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    Default 10 Hottest I.T Certifications

    10 Hottest I.T Certifications for 2008

    It is that time again. To sort through all the certifications out there and try to pick the ones to have for 2008. The list looks a little different than years prior in that Microsoft is not dominating the list. We tried our best with this list based on job growth, sales of certification training material and a little guess work. Read through it and tell us what you think. If you are starting your IT. career or looking to enhance it, any of these certifications would be a great asset to have. Visit www.audiocerts.com for all your Audio Certification Training

    MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional)
    Like I even had to list this one. This will probably always be number 1 for the next 1,000 years. There are over 2 million people with this certification.

    CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate)
    This one comes in 2nd as most network administrator jobs right now are IP related and they are in more demand at higher professional level as compared to Microsoft Certifications.

    MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer)
    This has been a rocket since last year. Demand for these developers are up over 80% compared to last year, and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. There are only a little over 3000 currently with the certification. If you are looking for a certification track, I would give this one a lot of consideration.

    SCJP (SUN Certified Java Programmer)
    Today, a Java credential is one of the most valuable credentials that a programmer or developer can have. About 70% of business entities' development projects are done through J2EE.

    CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional)
    One of the elite certifications. With CISSP's earning $94,070 a year on average, it is easy to see why this one is on the list. The exam lasts up to six hours and includes 250 multiple choice questions. It is also $500, so you might want to study for this one.

    Comptia A+
    I figured everyone had this already, but I guess not. This is the first certification almost everyone gets when first starting in the IT field. It is by far the most popular entry level certification.

    Comptia Network +
    Coming in right behind A+. This is usually the 2nd certification that most IT. Professionals acquire. Which is great because Network systems and data communications analysts is ranked Number 2 on the 'Most in Demand Jobs' list.

    MCTS SQL Server 2005 (The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist)
    SQL Server 2005 is going to be hot next year. A lot of companies are switching to SQL Server 2005 and these guys are going to be in big demand. Companies of all sizes need these professionals to manage everything from planning a new database to managing and supporting existing databases.

    RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer)
    About 25% of enterprises will be running mission-critical business applications on the Linux open source operating system by 2009, according to a survey by Saugatuck Technology and Business Week Research Services. By the end of 2007 the figure will be 18%. RHCE is called the 'crown jewel of Linux certifications'.

    Comptia Security+
    Growth in Security+, which covers topics like communication security, infrastructure security, cryptography, access control and authentication, shows no signs of slowing down. Comptia's Security+ Credential is a must have in today's world.

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    TOP 10 Certifications for 2010

    IT certifications boast numerous benefits. They bolster resumes, encourage higher salaries, and assist in job retention. But which IT certifications are best?

    Technology professionals generate much debate over just that question. Many claim vendor-specific programs best measure a candidate's skills, while others propose vendor-independent exams are the only worthy way of measuring real-world expertise. Still, other observers believe the highest-level accreditation--Microsoft's MCSE or new Architect Series certification, Cisco's CCIE, etc.--are the only credentials that truly hold value.

    Myself, I don't fully subscribe to any of those mindsets. The best IT certification for you, after all, is likely to be different from that for another technology professional with different education, skills, and goals working at a different company in a different industry. For that reason, when pursuing any professional accreditation, you should give much thought and care to your education, experience, skills, goals, and desired career path.

    Once a career road map is in place, selecting a potential certification path becomes much easier. And that's where this list of the industry's 10 best IT certifications comes into play. While this list may not include the 10 best accreditations for you, it does catalog 10 IT certifications that possess significant value for a wide range of technology professionals.

    #1: MCITP

    The new-generation Microsoft Certified IT Professional credential, or MCITP for short, is likely to become the next big Microsoft certification.

    Available for a variety of fields of expertise--including database developer, database administrator, enterprise messaging administrator and server administrator--an MCITP validates a professional's proven job-role capabilities. Candidates must pass several Microsoft exams that track directly to their job role before earning the new designation.
    As with Microsoft's other new-generation accreditations, the MCITP certification will retire when Microsoft suspends mainstream support for the platforms targeted within the MCITP exams. By matching the new certification to popular job roles, as has been done to some extent with CompTIA's Server+ (server administrator), Project+ (project manager), and A+ (desktop support) certifications, Microsoft has created a new certification that's certain to prove timely, relevant, and valuable.

    #2: MCTS

    The new-generation Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) helps IT staff validate skills in installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting a specific Microsoft technology. The MCTS certifications are designed to communicate the skills and expertise a holder possesses on a specific platform.

    For example, candidates won't earn an MCTS on SQL Server 2008. Instead, they'll earn an MCTS covering SQL Server business intelligence (MCTS: SQL Server 2008 Business Intelligence), database creation (MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development), or SQL server administration (MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Implementation and Maintenance).

    These new certifications require passing multiple, tightly targeted exams that focus on specific responsibilities on specific platforms. MCTS designations will expire when Microsoft suspends mainstream support for the corresponding platform. These changes, as with other new-generation Microsoft certifications, add value to the accreditation.

    #3: Security+

    Security continues to be a critical topic. That's not going to change. In fact, its importance is only going to grow. One of the quickest ways to lose shareholder value, client confidence, and sales is to suffer a data breach. And no self-respecting technology professional wants to be responsible for such a breach.

    CompTIA's Security+ accreditation provides a respected, vendor-neutral foundation for industry staff (with at least two years of experience) seeking to demonstrate proficiency with security fundamentals. While the Security+ accreditation consists of just a single exam, it could be argued that any IT employee charged with managing client data or other sensitive information should, at a minimum, possess this accreditation. The importance of ensuring staff are properly educated as to systems security, network infrastructure, access control, auditing, and organizational security principles is simply too important to take for granted.

    #4: MCPD

    There's more to information technology than just administration, support, and networking. Someone must create and maintain the applications and programs that power organizations. That's where the new-generation Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credential comes into play.

    The MCPD accreditation measures a developer's ability to build and maintain software solutions using Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. Split into three certification paths (Windows Developer 3.5, ASP.NET Developer 3.5, and Enterprise Applications Developer 3.5), the credential targets IT professionals tasked with designing, optimizing, and operating those Microsoft technologies to fulfill business needs.

    A redesigned certification aimed at better-measuring real-world skills and expertise, the MCPD will prove important for developers and programmers. Besides requiring candidates to pass several exams, the MCPD certification will retire when Microsoft suspends mainstream support for the corresponding platform. The change is designed to ensure the MCPD certification remains relevant, which is certain to further increase its value.

    #5: CCNA

    The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) accreditation captures most of the networking company's certification glory. But the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) might prove more realistic within many organizations. In a world in which Microsoft and Linux administrators are also often expected to be networking experts, many companies don't have the budgets necessary to train (or employ) a CCIE. But even small and midsize corporations can benefit from having their technology professionals earn basic proficiency administering Cisco equipment, as demonstrated by earning a CCNA accreditation.

    As smaller companies become increasingly dependent upon remote access technologies, basic Cisco systems skills are bound to become more important. Although many smaller organizations will never have the complexity or workload necessary to keep a CCIE busy, Cisco's CCNA is a strong accreditation for technology professionals with a few years' experience seeking to grow and improve their networking skills.

    #6: A+

    Technology professionals with solid hardware and support skills are becoming tougher to find. There's not much glory in digging elbow-deep into a desktop box or troubleshooting Windows boot errors. But those skills are essential to keeping companies running.

    Adding CompTIA's A+ certification to a resume tells hiring managers and department heads that you have proven support expertise. Whether an organization requires desktop installation, problem diagnosis, preventive maintenance, or computer or network error troubleshooting, many organizations have found A+-certified technicians to be more productive than their non-certified counterparts.

    Changes to the A+ certification, which requires passing multiple exams, are aimed at keeping the popular credential relevant. Basic prerequisite requirements are now followed by testing that covers specific fields of expertise (such as IT, remote support, or depot technician). The accreditation is aimed at those working in desktop support, on help desks, and in the field, and while many of these staffers are new to the industry, the importance of an A+ certification should not be overlooked.

    #7: PMP

    Some accreditation gain value by targeting specific skills and expertise. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a great example.

    The Project Management Institute (PMI), a nonprofit organization that serves as a leading membership association for project management practitioners, maintains the PMP exam. The certification measures a candidate's project management expertise by validating skills and knowledge required to plan, execute, budget, and lead a technology project. Eligible candidates must have five years of project management experience or three years of project management experience and 35 hours of related education.

    As organizations battle tough economic conditions, having proven project scheduling, budgeting, and management skills will only grow in importance. The PMI's PMP credential is a perfect conduit for demonstrating that expertise on a resume.

    #8: MCSE/MCSA

    Even years after their introduction, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) credentials remain valuable. But it's important to avoid interpreting these accreditation as meaning the holders are all-knowing gurus, as that's usually untrue.

    In my mind, the MCSE and MCSA hold value because they demonstrate the holder's capacity to complete a long and comprehensive education, training, and certification program requiring intensive study. Further, these certifications validate a wide range of relevant expertise (from client and server administration to security issues) on specific, widely used platforms.

    Also important is the fact that these certifications tend to indicate holders have been working within the technology field for a long time. There's no substitute for actual hands-on experience. Many MCSEs and MCSAs hold their certifications on Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 platforms, meaning they've been working within the industry for many years. While these certifications will be replaced by Microsoft's new-generation credentials, they remain an important measure of foundational skills on Windows platforms.

    #9: CISSP

    As mentioned with the Security+ accreditation earlier, security is only going to grow in importance. Whatever an organization's mission, product, or service, security is paramount.

    (ISC)˛, which administers the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) accreditation, has done well building a respected, vendor-neutral security certification. Designed for industry pros with at least five years of full-time experience, and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the CISSP is internationally recognized for validating a candidate's expertise with operations and network and physical security, as well as their ability to manage risk and understand legal compliance responsibilities and other security-related elements.

    #10: Linux+

    While pursuing my first Microsoft certification 10 years ago, I remember debating the importance of Linux with several telecommunications technicians. They mocked the investment I was making in learning Microsoft technologies. These techs were confident Linux was going to displace Windows.

    Well, didn't happen. Linux continues to make inroads, though. The open source alternative is an important platform. Those professionals who have Linux expertise and want to formalize that skill set will do well adding CompTIA's Linux+ certification to their resumes.

    The vendor-neutral exam, which validates basic Linux client and server skills, is designed for professionals with at least six to 12 months of hands-on Linux experience. In addition to being vendor-neutral, the exam is also distribution neutral (meaning the skills it covers work well whether a candidate is administering Red Hat, SUSE, or Ubuntu systems).

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    Top IT Certifications for 2014

    While earning a degree will help you get your foot in the door, the average employer requires more from their staff. IT certifications are standard in many job descriptions, and earning yours in tandem with a degree is the best way to distinguish yourself in the job market. The certifications below are among the high-demand, high-paying IT specialties.

    Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNAŽ)

    Average salary: $82,923

    Why it works: The CCNA certification allows seasoned IT professionals to improve their skills and advance in the workplace. Its study focuses on the operations and troubleshooting of medium-sized networks and advanced concepts related to LAN and WAN design. It also allows students to polish their skills in IP addressing, routing protocols, VLAN, WLAN and network security management.


    Microsoft Certified Systems Associate (MCSA)

    Average salary: $82,923

    Why it works: The MCSA certification is the gateway to understanding, managing and troubleshooting Windows operating systems. MCSA is considered a prerequisite for advanced Microsoft certifications, and most entry-level IT positions require MCSA certification. According to a 2012 Microsoft study, “ninety-one percent of hiring managers consider certification as part of their hiring criteria.” MCSA is desired in a variety of IT positions, including network and systems administration, operations analysis and technical support.


    COMPTIA Security+

    Average salary: $80,066

    Why it works: This certification is the foundation of knowledge in the areas of network security, compliance and operational security, threats and vulnerabilities, access control and identity management, cryptography and application, and data and host security. Security+ certified employees understand how to anticipate and mitigate IT risk within a variety of networks. For those looking to establish a niche within IT security, this certification is a must.


    Cisco Certified Networking Technician (CCENT)

    Average salary: $74,764

    Why it works: The CCNET certification is intended for IT professionals on their way to earning full CCNA certification. The curriculum covers the basics of OSI models, DNS, NAT, router configuration and general routing. CCNET is ideal for IT professionals looking to advance in their field and manage small business IT networks.



    CompTIA Network+

    Average salary: $71,207

    Why it works: This certification is perfect for entry-level employees in the roles of network administration, installation, technician and help services. The curriculum covers a variety of network duties, including installation and configuration, technologies, media, management, security and topologies. The CompTIA Network+ certification is an unofficial prerequisite for many advanced certifications, including CCNA and CCENT.


    The bottom line: Don’t settle for a degree that lacks tangible experience. Find a course of study that allows you to develop your skills through industry-driven certifications. The result will help you solidify your skills in the workplace.



    Jonathan Teasdale ˇ Michigan State University

    These are great foundational certifications for Microsoft admins and network engineers. I think it is misleading to some to post these salaries without including the years of and type of experience and skills required to land a job that pays these rates. Also, somewhat surprised to find an article about top career certs for 2014 that doesn't include Linux. Use of Linux is growing in the enterprise faster than any other technology. LPI (Linux Professional Institute) certification is a great place for new admins to start, and they partner with SuSE to extend some of their certs directly to enterprise level Linux Operating Systems. For beginners, the Linux Fundamentals course now being offered for free as a MOOC though Linux Foundation has made it possible for many to get the basics and start on a path to a rewarding career in Linux.


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