification on top of the experience. When you can provide them with certifications from proven organizations such as ISC, PMI, EC Council, CompTIA, and ISACA, they know that you have gone beyond the experience and have taken the time to obtain the most up-to-date knowledge of the field available.

Just like there are different types of dentists and cardiologists, there are also certifications available for specific programs. Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, Apple, and Cisco are all additional certifications that show you have clear knowledge about the programs, software, servers, and overall technologies within those agencies. 

In September of 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated “Computer and mathematical occupations are expected to see fast employment growth as strong demand is expected for IT security and software development, in part due to increased prevalence of telework”. For anyone within the field or just starting out, IT is one of the fastest growing fields with one of the best potential growth options for the future.

Certification provides you with an added incentive to get those positions.