Top 5 Technical Certifications You Should Consider

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Additional resources have been added to the links at the end of this article as recently as May 30, 2017.

There are so many technical certifications out there that it’s tough to decide and prioritize what you need or should consider pursuing. Whether you already have a job in the industry, or you just want to increase your skill set and knowledge, certifications are a great way to learn and expand your knowledge.

With so many certifications out there, how do you know what to put on your list? We’ve done some research and have settled on our top 5 certifications we think you should consider. These are great for both your skill set and your salary, as many of these are top-paying certifications. But is it even worth it to have certifications? Maybe not, as this is one of the big debates in the industry right now. We’ll touch on that point later, but first, let’s take a look at the top certifications.

Our top 5 technical certifications you should consider investing in:

1. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC):ISACA offers and manages the CRISC certification. To obtain this certification, you must have at least 3 years of experience in at least 2 of the 4 areas that the certification covers. Those 4 major areas are Identification, Assessment, Response & Mitigation, and Control Monitoring & Reporting.
TEST: 150 multiple choice questions
COST: $20

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: If you’re interested in becoming an expert in designing and deploying scalable systems on Amazon Web Services, this certification is perfect for you. It covers a variety of topics including designing on AWS, selecting the appropriate AWS services for a given situation, ingress, and egress of data to and from the AWS environment, estimating AWS costs and identifying cost-control measures. In order to be certified, you need to have at least six months experience with AWS.
TEST: 80 minutes of multiple choice questions (exam questions and passing scores are subject to change without notice)
COST: $150

3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) – Windows Server 2012: Microsoft certifications are still in high demand, and this certification is the first step on your path to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert. The skills obtained with this certification could help to reduce IT costs, making it a valuable certification for businesses. Skills such as file and storage configuration, configuring and managing high availability, group policy, and virtualization, as well as configuring both network and Active Directory infrastructure are included.
TEST: Most Microsoft Certification exams contain 40-60 questions, but this can vary.
COST: $150

4.Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): If you’re interested in designing and engineering a company’s security protocol, this is the certification for you. It’s offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2 and is designed to prove security expertise. In order to get this certification, you’ll need at least 5 years of experience in IS, with at least 3 of those as a security manager.
TEST: 250 multiple choice and drag-and-drop questions
COST: $599

5. Project Management Professional (PMP):This certification was created and is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It’s the most recognized project management certification and used across a variety of industries. In order to get this certification, you’ll need 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of PM education.
TEST: 200 multiple choice questions
COST: $405

If you’ve already completed these and are looking for more, check out Global Knowledge’s top 15 certifications here. Expanding your knowledge in the industry is always a good thing and could lend your expertise to other areas of the project or business.

Certifications have their place in the industry.

However, it’s important to note that certifications have their place in the industry, especially those like the PMP. Other things like actual code, completed projects and job experience are worth much more. This has been a big topic of discussion in the industry as these certifications have been marketed very well. Many feel that they’re required to land a job, but that’s usually not the case. The majority of companies are really looking at experience and projects first and look at certifications as more of a bonus. Actual work can tell a lot more than one test can. Be cautious of certifications that center your focus on one vendor. If you’re going to get a certification to expand your knowledge, make sure it is not only useful for you now, but will be useful for you in the next few years.

While you focus on increasing your skill set and making your business and product the best they can be, take a look at our embedded BI and analytics platform.It provides seamless integration within your application’s security model.

Thanks to for information on each certification.

Other Resources

Fastest growing tech skills and certifications in 2017: 30 and 30 by David Foote, Computerworld

John Somonez, the Simple Programmer, on The Top Five Online Programming Certifications in 2017

Top IT Certifications to Propel Your Career into 2017

Top 10 IT Certifications of 2017

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