1. PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) – $102,000 average salary in 2008
2. PMI Certified Associate in Project Management
3. ITIL v. 2 – Foundation
4. (ISC)2’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
5. Cisco CCIE – $93,500 average Salary in 2008
6. Cisco Certified Voice Professional – $88,600 average Salary in 2008
Just for comparison purposes, the highest paying Microsoft certification is the Microsoft Certified Solution Developer ($84,522).
While the top 6 hot certs list is compiled of up-and-coming certifications, many hiring managers’ top choices are still “oldies but goodies.” Here are the top 10 certs they told us they look for:
1. Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)
2. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE): Windows 2003
3. Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA): Windows 2003
4. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
5. CompTIA A+
6. Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST)
7. MCSE: Security
8. Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA): SQL 2000
9. CompTIA Network+
10. MCSE: Messaging
And for 2009:
The CCIE always ends up on lists like these, and with good reason. With a pass rate of only 26% it is certainly the most difficult of all IT certifications. Once you place this on your resume, you know you have a truly impressive credential and can expect to earn an average salary of $93,000.
With the economic climate these days, big business needs auditors more than ever. The CISA is designed to certify audit skills, both technical and ethical. According to GoCertify.com, the average CISA can earn as much as $115,000.
The CCSE is another high level security certification that created for individuals who work with Checkpoint products and must maintain secure VPNs. The demand for this certification is evident in the pay as shown on PayScale.
The Microsoft Certified Solution Developer certification is designed for people who like to problem-solve. You are expected to know about enterprise solutions and Microsoft products. You will be expected to use business analysis skills to decide which solution is best for a particular environment or business. Here is the PayScale for the MCSD.
The Project Management Professional certification is here because it is another that requires an extensive amount of skill and experience to obtain. Once you have passed the exam and fulfilled the requirements you can pull in around $101,000 (based on a ZDNET Salary Survey).
Notice a theme on this list? Security certifications are very hot right now. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional demands a good salary (around $94,000) and can be obtained with just a few years of experience or equivalent education. Only one exam is required.
If you can configure networking and security on a Red Hat OS then the Red Hat Certified Engineer is a great certification for you. The exam is not actually an exam, it’s a five-hour hands-on test of your Linux skills. You certainly can’t braindump your way through this one. Although it is not exactly entry level, Red Hat has several training programs for all levels of experience. Once you get through the testing process your salary could jump to $83,000.
8. SCJP 6.0
Ideal for all web developers, the SCJP is a start on the path to many other development certifications. You can build on the SCJP to get the SCJD (Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform), SCWCD (Sun Certified Web Component Developer for the J2EE Platform), SCMAD (Sun Certified Mobile Application Developer), or the SCBCD (Sun Certified Business Component Developer).
You can also use your SCJP 6.0 Certification toward the Oracle Certified Solution Developer and Oracle Certified Enterprise Developer programs, and the Master CIW Enterprise Developer certifications.
SCJP 6.0 covers a few new topics including Console, NavigableSet, and NavigableMap. Salaries for SCJP certified professionals range from $75,000 to 100,000.
The CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification is a great choice for project managers who can verify 1,500 hours of project management experience (versus the more demanding 3-5 years of experience for a PMP). The CAPM is for team members who support projects.
The group that offers the CAPM and PMP is the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMI is highly respected in the industry and the demand for good project managers is steadily growing. These two facts put together are the reason why the CAPM is on the list. Once you are certified you can earn up to $75,000.
Earning the MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer) certification shows that you are not just a developer. You also have the skills to analyze and design leading-edge Microsoft enterprise solutions. This is a certification for software engineers and software architects. Salaries for MCSD’s range from $70,000 to over $100,000.