IT certifications for career advancement

Your abilities can be improved, and your qualifications can be verified for recruiting managers and potential employers by obtaining pertinent certifications. IT certifications can assist you as a worker in the information technology area to stay current on new applications and technologies to better set yourself apart from other employees or prospects and hone your skills.

This post examines some of the popular IT certifications you might want to look into to assist develop your career.

Standard IT certifications

You can boost your income potential, rise to management positions, and find employment by furthering your education and working for certification. Also, it can provide you an edge over rival applicants and improve your productivity and effectiveness at work.

Consider the following five IT certification sets as you advance your career:

  • IT certifications from Cisco
  • IT certifications from Microsoft
  • IT certifications from PMI
  • IT certifications from Oracle
  • IT certifications from Adobe

1. IT certifications from Cisco

One of the most frequently requested IT talents is understanding Cisco’s features, functionalities, and systems because it is a networking and business systems communications corporation. A Cisco certification attests to your comprehensive knowledge of IT networking and the interactions between various network architectures to create a reliable and effective network.

The main IT certifications available are as follows:

  • The Cisco Certified Entry Level Technician (CCENT): By assessing your capacity to install, run, and troubleshoot a small business, the Cisco Certified Entry Level Technician (CCENT) exam verifies your abilities as an entry-level technician. This $165 test lasts for 90 minutes.
  • The Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): This certification, known as Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), attests to your competence in installing, configuring, managing, and supporting small- to medium-sized networks. If you pass the $250 exam, you’ll receive an IT certification good for three years.
  • The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP): Planning, implementing, verifying, and troubleshooting local and wide-area enterprise networks as well as collaborating with experts on cutting-edge security with video systems are all made possible with the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) designation. To be certified, candidates must pass a two-hour exam that costs $600.
  • The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE): The top-tier certification offered by Cisco, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), has seven tracks. It validates knowledge of routing, teamwork, and security. Examinations are $1,750 each. For qualification, eight hours of laboratory work and passing a written exam are needed.

2. IT certifications from Microsoft

Microsoft is viewed as a foundational piece by the majority of enterprises. Microsoft technologies may develop both your profession and your grasp of their apps and software, irrespective of your field or career path. Microsoft provides three distinct certification levels at the moment, though they are constantly improving their programs. Exam costs vary since Microsoft provides discounts and packages. The range of prices is $50 to $230.

The three available certification levels are as follows:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA): These credentials, which are intended for students, demonstrate a foundational understanding of the principles in important technical fields. The subsequent levels of certification do not require this qualification.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): This certification, which is intended for working professionals and applicants, will help you demonstrate your ability to develop on-site and cloud-based solutions using one of Microsoft’s key technologies.
  • MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer) and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert): These two tests, which represent the pinnacle of Microsoft IT certifications, will vouch for your technical proficiency and capacity to create on-site and cloud-based applications using a variety of Microsoft platforms.

3. IT certifications by PMI

Project managers’ ability to support efforts around the world is confirmed by Project Management Institute (PMI) qualifications. The fact that PMI certifications are not determined by one methodology makes them versatile and adaptive. They make your employees more secure and demonstrate your dedication to the field of project management.

The available certification is as follows:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP) certification: One of the most esteemed credentials available for project managers is the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. It demonstrates your managerial abilities and capacity to accomplish projects on schedule and within the expected parameters. This four-hour, 200-question computer-based IT certification test costs between $405 and $555. The multiple-choice test has a minimum number of 137 questions, and you receive your results right away after finishing it.

4. IT certifications from Oracle

Consider obtaining an Oracle certification if you plan to work with databases, manage databases, or design applications. This certification solidifies your role as an authority in the IT industry and demonstrates your ability to improve system performance, commitment to your field, and high level of productivity.

There are two certification levels:

  • Oracle Certified Associate: The Oracle Certified Associate certification is for those who are just getting started with Oracle technologies. It might assist you in getting a job as a database administrator at the entry-level. The test costs $50.
  • Oracle Certified Professional: With the Oracle Certified Professional designation, you can demonstrate that you have the knowledge, expertise, and experience necessary to manage, create, and even install large-scale, enterprise-wide applications and databases. The test costs $50.

5. IT certifications from Adobe

Your knowledge and proficiency with Adobe products are measured by an Adobe certification. It will help set you apart from rivals, attract more business, and demonstrate your capacity to handle difficult difficulties daily. Because obtaining IT certifications like those from Adobe demonstrates to clients your dedication to their needs, you could find yourself more desirable as a professional. These credentials cost between $65 and $80 per exam.

The following certificates are available:

  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA): This entry-level digital design certification, known as Adobe Certified Associate (ACA), attests to your capacity to create, plan, implement, and sustain effective communications utilizing digital media. Each of the four accessible domains—visual communication with Adobe Photoshop, web communications with Adobe Dreamweaver, media communications with Adobe Flash, and video communications with Adobe Premiere Pro—can be certified in separately.
  • Adobe Certified Expert (ACE): Adobe Certified Expert Your professional-level knowledge and proficiency with Adobe’s graphic design programs are demonstrated by this highest level of certification from Adobe. A certification from ACE comes in three levels: product certification, specialist certification, and master certification.

Why Do People Value IT Certifications?

One thing becomes obvious when looking more closely at why IT professionals desire to become certified: it’s not exclusively about the money. Of course, earning more money is advantageous, but obtaining an IT certification is frequently motivated by other factors as well.

The truth is that IT workers are pushed to broaden their areas of specialization and are ravenous for the expertise and professional advancement. Anything is attainable with that mentality.

IT Certifications Improve Work Performance

Regardless of pay, those with recent IT certifications exhibit improved job efficiency:

  • 56% claim that their work quality has increased.
  • 41% claim to be more motivated at work
  • 36% claim to be working more quickly.

Consider these figures for a moment. 80% of IT professionals feel that their technical ability is even more appreciated inside their company after obtaining only one new IT certification. They aren’t the only ones who have those feelings, either.

IT Certifications Verify Competencies

The Skillsoft analysis shows an increase in the proportion of businesses reporting a skills gap since 2015. The majority of IT decision-makers (almost 60%) predicted a skills shortfall in 2022. And 41% of businesses think certified workers are important for filling skills gaps. Over 96% of IT managers agree that hiring qualified personnel benefits their companies.

Employing managers list the following advantages of hiring certified personnel:

  • 45% claim that certification increases production.
  • 44% claim that certification satisfies client needs.
  • 37% claim that certification reduces the amount of time spent troubleshooting
  • 35% claim that certification expedites project completion.
  • 35% claim that certification gives them a competitive edge.

That’s it. Qualified professionals are more effective at filling in skill shortages, meeting client demands, and boosting production while doing so in less time. What kind of company wouldn’t want that?

There is a need for IT Certifications.

Over 164,000 job postings in 2022 required a minimum of one of the below CompTIA IT certifications, according to Lightcast statistics.

  • CompTIA A+ certification (47,200)
  • CCNP Security (51,100)
  • CCNP Security (102,500)

These figures show not only how eager IT workers are to earn IT certifications, particularly CompTIA, but also how frequently employers request that candidates hold these IT certifications before applying.

Of course, your potential income will increase as your knowledge and skills increase. In the 2022 IT Skills & Pay Survey from Skillsoft, 22% of IT decision-makers claim that certified workers provide $30,000 or more in value over non-certified staff. About compensation Workers with IT certifications in cybersecurity earn the most money in North America, with an average income of $123,370. IT professionals who are not qualified in cybersecurity make, on average, $108,488. IT professionals that possess certain in-demand talents earn more early in their careers. Naturally, a greater degree of certification generally results in a higher salary.

Given all the benefits of obtaining an IT certification, it is very understandable why so many IT professionals are so passionate about obtaining one. There are several excellent reasons to become certified, like increased self-assurance, in-depth knowledge, dependability, top-notch performance, accelerated promotions, and a professional path with an upward trend. Last but not least, there is nothing wrong with it if it increases your pay.

Excellent IT certifications for rookies

Just getting started in the IT industry? Some of the top introductory certifications to assist you to land your first IT job include the ones listed below:

Certification from CompTIA

Although CompTIA offers certifications across a range of platforms and technologies, one stands out as being particularly valuable to IT professionals:

  • CompTIA A+: This fundamental certification will help you get started in IT. Hardware, technical assistance, and troubleshooting are the main topics. Best practices for security, networking, operational protocols, portable devices, and different operating systems are also covered.

Microsoft technology specialist

The Microsoft technology professional certification is offered by tech giant Microsoft (MTA). This certificate encompasses an array of topics, including IT infrastructure, database, and development. IT infrastructure includes the basics of Windows OS, Virtual Server Management, networking, and cybersecurity. The developer is a foundational certification in areas like gaming, software design, HTML5, .NET,  and web development.

These subjects each have their own MTA. If you require more than one MTA to launch your profession, you can do so. There are no prerequisite courses or set amounts of industry experience. Simply take the test when you’re ready.

Top Microsoft certifications for the middle level

After earning an MTA or another entry-level certification, you might think about earning a Microsoft middle-level certification. This will assist in advancing your career.

  • Microsoft certified solutions developer (MCSD): Obtaining the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) credential validates your capacity for creating and maintaining apps for a variety of Windows products.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): MCSE credentials, available in a variety of specialties, attest to your proficiency in managing servers, data systems, security, cloud services, networking, and other systems.

The most coveted tech certifications are MCSE and MCSD. Your IT resume can stand out if you use one of these.

Top networking certifications

A certification from Cisco, a major supplier of infrastructure solutions, attests to your familiarity with current networking trends and best practices. They are the most crucial:

  • Cisco certified network associate (CCNA): A step up from Cisco’s entry-level certification, Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) holders can concentrate in the following fields: cyber espionage, collaboration, cloud, database servers, routing and switching, industrial/IoT, wireless, service provider, and security.
  • Cisco certified network professional (CCNP): A more advanced IT certification in one of the aforementioned specialized categories is the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), which comes after the associate level. The following areas of expertise are available: Security, CCNP Enterprise, Data Center, Collaboration, or Service Provider.

Top IT security certifications

Cyberattacks and hacking are current hot issues, and there are many open positions in the risk management and security sectors. A few of the most valuable IT qualifications in this developing industry are listed below.

The following list of international certification programs is managed by ISACA, a professional group focused on IT safety and governance:

  • Certified information systems auditor: ISACA claims that its cornerstone qualification, the CISA, is in information systems auditing. The information systems (IS) specialists who oversee, manage, and evaluate a business’s IT or operational systems are the target audience for this test, as its name suggests. Five years of relevant professional experience are necessary for this qualification.
  • Certified information security manager: The CISM, the industry’s preeminent credential for information security managers, is created for those who create, implement, and oversee information security programs. You need to have worked as a security manager for three years in addition to a minimum of five years of IS experience to be eligible.
  • Certified in risk and information systems control: The CRISC confers credentials on experts and project managers who are in charge of data security and its entire effect on the business. Identification, evaluation, reaction, and mitigation of risks are all covered, as well as risk control oversight and reporting.
  • Certified in risk and information systems control: The CGEIT certifies your knowledge of enterprise IT governance rules and procedures. It also serves as your proof of understanding. One of the IT certifications with the highest demand and highest compensation is this one.
  • Nexus for cybersecurity (CSX-P): The CSX-P certification proves that you are knowledgeable about security requirements and dangers in an era of rapidly changing cybersecurity threats.

A few other useful IT certifications in security are:

  • Certified ethical hacker (CEH): EC-Council has several certification programs, with the CEH being one of the most well-known. This qualification is generally a requirement for jobs like computer forensics analyst, cybersecurity expert, and software developer because individuals with it specialize in pen testing.
  • Certified information systems security professional: Another highly sought-after cybersecurity credential is the Certified Information Systems Security Professional title. Intended for seasoned IT workers, CISSP holders comprehend networked system vulnerabilities and develop rules to protect systems and reduce risk.
  • International certifications for information security: The GIACs, which are all about data security, are divided into numerous categories, including industrial control systems, internet security, penetration testing, incident management, and forensics. The GIAC security specialist is the highest level (GSE).

A list of the top cloud computing certifications

There are more credentials associated with cloud computing as it grows into the new standard in IT. A large number of them are exclusive to particular providers, including Microsoft, VMware, and Amazon. In this rapidly expanding field, there are also a few certificates that concentrate on more broad techniques. The following top IT certifications:

  • CompTIA cloud+: CompTIA cloud+ includes configuration, installation, security, administration, and troubleshooting. It also covers all key aspects of cloud computing.
  • vCenter Certified Professional – Cloud Administration and Mechanisation: The VCP-CMA certification attests to your proficiency in setting up and managing a VMware vRealize system. Also, you’ll learn how to manage daily operations using process automation.
  • Professional solutions architect with AWS certification: The certification confirms your ability to develop and deploy cloud infrastructures utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS), the leading supplier of services for cloud computing.
  • Certified Salesforce development process and deployment: In modern cloud-based CRM, employers are in desperate need of high-end expertise. The first certification on the path toward becoming a Salesforce-certified systems architect is this one.

Top management certificates

Project management is essential to IT operations. Moreover, certification can be a significant launching pad for management jobs because it entails organization, planning, budgeting, and implementation.

  • Certified associate in project management (CAPM): The highly regarded Project Management Institute (PMI) offers the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), which makes it a great choice for a management certificate for newcomers.
  • Project management professional (PMP): The PMP certificate is one of the most esteemed in the industry and is also provided by PMI. There are also a variety of specialized certificates available.
  • Certified ScrumMaster: The Scrum Alliance offers the entry-level Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) credential. It is a fantastic approach to demonstrate your familiarity with Scrum and Agile management techniques.

Best certifications for help desks

Many IT workers start in help desk and technical support positions. Schools are also increasingly providing classes that equip students to get help desk certifications, giving pupils an advantage. You have the option to specialize in the systems and products of one particular vendor or the help desk functions as a whole.

  • HDI certificates: Previously known as the Help Desk Institute, HDI now provides certifications for positions ranging from HDI support center director to entry-level desk support specialist. Employing managers favor the HDI tech support professional qualification in particular. For customer support analysts, team leaders, and agents who provide customer service, HDI also provides credentials.
  • ITIL: The promotion of quality standards for IT customer service is the responsibility of the UK group AXELOS. A widely used framework for controlling IT service quality is known by the registration certificate ITIL, formerly the abbreviation for Information Technology Infrastructure Library. There are five different levels of ITIL certification, from foundation to master.
  • Certified Apple Support Professional (ACSP): You can use Apple’s ACSP certification to show that you are knowledgeable about the fundamentals of macOS support.

Top IT certifications in database, analytics, and other data technologies

While the expansion of big data and analytics projects is creating new job opportunities, database technologies continue to be the cornerstone of IT operations.

IT certifications are frequently developed around the platform of a single provider, such as:

  • Certified data professional (CDP): One of the most thorough certificates for data professionals is offered by the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP). You can choose to concentrate on particular responsibilities, like business intelligence, information management, enterprise information architecture, big data, and data warehousing, with the CDP, which is offered in five tiers from the foundational level to executive management.
  • Oracle certified professional: Oracle, the top database provider in the world, provides certification in a variety of database-related fields, including analytics, data warehousing, and big data, as well as data management and database software development.
  • SAP Certified Technology Associate: This certification certifies your proficiency with SAP’s database systems, including installation, management, monitoring, migration, and troubleshooting.
  • Certifications for Microsoft SQL Server: Similar to Oracle, Microsoft provides a variety of certifications, including those for data management, business analytics, and data analytics and management.
  • CCIE data center: The CCIE data center certification from Cisco validates the expert-level abilities necessary to plan, set up, run, monitor, and troubleshoot complex information center networks.


Although it may seem like the ideal option to select the lowest course available on a particular topic, these services are typically priced accordingly. Consider the fact that many businesses provide free trial periods or courses to assist you in making the correct choice. We’ve discovered that it’s worthwhile to take the time to investigate your online school in this manner before committing. Another important tool is that some businesses offer reviews from previous customers. These can aid in determining a course’s suitability for your specific certification requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions on IT certifications

  • What are the IT certifications that are most in demand in it?

According to a new Soft Skill survey, the workers with the greatest pay in 2023 will either have program management, cloud computing, or cybersecurity certifications. These talents are in high demand, thus IT professionals possessing them automatically attract higher salaries.

  • Which IT certification is ideal for a beginner?

For complete beginners, there is the CompTIA IT Foundations (ITF+) certification. It is distinctive in that it attests to your position as a knowledgeable end user. You might be perplexed as to why someone would aim to obtain a pre-professional credential like CompTIA ITF+. The majority of people can perform simple chores on computers.

  • Do I need more than certifications to work in IT?

Numerous high-paying IT jobs don’t need a bachelor’s degree. Whatever their educational credentials, prospective employers are seeking job prospects that can do the task at hand. Your key to a lucrative tech career might be self-education, training courses, and IT certifications.