Introduction to Highest-Paying IT Certifications
IT, or Information Technology, provides the most in-demand and fastest-growing professions today. With so many businesses going cloud-based and virtual, the need for skilled IT workers outweighs the supply.
Consider IT if you want to learn new skills that open the doors to working from anywhere.
But a lot of IT jobs don’t require a college education to land them. If you can prove you have the skills to do the work, you’ll be a valuable addition to many businesses.
Ready to jump on board the IT train and grab that high-paying, stable position? To stand out from the crowd of other applicants, it helps to have a certification. You can get these online, working at your own pace, from a variety of legitimate companies.
The trick is finding the certification that will teach you the skills you need to get the highest-paying jobs. These five IT certifications are the way to go when you want to be a valuable commodity to the highest-paying employers.
1. Professional Cloud Architect
If people always accuse you of living with your head in the clouds, it’s no longer an insult. Now, being a “cloud architect” is a legitimate thing with mega clout and pay.
With this title, you’d be the person in charge of helping companies utilize Google Cloud technology. You’ll know cloud architecture and how it works in conjunction with the Google Cloud Platform. You will design and install custom-made software solutions to match a business’s goal.
To land this unique position, you have to have Professional Cloud Architect certification. It requires a background in cloud computing or something similar.
And to pass the exam, you need to be proficient in skills like:
- Solid use of operating systems, such as Linux, Windows, Solaris, or Ubuntu
- Comprehension of networking and the pieces that make up the system (TCP/IP, IP addresses, DNS, HTTP, etc.)
- Understanding of security concepts, like firewalls, and how they work
- Comprehension of programming and scripting languages
Cloud architects are constantly upgrading their technology skills as the need arises. The job includes designing and planning the architecture to develop a cloud solution for a business.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the median pay for a cloud architect in 2019 was $112,690 per year. A bachelor’s degree is usually a must along with the certification, but not always.
There’s a faster-than-average projected job growth of 5% annually. This means lots of openings are on the horizon if you have what it takes to master cloud architecture!
2. Certified Information Security Manager
A Certified Information Security Manager develops and manages software programs focused on risk and incident management. It’s a crucial role in Information Technology that prevents security breaches.
To gain the skills necessary to pass this certification, you will develop knowledge of:
- Risk management
- Information security governance
- Information security incident management
- Information security program development
Before you can earn this credential, though, you need to have five years of history in information security work experience. A minimum of three years in a specific field that demonstrates proficiency in practice analysis is necessary.
As of 2019, per the BLS site, the median pay for an Information Security Analyst was $99,730 a year. A bachelor’s degree is usually required but not always necessary.
Its projected job growth is an incredible 31%. Those looking for a career in Information Security with the right experience will have job stability!
3. Project Management Professional (PMP)
A Project Management Professional, or PMP, certificate helps you obtain a job as a project leader in any industry. Project roles require skilled managers. Having the PMP certification shows employers that you know how to handle this complex job.
Project leaders must be able to train individuals in the soft skills they’ll need to be successful. They also have the technical skill to manage projects and handle software and information technology. Leaders will develop and manage the projects, people, and strategies.
To obtain the certification, you must be proficient in the five main project domains:
- Monitoring and Controlling
You should also have a bachelor’s degree and three years or more experience leading others.
Per the Project Management Institute, the demand for skilled workers in this position will grow by over 33%. However, there is a substantial talent gap, meaning too much demand and an insufficient supply of those who can do the job.
If you obtain this certification, you have a strong chance of choosing your career path. According to the BLS site, the median annual wage for project managers was $80,220 in 2019. With the high growth and low supply, the yearly salary is rising competitively.
4. CISSP – Certified Information Systems Security Professional
When you’re a Certified Information Systems Security Professional, many people and businesses depend on you.
The CISSP certification proves you have the skills to design, implement, and manage cybersecurity systems.
The International Information System Security Certification Consortium, dubbed the (ISC)², issues the certification itself.
Companies around the world regard this non-profit as the most prominent IT security organization in existence. The group created a certificate that demonstrates that anyone holding it had the proficiency to do the job.
You need the CISSP to become a security professional in a role like Chief Information Security Officer or Security Analyst. However, before you can take the exam, you need five years of full-time experience working in a related job.
A paid position where you achieved work history in two or more of the eight domains considered the “Common Body of Knowledge” of CISSP is essential.
These domains are:
- Identity and Access Management
- Security Assessment and Testing
- Security and Risk Management
- Architecture and Engineering
- Asset Security
- Security Operations
- Security Communication and Network Security
- Software Development Security
With that background experience and a CISSP certification, you can expect an annual wage of at least $99,730 per the BLS site as of 2019. The projected job growth is 32%, so there’s no shortage of future careers!
5. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
As an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, your employers benefit from your solid understanding of the AWS cloud. Other AWS certifications are specific to technical roles, but the Cloud Practitioner knows them all.
This job requires a person who knows:
- Basic global infrastructure setup and implementation
- Architectural principles and cloud value proposition
- Critical services available on the AWS platform
- A strong understanding of security and compliance for the AWS platform
- Overall knowledge of billing, management, tech support, and other core parts of the AWS cloud
Those who obtain the certification should have at least six months prior experience working the AWS cloud in some role. They also need IT service experience.
Once you have this certification, you can get a job working as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. The average annual salary for AWS cloud practitioners is currently $148,456 at the professional level.
Try these best selling products:
If any of these tech positions sound like they fit you perfectly, now is the time to shoot for the stars! Whichever certification is your goal, the job growth in all of these fields is in your favor.
With any of these certificates attached to your name, you have a bright future in IT with a high-paying annual salary waiting for you.
Caitlin Sinclair is the Property Manager at Portside Ventura Harbor with five years of property management experience and many more in customer service.
She loves sharing her passion for her community and looks forward to making Portside Ventura Harbor the place to call home.