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6 Cutting-Edge Certifications for Infrastructure Pros

  • Employers are looking for job candidates with up-to-date skills, and one way to show that you have current knowledge is by obtaining an IT certification related to one of today's hottest technology trends. According to the Robert Half 2018 Technology & IT Salary Guide, having the right skills and certifications can boost your salary by 5% to 10%.

    So which certifications should IT infrastructure professionals pursue?

    Popular options like Cisco's CCNA or CompTIA's A+ exam are a great place to start because they demonstrate that you understand the fundamentals of networking and IT infrastructure. For advanced networking pros, the CCIE from Cisco remains a top certification.

    But if you want to stand out from the crowd and work in the most cutting-edge areas of technology, you might want to add a specialized certification that focuses on new skills employers need now. Enterprises are increasingly looking to the cloud and software and IT infrastructure is changing fast as companies automate processes and adopt cloud-based services and platforms. They're looking for skills in cloud, containers, and application development. Security skills are also a priority.

    Read ahead for six cutting-edge IT certifications you might want to consider as you look to advance your career and build skillsets that will equip you for the future.

    (Image: Goumbik/Pixabay)

  • Docker Certification

    Many enterprises, particularly those utilizing DevOps approaches, have begun deploying containers. In the 2017 Portworx Annual Container Adoption Survey, 69% of the IT professionals surveyed said their companies are investing in container technology. In March, Docker unveiled its container certification program. The exam is designed for professionals with six to twelve months of Docker experience, and it includes 55 multiple-choice questions that test takers must answer within 80 minutes. The test is available online, and it costs $195.

  • Certified Kubernetes Administrator

    That same Portworx survey found that Kubernetes is the most popular container orchestration tool, used by 43% of companies. The Linux Foundation and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation offer a Certified Kubernetes Administrator certification, and the Linux Foundation also offers a class designed to prepare students for the exam. The exam costs $300, and the course costs $299. Or you can register for both together for $499. The exam is delivered online, and it takes three to four hours to complete.

    (Image: welcomia/Shutterstock)

  • Amazon Web Services Solution Architect

    Enterprises continue to migrate to the public cloud, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the top Infrastructure as a Service vendor. AWS offers multiple certification options, including AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS SysOps Administrator (Associate), and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional), as well as the AWS Solutions Architect cert. The Solutions Architect certification has both Professional and Associate levels. The Professional level requires students to pass a 170-minute exam, have two years of AWS experience, and hold the Associate level certificate. The exam costs $300.

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  • Certified ScrumMaster

    According to the Robert Half report, agile and Scrum certifications are among the most in-demand certs in North America. The Scrum Alliance offers the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) certification, as well as a two-day, 16-hour preparatory course. To receive the certification, students must correctly answer 24 of 35 questions on the CSM exam. The course is available through a variety of training providers, and prices vary, with many costing more than $1,000.

  • Certified Agile Service Manager

    Another option for agile training and certification is available through the DevOps Institute. The Certified Agile Service Manager (CASM) class is available through a variety of training partners; it covers agile principles and concepts like Scrum, ITSM, Kanban, Lean, and DevOps. The course takes16 hours, and in order to receive certification, students must pass a 60-minute, 45-question exam. Prices vary by provider and delivery format.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional

    The Robert Half report specifically called out the CISSP certification as one of those in greatest demand in North America, but it is also one of the most rigorous. Available through ISC2, it requires five years of related work experience (less with a four-year degree or the Associate-level certification) and a passing score on the six-hour, 250-question exam. You also need to agree to a code of ethics and have your application endorsed by another certified professional. The exam costs $699.

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