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There is no denying the fact that if you belong in the IT industry, sharpening skills now and then becomes nothing but a necessity. Having an IT career requires a lot of planning and plotting. And, out of all the things, having relevant and authentic certificates can help you to a great extent.

This is one of the most vital things that can set your skills apart from your competitors and can even bring you worthwhile promotions. From the employer’s perspective, hiring certified employees helps them boosting the revenue and exposure of their companies.

So, if you’re already a part of this vast domain or aspire to be, here are the top 10 IT certifications that you can consider to start your career in 2019. 

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. If you look out for reasons to pursue this certification, you’ll surely find thousands of them to do so. To begin with, the acceptance of cloud-based services and tech has increased tremendously in the past few years. And, for good, it is here to stay.

Cloud is one such aspect that helps companies save a lot of money, space, and time. Hence, more and more organizations are in seek for IT professionals who can leverage their cloud services. This specific certificate helps you prepare to design and deploy different systems with the help of the AWS platform.

Although this certificate comes at the intermediate level, however, it can open the doors of high-level certification for you.

Being an AWS Certified Solutions Architect won’t only boost your skills but can also fetch you an average of $125,591. 

To appear for this certification course, you will be judged by whether you choose the correct AWS services for apps, code-level application security knowledge, and software development kits mastery.

The prerequisites comprise:

  • One or more year of experience with AWS
  • Profound knowledge of high-level programming language
  • Understanding of best practices for the development of AWS-based apps

You can know more about this computer-based, multiple-choice exam here.

2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Institute (PMI) both develops and regulates the Project Management Professional certification. In the current scenario, this is one of the most acknowledged project management certifications.

With this certificate in hand, you’ll be able to demonstrate your proficiency in managing projects and teams. This exam will be testing you in six different areas, viz. the beginning, planning, implementing, monitoring, directing as well as closing.

However, just like every other certification course, even this one has specific requirements, like:

  • Completion of at least 35 hours of relevant training
  • At least 4500 hours of project management experience
  • Having a bachelor’s degree will call for at least 7500 hours of project management experience

Gaining a PMP certificate may consume several years, however, in the end, the efforts will be worth it. Being a PMP certified will let you work in almost every industry, with every work frame and location.

Currently, the average salary of a PMPs is $114,473 every year. You can apply for this exam on the website of PMP.

3. Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

Of course, you’ve read entirely right. Hackers are not always intruders doing all the wrong things in the world. On the other hand, there are even ethical hackers, who are certified and professional enough to complete the requirements of several IT companies.

Being an ethical hacker is a fun and challenging task. If there’s one way that can be used to counter a hacker, then that would be to hire one. Earning a Certified Ethical Hacker certificate will allow you to experiment with your skills, obviously, ethically.

With more and more data breaching cases coming into the limelight, IT companies are desperate to safeguard their data from hackers. Thus, being a certificate hacker will not only increase your demand in the industry but will also provide the utmost security at your job.

This certification program is meant for different kinds of professionals, like auditors, security officers, and the ones liable for data and network security. To take this exam, you’ll have to drop $3,895.

However, once you’ve passed this, you can then earn an average of $106,375 every year. To appear for this exam, you’ll need to have at least two years of experience of work in the information security industry. You know more about this course on the website of the EC-Council.

4. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Being an IT professional, if you wish to step into a role that is challenging and includes leadership, earning an Information Security Manager certificate will surely be a smart move for you. Having this certificate mentioned on your resume can bag you essential roles like Chief Security Officer, Information Systems Manager, and more.

Just as the name suggests, this certification emphasis more on information security management, hence, this will be a perfect thing for those who already know advanced IT security. This certificate will surely bring a lot of challenges in your career.

Even the positions that you’ll procure with this course can bring you a fair amount of salary, with an average being $100,000 per year. Fascinating, isn’t it? If you choose to walk on this road, you’ll have to take a test of 200-questions, which will cover different topics, like information risk management, incident management, and information security governance.

Requirements to appear for this exam include:

  • Experience in information security of at least five years
  • Three years of experience as a security manager
  • At least five years of full-time paid experience

You can know more about how to take this exam here.

5. Certified ScrumMaster

The fact that the Project management domain can leave specific gaps in talent calls for professionals to follow something else to hone their skills. Hence, being a Certified Scrum Master is another stellar path that you can choose to gain better pay off.

Scrum means such a management style in which teams conduct meetings each morning to review progress and make appropriate adjustments to make sure that all the members are working efficiently and productively.

If you’re looking forward to changing your pace, taking this exam will be an ideal choice for you. With this certification, you can grab many opportunities to work on different types of projects, which will retain your interest, hopefully.

Businesses have begun the selection of certified project managers. It’s especially useful for technical project managers, project managers, program managers, product developers, and team leaders. If you wish to gain a certificate in this domain, you’ll have to attend a two-day workshop course, followed by an exam of 24-35 questions.

Upon completion, you can earn an average of $106,938 each year. You can learn more about this exam here.

6. Cisco CCIE Routing and Switching

If you’ve already spent a lot of time in the IT security industry, being a leader, Cisco’s certifications are always a safe choice. This certification, known as the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) can put your profile at the stack of any number of resumes for IT jobs.

This expert-level examination may turn out to be rigorous. However, it can pay you back amazingly once you’re successful in grabbing this credential. Considering how the networking equipment of Cisco has always been setting a standard for the industry, you can be sure of being in demand with this certificate in hand.

Moreover, once you’ve got this certificate, you can also work with different technologies, like virtualization and cloud. Having a strong networking base will allow you to expand into several other areas, including IT security. However, this certification exam is only for those professionals who have already completed the CCNA certificate and have moved to the next level of exams.

Under this certification, you can select to be certified in collaboration, cloud, data centre, security, routing & switching, wireless, or service providing. To appear for this exam, you must have completed the CCNA Routing & Switching examination or any of the CCIE exam.

When it comes to salary, you can easily earn an average of $99,402 a year. You can apply for this exam on the official website of Cisco.

7. Six Sigma Green Belt

Don’t get confused – this certification is no way related to martial arts. Instead, Six Sigma Green Belt is a force to be reckoned with in IT. As a green belt holder, you’ll get to apply your knowledge and skills in the methodology of Six Sigma business, which is a process for streamlining the management of quality.

Not just that, but this certificate also simplifies the process of leading the company for improved IT projects. While pursuing this certificate, you cannot skip any of the six levels. Hence, regardless of where you’re in your career, you’ll always have to begin from the initial entry-level.

In this course, a Black Belt holder will be there to mentor and guide you when it comes to learning the methodology of this certificate. To appear for this exam, you must have:

  • Experience of a full-time paid job
  • Three years of experience in one or multiple Six Sigma Green Belt Body areas

The average salary after pursuing this certificate will be $104,099 every year. On this International association website, you can apply for this course.

8. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Another one on the list is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certificate, which the ISC provides, and is accredited under ANSI. The US Department of Defense also approves this certificate. This professional certificate has been recognized globally by IT security professionals.

If you’re related to auditing, analysis, systems engineering, or anything similar, in such a scenario, CISSP would be a perfect certificate for you.

This certificate can make you a professional in information assurance and can bring several kinds of responsibilities, like architecture determination, design, management, and control that keeps the company’s security uptight. Appearing for this test calls for at least five years of experience in information security and formal practice of at least three years as a security manager.                              

Once you’ve cleared it, you can be sure of the average pay of $111,475 every year. However, you must keep in mind that to maintain the credentials, you’ll have to get continuing education credits every year. You can know more about it here.

9. AWS Certified Developer – Associate

AWS Certified Developer is one such course that is here to authenticate your technical experience in maintaining and developing applications on the platform of Amazon Web Services. This exam tests your judgment when it comes to coded application security, software development kits, and more.

This certificate is for those developers who deal with the core AWS services. It is meant to display your skills when it comes to developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications with Amazon Web services. With an increase in IoT, cloud technology, and machine learning, the demand of a certified developer has increased than ever before.

To appear for this certificate, you must have hands-on experience in designing & maintaining AWS-based apps for one or more years. You must also know high-level programming languages and AWS services understanding.

The average salary that you can gain as a certified developer is $114,473. You can obtain more knowledge of this certificate here.

10. Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)

Provided through ISACA, this certificate is all about demonstrating your enterprise IT governance knowledge. If you’re successful in getting a CGEIT certification, you’ll be an expert in advising, managing, and offering assurance services to enterprise IT governance.

This certificate can bring you a variety of roles, like IT Risk Leader, Risk Management Officer, Assistant IT Controller, and more

Moreover, it is certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT is also a lucrative job, thanks to the high demand of people with these IT skills. Having this certificate allows you to earn an average of $121,363 each year. But, before that, to take this exam, you’ll have to pay around $575.

When it comes to requirements, you must have:

  • Experience in managing, serving an advisory or oversight role for 5 or more years
  • At least a year of experience with an IT governance framework
  • Experience of two or more than that in CGEIT domains, including strategic management, risk optimization, benefits realization, or resource optimization.

You can find out more details about this course here


For sure, IT is a thriving industry and has a variety of job opportunities for novices and professionals. A significant part of the population is employed in this sector globally. And, today, IT is one of the most approachable domains when it comes to building a phenomenal career.

However, being an IT professional, the only thing that you must keep doing is upgrading skills. Technology is continuously evolving; hence, to match the pace, you must sharpen your skills. So, these certificate courses may add more stars to your resume and career.

Choose the one that best matches your requirements and skills, pursues that certificate, and then reap the benefits in your career.

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