IT certifications are important credentials that can boost your value, your salary, and your employment opportunities. Validated by vendors through meticulous training programs, certifications demonstrate your competency or expertise in specific technologies, methodologies, and functions.
In this article, we’re sharing the 15 top-paying IT certifications for 2020, as reported by Global Knowledge, and giving a brief overview of each.
Average salary: $175,761
This certification prepares IT professionals to design and manage a secure, high performance, robust and scalable Google Cloud architecture. These skills help organizations meet their requirements for operating dynamic, secure and profitable cloud infrastructure. Prior experience with Google Cloud Platform technologies is recommended.
This certification marks the highest salary in this list, suggesting two key insights:
- The growing demand and popularity of Google’s cloud
- The lack of certified cloud architects
(Learn about preparing for the GCP cloud architect certification.)
Average salary: $149,446
Like the GCP certification, this certification exam validates your ability to architect and deploy secure and robust AWS cloud infrastructure, based on design principles that meet changing customer requirements. The certification also validates the ability to follow the project lifecycle with implementation best practice guidelines.
Prior training and preparation is recommended, including several months of hands-on industrial experience with AWS technologies.
Average salary: $148,622
This certification validates your expertise in a range of IT security, governance, and risk management disciplines. It is suitable for IT professionals with multiple years of experience in designing and managing an enterprise IT security program. IT professionals with over 20 years of experience in this domain pursue this certification to seek leadership positions in information security and risk management disciplines within the enterprise segment.
Average salary: $146,480
CRISC validates the skills and experience to manage and control risk across technology and IT-enabled business processes. An important aspect of the certification is to evaluate how risk mitigation and management align with the organizational framework for innovation. Certified professionals understand how certain risk-based decisions at enterprise organizations can maximize business potential as they compete with fast-paced, agile, and innovative startup firms.
Average salary: $143,493
One of the most globally popular certification programs, the PMP shows that the project manager knows and implements best practices to define, plan, and deliver on project milestones with the most successful outcomes. Certified professionals must pass an exam as well as demonstrate relevant experience in project management. Around half of all professionals pursuing project management certifications opt for the PMP certification program.
Average salary: $141,452
An exhaustive certification program in the domain of IT security, the CISSP covers the security functions associated with networking, access management, operations, development, communications, assets and risk management. Certified professionals can design, engineer, implement, and manage an exhaustive information security program at an enterprise IT organization and is therefore, highly valued in the security industry.
The CISSP requires five years of professional experience in relevant domains.
Average salary: $132,278
The CISA certification focuses on securing critical information and technology assets within your organization. The CISA covers information system acquisition, development, auditing, governance, IT management, operations, and asset protection. Founded in 1978, it is one of the oldest and most popular certification programs among IT professionals experienced in information security audit, control, and assurance domain.
Average salary: $131,465
This certification validates the overall understanding of AWS cloud technologies and is particularly suitable for:
- Cloud solution architects
Certified professionals are able to describe the basic technology, security, compliance, and financial aspects associated with AWS technologies. You’ll be able to thoroughly identify documentation sources and seek relevant technical assistance and core characteristics of AWS technologies. Some AWS experience is recommended before pursuing this certification.
(Learn more about AWS certifications.)
Average salary: $130,226
The VMware Data Center Virtualization certification validates the ability to build a scalable virtual infrastructure using the vSphere 6 technology. The evaluated skills include:
- Installation, configuration, and optimization of networking and storage assets
- Administration of the infrastructure
New candidates follow a training program and exams before pursuing this certification. Prior experience with vSphere 6 technologies is recommended, although professionals holding VCP5 certification will only need to take a test center exam related to the latest vSphere technology.
Average salary: $129,402
- ITIL 4 Managing Professional
- ITIL 4 Strategic Leader
The ITIL Foundation certification validates the ability to understand the end-to-end operating model of the framework and how it can be used to improve the ITSM capabilities of IT-enabled business organizations.
Average salary: $126,653
This certification is focused on the core aspects of Azure cloud services, including security, compliance, and underlying technologies.
The certification is aimed at candidates with non-technical background who are involved in the procurement, sales, and marketing of Microsoft Azure cloud-based services. It’s also the first step in obtaining a range of role-based Azure certifications, although not necessarily a prerequisite.
Average salary: $125,993
Among the three role-based Azure certifications, the Azure Administrator Associate is a highly sought-after credential spanning cloud networking, security, and storage functions. Certified professionals have broad understanding on managing the resources for security, performance and scalability in compliance with the policy framework of an organization using Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure.
A prerequisite is the AZ-103: Microsoft Azure Administrator certification exam and can be followed with the Azure DevOps Engineer certifications.
(Learn more about Azure certifications.)
Average salary: $125,264
This certification covers the network optimization and configuration functions for the Citrix NetScaler 10 app and desktop virtualization technologies. The certification validates the ability to apply network optimization for resilient and dynamic traffic routing, disaster recovery, troubleshooting issues, and server load balancing.
The certification requires a training program and an exam.
Average salary: $119,178
The CCNP Routing and Switching certification is suitable for professionals responsible for planning, implementation and managing local and wide area networks. They may be working across a range of job positions, including:
- Network and support engineers
Recently, this certification has been replaced by a new CCNA certification program. The program requires at least one year of relevant experience in the industry, training course followed by exams.
Average salary: $117,069
The CCP-V is aimed at experienced IT professionals, engineers, and consultants working with Citrix virtualization technologies. The certification highly sought by large enterprises operating complex infrastructure environments using Citrix Hypervisor technologies.
The Citrix Certified Associate–Virtualization (CCA-V) is a prerequisite to the CCP-V and can be followed by the Citrix Certified Expert–Virtualization (CCE-V) certification.
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