If you are intent on making IT your career choice, then there are a host of certifications available that you should consider pursuing. These certifications are for various fields in IT like networking, security and hacking, or systems administration and can help launch or enhance your career.
At the end of the day, everything depends on the $$$ you aspire to earn by opting for a career in IT. With that in mind, this article lists the top five highest-paying IT certifications.
1. ITIL Expert
Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certifications are tied to the ITIL framework, which describes best practices for designing, implementing and managing a wide variety of IT service projects. In ITIL-speak, certifications are referred to as “qualifications,” which create a classic certification ladder beginning with the basic-level ITIL Foundation and culminating with the pinnacle ITIL Master. One rung below the Master level is the popular ITIL Expert.
A professional with the ITIL Expert qualification has a deep understanding of ITIL service best practices as they apply across an IT environment, not just to one service area. In other words, the Expert is able to support an organization by bridging service lifecycle stages, seeing the big picture as a sum of the parts.
Requirements: Achieve the ITIL Foundation certificate or a Bridge qualification equivalent, acquire at least 17 credits per the ITIL Credit System and pass the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) exam at the end of an approved training course.
2. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a seasoned employee or consultant, usually with a title like Security Manager, Security Analyst or Chief Information Security Officer. This person has been on the job for 5 or more years and has a thorough knowledge of the IT threat landscape, including emerging and advanced persistent threats, as well as controls and technology that minimize the attack surface. A CISSP also creates policies that help set the framework for proper controls, and can perform or oversee risk management and software development security.
Requirements: You must be able to show proof of 5 paid full-time years of work experience in at least 2 of the 8 CISSP CBK domains, such as Identity and Access Management, Security Engineering, Security and Risk Management, Security Operations and more. On the job experience is crucial for both the exam and the certification process.
3. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
This certification course is also a must have for ethical hackers and security researchers. However, unlike the CISSP, the CISM certification is focused primarily on information security management. If you intend to look for the post of CSO or CIO, you should take this certification.
The test will cost approximately $415 excluding prep materials and tuitions and consists of 200 multiple choice questions. The only issue with this test is that you need 5 years of hands on experience in the relevant field. Passing the CISM certification will land you a $121,177 per year (average) job with good career opportunities.
4. Project Management Institute-Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
Anyone who has pursued a project management certification is familiar with the Project Management Institute (PMI), either through research or by picking up the coveted Project Management Professional (PMP) credential. However, PMI also offers the Risk Management Profession (PMI-RMP) certification, as well as several others that focus on business management, processes, analysis and scheduling.
The PMI-RMP identifies IT professionals involved with large projects or working in complex environments that assess and identify project-based risks. They are also competent in designing and implementing mitigation plans that counter the risks from system vulnerabilities, natural disasters and the like.
The PMI-RMP exam covers five knowledge domains: Risk Strategy and Planning (Domain 1), Stakeholder Engagement (Domain 2), Risk Process Facilitation (Domain 3), Risk Monitoring and Reporting (Domain 4) and Perform Specialized Risk Analyses (Domain 5).
Requirements: Pass one exam (170 questions, 3.5 hours), prove achievement of a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent), and prove at least 4,500 hours of project risk management experience and 40 hours of project risk management education. The experience and education requirement can be substituted with a four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or global equivalent), at least 3,000 hours of project risk management experience and 30 hours of project risk management education.
5. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
In the last few decades, there’s been an increasing demand for ethical hackers (also known as white hat hackers or penetration testers) as they protect the computer systems from dangerous intrusions. Businesses and government-related organizations that are serious about their network security hire ethical hackers and penetration testers to help probe and improve their networks, applications, and other computer systems with the ultimate goal of preventing data theft and fraud. Ethical hackers use the same methods as their less-reputable namesakes, but document vulnerabilities instead of exploiting them, preventing potential crises and minimizing damage.
Requirements: Attend Official Training.