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Highest Paying IT Certifications Careers in 2021

Do you know earning an IT certification could boost your salary by over 20%? Not only this, but it also helps certification holders to accelerate job search by validating their skillset. Yet, the daunting challenge is to choose the certifications perfectly aligned with their career goals. Otherwise, stepping into the wrong exams would only lead to the wastage of time and money.

So, along with top paying IT certifications of 2021, we have enlisted their domain, potential opportunities, and earning potential as well. It would help you get enrolled in the right exams, ultimately leading to career growth, landing better jobs, and enjoying higher positions. Let’s get started!

1.  Google Certified Professional (GCP) Cloud Architect

Domain: Cloud

As per Canalys, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure occupied 32% and 19% of the total market share, respectively. Contrarily, Google cloud-only acquired 7% of the cloud marketplace. Despite this fact, later one is increasingly appealing to startups due to its best-pricing game and special offers. It has created a massive demand for GCP in the market.

This certification proves an individual’s in-depth understanding of cloud architecture and mainly Google cloud technologies. These certification holders are eligible to design, develop, as well as manage robust, secure, scalable, and dynamic cloud solutions using GCP technologies.

Its lower cost and high average salaries make it one of the top IT certifications in demand today. The exam costs $2,00; however, it is not for a lifetime, so you need to get recertified every two years. It demands no prerequisite, but 3+ years of industry experience and at least 1+ years of designing and managing solutions using GCP is recommended.

Annual average salary: $175,761

1.  AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Domain: Cloud

This is one of the entry-level IT certifications that validates a professional’s understanding of AWS cloud. Its purpose is to assess knowledge of the primary global infrastructure, architectural principles, value proposition, use cases, fundamental security, billing, management, and operations of AWS cloud.

It may seem of lesser value at first but works as a stepping stone to move towards complex AWS certifications. It costs only $1,00 and provides candidate self-confidence to move ahead in the cloud domain. Unlike other certifications, only six months of AWS cloud experience is recommended regardless of any specific role.

Average annual salary: $131,465

1.  AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Associate

 

Domain: Cloud

 

This IT certification is best for professionals providing services in the field of solution architecture. It demonstrates an individual architect’s knowledge to deploy secure and robust applications. Additionally, it also verifies the ability to define the cloud solution and provide the best implementation guidance.

This low cost $150 certification has the potential to give your career a big jump with an immense salary increase. Candidates must have at least one year of designing, implementing, and managing applications experience on the AWS platform.

Annual average salary: $149,446

2.  Project Management Professional (PMP)

Domain: Management

It is one of the best available highest-paying certifications for managers aiming to expand their skill set. The extensive study guide and exam preparation of PMP helps candidates master all aspects of project management, including defining, planning, managing, and delivering successfully.

Along with formal education, the certification’s prerequisites include real-world project management experience as well. So, candidates must have a four-year degree, 36 months of experience leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM Certification. Suppose you only possess a bachelor’s degree. In that case, a high school diploma or an associate degree, five years leading projects, and 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM Certification are required.

Additionally, to stay certified, certification holders are supposed to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) over three years.

Annual average salary: $161,408

1.  CISM® Certified Information Security Manager

Domain: Information security

Cyber threats have also arisen with the new wave of remote working. At this point, enterprises need competent managers with an in-depth understanding of strategic security measures and their protocols to fight against potential cyber-attacks successfully. This certification offered by Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) validates an individual’s expertise in information security, which could give your career a boost to a premium manager’s position.

To get certified, you need to have 5-years of professional information security management experience. It includes at least three years of information security management experience in three or more job practice areas. The certification costs $465 for Members and $595 for Non-Members Additionally, its annual renewal fee is $45 for members, $85 for non-members. It also has continual educational requirements, including a minimum of 120 CPE hours every 3-years and at least 20 hours annually.

Annual average salary: $148,000

1.  Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

Domain: Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has become a top priority for most companies because of increased data theft and fraud. Data is the backbone of organizations, and they want to handover risk management only to competent individuals. Here comes the role of CRISC (offered by ISACA) that focuses on the operational side of security and demonstrates an individual’s expertise in information technology risks. It includes risk identification, assessment, response, and mitigation, as well as risk monitoring and reporting. Having this expertise in hand could accelerate your journey towards lucrative positions undoubtedly.

A candidate must have three years of cumulative work experience in two of the four above mentioned CRISC domains. However, having exposure to risk identification or risk assessment is necessary.

The certification costs $595 for members with an annual renewal fee of $40. Contrarily, the exam cost for non-members is $795, and the yearly maintenance fee is $85. Additionally, like CISM, it demands continual 20 CPE credits annually and 120 every three years for recertification. Comparatively, it is an expensive exam, but it leads to one of the highest paying IT careers in 2021.

Average annual salary: $146,480

Note: CRISC and CISSP both focus on the operational side of security. However, later one focuses on IT security and cybersecurity. Contrarily, the former only focuses on risk management.

2.  Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Domain: Cybersecurity

It is for those who want to have a broader view of the security industry and purely pursue an information security career. CISSP puts a professional from a category of IT generalist to security specialist by focusing on the operational side of security.

The exam assesses an in-depth understanding of 8 distinct cybersecurity areas, which ensures best-in-class cybersecurity experts. Moreover, the world’s largest IT security organization is offered the certification – (ISC)2, which enhances its impact on a IT professional’s career.

Its prerequisites include a minimum of five years of cumulative paid work experience in two or more domains of the CISSP CBK. It costs $699 and requires you to pay $125 annually for certificate maintenance. Additionally, the required annual CPE credits are 40, which leads to a total of 120 credits for 3-year for recertification.

Average annual salary: $1,41,452

 

3.  CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor

Domain: Cybersecurity

As the name suggests, it is for the IT professionals having a taste for auditing. This certification is best for professionals who have a passion for analyzing and protecting information system assets. Such professionals have a core responsibility of planning audits to ensure the safety of informational assets.

CISA prerequisites include five years of experience in the CISA domains. Moreover, like other information security certifications, it demands continuing educational requirements, i.e., 120 hours of CPE hours every three years and at least 20 annual hours. It has a yearly maintenance fee of $45 and $85 for members and non-members, respectively.

Average annual salary: $1,32,278  

 

4.  VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Centre Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)

Domain: VMware

This IT certification is an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge of installing, deploying, scaling, and managing VMware vSphere 6 environments. It validates that a professional knows how to administer and troubleshoot vSphere V6 infrastructures.

If you have just stepped into this domain, then you must go for the fundamental level exams – vSphere 6 Foundations Exam or vSphere 6.5 Foundations first. Additionally, vSphere 6 months experience is recommended along with at least one of the required training courses. In case you already possess this certification, then going for an updated version would keep you aligned with the latest industry trends.

It costs just $250, but success could open the door to one of the highest paying careers in 2021. Moreover, recertification isn’t necessary now, unlike before.

Annual average salary: $130,226

5.  Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundation

Domain: IT service management

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