certifications
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The IT market is booming. There are a huge number of jobs being created by the day – 165 million jobs in the US by 2020. Yes, this usually means there will be mass hiring with a lot of varied positions opened. But companies want professionals with skills – skills that mean something to the industry, they want professionals who are certified.

Certifications get your skills up to speed with the latest developments in the industry. Due to their maintenance requirements, these credentials expect you to keep yourself updated with constant training. Besides, a certified professional earns at least two times more than a non-certified professional.

Simplilearn conducted a survey to check which of the certifications are going to take the top 5 positions in 2017. And here is what they found:

1. Project Management Professional

Project Management Professional stands first on the list of the top 5 certifications. An internationally recognized professional credential offered by the PMI® (Project Management Institute), PMP is one that lands professionals the topmost jobs in the industry. Attaining this credential signifies that you understand the universal project management language. You are also connected to a large community of professionals, experts, and organizations worldwide in the same industry.

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Where can you get certification training?

Simplilearn’s PMP® training course is designed to ensure that you pass your PMP exam at the first attempt. Their hands-on training approach helps you understand the working of the 5 process groups and the 10 knowledge areas that are defined in the PMBOK® Guide Fifth Edition. With simulation exams, practice tests, industry case studies, and mentorship from global thought leaders, you can be sure to get the entire package learning experience you are looking for.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The certification to bag the second spot is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate. This certification is for those individuals who have basic experience designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS software. The exam covers a range of topics like designing on AWS, selecting the appropriate AWS services, ingress, and egress of data to and from the AWS, estimating AWS costs and identifying cost-control measures.

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What does the income look like?

Well, as a certified AWS Solutions Architect Associate, your average annual salary is $125,871.

What is criteria you need to meet?

If you are planning on taking up this certification, here’s what you need to meet the criteria: 1-2 years of hands-on experience designing available, fault tolerant, cost-efficient, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

In-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language. The ability to identify and define requirements for an AWS-based application. The experience to deploy hybrid systems with on-premises and AWS components. The capability to provide best practices to build secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.

Where can you get certification training?

Simplilearn’s AWS Solution Architect Associate training program is designed to help you develop well-rounded skills to kick-start your journey with AWS. With industry expert, Bernard Golden, as the course instructor, you will learn how AWS redefines the rules of architecting IT infrastructure. You will also lean Amazon’s best practices. One of the few companies who offer hands-on experience in AWS, their AWS Solutions Architect Associate training course comes with access to an AWS labs for hands-on learning.

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3. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Third on the list is the CISSP certification from (ISC)2. This certification is ideal for those candidates with proven deep managerial and technical competence skills, credibility, and experience to design, implement, engineer, and manage the information security program to protect organizations from growing sophisticated attacks.

This program comes with access to high-quality eLearning content, simulation exams, a community moderated by experts, and other resources that will help you land your dream role

What does their income look like? As a CISSP, your average annual salary will be $121,923. What is the criteria you need to meet? If you want to pursue this certification, you will need to first have five years of cumulative paid full-time work experience in two of the eight domains in the (ISC)2 CISSP CBL®.

You could receive one year of waiver if you have a four-year college degree or regional equivalent or an additional credential from the (ISC)2 approved list. If you do get this waiver, you will only need four years of full-time professional security work experience in two or more of the eight domains in the CISSP CBK®.

How many people hold this certification?

As of the 4th of October 2016, there are 110,408 (ISC)2 members, holding the CISSP certification worldwide. Don’t let this number scare you. CISSPs are still in extreme demand.

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Where can you get your certification training?

Simplilearn recently launched a revolutionary product called the Masters Program, which is a set of the selected number of courses that are chosen according to an industry recommended learning path

Simplilearn’s CISSP certification training is aligned to the (ISC) CBK 2015 and trains you in the industry’s latest best practices, which will help you ace the exam in the first attempt. With cyber expert Joseph Steinberg leading the class, this training will help you define the architecture, and design and manage the security of your organization as well as develop a working knowledge in the eight domains areas prescribed by the CISSP Common Book of Knowledge, 2015.

4. ITIL® v3 Foundation

Coming in 4th on the list is the ITIL® v3 Foundation certification. This certification gives you a basic understanding of the key elements, concepts, and terminologies that are used in the ITIL® service lifecycle.

What does the take-home look like?

Getting certified in ITIL® v3 Foundation gets you an average annual salary of $99,869.

What is the criteria you need to meet?

This certification has no prerequisites that you will need to fulfill. In fact, this certification acts like a prerequisite if you plan on taking up the next level ITIL certifications.

Where can you get your training?

Simplilearn’s ITIL Foundation certification training gives you a general awareness of the key elements, concepts, and terminology used in the ITIL service lifecycle. With mentorship from Manuel Llyod, IT service expert, the training is designed to ensure that you pass your exam in the first attempt.

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5. Data Scientist

“Data Scientist” is the pinnacle rank in an analytics organization. Glassdoor has ranked Data Scientist first in the 25 Best Jobs for 2016. With the amount of data being generated every day, companies are on the lookout for data scientists with the ability to keep with the changing need of the industry.

What is the take home?

As a certified data scientist, your average annual salary will be $118,709. What are the skills you will need to become a data scientist and the criteria you need to meet? Python Coding – The most common coding language, Python is required in this role, along with Java, Perl, or C/C++. Understanding of the Hadoop Platform – There isn’t usually always a requirement to know Hadoop, but it is preferred. Having experience in Pig or Hive is a strong selling point.

As a certified data scientist, your average annual salary will be $118,709. What are the skills you will need to become a data scientist and the criteria you need to meet?

SQL Database/ Coding – At interviews you will still be judged on your ability to write and execute complex queries in SQL, so knowing the language is a must. Unstructured data – It is an absolute must that you are able to work with unstructured data no matter where it comes from. You will need to have a few years of relevant work experience to take up any data science certification exam from any institute.

Where can you get your certification training?

Simplilearn recently launched a revolutionary product called the Masters Program, which is a set of the selected number of courses that are chosen according to an industry recommended learning path. This gives you the perfect road to follow with you are looking to become an expert.

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One of the few companies who offer hands-on experience in AWS, their AWS Solutions Architect Associate training course comes with access to an AWS labs for hands-on learning

Their Data Scientist Masters Program is a bundle that offers 5 of the most-wanted Data Science courses in the industry. This program has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of the new wave of demand for strong analytics professionals. It equips you with all the conceptual and technical skills that are required for the ultimate position in the analytics industry.

This program comes with access to high-quality eLearning content, simulation exams, a community moderated by experts, and other resources that will help you land your dream role. So there you go – the top 5 certifications you might just want to consider. There were the couple of other certifications that stood out, but due to a lower number of respondents, they were not listed.

It’s time to take your career to the next level. Get certified and stay on top of your game.

Good luck!

The article originally appeared at lifehack.org

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