29 Hot Certifications to Spice Up Your Business in 2018


… find enough qualified talent to fill positions, but they’re not the only areas your, and customer, IT hiring managers are struggling with. Finding qualified people in these three areas is a challenge; consider “growing your own” by getting staff trained up with these relevant certifications:

Analytics and big data:

  1. EMC Proven Professional Data Scientist Associate (EMCDSA)
  2. IBM Certified Data Architect/Engineer
  3. Cloudera Certified Associate (various)
  4. SAS Certified Data Professional/Scientist

Enterprise architecture:

  1. Open Group TOGAF 9 (architecture framework)
  2. Salesforce Certified Technical Architect
  3. Zachman Certified Enterprise Architect

Wireless networking:

  1. Besides the Cisco CCNA, there are other certifications for wireless: CWDP (design), CWNA (network administration), CWSP (security)
Emerging Technologies

Those thinking about the long term should look to technologies that promise to be most disruptive to business and society, especially AI and its subsets (machine learning, deep learning) and data science. According to LinkedIn’s 2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report, “It may come as no surprise that technology-centric roles stole the show among emerging jobs in the United States, but the prevalence of machine learning and data-science roles and skills indicate a shift in the types of technology we can expect to be using in the near future, as well as what professionals should be preparing themselves for.”

Machine learning, particularly neural network-based deep learning, is still primarily the stuff of academia, and while those are no substitute for academic training like Stanford’s Machine Learning course on Coursera, we did find a few relevant certifications including:

  1. Microsoft MCSA: Machine Learning
  2. Spring People Data Science and Machine Learning Certification
  3. Microsoft Professional Data Science and Big Data
  4. AWS Introduction to Machine Learning and Deep Learning on AWS

These courses, along with the big data and analytics certifications, cover many data-science skills. Other areas of focus include data mining and programming languages like Python and R that are used to build data-analysis models.

Amid all of the technical education, don’t neglect valuable business skills including effective collaboration, presentation, negotiation, leadership and coaching/mentorship. These are always worth reinforcing, even if it means reading a few self-help books or volunteering to present at company or industry events.

Here’s to an edifying, profitable and intellectually stimulating 2018.

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

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