The huge volume of IT certifications available through traditional and online channels can make it difficult to determine which ones will actually add value to your career. No one has the time or financial resources to take every IT certification out there… so its imperative to carefully vet which ones you include on your resume. To help you out, we’ve compiled the IT certifications that hiring managers in a variety of IT fields look for when making hiring decisions, so you know where to invest your time and resources.


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IT certifications by the numbers

CompTIA conducted a survey of IT managers to better understand how they feel IT certifications, and how they impact hiring decisions. Here’s what they found:

  • 6% of IT managers use IT certifications to distinguish between equally qualified candidates
  • 72% of  IT managers require an IT certification for certain job roles
  • 60% of IT managers use IT certifications to gauge a candidate’s expertise
  • 66% of IT managers believe IT certifications are valuable (this number is up from 30% in 2011!)

developer certifications

In software development, there’s a wide variety of programming languages and countless tools and resources that developers rely on every day. That means there are plenty of valuable development certifications for you to choose from. A certification that verifies your coding skills in C/C++ or Java will be an instant checkmark on your resume. Other popular certifications employers look for include Adobe’s developer certification (ACE) and Microsoft’s (MCSD). Here are a few popular developer certifications to make a priority:

  • C/C++ certifications
  • Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD)
  • Amazon Web Services Certified Developer
  • Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional
  • Google Apps for Business Certified Deployment Specialist
  • Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH)
  • Oracle Certified Java Certifications (OCP, OCM and OCE)
  • Red Hat Certified JBoss Developer (RHCJD)
  • Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
  • SAP certifications

mobile certifications

With the meteoric rise in our collective smartphone usage, mobile developers who can demonstrate their mobile development skills with a related certification are in intense demand. The two most popular mobile operating systems are Android and iOS. Combined, they a whopping 98% market share. Mobile developers who can demonstrate their expertise in Java (Android) and Objective-C/Swift (iOS) will have an immediate leg up. Some popular mobile developer certifications that employers look for include:

  • Android Certified Application Developer
  • IBM Certified Mobile Application Developer
  • MTA Developer
  • Kony Certified Developer
  • Swift Developer Certification

big data certifications

Big data specialists, also sometimes referred to as ‘data scientists’ will find that there are a variety of big data and data scientist certifications from software companies such as Microsoft, Cloudera, EMC, and Oracle. Some popular big data certifications to consider include:

  • Oracle Business Intelligence Certification
  • Cloudera Certified Professional: Data Scientist
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer: Business Intelligence (MCSE)
  • EMC Data Scientist
  • Microsoft SQL Server Certifications

cloud certifications

There’s a great deal of curiosity and mystery among non-tech-savvy individuals about what exactly ‘the cloud’ is. However, if you’re an IT professional who works in cloud computing, you know that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are established leaders in this field (Amazon in particular). Here are some cloud certification programs you want on your resume:

  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer: Private Cloud (MCSE)
  • CompTIA Cloud+
  • Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect (AWS-CSA)
  • Google Cloud Certifications
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization

help desk certifications

Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s OS X are the leading desktop operating systems used in the workplace. Microsoft also publishes the Microsoft Office group of applications used by many businesses. Google’s G Suite is another popular tool used in workplaces around the globe. These are a few of the focus areas help desk professionals are expected to be experts in. Here are a few popular certification programs that’ll help you stand out as a help desk professional:

  • CompTIA A+
  • Microsoft Specialist
  • Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
  • Google IT Support

information security certifications

In our digital world, information security specialists are critical to protect the vast amounts of sensitive data we store online. Companies take keeping their data safe very seriously. A breach can be extremely costly and damage customer trust beyond repair. IT security certifications are one way for employers to vet potential employees and ensure they have the necessary skills to keep secure data locked down.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC)
  • CompTIA Security+

networking certifications

With the internet and intranet connections running through every major business in North America, it’s no surprise that networking is an in demand skill. Cisco is the leading company in this arena, so their networking certifications the most valuable to add to your resume. Here are some certifications to look at adding to your arsenal:

  • Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP)
  • Cisco Certified Networking Associate (CCNA)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
  • CompTIA Network+

database certifications

Oracle and SQL have long been recognized as leaders in database management. Their certifications are the ones that are most likely to give your resume a boost and improve your employability. Database management is overflowing with valuable certifications. Below are just a few of the most popular. Make sure you do your research and choose a certification that makes sense for your desired career path.

  • Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
  • ICCP Certified Data Management Pro (ICCP CDMP)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Database Certifications
  • IBM Info Management Certifications
  • MongoDB NoSQL Certifications

system administration certifications

System administrators, or SysAdmin, live at the heart of any IT team. They manage massive enterprise data centres. A skilled system administrator must be able to master a wide variety of skills and technologies including directories, networking, database management, various software applications, email and more. Here are a handful of IT certifications that are sought out to verify your skills in this demanding profession:

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
  • VMWare Certified Professional
  • CompTIA Server+
  • Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC)

IT project management certifications

IT project managers lead IT teams and oversee key projects. Demonstrating your management skills with a recognizable certification can be extremely valuable. A Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is by far the most sought after certification in this profession. It’s a general project management certification that will apply to other project management jobs, as well. However, if you’re looking to specialize in IT, becoming a Certified ScrumMaster may be the way to go.

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

Remember, this is only a partial list! No list of IT certifications will stay fresh for very long, as technology is constantly evolving and new developments are available what seems like daily. Though this guide is a starting point to help you determine which IT certifications are valuable for your profession, you should absolutely supplement this list with your own research.

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