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Certifications can validate your IT skills and experience to show employers you have the expertise to get the job done. You can get certified in skills you already have or skills you’d like to put to use in your career — whatever your reason, certifications are a great way to strengthen your resume and set yourself apart from other candidates in a job search.
According to the 2022 IT Salary report from Robert Half, these are some of the most valuable certifications IT professionals can hold in the coming year. Whether you’re just starting out and building your resume or you’ve been in the industry for 20 years, there’s a certification that can help boost your salary and your career.
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is an entry-level exam for cloud professionals to validate your knowledge of cloud, specifically using Amazon Web Services. The certification proves your knowledge of the fundamentals of IT services and how they function in the AWS Cloud Platform as well as your knowledge of core AWS services, use cases, billing and pricing models, security concepts, and how cloud impacts business decisions. You’ll be tested on cloud concepts, security and compliance, technology, and billing and pricing. The exam is formatted with 64 multiple-choice or multiple-response questions and it’s recommended to have at least six months of experience with AWS Cloud before earning the certification.
Average annual salary: $154,156
The Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification is offered through the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)². The certification demonstrates your knowledge and abilities when designing, managing, and securing data, applications, and infrastructure in the cloud. It’s designed for those working with cloud technology, including enterprise architects, security administrators, systems engineers, security architects, systems architects, or consultants, engineers, or managers. The certification exam covers cloud concepts, architecture, design, security, and risk and compliance. While not required, the (ISC)² recommends having at least five years of experience in IT, with at least three years in information security and one year in one or more of the six domains found in the CCSP CBOK.
Average annual salary: $119,000
The Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) certification offered through the ISACA is designed to demonstrate you have the skills to navigate the increasing complexity of data privacy and security. It’s an experience-based technical certification that assesses your ability to “implement privacy by design which results in privacy technology platforms and products that build trust and advance data privacy.” To qualify for the exam, you will need at least five years’ experience in privacy governance and architecture. But if you already hold a CISA, CRISC, CISM, CGEIT, or CSX-P certification, the two years of the experience requirement will be waived.
Average annual salary: No data yet as this is a relatively new certification
Available from the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP), the Certified Data Professional (CDP) certification offers several learning paths. CDP candidates can choose from a range of domains, including business analytics, data analytics and design, data governance, data integration and interoperability, data management, data warehousing, enterprise data architecture, information systems or IT management, and more. The CDP is offered at various levels starting with foundation and moving on to associate, mastery, principal, and ending at the final level of executive management.
Average annual salary: $45,000
Offered through the EC-Council, the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification demonstrates your ability to find vulnerabilities in computer systems and to prevent hacking. As an ethical hacker, you’re someone who uses the same skills, techniques, and knowledge as a malicious hacker to help establish better security measures to prevent future attacks. Ethical hackers are responsible for finding weaknesses in the organization’s networks and systems, and then use that knowledge to protect the company against potential threats.
Average annual salary: $95,000
The ISACA’s Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification covers information security governance — a topic that is a growing concern for businesses globally. The certification is designed for IT pros who work with or manage IT security and want to demonstrate their expertise in information security governance, information risk management, information security program development and management, and information security incident management. It’s recommended to have experience in IS or IT security — the certification is aimed at those working in IT who have an eye on the management track.
Average annual salary: $129,000
The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification offered through the (ISC)² demonstrates your knowledge and abilities with IT security and information assurance. The certification covers topics such as organizational structure, security and risk management, asset security, security operations, identity and access management (IAM), security assessment and testing, and security architecture and engineering. You’ll need at least five years of cumulative, paid work experience in two or more of the eight domains included in the (ISC)² CISSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK). You may be able to satisfy one year of experience with a relevant four-year college degree or if you hold an approved credential.
Average annual salary: $118,000
The Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) certification is the highest level of certification you can reach in Cisco’s program. The expert-level certifications are offered in specialty areas, including enterprise infrastructure, enterprise wireless, data center, security, service provider, and collaboration. Once you have passed your CCIE exam in your topic of choice, you will have reached the highest level of Cisco certification currently available. Before you can earn your expert-level certification, it’s recommended to have at least five to seven years of experience in the certification subject. 
Average annual salary: $127,000
The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certifications will be the next step on your Cisco certification journey after you earn your CCNA. With CCNP, you can choose to be certified in enterprise, data center, security, service provider, collaboration, CyberOps, or DevNet. You’ll need to pass an exam at the CCNP level to move on to the final expert level of certifications. It’s recommended to have at least three to five years of experience in any certification path you choose.
Average annual salary: $98,000
The CompTIA A+ certification is an entry-level IT certification that covers the foundations of hardware, technical support, and troubleshooting. The certification is designed for those interested in a career as a service desk analyst, help desk tech, technical support specialist, field service technician, help desk technician, associate network engineer, data support technician, desktop support administrator, or end user computing technician. To earn your CompTIA A+ certification you’ll have to pass two separate exams. The CompTIA A+ 220-1001 exam covers mobile devices, networking technology, hardware, virtualization and cloud computing, and network troubleshooting. The CompTIA A+ 220-1002 exam covers installing and configuring operating systems, expanded security, software troubleshooting, and operational procedures. While it is an entry-level certification, it’s recommended to have at least 9 to 12 months of hands-on experience in the field.
Average annual salary: $65,000
The Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect certification validates your knowledge of designing cloud and hybrid solutions running on Microsoft Azure, including compute, network, storage, monitoring, and security. Candidates for the exam are recommended to have “advanced experience and knowledge” of Azure administration, Azure development, and DevOps processes. You’ll also need a strong understanding of IT operations, networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platforms, and governance. To earn the expert level certification, you’ll first need to pass the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification exam.
Average annual salary: $119,487
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification scheme consists of several certifications to validate your skills and knowledge using the IT management framework. The certification scheme offers two designation paths to choose from: Managing Professional (MP) or Strategic Leader (SL). You can choose one path or complete both to earn the ITIL Master designation. To start, you’ll first need to pass the ITIL Foundation exam that covers the basics of the ITIL framework. Axelos launched My ITIL along with the release of ITIL 4 as an online networking resource that connects ITIL certified professionals with publications, tools, templates, and insights from industry leaders. If you pass the certification exam, you’ll receive one year of free access to the My ITIL platform.
Average annual salary: $100,000
The MySQL Database Administration (CMDBA) certification offered through Oracle University is designed for database administrators who want to prove their skills with increasing performance, integrating business process, and managing business process and data. The certification allows you to “prove your ability to deliver reliability and performance to current and future employers” and to gain “in-demand skills to scale database applications and integrate your business.” Certification paths include Professional, Specialist, and Developer — you will need to pass the MySQL Database Administrator Certified Professional Exam Part 1 and Part 2 to earn your certification.
Average annual salary: $89,000
The PMP certification is offered through Project Management Institute and is targeted at advanced project management professionals. The certification covers the fundamentals of project management, including the five main stages of a project’s life cycle: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling and closing. To take the exam, you’ll need at least a four-year degree and three years of experience in project management, 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. If you have a secondary degree, you’ll need five years of experience, 7,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.
Average annual salary: $109,000
The Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment Designer certification falls under Salesforce’s architect certifications track. This certification exam is offered as a specialization you can take under the Certified Systems Architect certification path. It’s designed for IT pros responsible for assessing the company’s architecture environment and requirements and certifies your ability to implement management solutions on the Salesforce platform.
Average annual salary: $95,000

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