15 Certifications That Pay the Biggest Salaries

 
 
By Gina Roos  |  Posted 2016-02-26 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    1 - 15 Certifications That Pay the Biggest Salaries
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    15 Certifications That Pay the Biggest Salaries

    As solution providers look to boost their portfolio of skills, certifications will grow in importance. We look at the highest-paying IT certifications.
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    2 - AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate
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    AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate

    The certification covers all things concerning Amazon Web Services—designing, selecting the appropriate services, ingress/egress of data to and from the AWS, estimating costs and identifying cost-control measures. Average pay: $125,871.
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    3 - Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
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    Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

    ISACA's CRISC certification targets IT pros, project managers and others whose job role is to identify and manage IT and business risks through information systems controls. Average pay: $122,954.
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    4 - Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
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    Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

    ISACA also offers the CISM certification that focuses on security strategy and assessing systems and policies. This exam is only offered three times a year. Average pay: $122,291.
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    5 - Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
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    Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

    CISSP, offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2, provides vendor-neutral security expertise—computer security, communications and network security, software development security, asset security, security engineering, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, and security operations. Average pay: $121,923.
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    6 - Project Management Professional (PMP)
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    Project Management Professional (PMP)

    This is the first business-related cert in the ranking. The PMP certification, offered through the Project Management Institute (PMI), tests five areas related to a project's life cycle: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Average pay: $116,094.
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    7 - Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
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    Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

    ISACA's oldest certification requires at least five years of experience in IS auditing, control or security. Similar to the CISM cert, it's only offered three times per year. Average pay: $113,320.
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    8 - Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing and Switching
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    Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing and Switching

    CCIE Routing and Switching is one of the highest-level certifications available, and highest paying Cisco certification on this list, said Hales. Candidates must pass a written exam and an eight-hour, hands-on, in-person lab exam. Average pay: $112,858.
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    9 - Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center
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    Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Center

    CCNA is part of Cisco's data center certification track that also includes CCNP and CCIE. The track covers networking, storage, compute, virtualization and a variety of network services. Average pay: $107,045.
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    10 - Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)
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    Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)

    CCDP certification targets senior-level architects who want to design more advanced network topologies and services. Exams cover implementation (routing and switching) and architecting. The combination of design and implementation skills makes this certification more challenging to achieve, said Hales. Average pay: $105,008.
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    11 - Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
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    Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

    Designed for security officers and auditors, site administrators, and others responsible for network and data security, the CEH certification, created by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council), tests a candidate's abilities to find vulnerabilities in a company's network defenses via techniques used by hackers. Average pay: $103,297.
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    12 - Six Sigma Green Belt
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    Six Sigma Green Belt

    Six Sigma, pioneered by Motorola, is a process of analyzing defects in a production/manufacturing process. It is not IT-specific and there is no standard certification exam. Average pay: $102,594.
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    13 - Citrix Certified Professional-Virtualization (CCP-V)
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    Citrix Certified Professional-Virtualization (CCP-V)

    CCP-V replaces the Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE) certification. It is focused on XenDesktop 7, and requires Citrix Certified Associate-Virtualization (CCA-V) certification. Average pay: $102,138.
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    14 - Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Security
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    Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) Security

    Requirements include CCNA Security or any CCIE. Candidates also must pass four security implementation exams covering secure access, edge network security, secure mobility and threat control. Average pay: $101,414.
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    15 - ITIL v3 Foundation
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    ITIL v3 Foundation

    ITIL is the most widely used framework and best practices for IT management worldwide. The broad-based certification covers availability and capacity management, change and incident management, and application and IT operations management. Average pay: $99,869.
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    16 - VMware Certified Professional 5-Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)
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    VMware Certified Professional 5-Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)

    The VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is VMware's oldest, and formerly entry-level certification, said Hales. VCP-DCV certifies a candidate's ability to perform basic deployment and administration of vCenter and ESXi. Average pay: $99,334.
 

Principles of supply and demand apply to IT skills and pay rates. Demand is strong for cloud and security talent. The highest-paying certification is Amazon's AWS Certified Solutions Architect, according to a 2016 IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by training specialist Global Knowledge. More than 16,300 respondents across North America participated in the survey. The biggest surprise was the Amazon certification going from nowhere to the top of the list in a year, said John Hales, president, Hales Technologies, and an instructor at Global Knowledge. There aren't many cloud-specific certifications in the industry, and a lot of cloud providers don't have systems operations or architectural certifications, he said. "Amazon has a certification for everybody and multiple levels of certification." Not surprisingly, several security-related certifications appear on the list. Most of the security certs are difficult to get and require years of experience, employment history and background, which help push those salaries up, said Hales. As solution providers look to boost their portfolio of IT skills, certifications will grow in importance. We look at Global Knowledge's 15 highest-paying certifications.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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