If you are looking to move onto a new career path that offers lots of opportunities and potential, a career in IT could be ideal.
According to Robert Half, nearly half of all companies have reported that digital transformation has had the most significant impact on their business.
There is an increasing need for project managers, system administrators and infrastructure developers across a variety of different industries, with an average salary of £47,500.
But, what certifications will help you get the IT career of your dreams? Join us as we take a look at the 15 most valuable IT qualifications that will help boost your career prospects and show your manager that you are a force to be reckoned with.
The bonus? The majority of these certifications can be taken online.
1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Cloud Practitioner is a foundation-level certificate that proves your competency of the AWS cloud system, including security and compliance. Once you have completed the qualification, you can look at moving towards an associate-level or speciality certification.
2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
This AWS certification is designed for solutions architects and not only tests but validates your knowledge of AWS application architecture and security.
The exam is in a multiple choice format and can be taken at a testing centre or online, with proctoring technology to prevent cheating. It costs $150 to take the exam.
3. CCNP Enterprise Certification (Formerly CCNP Routing and Switching)
Formerly known as the CCNP Routing and Switching certification, this qualification from Cisco covers all the skills you need to plan, implement and troubleshoot enterprise networks. The good thing about this exam is that you can choose a module of your choice, providing an accreditation customised to your needs and skillset.
4. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Over 46,000 people worldwide have taken the ISACA CISM exam, which indicates expertise in information security governance and risk management. ISACA claims that the average salary of people who hold this accreditation is $118,000!
The qualification is valid for five years, and you need at least five years of relevant work experience in the last ten years to take the exam,
5. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
If you are responsible for auditing your company’s IT business systems, the CISA qualification could be an excellent way to showcase your skillset and help you to stand out from the crowd. Over 150,000 people around the world have taken this qualification already.
6. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
The CISSP is a vendor-neutral certification which tests your ability to design, implement and manage a cybersecurity programme. It is offered through the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)² and has been approved by the US Department of Defence, making it a solid certification to have on your CV.
7. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
ISACA’s CRISC qualification is targeted at those who design, implement and manage security controls; with the exam covering topics including risk identification, assessment and monitoring.
Like all ISACA qualifications, you can either take the exam online or at a testing centre, as well as carry out a ten-question practice test online to see if you are ready.
8. Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N)
This qualification will prove your ability to manage and implement the Citrix Application Delivery Controller, or ADC for short.
9. Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)
The second Citrix certification on our list, this certification is designed for IT professionals who manage environmental that use Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops with Provisioning Services.
You need to earn your associate certification (CCA-V) before you take this exam, but according to the 2019 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, this is one of the highest paying certifications you can take.
10. Google Cloud Professional (GCP) Cloud Architect
More and more businesses are turning to cloud technologies, and this qualification will prove your ability to design, plan, develop and manage Google’s Cloud architecture.
This accreditation is provided by Google and assesses your ability online. It costs $200 to register for the two-hour multiple choice exam, which you can take remotely or at a test centre of your choice.
11. ITIL Foundation certificate
The ITIL Foundation certificate is an entry-level exam for certifying your knowledge in the ITIL framework and helping you manage risk on behalf of your business. Completing this qualification will enable you to take additional qualifications, culminating in the Master level of certification.
12. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
This certification is designed for IT professionals that work with Azure. The exam covers how to manage Azure resources and how to maintain and manage virtual networks.
You can prepare for the exam online for free, or hire an instructor to take you through your paces, and the exam costs $165 to take.
13. Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
The Azure Fundamentals certification is intended for developers who are new to Azure but who want to validate their knowledge of it as well as other cloud concepts.
The great thing about Azure Fundamentals is that they don’t expire, so once you have sat the exam, you do not have to renew it.
14. Project Management Professional (PMP)
This accreditation is offered by the Project Management Institute and is for advanced project management professionals. A more vocational qualification than the rest of this list, you need to have at least three years experience of project management, 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
It is a challenging qualification to attain (40% of people fail the exam on the first try), but it is extremely worthwhile and means that you meet global project management standards.
15. VMware vSphere – VMware Certified Professional (VCP 5.5)
The VMware Certified Professional 5.5 (VCP 5.5) certification confirms your ability to administer and troubleshoot vSphere V5.5 infrastructures.