In the highly competitive IT industry, making yourself stand out can be the most important aspect of getting hired over the other candidates. There are many ways to differentiate yourself against the competition, but holding specific and relevant technical certifications can be the most important factor hiring managers look for when selecting candidates to fill their open positions.
According to a recent study from Dice.com, 40% of IT consultants claimed that obtaining a certain certification helped them get hired in their current position. Holding specific certifications allows consultants to show dedication and expertise in specific subject matters, and also gives the hiring manager more confidence that the consultant is fully qualified for the position. So, now that you know how beneficial a certification can be, which ones are most sought after by hiring managers?
Becoming a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) could provide the best opportunity for you to land in a very important and lucrative position. Project Manager was already the most posted job on Monster.com in 2011, and a PMP certification is currently the most frequently desired certification on Dice.com. The average salary for a Project Manager is already $104,000, and adding a PMP certification raises the average to $120,000.
If you’re an information security professional with at least 5 years of relevant experience, you can become a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). The certification is obtained through The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2, and is a globally recognized certification. If you would still like to become certified but don’t have the required experience, an Associate of (ISC)2 can be obtained in the meantime.
For IT service providers, an Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification can be of major benefit. ITIL best practices claim to “provide guidance to organizations on how to use IT as a tool to facilitate business change, transformation and growth.” Embracing ITIL best practices can facilitate a higher average salary (around $110,000) and also increase your attractiveness for future job opportunities.
Other certifications that can expand your attractiveness as a candidate include a CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), or MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional). Depending on your field of expertise, many different opportunities are available to further your skills and become a more attractive candidate during your job search.
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