The Complete Guide To Highest Paying IT Certifications For 2021 and 2022

Sep 7, 2021 | Blog

There are more than 15,000 IT certifications to date.

However, the average salary of an IT professional with certification is $14,000 higher than that of their counterparts without them.

Therefore, knowing the top-paying IT certifications will give you an advantage in your job search.

Becoming an IT professional in today's job market is a big decision.

It requires years of schooling, thousands of dollars in tuition and is one of the most expensive careers to train for.

Employers today demand skills that are specialized for different systems.

Given that there are many different IT certifications, it can be challenging to decide which ones are worth pursuing.

IT fields have expanded to many different job roles and genres. For example, cloud Certifications, cybersecurity certifications, and Cloud Services certificates specifically have exploded in recent years.

This list will provide you with an extensive breakdown of the benefits, annual salary, and cost of each certification so you can make an informed decision based on your goals, including the highest-paying certification currently found in the market.

15. CompTIA Security+ Certification

Average Salary: $111,000
Exam Price: $370

The CompTIA Security+ certification is a vendor-neutral credential to prove competency in network security.
The Security+ credential certifies that the candidate can identify and mitigate security risks in an organization.

Job Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Understand common vulnerabilities and threats to networks, as well as methods used to exploit them
  • Implement basic security measures to protect information assets and infrastructure
  • Develop and monitor policies, standards, and procedures related to computer and network security
  • Establish incident response plans and procedures for handling computer system emergencies, both onsite and offsite.

14. Citrix Certified Associate – Virtualization (CCE-V)

Average Salary: $115,000
Exam Price: $300

The Citrix Certified Associate - Virtualization (CCA-V) certification is the first step on your way to the Citrix Certified Expert - Virtualization (CCE-V) certification.

As a Citrix Certified Associate - Virtualization (CCA-V), you will be qualified to design, install, configure, and administer Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop solutions in a Windows environment.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Design, implement and maintain Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop solutions in a Windows environment.
  • Configure and control XenApp sessions on XenServer hosts.
  • Create, configure, and administer Citrix XenDesktop sites to deliver desktops and applications to users on any device.
  • Implement virtualized multimedia redirection services to deliver audio and video content from remote sources to endpoints.
  • Perform administrative tasks

13. CCNP Enterprise Certification - Cisco CCNP Enterprise

Average Salary: $119,000
Exam Cost: $400

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) enterprise certification validates the ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size enterprise branch networks.

The CCNP exam (300-070) is the second of two exams required to achieve this certification.

This exam tests a candidate's knowledge of advanced internetworking technologies and their application in medium-sized enterprise branch network design.

The Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) is an expert-level certification for network engineers responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of medium to large enterprise networks.

This certification requires a broad knowledge of networking technologies, including LANs, WANs, security, voice and video, wireless, and routing and switching.

CCNP-level professionals have the expertise to plan, implement, monitor, and troubleshoot complex enterprise network infrastructure.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Designing and implementing large routed and switched networks
  • Monitoring network performance and identifying issues
  • Troubleshooting problems with voice, video and data networks
  • Securing the network infrastructure
  • Implementing wireless access points
  • Managing IP address space
  • Configuring network devices such as routers and switches

The CCNP enterprise certification is valid for three years. Candidates must recertify by passing the current CCNP exam or any CCIE or CCDE written exam before the certification expiration date.

12. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate

Average Salary: $121,000
Exam Price: $330

This certification is for individuals who administer and maintain Azure resources. Candidates should have hands-on experience with Azure Resource Manager, ARM Templates, Azure PowerShell, and Azure CLI.

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate is primarily responsible for designing and implementing Azure solutions.

The Associate will design and implement cloud infrastructure in Azure, integrating with on-premises systems.

The Associate will also plan, deploy, and manage cloud solutions, including monitoring and managing the solution.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Designing and implementing Azure solutions in accordance with best practices
  • Designing and deploying Azure infrastructure to meet customer
  • Managing the customer's subscriptions to Azure services
  • Monitoring the customer's networks to ensure high availability
  • Managing customer requests for service changes or troubleshooting incidents
  • Ensuring that security policies are followed when deploying services in Azure
  • Performing disaster recovery operations in Azure when necessary
  • Monitoring the customer's networks to ensure compliance with industry standards
  • Assisting with onsite installation of hardware or software when needed for disaster recovery purposes
  • Manage the deployment of Azure resources
  • Monitor and troubleshoot Azure resources
  • Provision and configure virtual machines
  • Configure storage accounts, disks, and websites
  • Configure virtual networks
  • Configure availability sets
  • Create SQL databases in Azure
  • Create Service Bus queues and topics in Azure
  • Create Service Bus Relay in Azure - Manage access control to ensure secure data transfer between on-premises and the cloud
  • Configure monitoring for Virtual Machines by using Operations Management Suite (OMS)
  • Monitor usage of Storage accounts by using OMS
  • Identify possible threats to the security of an environment and take corrective actions to mitigate these threats.

11. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

Average Salary: $126,000
Exam Price: $165

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) Server credential is designed for IT professionals who manage and maintain server infrastructure in a Windows Server environment.

As a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert Server, you will be responsible for implementing and managing solutions and services on the Windows Server platform.

You will also work with customers to understand their needs and develop appropriate solutions.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Perform various administrative tasks on servers and workstations to ensure proper functionality and security
  • Analyze, plan, and deploy the latest technologies and services to meet business needs
  • Train users in Windows Server administration
  • Troubleshoot problems with server hardware, software, network connectivity, and access to shared resources
  • Monitor servers by reviewing log files for errors or unusual activity
  • Install and configure new servers as needed
  • Assist in the design, implementation, management, and support of Microsoft's Windows Server products
  • Provide technical expertise in areas such as Windows Server installation, configuration, troubleshooting, security policies, storage management, clustering solutions, network connectivity
  • Provide consulting services to customers in areas such as planning initiatives or projects that involve installation or migration of Windows Server products
  • Train customers in the features of Windows Server products
  • Participate in product design reviews to provide feedback on new features or enhancements
  • Participate in beta testing programs to test new releases of software products
  • Contribute to the development of expert content for resource websites and other documentation
  • Assist in the development of training materials for certification exams

10. VCP-DCV 2021 - VMware Certified Professional

Average Salary: $133,000
Exam Price: Level 1 $125  /  Level 2: $500  /  Level 3: $450

VMware Certified Data Center Virtualization 2020 is a certification designed for data center architects, cloud operators, and system administrators looking to deploy VMware vSphere 6.7 in their environment.

The VMware Certified Data Center Virtualization 2020 certification is a professional qualification for people working in the data center virtualization industry.

The VCDX 2020 certification will be a pre-requisite for professionals who want to take the VCDX certification exam.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Work with customers and partners to understand their current and future challenges in data center virtualization and recommend solutions that can address these challenges.
  • Support customers by being a VMware Subject Matter Expert (SME) for VMware solutions, including VMware vSphere, VMware NSX, VMware vSAN, and VMware Cloud Foundation
  • Know how to use all of the features of the products at a basic level
  • Develop customer presentations about different aspects of data center virtualization
  • Help organize customer events
  • Deploying vSphere 6.7 in the datacenter
  • Configuring and managing vCenter Server
  • Configuring and managing ESXi hosts
  • Configuring and managing VMware NSX for vSphere
  • Securing virtual machine traffic
  • Maintaining virtual machine availability

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9. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

Average Salary: $134,460
Exam Cost: $595

The CISA is a professional who performs information systems audit engagements to assess the validity of computer-based information.

The CISA is a specialized auditor who applies technical knowledge and professional judgment to identify control deficiencies that could result in material misstatements of an organization's financial statements, operational deficiencies that could result in material noncompliance with laws or regulations, or technical vulnerabilities that could result in significant disruptions to the organization.

The Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is responsible for performing audits of the organization's information systems to determine the adequacy of controls, identify deficiencies, and provide recommendations for improvement.

- This includes assessing the design and implementation of an organization's information systems to identify vulnerabilities and threats.

The CISA must be able to perform audits in accordance with relevant standards, regulations, and guidelines.

The CISA may also be required to participate in other security-related activities such as penetration testing or incident response.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Perform IT system audits in accordance with relevant standards, regulations, and guidelines
  • Assess the design and implementation of an organization's information systems to identify vulnerabilities and threats.
  • Participate in other security-related activities such as penetration testing or incident response when necessary.
  • Conducts IT audits and provides assurance on behalf of management, the board of directors, or other stakeholders.
  • Provides guidance and conducts training for employees on information technology controls
  • Researches new technologies and methods for auditing IT controls
  • Develops audit plans and test procedures for IT audits
  • Assesses the risks associated with IT controls
  • Participates in post-audit activities, such as reporting findings and making recommendations for remediation steps

8. Nutanix Certified Professional - Multicloud Infrastructure

Average Salary: $142,810
Exam Cost: $199

Nutanix Certified NCP-MCI is a professional who understands the Nutanix software and hardware, can architect solutions to meet customer needs, and deploy solutions into production.

The Nutanix Certified NCP-MCI is the world's first and only certification recognizing a person's ability to design, configure, install, and troubleshoot Nutanix systems.

The NCP-MCI demonstrates expertise in the Nutanix product suite and a requirement to succeed as a Nutanix Technical Specialist.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Architecting solutions to meet customer needs
  • Deploying solutions into production
  • Providing pre-sales support to customers
  • Troubleshooting customer issues
  • Supporting customers in the field
  • Participating in Nutanix Beta Programs
  • Training new or current staff
  • Working with other Nutanix Certified Professionals to provide best practice guidance for specific use cases.
  • Install, configure, troubleshoot and optimize Nutanix systems for customers
  • Design, configure and deploy storage policies within the cluster
  • Configure VMs with appropriate virtual disk types
  • Connect VMs to storage policies
  • Troubleshoot performance bottlenecks and storage issues using various tools
  • Install, configure and troubleshoot vCenter plug-ins for both VMware vCenter and Microsoft HyperV

7. Project Management Professional Certification (PMP)

Average Salary: $149,000
Exam Cost: $555

The Project Manager is responsible for managing all aspects of a project, from requirements definition through completion.

The Project Management Professional is responsible for leading and managing projects.
This includes identifying project requirements, determining a project plan, managing resources, and meeting project deadlines.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Lead project teams to complete projects within scope, on time, and on budget
  • Negotiate scope changes with stakeholders and communicate with team members about new expectations
  • Ensure that the project team has the resources they need to meet their goals
  • Identify risks and develop mitigation strategies to ensure successful delivery of the project.
  • Facilitate cross-functional communication by creating a shared understanding of project goals and milestones
  • Drive continuous improvement by identifying areas for process improvement
  • Work with the customer to determine project requirements and create a statement of work
  • Draft a detailed project plan that includes timelines for each phase of the project
  • Manage resources necessary to complete the project on time and within budget
  • Monitor progress against the project plan and make adjustments as needed to meet deadlines
  • Ensure all deliverables are completed in accordance with specifications
  • Keep stakeholders informed about the status of the project
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key customers and vendors
  • Stay up to date with industry trends to provide recommendations for improvements or changes
  • Collaborate with team members to accomplish goals, tasks, and objectives
  • Actively look for ways to improve processes to increase efficiency

6. CISM Certification | Certified Information Security Manager

Average Salary: $149,000
Exam Cost: $760

The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is responsible for overseeing the protection of an organization's information assets from a computer system security perspective.

The CISM is responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and monitoring all of the organization's information security risks.

CISM is a professional designation that certifies individuals to design, engineer, implement, and manage data and systems protection.

The CISM certification assures that the holder has the knowledge and skills to protect an organization's information assets.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Designing and implementing a comprehensive security plan to protect organizational information assets from a computer system security perspective
  • Implementing standards and procedures to protect computer systems from unauthorized access, use or disclosure
  • Ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • Managing the risk assessment process throughout the life cycle of computer systems within the organization
  • Monitoring the compliance status of the organization's information security policies and procedures
  • Identifying emerging technology trends that may impact organizational information security
  • Reporting on organizational information security performance
  • Providing leadership in establishing policies and procedures for secure operation of computer systems
  • Ensuring that all personnel within the organization are aware of their roles in maintaining organizational information
  • Design and implement comprehensive information security solutions
  • Conduct risk analysis and risk assessments
  • Provide leadership in establishing and enforcing security policies
  • Manage vendor relationships
  • Implement global standards
  • Perform forensic analysis of computer systems following a cyberattack or intrusion
  • Provide training to employees on security awareness and maintenance of personal online safety
  • Conduct vulnerability testing on all new system implementations before they go live.

5. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Average Salary: $152,000
Exam Cost: $699

Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is responsible for protecting an organization's information assets by creating policies and procedures, monitoring and assessing security risks.

The Information Systems Security Professional (ISSP) is responsible for the security of an organization's computer systems and networks.

The ISSP maintains a high awareness of new and emerging security threats and vulnerabilities and is responsible for implementing controls to protect the organization from these threats.

The ISSP also guides management on the appropriate use of technology to meet organizational objectives.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Develop a security plan that includes a risk assessment, policies, procedures, and technical safeguards
  • Ensure that all security systems are operating correctly
  • Ensure that all employees know how to protect company data
  • Monitor new technologies and evaluate the risk they present
  • Identify areas of vulnerability and develop plans to reduce them
  • Manage the installation and configuration of new hardware or software
  • Implement new controls as needed or as requested by management
  • Provide input on system design reviews and provide feedback on system operation reviews
  • Monitor networks, operating systems, databases, web servers, etc., to identify potential vulnerabilities or evidence of network intrusion or infiltration
  • Develop and maintain policies, procedures, guidelines and standards for information systems security
  • Guide the appropriate use of technology to meet organizational objectives
  • Provide advice and guidance on IT investments
  • Conduct risk assessments and provide advice on how risks can be mitigated
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments and provide guidance on how vulnerabilities can be mitigated
  • Plan, test and implement disaster recovery procedures

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4. CRISC Certification | Certified in Risk & Information - ISACA

Average Salary: $152,000
Exam Cost: $760

The Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) certification is the only globally recognized certification for professionals who manage an enterprise's information systems and are responsible for managing risk.

The CRISC certification is the only globally recognized certification that validates the competency of professionals with a thorough understanding of the principles, practices, and techniques of risk management and control.

The Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) professional is responsible for identifying, assessing, and managing risks to information systems.

The CRISC professional must be able to identify appropriate controls for mitigating risks, assess their effectiveness on an ongoing basis, and perform periodic reviews of the risk management process.

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Conducts due diligence reviews of business units to identify vulnerabilities and risks
  • Conducts risk assessments to identify threats, vulnerabilities, and impacts
  • Develops risk management strategies and plans and implements them
  • Oversees the implementation of security safeguards to protect against identified risks
  • Documents all findings using a standardized format
  • Ensures compliance with all company policies and procedures related to information security
  • Ensures compliance with government regulations on privacy policies
  • Assesses privacy impact of new products or services
  • Conducts risk assessments in accordance with applicable standards or regulatory requirements
  • Identifies potential information system risks in accordance with applicable standards or regulatory requirements
  • Assesses the likelihood and impact of identified risks on the organization's business objectives and activities
  • Defines appropriate controls to mitigate identified risks based on organizational objectives and available technologies
  • Recommends ways to improve the effectiveness of controls over the risk management process
  • Assesses the effectiveness of controls over the risk management process; provides recommendations for improvement if necessary
  • Participates in the design of mitigation strategies that reduce risk exposure - Provides input into developing policies, procedures, or guidelines.

3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate (SAA-C02)

Average Salary: $159,000
Exam Cost: $150

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate will be responsible for implementing and maintaining complex, highly available, fault-tolerant, secure, distributed systems on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is responsible for designing and deploying large-scale, highly available, fault-tolerant, distributed systems on the AWS Cloud.

 

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Reviewing and analyzing customer requirements for web services and recommending appropriate AWS solutions 
  • Designing AWS solutions to meet customer requirements
  • Deploying and managing production AWS environments in accordance with best practices
  • Monitoring production environments to ensure operational efficiency
  • Troubleshooting production issues
  • Participating in 24x7 on-call rotation
  • Maintaining knowledge of the AWS product portfolio
  • Providing professional development opportunities to keep up with the fast pace of technology advancements in the industry.
  • Design highly available, fault-tolerant, distributed systems in a virtualized environment
  • Architect systems for scalability and performance in a cost-effective manner
  • Deploy and maintain systems in a production environment
  • Perform capacity planning to ensure sufficient resources exist to meet SLAs
  • Troubleshoot problems in production systems
  • Develop disaster recovery plans
  • Perform security assessment of all components of the architecture
  • Assist in the development of operational procedures

2. Professional Cloud Architect Certification | Google Cloud

Average Salary: $169,000
Exam Cost: $300

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing the Google Cloud Platform.

The role is also responsible for designing, developing, and implementing solutions that use the Google Cloud Platform.

The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining complex cloud-based systems.

The architect will analyze problems, identify solutions, and implement the most appropriate cloud architecture to meet business objectives.

 

Typical Job Responsibilities:

  • Designing, developing, and implementing solutions that use the Google Cloud Platform
  • Managing projects from inception to completion
  • Developing technical documentation for all phases of the project lifecycle
  • Working with internal teams to execute on cloud-related initiatives
  • Developing internal training materials on how to use the Google Cloud Platform
  • Participating in customer work on a case by case basis
  • Providing support on a case by case basis
  • Driving new product development focused on cloud computing
  • Designing and architecting scalable, cost-effective solutions
  • Optimizing cloud platforms to ensure optimal performance
  • Providing technical guidance to engineers working on complex projects
  • Proactively find ways to improve efficiency
  • Building solid relationships with clients
  • Keeping up with the latest technological advancements in the field of cloud computing
  • Maintaining a high level of technical knowledge to stay up to date with the latest innovations in cloud computing.
  • Developing innovative solutions for our clients' most complex IT challenges

1. Professional Data Engineer Certification | Google Cloud

Average Salary: $172,000
Exam Cost: $200

You will be responsible for designing and deploying data engineering systems, including databases, Hadoop, Spark, and other Google Cloud Platform services.

- You will have a high level of proficiency with data engineering concepts and tools.

You will have a demonstrable history of developing and deploying data engineering systems on the Google Cloud Platform.

You will be a subject matter expert in Google Cloud Platform technologies.

You will be able to design solutions to complex problems.

You will be able to work independently on tasks without supervision from senior engineers.

The Data Engineer is responsible for ingesting and managing data and metadata and ensuring data integrity.

 

Typical Job Responsibilities: 

  • Design and implement a robust ETL system to ingest data from internal and external sources
  • Design and implement a robust system to manage metadata across internal systems
  • Design and implement a robust, scalable system to store data across internal systems
  • Ensure that data is available, accessible, and understandable to all authorized users through the use of appropriate tools such as SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Management Objects (SMO), SSIS, etc.
  • Review the design of all databases in the system to ensure that they are optimized for performance, scalability, and availability
  • Develop and maintain an inventory of all databases in the system
  • Develop and maintain an inventory of all servers in the system
  • Monitor servers for availability
  • Monitor databases for performance, scalability, availability
  • Ensure that backups are performed as required
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