Certifications can be somewhat of a mixed bag for people considering them. Some educational certification programs can truly be valuable, and can not just add to the credentials on your resume, but can improve your overall likelihood of getting hired as well as up your chances of making more money. At the same time, most employers would tell you there are also certifications that aren’t worth the time, effort and money required to complete them.
So how do you know which certifications are worthwhile and which ones should be skipped?
Below are five of the most valuable certifications in 2016.
Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect
According to Forbes, the Amazon Web Services certification (AWS), is one of the top-paying certifications for 2016, with an average annual salary of more than $125,000. This certification is designed for IT professionals, and it trains them on how to design, deploy and operate applications and infrastructure on AWS. It is an industry-recognized credential, and it’s one of the most respected in the IT industry.
Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)
The CRISC certification is one that’s for not only IT professionals but also project managers and anyone who manages risk to IT systems and businesses. It was only introduced in 2010, but since that time, it’s become one of the most coveted and rewarded credentials. There is a high demand for professionals with this particular skill set, yet the supply is low.
Project Management Professional (PMP)
According to Forbes, PMP certification will yield an average annual salary of around $116,000. The Project Management Institute created the PMP certification, and the goal is to master the five areas relating to a project life cycle, which includes initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. It requires 35 hours of related training, and if you have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll also need 4,500 hours of project management experience. If you hold less than a bachelor’s degree that number goes to 7,500 hours of experience.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
This certification is designed for information security managers. The goal of the Certified Information Security Management credential is to provide a basis of information for security management, and it is applicable in terms of helping organizations maintain information security, developing and managing a security program, and handling incidents if they do occur. To get this particular certification, people are required to have at least five years of information security experience, pass a written exam, and have at least three years of information security management work experience.
Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
When you become a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), you’re gaining training and knowledge that’s part of one of the top information security training programs. Part of the certification requires the mastering of the utmost in hacking technologies, and it includes the most advanced tools and techniques, but everything is done within an ethical framework. This certification is designed primarily for security officers and professionals, auditors and site administrators.
Pursuing educational certifications is an investment in your future. We all want to make the right investment, especially when time and money are concerned. Continuing education can make you a more a more desirable employee and help you earn more money, but it’s up to you to do the research and find out which certifications are the right fit for your career path, and for your potential employers’ needs.