29 Hot Certifications to Spice Up Your Business in 2018

Kurt Marko

Kurt Marko

**Editor’s Note: Can’t get enough about certifications? Read this column on top 10 cloud certifications for partners.**

By Kurt Marko for Channel Partners

With the IT environment more dynamic and tumultuous than ever, it’s tough to know where to spend your valuable staff time and limited training budget. Of course, some credentials are timeless: Cisco certifications like CCNA and CISSP are required for many positions, while Microsoft shops look for MCSEs to design and operate their systems. These certs remain popular since they’ve held their value by continuing to adapt to changing technology. In fact, a recent Global Knowledge salary survey of IT professionals found that 36 percent have a Microsoft certification, followed by Cisco at 31 percent and various security certifications at 26 percent.

However, these certifications cover only a tiny slice of today’s IT landscape. Or, maybe you already have plenty of CCNAs and MCSEs on staff and are looking to expand into a new technology practice area. Here’s a look at 17 new, highly sought-after areas where the right training could help land you a new consulting business while rewarding top staffers with valuable knowledge.

Be sure to read our list of 20 top in-demand IT certifications, published in June 2019, for the latest important skills the industry is demanding.

First, let’s look at the current MVP certifications based on market demand, reflected in compensation. According to the salary survey, the top six are:

  1. Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) – $131,298
  2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) – $128,156
  3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate – $125,091
  4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – $121,729
  5. Project Management Professional (PMP) – $119,349
  6. Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) – $115,471
Look to the Clouds

Citrix and VMware-certified professionals will be in demand as customers continue to transform internal infrastructures into private clouds and extend workloads to public services like AWS and Azure in a hybrid or multi-cloud design. Likewise, although cloud services themselves aren’t new, as IaaS and PaaS usage expand, cloud certifications, like the AWS solutions architect listed above, will be increasingly valuable. Both Microsoft and Google have similar programs, so partners aspiring to enter the cloud business should look at the following new certifications:

  1. Google Certified Professional — Cloud Architect (design, build and manage systems and applications on GCP)
  2. Google Certified Professional — Data Engineer (design and build data processing systems and create machine learning models)
  3. MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (Windows Server and Microsoft Azure)
  4. MCSE: Data Management and Analytics (both on-premises and cloud-based Microsoft data products)
  5. MCSD: App Builder is intended for those interested in the future of web and mobile app development.

Partners who service IBM shops, or with existing services built on IBM technology, should investigate its new cloud and Watson certifications including:

  1. IBM certified solution adviser – Cloud reference architecture V5
  2. IBM certified solution architect – Cloud platform solution V2 (cloud design)
  3. IBM certified solution adviser – DevOps V1 (development platforms and processes)
  4. Certified advanced application developer – Cloud platform V1 (cloud-native and hybrid cloud application design)
  5. Certified application developer – Watson V3 (AI applications using Bluemix PaaS)
Follow the Data

Cybersecurity and cloud certifications are hot because companies can’t …

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