The Information Technology industry deeply values IT certifications. Companies pay for their employees to earn certifications to keep their talent aligned with market trends. It's easier to train existing talent new technologies rather than paying to acquire new talent with those skill sets.
Most anyone can earn IT certifications with some hard work. And, with time, gain enough experience to become an authority in their domain. The highest-paying certifications aren't always those in the highest demand. A list of the highest demand certifications is for another day.
The 15 highest-paying IT certifications are our focus.
The Difference Between In-Demand and High-Paying IT Certifications
Employees at high-paying jobs are there because they have achieved at a high level and earned the experience necessary to excel. This path is a long one. Certifications that help people down this path are in high demand. Application of skills learned through certification curriculum pays off in higher earnings as time goes on.
Let's take a look at the 15 highest-paying IT certifications for 2020.
15 Highest-Paying IT Certifications
Here's the list of the 15 highest-paying IT certifications for 2020:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect
- An AWS solutions architect focuses on building new platforms or processes on AWS servers. Client-focused companies rely on input from AWS Certified Solutions Architects when developing and deploying new solutions.
- The average salary for individuals with this certification is around $133,000 per year.
Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
- Cloud architects are vital to the development of modern applications infrastructure.
- Their work ensures that cloud infrastructures are both safe and secure for essential company work.
- The average salary for individuals with this certification is around $140,000 per year.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
- The Project Management Professional (PMP) designation is the gold standard for project management professionals looking to get ahead.
- Project Managers with the PMP designation typically work in leadership roles, managing teams and logistics surrounding complex, resource-intensive and time-sensitive projects.
- The average salary for a project manager with the PMP designation is around $135,000 annually.
Scrum Master Certification
- Scrum Masters are experts at keeping Agile project management teams on-task throughout a project.
- Agile methodology is the modern standard. Therefore, people who have earned this designation are both in high-demand and well-compensated.
- Scrum Masters are adept at developing team chemistry, ensuring maximum productivity while chasing goals at a rapid pace.
- The average salary of a Scrum Master is around $135,500 per year.
Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
- A Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) typically works within an organization as an IT solutions expert.
- Microsoft has discontinued the certification, but, regardless, professionals holding it are still in high demand, and positions continue to surface for those with the certification.
- Those with the MCSE have a unique skill set, which is not easy to duplicate since the certification is discontinued.
- The average salary of an IT professional with an MCSE is around $120,500 annually.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer
- Developers are the backbone of the IT industry and most IT companies. AWS certifications are the standard when it comes to web development and cloud computing.
- Developers with the AWS Certified Developer certification are in extreme demand due to the vast number of companies that use AWS cloud infrastructure technologies.
- The average salary of an AWS Certified Developer is around $130,000 per year.
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Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation Certification
- The ITIL Foundation Certification helps students learn how to develop and implement managerial skills specific to professional IT environments.
- Most individuals who complete the ITIL Foundation Certification work as operations or application managers within large corporations.
- The average salary of ITIL certified managers is around $120,500 annually.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- CISPP accredited professionals have skills and knowledge to tackle the development and execution phases of IT projects confidently.
- They apply best practices to minimize the chances of security breaches or malicious attacks on company infrastructure.
- The average salary for a CISSP security engineer is around $118,000 per year.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- People with a CISM certification have developed skills necessary to set up IT infrastructure in their company and incorporate cybersecurity best practices.
- Potential security breaches are what CISMs strive to prevent in their daily work.
- The average salary for IT professionals with a CISM designation is around $117,000 annually.
Certified in Risk and Information System Control (CRISC)
- IT professionals who earn a CRISC certification can assess business risks within an IT organization and implement plans to prevent these risks from turning into issues.
- These people also monitor and report any critical system issues they encounter.
- CRISC certifications are more valuable for people who work in quality assurance, but they also can be useful for security analysts.
- The average salary for IT professionals with a CRISC certification is around $116,000 per year.
Citrix Certified Associate
- The Citrix Certified Associate certification is for people who work as system administrators or technical staff in IT companies.
- The certification focuses on helping system administrators manage, maintain and troubleshoot systems.
- These are invaluable skills in this niche, and earning the Citrix certification leads to a nice boost in visibility and pay for systems admins.
- The average salary for a Citrix Certified Associate is around $113,000 annually.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Hacking is not always malicious. Many organizations hire ethical hackers to improve internal security.
- The CEH certification teaches ways to conduct mock cyberattacks to find system vulnerabilities and learn how better to protect against them.
- Many companies pay freelance ethical hackers a bounty if they detect and report vulnerabilities in their systems. This arrangement can be very lucrative in time for ethical hackers.
- The average salary of a Certified Ethical Hacker is $116,000 per year.
- The CompTIA Network+ certification is a beginning certification that teaches students the basics of computer networking, including working with routers and switches.
- Anyone looking to start their career as a network engineer should start with the CompTIA Network+ certification.
- The average salary of a network engineer is around $108,000 annually.
- The CompTIA Security+ is an intermediate-level security certification that provides information on useful security skills related to data security, encryption, network security and application-level security.
- An individual with this certification usually works as a security analyst.
- The average salary of a security analyst with the CompTIA Security+ certification is around $110,000 per year.
Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP)
- A Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) can work through most of the standard industry networking use cases.
- Many network engineers focus on earning this Cisco certification early in their careers, as it naturally compliments a career path in the niche.
- The average salary of a network engineer with the CCNP certification is around $108,000 per year.
Earning one of the top IT certifications isn't an easy task. The work to get them done often has to be married to your daily life. Cutting time out to make the effort isn't easy, but for those who are willing, the uptick in compensation and increased responsibility can be well worth the effort.
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