The IT industry can be notoriously tough to break into, thanks to the huge number of talented individuals looking for work. In order to stand out, you need to have some serious certification, and these certificates can be provided by a number of different bodies. From Microsoft through to Cisco, some of the world’s biggest companies want you to take their qualifications, but are they really worth it?

Couno IT who know the technology industry well  have some of the qualifications that are massively in demand by employers, and that lead to some seriously high salaries. They certainly aren’t easy to get, but nothing in life is worth it unless you have to work hard, is it?

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

This is a certification from Amazon, and is their more basic package. Basic doesn’t mean it lacks career prospects though, as those with this qualification can find themselves earning salaries of £80,000+ in the IT industry. Once this qualification has been completed, there’s then the chance to complete the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, which will mark you out from the crowd even more.

This course focusses mainly on designing distributed applications, and is really only suitable for those who already have some experience with the AWS platform. Aside from the design and distribution aspects, it also has a more practical side, as it also deals with elements of costing, and how to lower these costs.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

This is a course from the highly-regarded (ISC)2 organisation and, as the name suggests, focusses on system security. This means that it covers such topics as risk management, network security and access management, amongst many other things. With security being such a hot topic in the current climate, companies are willing to pay big money to hire the best in the field, and this qualification marks you out as just that.

You’re not able to simply walk into this course though, as significant experience is needed before applying. If you don’t have the experience, you can work towards an Associate qualification first though. You should also remember that this certification must be maintained, meaning that you have to earn Continuous Professional Education credits each and every year.

Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

If you’re looking for a qualification that’s recognised throughout the IT industry, look no further than this one. Offered by ISACA, it has been around since 1978, and so far over 100,000 people have received certification. What’s more, a large percentage of these people are now earning salaries in excess of £60,000 per year. It’s designed for those who have the job of monitoring IT systems, and focusses on things like assessing vulnerabilities and proposing updates.

Like the previous entry on this list, this isn’t a qualification anyone can start though. If you’re interested, you’ll need to already have five years of experience in the area. When you do qualify, you’ll need to keep earning credits in order to keep your certification.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Data Centre

This is a relatively new qualification from Cisco, having only been introduced in 2012. It has gained a fantastic reputation though, and focusses on networking, storage and virtualization, among many other things. Those with this qualification can easily hope to earn upwards of £60,000 every year, and often far more than this. What’s more, thanks to the numerous Cisco certifications available, you’ll be able to continue your education and earn even higher certifications once this one has been completed.

As with all the other qualifications on this list, gaining this certification does require a significant amount of work. You’ll be assessed over the course of two different exams, with each covering a different aspect of the course.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Those with the skills needed to combat hacking are in huge demand at the moment, and this certification will prove that you definitely have these skills. By taking this course, you’ll learn how to search for flaws in a network and then assist in fixing them, so that hackers aren’t able to exploit the weakness. Considering hackers are able to steal huge amounts of information and money, this is an incredibly responsible job.

Some of the topics covered in the course include cryptography, cloud computing, firewalls, the hacking of wireless networks, and the hacking of mobile platforms. It is a very high-level course though, so it is certainly only suitable for those who already have significant knowledge of the subject. Getting this certification is worth it though, as salaries are, on average, around £60,000 per year.


About Ali Gajani

Hi. I am Ali Gajani. I started Mr. Geek in early 2012 as a result of my growing enthusiasm and passion for technology. I love sharing my knowledge and helping out the community by creating useful, engaging and compelling content. If you want to write for Mr. Geek, just PM me on my Facebook profile.