Editor’s note: We’ve updated this list for what’s current in 2018. Scope it now.
IT certifications that could fatten your wallet
Some IT managers say they don’t pay much attention to certifications when it comes to hiring people. Attitude, work experience, and appropriate skill sets, they say, are better indicators of whether or not a certain candidate will be successful in the position he or she is applying for.
That said many IT professionals pursue certifications as a means to enhance their skills and expertise and, of course, increase their salary.
Randy Muller, an instructor with IT and business training firm Global Knowledge Canada, has compiled 15 top-paying certifications. The list is based on Global Knowledge’s recently completed annual IT skills and salary report.
The ranking in the following pages is based on certifications that received the minimum number of responses required to derive a salary figure that is statically accurate. There are certifications that pay more that are not represented due to their exclusive nature, said Muller. These include Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) and VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX).
CCDP: Cisco Certified Design Professional ($107,878)
A Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP) can discuss, design, and create advanced networks.
This certification demonstrates that the individual who has passed the required exams possesses advanced knowledge of Cisco network design concepts and principles.
CCD professionals can plan addressing and routing schemes, security, network management, data center, and IP multicast complex multi-layered enterprise architectures that include virtual private networking and wireless domains. The certificate curriculum includes building scalable internetworks, building multilayer switched networks and designing network service architecture.
ITIL Expert Certification ($107,092)
The Information Technology Information Library (ITIL) is a process that provides for quality IT services management. ITIL utilizes documentation and proven processes that encompass the entire service lifecycle.
The ITIL Expert level is the third of four certification levels. It is aimed at IT professionals who want to develop and exhibit a superior knowledge of ITIL Version 3. Achievement f ITIL expert level provides the pre-requisite entry criteria for ITIL Master Level, the highest ITIL Version 3 certification.
PMP: Project Management Professional ($103,570)
The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is a globally recognized certification for project managers and it is in high demand.
A PMP certification attests that an individual has the experience and education to successfully lead and direct projects.
This certification is for experienced project management professionals. The qualifications and testing for this certification are rigorous.
The PMP experience and exam requirements focus on five process groups: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.
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CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional ($100,735)
This certification is designed for security managers and professionals who develop policies and procedures concerning information security.
The CISSP is considered around the world as the gold standard in information security education and certification. It is required for many government, military, and civilian security positions.
CCDA: Cisco Certified Design Associate ($97,995)
A person with a CCDA certification is considered to have the knowledge, experience and understanding required to design a Cisco converged network.
A person with the certification should have the skills to design a routed and switched network infrastructure as well as the services involving local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) and broadband access for organizations.
CCNP: Cisco Certified Network Professional ($97,296)
An individual with this certification should be able to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot LANs and WANs and be able to work with other CISCO specialists on advanced security, voice, video and wireless solutions.
ITIL v2 Foundation & ITIL v3 Foundation ($96,128 & $93,250)
ITIL Foundation is the first of four ITIL levels. The certification deals with the introduction to the lifecycle of managing IT services in order to deliver business expectations. It covers the core disciplines and concepts of ITIL best practices.
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CCNA: Cisco Certified Network Associate Voice ($92,837)
This certification demonstrates that an individual has the required knowledge and skills to administer a voice networks.
The certification also attest that its holder has skills in voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technologies, handsets, call-control and voicemail solutions.
HP AIS: Hewlett-Packard Accelerated Integration Specialist Storage Works ($91,158)
A person with this accreditation is able to design, support and integrate business class solutions to solve business requirements of a client. This could involve working with platforms, operating systems, software, storage, network and optional components.
An AIS is recognized as an HP technical professional who can prepare an HP Storage Works solution for a customer.
AIS: HP ProLiant ML/DL/SL Servers ($87,332)
Individuals with this certification are expected to be able to design, support and fully prepare a HP ProLiant expandable tower ( ML), rack mount (DL) or scalable (SL) server. This will include all aspects of installation and startup tasks such as hardware configuration, OS installation, driver installation and full management instrumentation.
VCP: VMware Certified Professional ($87,151)
A person holding the VMware certification is considered to have the skills and knowledge to install, manage and deploy VMware vSphere 4.
CompTIA Project+ ($87,057)
This is an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers the entire project lifecycle.
CompTIA Project+ is designed for project managers. People with the certification are expected to have the required skill to complete projects in a timely manner and within budget as well as the skill to achieve stakeholder buy-in.
Project+ can be earned in a shorter period and with less expense than other project management certifications. It also does not have any prerequisites or continuing education requirements.
APS: HP Blade System Solutions ($86,554)
The Accredited Platform Specialist- HP Blade Systems Solutions is a hardware support certification meant for HP field repair engineers.
The certification demonstrates that a field engineer has the required skills to perform basic troubleshooting, repair, installation, configuration and versification of proper operation of HP Blade System products.
CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker ($86,053)
As a Certified Ethical Hacker, an individual is expected to understand the weaknesses in target systems and know how to use specific tools that would be used by malicious hackers.
Individuals with a CEH certification can land roles as a security officer, penetration tester, auditor, security professional, site administrator or any position concerned with the integrity or the network infrastructure.
MCDBA: Microsoft Certified Database Administrator ($84,683)
A person with MCDBA certification is considered to have the unique skills required to succeed in roles such as database administrator, database analyst and database developer on SQL Server 2000.
An MCDBA will likely have knowledge of Visual Basic or other scripting languages, C/C++, Java and other programming languages.