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Top Career Advancing Certs in 2020


In this article, we will discuss the Top 10 IT Certifications For High-Paying Job In 2021. The top-paying IT certifications reflect shifting opinions and tech trends, significantly impacting IT departments around the United States.


The 2020’s highest-paying certifications show a strong emphasis on particular topics, such as cloud computing, cybersecurity, networking, and project management. Cloud, Machine Learning, AI, and project management dominate the top five spots. It will continue to dominate in 2020 as well.


The technology panorama is in constant flux in terms of which information technology (IT) certifications are in high demand in 2020. There are many areas in specializations that range from networking, cloud computing, project management, and security, which are in very high demand. As many as 80% of IT professionals say that certifications are useful for their careers, the challenge is deciding which area to focus on. Let’s look at the most in-demand certification courses available with their humongous salaries.


Rank 1: Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

A Professional Cloud Architect enables institutions to leverage Google Cloud technologies.


You need a thorough understanding of cloud architecture and Google Cloud Platform(GCP) so that you can design, develop, and manage robust, secure, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions to stimulate business applications.


The Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Architect exam assesses your ability to:

  1. Design and plan the cloud solution architecture.

  • Manage and provision the cloud solution infrastructure.

  • Design for security and compliance.

  • Analyze and optimize technical and business processes.

  • Manage implementations of cloud architecture.

  • Ensure solution and operations reliability.


GCPC certification, debuting in 2017, allows IT professionals to certify as the cloud architect on the GCP platform.


The certification demonstrates the ability to design, develop, and manage the secure, scalable, and reliable cloud architecture using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).


Cloud skills are critical for almost every institution nowadays and in the future as well.


Generally speaking, cloud jobs pay over $100,000 a year in the U.S., and decision-makers are still struggling to fill all the cloud job vacancies. That’s just a couple of reasons why GCP made the big bucks in its debut.


Path to certification: A certification exam geared toward the architect that must understand what solution works best for the given scenario.

There are no questions dedicated to the specific usage of the product. It must be taken in-person at the Kryterion testing center location.


Rank 2: Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Professional is the internationally recognized professional designation offered by the Project Management Institute.

As of August 2019, there are 932,720 active PMP-certified individuals and 300 chartered chapters across 218 countries and territories worldwide.


As new startups are creating worldwide, the demand for the Project manager is never this high.


The PMP certification was created and managed by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is one of the most reputed project management certifications available today.

This certification demonstrates that you are responsible when it comes to managing projects and project teams.


You will be tested in mainly five specific areas: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.


If you want to become a certified manager, you will need to have completed at least 35 hours of related training before you can give the exam.


If you have a Bachelor’s degree, then you will also need 4,500 hours of project management experience (those without a degree will need 7,500 hours).


Getting PMP certification takes years, but it’s worth it, after all.

PMPs currently earn an average of $135,798 per year.


Rank 3: Certified ScrumMaster

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) is the entry-level credential designed to give professionals up and running as Scrum practitioners who has an understanding of the project management methodology. 

Professionals who have earned the CSM can fill the role of either Scrum Master or Scrum team member.


See some of the following paths for becoming a scrum master.

Scrum Master Track

  • Certified scrum master

  • Advanced certified scrum master

  • Certified Scrum Professional-ScrumMaster


Product Owner Track

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner

  • Advanced Certified Scrum Product Owner

  • Certified Scrum Professional®-Product Owner


A Certified ScrumMaster is one of the more famous and prestigious projects management certifications out there today.


Scrum refers to the style of management in which teams have the struggle meeting every morning to review progress, with adjustments being made day today to ensure all the team members are working as efficiently and productively as possible.


Early startups must adopt SCRUM to achieve weekly, monthly, and yearly milestones.


Getting certified means attending the two-day workshop course, followed by an exam containing anywhere from 24 to 35 questions. If you pass the exam, you can earn an average of $135,441 per year.


Rank 4: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate


The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam is designed for individuals who can perform the solutions architect role and have one or more years of experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.


The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate-level exam shows the individual’s expertise in designing and deploying scalable systems on AWS.


It’s not surprising to see this certification in our top five due to the market need for skilled and certified AWS solutions architects.

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification has been here for several years and many years to go, which is showing how much demand there is year after year due to the growth in the cloud-based systems.


Architect – Professional certification.


Path to certification: If you want to certify, you need to have hands-on experience with AWS (they suggest six months or more).


The exam is computer-based and offered at PSI testing centers.


The AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification exam addresses a wide range of topics, including the designing on AWS, selecting the appropriate AWS services for the given situation, ingress, and egress of data to and from the AWS environment, estimating the AWS costs, and identifying cost-control measures.


The AWS Certified Solutions Architect/Associate exam tests your in-depth knowledge of the designing systems on AWS.


If you have handy experience with AWS services and are used to architecting large-scale distributed systems, then this certification may be what you’re looking for.


The exam takes about 80 minutes and is taken at PSI centers across the United States.


Successful AWS Certified Solutions Architects can earn an average of $132,840 per year.



Rank 5: AWS Certified Developer – Associate


The AWS Certified Developer – Associate examination is designed for individuals who perform the development role and have one or more years of hands-on experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application.


See the following topics you can cover while preparing for the exam.


Abilities Validated by the Certification

  • It demonstrates the understanding of core AWS services, uses, and underlying AWS architecture best practices

  • It demonstrates proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS

Recommended Knowledge and Experience

  • You need to have in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language.

  • You need to have an understanding of the core AWS services, uses, and underlying AWS architecture best practices.

  • You need to have proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS

  • You have the ability to use the AWS service APIs, AWS CLI, and SDKs to write applications

  • You need to have the ability to identify critical features of AWS services

  • You need to have an understanding of the AWS shared responsibility model

  • You need to have knowledge of application lifecycle management.

  • You need to have the ability to use a CI/CD pipeline to deploy applications on AWS

  • You need to have the ability to use or interact with AWS services

  • You need to have the ability to apply a basic understanding of cloud-native applications to write code

  • You need to have the ability to write code using AWS security best practices (e.g., not using secret and access keys in the code, instead of using IAM roles)

  • You need to have ability to the author, maintain and debug code modules on AWS

  • You need to have proficiency in writing code for serverless applications

  • You need to have an understanding of the use of containers in the development process.

The exam consists of multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions, and you will have 80 minutes to complete it.

Should you be successful, AWS Certified Developers earn an average of $130,369 per year.


Path to certification: If you want to get certified, you need to have hands-on experience with one or more programming languages as well as AWS (they suggest six months or more).

The exam is based on computers and offered at PSI testing centers, like all AWS exams.


The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification exam addresses the wide variety of topics, including using SDKs to interact with AWS services, selecting the appropriate AWS services for a given situation, creating code that optimizes the performance of the AWS services used in an application, and coding security for access to AWS services.


Rank 6: Information Technology Infrastructure Library


The ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) is the framework designed to standardize the selection, planning, delivery, and maintenance of IT services within a business.


Our goal is to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service delivery.


The ITIL framework enables IT administrators to be the business service partner, rather than just back-end support.


ITIL guidelines and best practices align IT department actions and expenses to business needs and change them as the business grows or shifts direction.


An Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is the most widely accepted framework for Information Technology management in the world.


It has held this distinction for the past 30 years. Covering a set of best practices for providing IT services with the needs of organizations, it is the wide-ranging discipline covering a laundry list of essential specializations such as IT operations, incident management, capacity management, and availability, to name a few.


Best practices aim to control or reduce IT costs, improve IT services, and balance IT resources.


TIL Foundation is the entry-level ITIL certification and provides a broad-based understanding of the IT service lifecycle.


This certification is accepted as a framework for managing the IT lifecycle. As such, it is different from the other certifications on this list and is one of the few that focuses on the intersection of IT and the needs of the business.


Path to certification: To become certified, you must pass the exam; there are no other prerequisites for the Foundation exam. It is, however, a prerequisite for follow-on ITIL Intermediate courses.



Rank 7: Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) is a certification offered by ISACA, a nonprofit, independent association that advocates for professionals involved in information security, assurance, risk management, and governance.

CISM is an advanced certification that provides validation for individuals who have demonstrated they possess the knowledge and experience required to develop and manage an enterprise information security program.


The certification intended for information security managers, aspiring managers, or IT consultants who support information security program management. ANSI accredits it under ISO/IEC 17024:2003.


To become certified, applicants must successfully pass a 200-question multiple-choice exam, which covers four content areas:

  •  Information security management

  •  Information risk management and compliance

  •  Information security program development and management

  •  Information security incident management 


To qualify for the exam, applicants must have five years of verified experience in the infosec field, with a minimum of three years of infosec management experience in three or more of the CISM content areas.

Experience must be gained within ten years preceding the application date or within five years from the date of passing the exam.

CISMs are well-paid, too. On average, Global Knowledge says you can make an average of $118,412 per year as a CISM.


However, if you choose to go down this route, then you’ll have to take a 200-question test on topics such as information security governance, information risk management, and incident management.

Path to certification: The exam is offered during the designated testing windows each year and is computer-based. Registration is via the ISACA website, as well as an exam locator.


It also requires at least five years of experience in IS, with at least three of those as a security manager. Your experience must be within ten years of taking the exam or five years after passing it.

There are some alternatives to the experience requirement for this certification. Continuing education credits are required each year to maintain your certification.



Rank 8: Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)


ISACA’s Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control™ certification is an enterprise risk management qualification, favored by professionals looking to build upon their existing knowledge and experience of IT/Business risk, identification, and implementation of information system controls.


The certification requires prerequisite skills such as the ability to manage the ongoing challenges of enterprise risk and to design risk-based information system controls.


CRISC is one of the first certifications which helps mainly IT professionals prepare for real-world threats, with appropriate tools to both evaluate and manage risk. The CRISC certification is widely seen as the go-to accreditation for experts in the field of risk and information systems controls or those looking to progress their careers in this area.

If you pass the exam and find the role, pros with the CRISC certification earn an average of $117,395 per year. The test has 150 questions and lasts roughly four hours.


Path to certification: To obtain CRISC certification, you must have at least three years of experience in at least two of the four domains the certification covers, and you must pass the exam; the experience must be within the preceding ten years or no more than five years after passing the exam.


The exam is only offered during designated testing windows each year and is computer-based. Registration is via the ISACA website; use the CBT locator to find a testing site.


Also, Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits are required each year to maintain your certification. Achieving CRISC certification requires ongoing effort and years of planning, but it has been a top certification for years, and with the growth of cloud computing, it will stay in high demand for years to come.



Rank 9: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP- full form Certified Information Systems Security Professional is considered as a quality standard in the field of information security.

This Cyber certification is offered by (ISC)², which is an international nonprofit organization with more than 200k certified members.


The certification was introduced in 1994 and is the most required security certification on Linkedin.


The exam is available in 8 languages at 882 locations in 114 countries. The certification meets ISO/IEC Standard 17024.


Today, many IT security professionals prefer CISSP certification training. It provides information security professionals intending to measure competence and a globally recognized standard of achievement.


Should you pass the test, which requires you to have a minimum of five years of relevant experience, you can look forward to the average pay of $116,900 per year.


It’s worth noting that, even after getting the certification, you will still need to receive the Continuing Education credits each year to maintain your credentials.


Path to certification: The exam is offered at Pearson Vue Testing centers. CISSP candidates must have at least five years of full-time, paid experience in at least two of the eight CISSP domains. If you don’t have the work experience, you can still earn an (ISC)² Associate designation by passing the exam while working toward the full certification. You will have up to six years to complete the required experience.


The exam is based around eight areas in computer security, including security and risk management, communications and network security, software development security, asset security, security architecture and engineering, identity and access management, security assessment and testing, and security operations. To remain certified, CISSPs must earn Continuous Professional Education (CPE) credits every year.