Five certifications to advance your career prospects in 2014
It’s the beginning of the New Year and the perfect time to set ambitious career goals, what better way to do this than getting yourself the latest and most in-demand certifications. You’ll improve your skills set, get more responsibility on the job and earn more money. But what cert do you go for next?
Knowing the best and most in-demand certs can get you ahead of the game, so here’s a look at what experts are saying will be the top five certifications to go for in 2014.
1. Microsoft – MCSE: Private Cloud
If you’ve gone into any IT department in the last couple of years, you’ve heard the buzzword “cloud” on the tip of everyone’s tongue. In a report by IDC, it’s predicted that the demand for cloud-ready IT workers will grow by 26% annually all the way through to 2015.There are already as many as 7 million cloud-related jobs available worldwide, meaning that there could be well over 11 million jobs by 2015. Why not cash in on this great opportunity?
Microsoft offers the prestigious MCSE on Private cloud. On this course you’ll learn to build private cloud solutions using Windows Server 2008 and System Center 2012. An ever-increasing amount of businesses are now creating, developing and maintaining their own private clouds, by having this cert you’ll become an important asset and your skills will be highly sought after.
According to popular salary site PayScale the average salary for an MCSE professional in the US is: $55,000-$135,000. (Note: salary averages can vary greatly over time, please check link for latest numbers)
2. CompTIA – Cloud Essentials
As mentioned above, ‘cloud’ is getting all the buzz and staying ahead of the curve is key to any professional.
CompTIA offers a vendor-neutral qualification that introduces you to the world of cloud computing and demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge essential when moving to and governing the cloud.
According to TechRepublic the average salary for a Cloud Essentials professional is: $65,000 – $85,000. (Note: salary averages can vary greatly over time, please check link for latest numbers)
“At the end of the day, it all boils down to certification being an internationally recognized credential. If you can put that on your resume, you’ll have a competitive advantage over another individual who doesn’t have it.”
– Mark Milton Director of People Services/Career Academy, Goodwill Industries
3. VMware vSphere 5.5 Ultimate Bootcamp
The virtualization industry is still young and full of potential; it improves scalability and reduces infrastructure costs in hardware-intensive computing environments. Virtualization is broadly used in today’s IT world and now with cloud computing virtualization, it’s becoming even more popular.
VMware is the industry leader in both virtualization software and virtual certifications. so their certifications are more valuable than ever and are in-demand.
By getting this certification you’ll gain the necessary skills to install, deploy, scale and manage the latest vSphere 5.5 environment with knowledge of all of it’s features.
According to PayScale, the average salary for a VMware vSphere professional in the US is: $55,000 – $125,000. (Note: salary averages can vary greatly over time, please check link for latest numbers)
4. PMI – PMP Certification
PMP is the highest-level cert offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This certification is designed to ensure that you possess the skills and qualifications necessary to manage all phases of a project.
It’s globally known to be the most important certification for project managers and is one of the most popular certification tracks for IT professionals. This cert demonstrates that you have a strong understanding of project management and are able to plan, budget, manage time, and reduce costs.
With many companies seeking to reduce staff and seeking more efficient operations, having a strong project management qualification makes you an asset to any company and adds another dimension to your C.V.
According to PayScale the average salary for a PMP professional in the US is: $65,000 – $145,000. (Note: salary averages can vary greatly over time, please check link for latest numbers)
5. EC Council – CEH v8
The number of IT security threats continues to grow, which has in turn increased the demand for security professionals. IT security has become the fastest growing sector in the IT industry, so why not gain advantage of the opportunity?
CEH from EC-Council is a great cert to get you on the IT security path. As an ethical hacker, you would attempt to penetrate the networks or computers of the organisation you work for. Why would you do this? "White hat" ethical hackers are widely sought after to help find and fix the vulnerabilities that would otherwise be exploited by "black hat" criminal hackers.
On the CEH course you’ll learn how to scan, test, hack and secure your own systems. It covers all that is needed to identify system vulnerabilities and countermeasures.
This cert is now in its 8th version and has been developed by hundreds of experts and authors who have contributed to this intriguing course.
According to PayScale the average salary for a CEH professional in the US is: $36,850 – $104,000. (Note: salary averages can vary greatly over time, please check link for latest numbers)
"Having the CEH certification has helped open the door to a new level of opportunity by increasing the confidence of my clients in my expertise, opening their eyes to the real threat, and by Pen-testing our own products for vulnerabilities and providing a higher quality of service."
Terry P Cutler, CEH, Novell Canada
Any other powerful certifications for 2014?
Please feel free to comment about any other certifications that could make this list or if you have any questions or thoughts.
Edward Jones work for Firebrand Training overseeing community engagement. Having worked in the industry for 3 years, Edward has experience with a range of Microsoft technologies and operating systems. Edward writes for a variety of blogs and technical publications on all things technology.