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Monday, 05 January 2015 12:19

The top IT certifications to target in 2015

Posted By  Ed Jones

Businesses are made by the people who work for them and the best teams are those ready for the new challenges such as cloud, big data and the Internet of Things. However new challenges require new skills so here’s a list of the top 10 most popular IT certifications in 2014 and the rising stars for guidance in 2015.

10. VMware - Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)

VMWare vSphere is the world’s leading server virtualization platform. Attain the VCP5-DCV certification and tap into the growing demand for IT professionals with data centre virtualization expertise.

Getting this cert will prove you have the skills and knowledge required to manage vSphere 5.5. Though you may want to hold on with vSphere 6.0 rumoured to be making an appearance in Q1 2015.

9. PMI - Project Management Professional (PMP)

Research figures from PMI foresee a growth of 946,000 project management related roles in the UK by 2020. Combine this with 65% of PMI accredited project management professionals earning an annual salary above £40k-£50k, it is unsurprising that PMP will continue to be a highly sought after certification through 2015 and beyond.

Those considering the PMP certification should consider the pre-requisites, which are considerably stricter than other project management credentials.

8. The Open Group – TOGAF 9.1 certification

TOGAF is the enterprise architecture standard used by leading organizations across the world to improved business efficiency. There is a growing adoption of TOGAF, which has seen more than 25,000 enterprise architects attain TOGAF certification to demonstrate their understanding of the framework.

7. EC-Council - Certified Ethical Hacker certification

Experts now believe the UK is facing a growing cyber security skills gap, with a void of two million security professionals expected by 2017. A report from Technojobs  supports this by highlighting a doubling in the demand for Cyber Security professionals in 2014 alone. Opportunity is huge for anyone looking to break into the industry, IF they can demonstrate the necessary skill set.

 It is therefore unsurprising that demand for the Certified Ethical Hacker certification is at an all-time high. Viewed as one of the most exciting certifications on the market, the CEH proves you have the skills to scan, test and hack systems and in doing so make them more secure. Attaining the certification will open up career opportunities in Penetration Testing and Information Security roles. 

6. Professional Scrum Master Certification (PSM)

The Scrum framework continues to build traction in the software development sector. Scrum Masters, responsible for ensuring the application of scrum principles within a team, command salaries upwards of £55,000 making the position incredibly desirable.

PSM certification is now hugely popular since becoming the de-facto standard for demonstrating a Scrum Masters skills.

5. (ISC)2 – Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP)  

The CISSP certification is globally recognised as the gold standard in demonstrating a professional’s knowledge in the field of Information Security. Much like EC-Councils CEH certification, demand for the CISSP is being driven ever higher through increased opportunity in the field of Cyber Security.

Despite CISSPs huge popularity, you should be aware of the stringent prerequisites which could prevent you from attaining it.

4. Microsoft - MCSA: SQL Server certification

Microsoft’s SQL Server platform is the most-used database in the world. It is therefore unsurprising that MCSA: SQL Server certification continues to be a globally sought after certification.

Despite a recent upgrade to SQL Server 2014, the MCSA track remains unchanged. Amendments are instead focussed on the MCSE tapping into the more advanced features available in the new release.

3. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) – Routing and Switching

Despite a recent stall in the Switch and Router market, demand for networking professionals continues to rise. The CCNA routing and switching certification is widely regarded as THE entry-level credential for anyone considering a career as a Network Engineer.

Attaining the CCNA routing and switching will prove your ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot medium-size routed and switched networks. Considering more than 60% of routed and switched networks run on Cisco technology, with the CCNA under your belt you stand a good chance of landing a job.

2. Microsoft - MCSA: Windows Server 2012

With 75% of x86 server operating systems now running Windows Server, the aligned MCSA certification continues to be hugely popular. This popularity is set to surge with Windows Server 2003 facing end of support in July 2015, affecting more than 10 million systems still on operation.

IT pro’s looking to migrate away from the soon to be legacy software to Windows Server 2012 would be well placed to add this certification to their portfolio. The cert also provides a great virtualization knowledge foundation for those considering migrating their infrastructure to the cloud.

  1. APMG - PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certification

Originated in the UK as a Government standard for IT project management, the PRINCE2 project management methodology is hugely popular across Europe. As a result, those considering a career in project management will need the PRINCE2 certification.

A widely accessible certification, due to its lack of pre-requisites, the PRINCE2 certification is now held by more than 1,000,000 professionals worldwide and continues to receive huge demand. The PRINCE2 was by far and away our most popular certification in 2015.


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Ones to watch

While it’s good to keep a finger on the pulse the real IT leaders are those keeping a watchful eye at the future. So to help you keep tags on the next 12 months and beyond here are the certifications to be aware of in 2015.

Microsoft Azure Certifications

According to Microsoft, over 1,000 new customers already sign up for Windows Azure every day. This figure is likely to skyrocket with businesses migrating systems to Azure in 2015 to escape Windows Server 2003 End of Support.

This transition is creating demand for new skills as IT Pros and Developers seek to get to grips with the Azure system. Earlier this year two Microsoft Specialist certifications were launched to help meet that demand:

  • Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions       
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions

Since launching the course in late 2014 we’ve witnessed rapidly increasing demand.

CompTIA - Cloud+ certification

Demand for Cloud certified professionals continues to grow and will do throughout 2015. The Cloud Industry Forum now suggests cloud computing has achieved mainstream deployment with 78% of UK businesses adopting at least one cloud-based service.

This demand has driven a surge in interest for the CompTIA Cloud+. This vendor neutral certification proves you have the knowledge required to securely implement and maintain cloud technologies.

Author Profile

This list has been compiled by contributor Ed Jones using visitor data from Firebrand Training. Ed is an active member of the IT community writing for a range of renowned technology publications including Computerworld, TechNet  and TechTarget. Edward been in the Industry 4 years, and has an array of experience with Microsoft technologies including the Windows Desktop OS, Windows Server and SharePoint.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Irwin Tuesday, 09 February 2016 22:28 posted by Irwin

    A very powerful Salesforce ADM-201 guide exam with Questions & Answers!
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