Updated To Include 2024
2024 is the year for up-skilling. If you are looking for what skills to acquire you’ve come to the right place. However, before we get to the list of top paying IT certifications going into 2024, let’s start off by answering the most commonly asked questions.
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What Is an IT Certification?
An IT certification is a viable confirmation that the individual in question possesses competency in a given field or aspect of technology. Candidates earn certification pending a successful assessment, examination, or review, normally after completing a course of study.
In short, IT certification is tangible and verifiable proof that you know what you’re doing.
Why are IT certifications important?
Technology changes at such a rapid pace that what is in vogue today is not tomorrow. Therefore, it is always a good idea to keep a pulse on the latest and greatest trends, so that you can upskill yourself at the right time.
Whether you are looking to jumpstart your career, improve your IT skills or grow in your current organization, certifications provide an easy path to get trained and validate your skills. For someone trying to find a new job, certifications increase the credibility of their resume. This gives an indication to the hiring manager that you are a dedicated individual and have the foresight necessary to stay ahead of industry trends. These IT certifications can help you make strides in your career by getting you access to the right networks and opportunities.
Going into 2024, not a lot has changed from 2024 when it comes to in demand skills. The skills associated with cybersecurity and cloud certifications continue to be in high demand.
How do we chose the best IT certifications?
The best certifications for IT professionals are those that help you stand out from the crowd. They’re not just about passing a test, but about demonstrating your skills and knowledge in an industry-specific way.
Here at ReviewNPrep, we have compiled a list of the top IT certifications based on experience from our IT Courses and Practice Tests and analytics. We also looked at 2024 Salary Guide From Robert Half. These certifications are the ones that will give you the edge when it comes to getting hired or promoted.
So, here is the list..
Top-paying IT certifications going into 2024
We thought it would be beneficial to group the certifications based on the technology and/or type of role. So, below is the list of some important in-demand IT roles and the popular certifications associated with them.
Architects design the main parts of applications, including the user interface, middleware and infrastructure. This is one of the highest paying IT roles because just about every company wants to improve existing applications or create new ones. Both of these jobs would most probably involve cloud computing. The cloud market features two distinct names, i.e., Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, as top entries in terms of cloud services provider. The top Applications Architect certifications include:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect Associate – This certification allows candidates to prove their knowledge and experience at par with one or multiple years of practical experience in designing highly available, fault-tolerant, scalable, cost efficiency, highly distributed AWS systems. As per globalknowledge.com, the average salary of an AWS Certified Solutions Architect in USA/Canada is around $153,142 per year.
Check out all AWS Certification Practice Exams.
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert – This certification requires candidates to be a subject matter expert in designing cloud and hybrid solutions that run on Microsoft Azure, including compute, network, storage, monitoring, and security. As per acloudguru.com, the average salary of a Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert in USA is around $152,142 per year.
Check out our all: Azure Certification Practice exams.
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect – Similar to AWS and Azure, a GCP Professional Architect needs to have a thorough understanding of cloud architecture and Google Cloud. Candidates should have a good command on designing, developing, and managing robust, secure, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary of an Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect in USA is around $135,980 per year.
Check out our all: GCP certification practice exams.
Data engineers are professionals who design and build databases that store information for applications, as well as ensuring those databases are protected from hackers. The data engineer is taking on the central role in the world of IT. For some knowledge professionals, data engineering is a career choice that has never been more important or in-demand. The top Data Engineer certifications include:
- Google Certified Professional Data Engineer – As per GCP, a Data Engineer should be able to design, build, operationalize, secure, and monitor data processing systems with a particular emphasis on security and compliance; scalability and efficiency; reliability and fidelity; and flexibility and portability. A Data Engineer should also be able to leverage, deploy, and continuously train pre-existing machine learning models. As per talent.com, the average salary for a Google Professional Data Engineer in the USA is around $147,000 per year.
Check out our all:GCP Certification Practice exams.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Data Analytics Specialty– This certification validates technical skills and experience in AWS data lakes and analytics services. It also requires a candidate to know how AWS data analytics services fit in the data life cycle of collection, storage, processing, and visualization. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary for an AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty in the USA is around $123,807 per year.
Check out our all AWS Certification Practice exams.
- Azure Data Engineer Associate (DP-203) – A candidate for this certification needs to have subject matter expertise integrating, transforming, and consolidating data from various structured and unstructured data systems into structures that are suitable for building analytics solutions. As per linkedin.com, the average salary for an Azure Data Engineer Associate in the USA is more than $100,000 per year.
Check out our all Azure Certification Practice Exams.
- Data Science Council of America (DASCA) Associate Big Data Engineer – The vendor-neutral DASCA Associate Big Data Engineer certification demonstrates knowledge of popular big data platforms, including Hadoop and Spark, and knowledge of proprietary and open source developer tools (including HBase, Hive, Pig, and HiveQL). As per indeed.com, the average salary for a DASCA Associate Big Data Engineer in the USA is around $116,964 per year.
Check out these Machine Learning video courses.
Information Systems Security
Customer data and application security is number one priority for all companies. Cybersecurity engineers are some of the highest paid positions worldwide. Unfilled cybersecurity job roles worldwide are already over 4 million. As companies large and small struggle to counter the increasing cyber threats, jobs in the cybersecurity field are growing fast. The top Information systems security certifications include:
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – The certification was designed by ISC2 and aims at teaching cybersecurity experts the industry standards. Despite its popularity, it isn’t best for beginners since passing this exam requires extensive knowledge and cybersecurity experience. As per isc2.org, the average salary for a CISSP in the USA is around $135,510 per year.
Check out our all: CISSP exam.
- CompTIA Security+ – This is an entry-level certification covering a wide range of cybersecurity topics, ranging from network security, access controls, system threats, and vulnerabilities to cryptography. It also focuses on the latest concepts of risk management and threat mitigation. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary for a CompTIA Security+ entry level job in the USA is around $59,009 per year.
- Certified Ethical Hacker – This certification from EC council helps cybersecurity professionals in mastering the concepts of penetration testing, evaluating organizational network vulnerabilities and other infrastructures. As per payscale.com, the average salary for a CEH in the USA is around $95,000 per year.
Check out our all: Ethical Hacking Expert Course.
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) – This certification from ISACA, aid individuals in understanding business risk and possess a technical understanding to implement the most useful information security procedures and controls. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary for a CRISC in the USA is around $132,266 per year.
Agile and Project Management
With the onset of this decade, there has been an active requirement for teams to collaborate on a dynamic scale. This need has been met by iterative agile techniques and project management professionals. The growth in technically intricate corporate projects has brought upon a gap in the industry which needs to be addressed by project managers skilled in the updated agile methodologies. In order to stay ahead of the game, 2024 is expected to see enhanced integration in terms of project management tools, which are going niche. The top agile and project management certifications include:
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) – This certification offers a comprehensive growth field with limited experience and specialization as compared to other project management certifications. CAPM credential marks the attainment of project management skills at any career stage. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary for a CAPM in the USA is around $88,185 per year.
Check out CAPM Practice Exams and Flashcards here.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) – This certification is a criterion for evaluating the skills of management professionals in directing projects. It demonstrates the competency of the practitioner in terms of experience and education. This industry-recognized credential is a designation offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA. As per pmi.org, the average salary for a PMP in the USA is around $112,000 per year.
Check out our all: PMP Practice Exams and Flashcards.
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM) – It is an entry-level exam specifically designed for professionals who want to pursue their career as scrum practitioners. Candidates must have a general interest in project management along with a good knowledge of scrum values and the agile platform. As per payscale.com, the average salary for a CSM in the USA is around $93,106 per year.
Check out free flashcards for Scrum Master Certification.
- Professional Scrum Master (PSM) – This certification comes in three assessments which demonstrate a fundamental, advanced and a distinguished level of proficiency. They are PSM-I, PSM-II, and PSM-III respectively. With each approaching level, the depth of Scrum principles grows deeper and a candidate gains exceptional skills that can be practiced in the real-world situations. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary for a PSM in the USA is around $96,102 per year.
Blog: Scrum beginners guide.
Blog: PMP vs Scrum
Cloud engineering is associated with simplifying business problems using engineering expertise and cloud resources. The prominence of cloud engineering in regard to cloud computing validates the significance of the jobs in this field. Apart from this, the tasks related to connectivity in an organization are undertaken by network engineers who not only plan, but implement, oversee and execute computer networks. Due to a highly predictable rise in cloud computing and engineering jobs in 2024, it is safe to say that the aforementioned roles are about to grow at a tremendous pace. The top network/cloud engineer certifications include:
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) – This certification is earned by various IT services professionals to prove their competency in solving specific hardware/software problems. It is not only widely accepted, but a crucial step to walk on the career pathway of a network administrator or engineer. As per ziprecruiter.com, the average salary for a CCNA in the USA is around $84,376 per year.
Check out our all: CompTIA Network+ practice exams.
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – This certification is more advanced and technically sound as compared to CCNA. It is an absolute fit for anyone engaged in networking environment willing to invest the energy and resources required to attain expertise in security troubleshooting and solutions. As per talent.com, the average salary for a CCNP in the USA is around $100,700 per year.
- Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) – This certification aims at providing accreditation at the highest possible level for Cisco networking products. In order to get here, significant industrial experience coupled with other lower level Cisco certifications is needed to understand the most challenging network assignments. As per talent.com, the average salary for a CCIE in the USA is around $150,000 per year.
A DevOps Engineer is responsible for meeting all kinds of needs within a software life cycle. They streamline tasks and create an automated approach to the DevOps philosophy, practices, culture, and tools. Since everything is internet oriented in today’s day and age, it becomes paramount for the modern companies to stay up-to-date with their software deployment and infrastructure, which can only be done via an efficient DevOps methodology. A gradual change in the DevOps tools and technologies is bringing about a promising future for DevOps Engineer job roles with utmost importance attached to the application of AI/ML to the DevOps pipelines. The top DevOps Engineer certifications include:
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator – Kubernetes, originally designed by Google, now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes is at the cutting-edge of application deployment. The Kubernetes Certification is a practical hands-on exam. Average salary of CKA as per Zip recruiter is $144,315.
- Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert (AZ-400) – This certification requires the professionals to be well versed with the DevOps practices and development processes. It is an expert-level certification. With the popularity of Azure, DevOps Engineer job roles are supposed to be on a spike in 2024. As per talent.com, the average salary for a AZ-400 in the USA is around $98,000 per year.
Check out our all: AZ-400 practice exams.
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional – This certification requires an extensive experience working in AWS DevOps environment to build on deployment skills. A highly functional cloud environment allows for critical skills to sharpen and formulate the talent needed to work in an AWS environment. As per talent.com, the average salary for an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer in the USA is around $140,000 per year.
Check out our all: AWS DevOps Certification practice exams.
Check out DevOps Fundamentals.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is any tool, strategy, or process that helps businesses better organize and access customer data. CRM platforms connects different departments in an organization, from marketing to sales to customer service, and organizes their notes, activities, and metrics into one cohesive system. Salesforce is by far the largest CRM provider and offers great number of certifications. The top CRM certifications include:
- Salesforce Administrator – Being a salesforce administrator, the daily responsibilities are to look after reports and dashboards, managing data feeds, and coordinate the users, vendors, and applications, development teams. It is specially designed for the individuals aware of the Salesforce and can add more features to it. As per Glassdoor.com, average annual salary range of Salesforce Certified Administrator in the USA is around US – $87,000/year.
Check out our all: Salesforce Admin practice exams.
- Salesforce Platform App Builder – Salesforce Platform App Builder Certification is created for individuals to demonstrate their potential in building and customizing the standard applications or designing a totally custom application. A candidate for this certification should be familiar with the capabilities of the Lightning Platform. It should also be able to design applications to support business processes. Average median salary for range of Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder in the USA is around $97,000.
Check out our all: Salesforce Platform App Builder practice exams.
It is important to note that all these professional certifications needs hands-on experience for you to be successful long term.
Does it make sense to have multiple IT certifications?
It is not uncommon for IT professionals to have more than one certification. Certifications not only help you gain knowledge quickly but also help you validate the skills. For example – anyone trying to learn AWS can start with AWS Cloud Practitioner and then move on to gain more advanced knowledge by undertaking AWS Associate Architect certification. In most cases, there are multiple levels to a certification skill, ranging from beginner to advanced and then specialty.
Take another use case where a person knows AWS and now wants to explore Azure. It makes logical sense to now do Azure certifications.
So, the short answer is “yes”, you can (and should) have multiple levels of certifications and in some cases maybe cross over to more than one certificate issuing authority.
Free Career-Journey Tool
You can check out our Free Career Journey tool, a one-stop-shop on how to prepare for a certification and most importantly which certification is the right one for you.
Career Journey tool from ReviewNPrep allows you to navigate certifications based on your current industry or role. Choose from a wide array of technologies like CRM, Cloud, DevOps, Project Management, and more. Not only that you can also see excellent baseline content such as duration, cost, and even expected salary boost.
Related Blog: MBA vs Certifications – Which one is right for you.
Certifications are not a replacement of your four-year degree but a complimentary knowledge base to showcase an employer that you are serious candidate when it comes to hiring. Regardless of your background or interests, one of these certifications can unlock a lot of potential career opportunities. We hope this information will help you choose the right certification path.
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ReviewNPrep does not own any intellectual property, logos and not associated with any of the certifications mentioned in this blog.