The 7 Best IT Certifications

Expanding your skillset is a no-brainer. The greater your expertise, the greater your chance of excelling in and advancing in your job. Plus, learning keeps your mind active, which can benefit your health in the long run. Harvard researchers found that learning new things can slow cognitive aging, staving off memory decline.

And learning can be just plain fun. While we’re all past the age of eagerly clutching our new pencils and pencil holders on the first day of school, everyone gets a kick out of starting something new.

So what are you waiting for? Expand your brain and update your resume! We’ve gathered a list of seven certifications that hold great value for those in the IT industry.

1. AWS SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT COURSE

Take a deep dive into Amazon Web Services (AWS) architectural principles and services, which include EBS, EC2, VPC and IAM. In addition to brushing up on best practices recommended by Amazon, you will also discover how to scale AWS Cloud implementations.

2. CERTIFIED ETHICAL HACKING COURSE

No, this is not a case of “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” This course actually puts you one step ahead of hackers, training you in techniques to look out for them and allowing you to hack actual organizations (don’t worry, they’re in on it) to gain experience and learn how to combat and prevent future attacks.

3. BIG DATA HADOOP AND SPARK DEVELOPER CERTIFICATION

If you are or aspire to become a data engineer, analyst or scientist, then you need to understand things beyond the Hadoop ecosystem basics. The course focuses on concepts in the Hadoop framework and sets you up to take Cloudera’s CCA175 Big Data Certification Exam. You may also enjoy the deep dive into the processing lifecycle of big data.

4. COMPTIA A+ CERTIFICATION

For young professionals, this remains an in-demand credential — just look at our job postings, where it’s frequently listed as a requirement. CompTIA A+ is an industry standard and sets you up to take the Core 1 (220-1101) and Core 2 (220-1102) exams.

5. CISCO CERTIFIED NETWORK PROFESSIONAL (CCNP) 

Cisco remains the preferred hardware provider for the industry. Cisco has training programs you can take to prepare for the CCNP exam. If you already have experience in the industry, then you should pursue the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) instead.

6. GOOGLE CLOUD PLATFORM (GCP) CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL CLOUD ARCHITECT

This certification is best for those who have a bit of seasoning in IT — at least three years of working with Google Cloud solutions. Some of the skills you learn with Google certification you can use with other cloud platforms. The certification includes a great deal of focus on security and compliance, too.

7. PMP: PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL

Are you hoping to move into a managerial role? Then this certification from the Project Management Institute is a good idea. You discover how to balance the essential parts of project management, including goals, project teams and, of course, budgeting. There are prerequisites for enrolling, including a threshold of hours of experience needed depending on if you have a four-year degree.

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