According to Dice, the job search site, certain certifications increase technology professionals’ salaries at all experience levels.
After surveying nearly 17,000 techies, Dice found that the following certifications draw the most additional dollars (no particular order):
PMP – Project Management Professional
MCSE – Microsoft’s Certified Systems Engineer
A + – CompTIA’s technical-support hardware support
CCNA – Cisco Certified Network Associate
MCP – Microsoft Certified Professional
Network + – CompTIA network technician
CISSP – ISC2’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional
MCSA – Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator
ITIL – IT Infrastructure Library technical management
Security + – CompTIA’s security analyst
A couple of my observations:
- Dice Learning offers training for all these certifications, which might be why they didn’t provide links back to the organizations that issue the certifications (like I did).
- Don’t assume that the issuing organization is the best way to get trained for the certification. In addition, the issuing organization’s book/study materials are usually not the best ones on the market (but usually the most expensive).
- More of the certifications are vendor-neutral and apply across all operating systems, applications, etc.
- I rarely see the MCSA, MCP, or ITIL letters behind anyone’s name, but ITIL appears to be on the rise.
- I was surprised that no UNIX/Linux certification made the list.
- I was NOT surprised that CISA did not make the list. It isn’t technical, and auditors are sometimes paid less than those with other certs. See Where is the IS in CISA?
- I was NOT surprised that CIA did not make the list either. See CISA vs. CIA Certification.
Personally, I have not found any correlation between my CISSP certification and increases in salary. All the increases were due to my accomplishments, not the certification. The certification helped me achieve in some areas, but I did not see it as a major factor in my success.
What I have seen my CISSP badge do is open doors and close deals. My certification was a major reason I was offered my last two jobs.
Keep in mind that most certifications complement your current knowledge; if you don’t have some current knowledge, the certification won’t be as helpful. I already had years of IT and security experience when I got my CISSP, but I still learned a lot.
On the other hand, I was once forced to hire a paper-certified, but unknowledgeable MCSE who could not map a network drive on her first day on the job. She left within the year and is now in a different line of work entirely.
Passing the exam <> knowledge and ability.
Please share your experiences regarding certifications!
Compare this list with the Top 10 IT Jobs.