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Earning a certificate is an effective approach to move your IT career forward.

Whether you work for a large corporation, small company or a government agency, learning new skills or validating those you already have through certifications will make you more valuable. Certifications can boost your pay, set you apart from other IT professionals and allow you to earn a promotion. A survey from Global Knowledge discovered that the average salary for a certified IT professional is 11.7 percent greater than those without one.

Certified professionals are in demand: 44 percent of IT decision-makers in the survey said they associate certifications with employees who work faster; 33 percent said they are more effective in implementing systems; and 23 percent say they help in deploying products and services.

However, certifications can be costly, especially when you factor in study materials, exam fees and the time devoted to the whole process. With costs and benefits in mind, the following four certificates will be extremely important in the upcoming year.

1) Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)

Offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), the CGEIT certification indicates an understanding of enterprise IT governance and the ability to apply governance concepts in a professional setting. It’s made for those with substantial management, advisory or assurance jobs regarding the governance of IT.

Those seeking this certification should have five or more years of experience managing, advising on or overseeing IT governance initiatives in a professional setting.

2) AWS Certified Developer – Associate

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer – Associate certification from is made for developers who use the core AWS services. The certification indicates an ability to create, rollout and debug cloud-based applications with AWS. As companies increasingly turn to the cloud and emerging technologies, the AWS Certified Developer certification will only become more valuable.

Those seeking this certification should have at least one year of designing and maintaining AWS-based applications, a working knowledge of at least one high-level programming language and a solid understanding of AWS.

3) Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Also offered by the ISACA, the CISM certification concentrates on IT security at the management level. It indicates proficiency in designing, creating and managing enterprise security campaigns. The certification is only offered for two, 16-week periods throughout the year, starting on February 1 and June 1.

To obtain this certification, you need a minimum of five years of recent information security experience.

4) Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Offered by the EC-Council, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) designation indicates abilities and knowledge to locate weaknesses in computer systems and to prevent hacking. An “ethical hacker” is somebody who uses the same abilities and expertise as a malevolent hacker to develop security steps.

Those seeking this certification need at least two years of experience working in cybersecurity.

At Software Specialists, we help tech professionals take the necessary steps they need to achieve their career goals. Please contact us today to find out how we can help you.


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