As an IT pro, you already know certifications will distinguish you from the pack. The
question is: do you know which certifications hiring managers and project managers are looking for? With so many certifications available to IT pros, it can be hard to determine which one(s) to pursue. And to make matters more complicated, the most in-demand certifications are not always the ones most likely to boost your pay and advance your career. That’s why we’ve created a list to help you weigh your best options in the new year. Whether you’re looking for a new opportunity or hoping to advance your career in 2017, the following certifications will bolster your resume and help you meet your goals.
Cutting Edge in 2017: Revamped IT Certificates from Established Sources
Last year, some well-known certs decided it was time to mix things up—and so far it’s going great! Others have new developments in the works for 2017, and we predict they will be in instant high demand. Make a New Year’s resolution to become one of the first to earn these new-and-improved certificates.
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Practitioner: ITIL Practitioner was offered for the first time in February 2016, and has since proved to be a valuable qualification for IT pros looking to distinguish themselves from novices and work their way up the ITIL qualification ladder. The certification offers several modules meant to further familiarize experienced IT pros with the five components of the ITIL service lifecycle.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) App Builder: Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) App Builder—a longstanding top certificate for programmers and application developers—recreated its program in September 2016 to more closely reflect Microsoft’s current tech requirements. At the end of March 2017, the MCSD credentials will retire to make way for the new and improved MCSE certificate. The initials MCSE also take the place of another Microsoft Certification—the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer—that was one of the most popular certifications ever to be offered by Microsoft. (We think it’s a sign!)
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Cloud Platform and Infrastructure: It’s clear to all who work in tech that cloud computing will continue to grow as businesses’ demand and comfort with virtual storage increases. That’s why Microsoft is putting a new emphasis on cloud certification. Similar to the MCSE App Builder, the MCSE Cloud certification is a revamped version of the MCSD, as well as the MCSE Private Cloud certification. Unlike Microsoft’s previous cloud certifications, this reimagined cert will qualify IT pros to run a modern data center utilizing cloud technologies with expertise. While CompTIA’s Cloud+ certification previously gained attention over Microsoft’s Private Cloud Certification, we suspect that this newest enhancement will have the two behemoths changing hands once more.
Tried and True: IT Certificates With Consistently Proven Value
In the ever-changing world of technology, credentials can become outdated quickly. But some certifications have withstood the test of time. In 2016, our clients frequently listed these certifications as desirable when seeking to fill full-time and contract openings for IT pros, and we forecast that demand will only increase in the new year. If you haven’t already, consider adding one or more of these IT certifications to your resume.
- Project Management Professional (PMP): For years, we’ve advocated that the PMP certificate is one of the best tools a hiring manager can use to quantify a project manager’s knowledge and skill. Not only is this certificate recognized globally and touted as a “gold standard” by many project management institutes, but it also saw a rise in popularity in 2016, and shows no signs of slowing its upward trend.
- CompTIA A+: In the past two decades, more than 900,000 IT pros have earned A+ certification. And for good reason. This vendor-neutral certification is extremely comprehensive, helping IT pros to hone their security, networking, mobile, hardware, troubleshooting, technical support, Windows operating and other operating skills. Best of all, A+ continually undergoes updates to ensure it remains current with the latest technology trends.
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Routing and Switching: Particularly over the past few years, Cisco certifications have proven their value, and this one is no exception. Despite concerns of the certification becoming outdated, CCIE Routing and Switching was Cisco’s highest-paying certificate of 2016. As an industry-leading networking certificate, we wouldn’t expect any less. IT pros with this credential should prepare for continued demand this year.
No matter what your professional goals are for the new year, certifications will help you keep your skills sharp and up-to-date, ensuring you’ll be ready for any challenge. Remember: while it may seem tedious to continually seek new certification opportunities, these achievements are a great tool that can help potential hiring mangers and current supervisors alike to qualify your skill sets and evaluate your credentials properly. But certifications also aren’t the end-all to your professional development. Keep reading up on blogs like ours to ensure you’re staying up to date on the latest tech industry and job seeking trends.
Happy New Year from all of us at ESP!
Looking for a change in 2017? Contact an ESP IT recruiter to learn more about our client’s IT needs and getting your next great gig.