CertWizard 25 June 2020 Career Salary Education

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The overall average IT salary is $136,185 for certifications included in the survey, with the highest salary eclipsing $175,000. The top three cloud providers -- Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud --account for five of the top-paying credentials.

Cloud computing and cybersecurity account for the top four information technology (IT) certifications in the United States when it comes to salaries, according to a new report by IT training company Global Knowledge.

“IT professionals with these skills are in high demand and command the largest paychecks in the industry,” the Cary, N.C.-based company said in a report released this week.

Seven new certifications made Global Knowledge’s “15 Top-Paying IT Certifications for 2020” report, which is based on survey responses from the Global Knowledge 2020 IT Skills and Salary Survey that will be released this spring.

The overall average IT salary is $136,185 for certifications included in the survey, with the highest salary eclipsing $175,000. The top three cloud providers -- Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud -- account for five of the top-paying credentials.

Global Knowledge for the first time provided a look at the average certification-holder for each of the credentials, with information about how many current certifications those IT professionals possess, their ages and most likely job roles.

“We offer this new information to provide a more representative picture of each certification,” Global Knowledge said. “The salaries…aren’t simply a result of achieving a specified certification -- they are a culmination of many factors, including relevant skills, job role, tenure and hard work.”

Here’s a look at the top 15 certifications that made the list.

15. Citrix Certified Professional - Virtualization (CCP-V)

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Average annual salary: $117,069
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The Citrix Certified Professional - Virtualization (CCP-V) certification validates skills needed by experienced IT solution builders -- engineers and consultants -- to install, configure and roll out common XenDesktop solutions.

The Citrix Certified Associate - Virtualization (CCA-V) certification is a prerequisite for the certification, and IT workers also must pass exam 1Y0-311, which covers topics such as intermediate FlexCast management architecture, Workspace Environment Management, Virtual Desktop Agent, app layering, user environment and other topics.

The average holder of CCP-V certification is 42.4 years of age, has 6.2 certifications in total and most likely is a systems administrator, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is CompTIA Security+.

14. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching

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Average annual salary: $119,178
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The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Routing and Switching credential is a professional-level Cisco Systems certification recognize that holders can plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks. It’s designed for network engineers and administrators who collaborate with specialists on advanced security, voice, wireless and video solutions.

Cisco is launching a new certification framework on Feb. 23, and CCNP Enterprise will replace this certification, which no longer will be offered.

“Those already holding Cisco certifications have an easy-to-follow migration plan to ensure they receive credit for work completed and credentials earned,” Global Knowledge said.

Candidates for all new CCNP certifications must pass two exams: a core exam and one concentration exam within the technology area.

The average holder of this certification is 42.3 years of age, has 5.4 certifications in total and most likely is a network engineer/analyst, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is CompTIA A+.


13. Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N)

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Average annual salary: $125,264
Citrix Official certification website

The Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N) certification covers the basics of a NetScaler implementation, a specialization in traffic management or the NetScaler Unified Gateway -- including integration with XenDesktop and XenApp -- and troubleshooting issues with NetScaler in those areas.

Prerequisites for the certification, which is valid for three years, including passing the Citrix CCA-N 1Y0-230 exam or Citrix CCA-N 1Y0-240 exam.

The average holder of this certification is 41.6 years of age, has 6.7 certifications in total and most likely is a solutions engineer, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is CompTIA A+.


12. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate

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Average annual salary: $125,993
Microsoft Official certification website

Microsoft’s Azure Administrator Associate certification validates required skills to be a successful Azure cloud administrator who manages cloud services including storage, security and networking.

It’s slated to be the most popular Microsoft credential this year, with more than 21 percent of Microsoft-certified professionals planning to pursue it, according to Global Knowledge.

“It is one of Microsoft’s role-based certifications, which means it aligns directly with sought-after job roles,” it said. “To achieve this certification, you’ll require a deep understanding of each service across the full IT lifecycle and will take requests for infrastructure services, applications and environments. You will need to be equipped to make recommendations on services used for optimal performance and scale, as well as provision, size, monitor and adjust resources as appropriate.”

The average holder of this certification is 41.2 years of age, has 6.2 certifications in total and most likely is a cloud engineer, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is CompTIA Network+.

11. Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

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Average annual salary: $126,653
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Azure Fundamentals, the initial certification for those looking to earn Microsoft’s role-based certifications, is a high-level overview of Azure, providing foundational knowledge about basic cloud concepts and core Azure services including security, privacy, compliance, Azure pricing and support.

The one-day course is designed for professionals with non-technical experience, such as program managers and sales reps who are responsible for selling or purchasing cloud-based solutions.

The average holder of this certification is 41.8 years of age, has 5.9 certifications in total and most likely is a cloud engineer/solutions architect, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is ITIL Foundation.

10. ITIL Foundation

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Average annual salary: $129,402
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The ITIL Foundation certification introduces ITIL 4 and validates an understanding of the ITIL framework and how it can be used to enhance IT service management.

ITIL, previously known as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, provides an end-to-end IT operating model for the delivery and operation of tech-enabled products and services. ITIL 4, the newest version, debuted last year and covers new IT processes and methods including DevOps and agile and lean IT development.

“This certification is accepted as a framework for managing the IT lifecycle,” Global Knowledge said. “As such, it is different from the other certifications on this list and is one of the few that focuses on the intersection of IT and the needs of the business.”

The certification often is associated with higher IT salaries, because workers who obtain it often go on to earn higher-level credentials, according to Global Knowledge. Certified IT professionals who don’t have this certification earn about $8,000 less annually, it said.

There are no prerequisites for the ITIL Foundation exam, but the certification is a prerequisite for follow-on ITIL Intermediate courses.

The average holder of this certification is 46.6 years of age, has 5.1 certifications in total and most likely is in an information security role, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification issued by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

9. VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)

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Average annual salary: $130,226
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The VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) credential validates the skills required to build a scalable virtual infrastructure using VMware vSphere 6, VMware's virtualization platform.

Candidates must know how to deploy, consolidate and administer virtualization technologies including vSphere High Availability and Distributed Resource Scheduler clusters.

IT professionals with the VCP6-DCV credential have earned an average of 7.4 career certifications -- the highest amount on Global Knowledge’s Top 15 list.

The average holder of this certification is 43.4 years of age and most likely is a systems architect, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is CCNA Routing and Switching, an IT certification from Cisco Systems.

8. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

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Average annual salary: $131,465
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The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner examination is a fundamental-level certification intended for individuals who want an overall understanding of the AWS cloud in terms of basic cloud infrastructure and architectural principles, key AWS services and basic security and compliance aspects of the platform. It’s optional, but recommended step toward achieving an AWS associate-level or specialty certification, such as the solutions architect, developer, DevOps engineer and SysOps administrator certifications.

More than 12 percent of U.S. IT professionals plan to pursue this certification in 2020.

The average holder of this certification is 43 years of age, has 5.4 certifications in total and most likely is a software/solutions architect, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals.

7. ISACA’s Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

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Average annual salary: $132,278
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ISACA’s Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) certification validates audit, risk and cybersecurity skills.

“This certification has been around since 1978, making it one of the oldest and most respected credentials on our list,” Global Knowledge said.

Exam topics include auditing information systems, governance and management of IT, information systems acquisition, development and implementation, information systems operation, maintenance and service management, and protection of information assets.

The average holder of this certification is 46.9 years of age, has 3.3 certifications in total and most likely is an IT auditor, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is ITIL Foundation.

6. (ISC2) Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

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Average annual salary: $141,452
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The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential documents an IT professional’s cybersecurity expertise and years of experience. It’s offered by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC2), a nonprofit membership association of certified cybersecurity professionals,

“Achieving your CISSP has been compared to earning a master’s degree in IT security, as it proves you have what it takes to effectively design, implement and manage a best-in-class cybersecurity program,” Global Knowledge said.

The CISSP exam is based on eight computer security areas: security and risk management, asset security, security architecture and engineering, communication and network security, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, security operations and software development security

At least five cumulative years of paid, relevant work experience in two or more of the CISSP domains is required to earn the certification. Those who lack that experience still can take the certification exam, and they’ll then have up to six years to obtain the required experience.

The average holder of this certification is 48.1 years of age, has 6.1 certifications in total and most likely is a security engineer/analyst, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is CISA.

5. Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)

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Average annual salary: $143,493
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The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers, according to Global Knowledge.

“It provides employers and customers with a level of assurance that a project manager has both the experience and knowledge to effectively define, plan and deliver their projects,” it said. “The PMP credential is often the key differentiator in decisions on who to entrust with important organizational project initiatives."

Forty-nine percent of IT professionals planning to earn a project management certification this year are pursuing the PMP, according to Global Knowledge.

The certification requires 35 hours of PMP-related training. Exam takers with a bachelor’s degree or higher need 4,500 hours of project management experience, while others must have 7,500 hours.

The average holder of this certification is 48.7 years of age, has 4.5 certifications in total and most likely is a program manager, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager.

4. ISACA Certified In Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

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Average annual salary: $146,480
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ISACA’s certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification recognizes IT professionals who can identify and evaluate aspects of IT that are a threat to business objectives.

“Standard IT professionals often lack the skills to conduct a valid risk analysis,” Global Knowledge said. “Having a CRISC-certified individual on staff is vital to ensure risk is properly scrutinized and business objectives are met.”

The most common job roles for CRISC-certified professionals are security manager and director, but a large percentage also works in information security as a security engineer or analyst, or security architect.

The CRISC exam covers IT risk identification, IT risk assessment, risk response and mitigation, and risk control, monitoring and reporting.

The average holder of this certification is 49.3 years of age and has 4 certifications, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is ITIL Foundation.

3. ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

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Average annual salary: $148,622
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ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) -- this year’s top-paying cybersecurity certification -- validates the skills needed to manage, design and assess an enterprise’s information security.

“CISM is an essential certification for individuals looking to make the move from security technologist to security manager,” Global Knowledge said. “It confirms a high level of technical competence and qualification for top-caliber leadership and management roles.”

CISM is the third most popular certification among IT professionals with more than 20 years of career experience. The exam covers information security governance, information risk management,

Information security program development and management, and information security incident management.

The average holder of this certification is 50 years of age, has 4.8 certifications in total and most likely is a security manager/director, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is ITIL Foundation.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

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Average annual salary: $149,446
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The AWS Solutions Architect – Associate certification moved up two spots from Global Knowledge’s 2019 list to be among the top two most popular and lucrative cloud IT certifications.

The designation is geared toward those who design cloud infrastructures, reference architectures or deploy systems and applications on AWS. It’s a prerequisite for the AWS Solutions Architect – Professional certification, which is projected to be this year’s most pursued cloud credential, according to respondents to Global Knowledge’s survey.

Three out of every four cloud architects have earned this certification or the No. 1 certification that follows, and 28 percent have both, according to Global Knowledge.

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is a prerequisite, and AWS also recommends one year of hands-on experience designing systems on AWS before taking the exam.

The average holder of this certification is 41.4 years of age, has 5.8 certifications in total and most likely is a cloud architect, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect.

1. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect

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Average annual salary: $175,761
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The Google Cloud Certified Cloud Architect certification is associated with the highest salaries in IT, according to Global Knowledge.

Launched in 2017, the credential is designed for IT professionals with a thorough understanding of cloud architecture and the Google Cloud Platform who can design, develop and manage robust, secure, scalable, highly available and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives.

“IT decision-makers are struggling to find qualified candidates for cloud job openings,” Global Knowledge said. “They’re in such demand, the average cloud computing professional in the U.S. makes over $160,000 a year.”

Candidates must pass the Google Certified Professional - Cloud Architect exam to earn the certification.

The average holder of this certification is 38.9 years of age, has 3.8 certifications in total and most likely is a cloud architect, according to Global Knowledge. The most popular cross-certification for the credential is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate.

By Donna Goodison
February 11, 2020
Article: crn.com

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