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Top 2022 IT Certifications to Advance Your Career

  • While opportunities abound in today's dynamic job market, the volume of competition for any given IT opening can be enormous. Job sites such as LinkedIn can be humbling. Who wants to be just in the top 20% of the 750 candidates that have already applied for a job? One tried and true way for IT professionals to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack is to earn certifications in critical infrastructure technologies.

    That point was hammered home in a recent “Upskilling IT 2022” report by the DevOps Institute. “IT professionals ultimately control and manage their own upskilling journeys - and recruiting trends show that building critical skill sets is a worthy personal investment,” said Jayne Groll, CEO of DevOps Institute.

    However, as anyone who has been in the industry for a while knows, demand for different certifications changes over time. While you may have been a Certified Novell Engineer or Certified Novell Administrator in the early 1990s, there probably is not much demand for that now. With that in mind, here is a short list of the hot certifications for 2022, complied by the editors at Network Computing.

    We encourage you to send us feedback. Which certifications do you think are the most important?  Why? What certifications will be critical in a year? Contact us via email at [email protected] or via our social channels.

  • AWS Web Services Certifications

    AWS Web Services certifications demonstrate a proficiency in cloud skills needed in businesses today. Amazon offers a variety of certifications based on roles such as architect, cloud practitioner, developer, and operations. It also offers certifications based on solutions such as advanced networking, data analytics, machine learning, and more. 

    One highly regarded certification is the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. It validates that person has cloud fluency and foundational AWS knowledge. Before taking this exam, AWS recommends the IT professional has six months of exposure to the AWS Cloud, basic understanding of IT services and their uses in the AWS Cloud platform, and knowledge of core AWS services and use cases, billing and pricing models, security concepts, and more.

  • Cisco Certifications

    Cisco certifications have long been the gold standard for networking professionals. The company's dominance in infrastructure technology made expertise in all things Cisco critical for career success. The two main certifications are Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP).

    There are CCIE certifications for Data Center, Enterprise Infrastructure, Enterprise Wireless, and Security. CCIE certification is typically associated with the top experts in the field. The CCNP confers a professional-level knowledge. There are CCNP certifications for Data Center, Enterprise, and Security.

  • Google Cloud Certification

    Google Cloud certifications demonstrate a user's expertise and ability to use Google Cloud technology. There are three levels of certification including foundational, associate, and professional. The first two are aimed at cloud digital leaders and cloud engineers. The professional certification is more for cloud architects, cloud developers, cloud network engineers, cloud DevOps engineers, data engineers, and more.

    For those with expansive expertise, there is the Google Certified Fellow Program. This program is for elite cloud architects and technical leaders who are experts in designing enterprise solutions. The program recognizes individuals with deep technical expertise who can translate business requirements into technical solutions using Google Cloud.

  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Certification

    As noted in a recent ITPro Today article, understanding the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) — and demonstrating ITIL mastery via ITIL certification — was a key requirement for a variety of IT jobs. Some now feel ITIL certification is not as important these days.

    However, ITIL remains important to many businesses. That's evident in that many job sites continue to have numerous ads that mention the ITIL. Another factor to consider is that ITIL carries different weight in different geographical areas. It’s most important in Europe, where it originated.

  • Microsoft Azure Certifications

    Microsoft Azure certifications include something for everyone. The company offers fundamentals certifications, role-based certifications, and specialty certifications. The fundamentals certification is aimed at individuals just starting in technology. The role-based ones are designed to boost skills in specific areas such as data fundamentals, IoT development, and many other areas. Other certifications focus on running workloads on Azure such as Microsoft Certified: Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty.

    Perhaps the most relevant certifications for IT professionals are the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect certification that validates a person's knowledge of designing cloud and hybrid solutions running on Microsoft Azure. Those starting out in the field can gain a level of expertise earning the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification.

  • Security Certifications

    As cyberattacks increase and the consequences of breaches grows, security is a top concern for most organizations. And as such, every IT position today is a security position. Unfortunately, traditional career paths left many IT pros without modern security expertise. Many are attempting to close the gap by earning one of the many security certifications available today.

    The certifications come from a bevvy of sources including the Infosec Institute, ISACA, CompTIA, ISC2, and others. Some of the top certifications include Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), CompTIA (Security+), and more.