With 2017 fast approaching we've listed our Top 10 certifications that we believe will best equip you in the new year. We've included certifications that range across various technologies and develop different skills such as security, networking, project management and cloud. Let us know in the comments what you think of our list.
1. (ISC)2 CISSP
A recent report from recruitment firm Robert Half found that 77% of UK Chief Information Officers (CIO) believe that “they will face more security threats in the next five years because of a shortage of IT security talent”.
(ISC)2’s CISSP certification is a gold standard for IT professionals in high managerial and technical security roles. This certification proves deep competence, skills, experience and credibility to design, engineer, implement and manage their overall information security program.
The Information Commissioner’s Office recently identified that cyber security breaches increased 88% since the beginning of 2015. So, it’s unsurprising businesses are looking to bolster their security policies and defence by employing those certified at the highest level. As a result, we’re positive that CISSP will continue to be an excellent route to reach the top security roles in this industry.
2. EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker certification prepares you to identify weaknesses or vulnerabilities within a business’ network. The difference is that rather than exploit these security gaps, you use these skills to protect a business and patch any potential exposures.
EC-Council have dedicated thousands of man hours into researching the latest trends and uncovering the covert techniques used by the underground community to come up with the latest Version 9 exam and curriculum.
It’s no doubt this certification will continue to gain popularity in the IT industry, and recent large scale hacks with the likes of Yahoo, Tesco, Netflix, Reddit and TalkTalk proves the need for increased cyber security skills.
3. Cisco CCNA (Routing and Switching)
Cisco’s CCNA (Routing and Switching) certification teaches you the skills for network support positions and is the starting point for many successful careers in networking.
The skills shortage the UK are currently in the midst of means that demand for professionals with a certification in networking will continue to grow. A Cisco report found that in 2015 there was shortage of 1.2 million professionals skilled in IP networking – with the number expected to grow in the coming years.
This certification acts as a solid foundation to any networking career, so it’s certainly one to target in 2017!
4. The Open Group TOGAF 9.1 Certification
Thousands of companies now use The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and as a result the demand for those certified and familiar with the TOGAF framework has continued to grow throughout 2016.
This certification dives into four Enterprise Architecture areas:
- Business – processes, design and optimisation
- Applications - creating strategic architectures
- Infrastructure - networks, hardware, security, server locations, operating systems and capacity
- Data – placement, requirements, maintenance and reporting
The trend of more businesses adopting Enterprise Architecture skills like those in TOGAF mean this certification can propel almost any career in the IT industry. Skills and knowledge in the Architecture Development Method (ADM), The Enterprise Continuum and the TOGAF Resource Base can help you get a better return from your IT operations, helping things run faster, cheaper and reducing risk.
5. Microsoft MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
One of Microsoft’s latest certification additions is this MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, which develops your expertise in Microsoft’s cloud-related technologies and managing a modern data centre.
With a wide range of electives to choose from to get this certification, it’s one that will unquestionably be held by a knowledgeable, expert group of professionals.
Microsoft’s recent drive in Azure computing, with an investment of $3 billion in Europe data centres, means the Azure route will likely be one that experiences high levels of interest. Similarly, the need to offer greater security to business networks means the Securing Windows Server route may be equally popular in 2017.
Microsoft recently streamlined their technical certifications, so if you aren’t already familiar with the changes, check them out here.
6. EC-Council's Certified Network Defender
Launched this year, the Certified Network Defender certification is expected to follow the CEH in becoming one of EC-Council’s most demanded products.
Developing skills in network security controls, protocols and devices, risk and vulnerability assessments and choosing appropriate firewall solutions, you’ll act as the first responder to any network security incidents.
As business environments increasingly adopt Cloud technologies and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) becomes commonplace, businesses need to improve their network security. First responders are crucial in this respect and have the potential to significantly mitigate damages following a security breach.
This certification comfortably makes the Top 10 list and should definitely be a cert you keep your eyes on!
7. Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2016
Another one of Microsoft’s new certifications is the MCSA: Windows Server 2016, which develops the fundamental skills needed to develop and manage your Windows Server environment.
Windows Server is a robust technology that consistently experiences steady demand and is highly valued within the IT industry.
This certification is an excellent place to learn the skills to install, upgrade and migrate servers, configure Nano Servers and manage advanced AD DS infrastructure.
This certification is also a stepping stone to the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, which this certification acts as a prerequisite for.
8. AXELOS PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner
The PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner certification is one that covers the basic methodology and terminology of PRINCE2. 2016 saw an increased demand in project managers due to the growing scale and complexity of projects being undertaken today. Demand is so large that it’s expected 15.7 million new project managers will be needed across the globe by 2020.
The skills you’ll learn ensure projects have a common and consistent approach, regular reviews or progress against plans and the assurance that projects must have a business justification.
This certification is also increasingly demanded because of its relevance across industries. Unlike many technical certifications it can be applied across the board, and therefore makes those who hold it, that much more employable.
Firebrand is the only provider to offer both the foundation and practitioner course in just three days and we’ve currently certified over 1,500 students.
9. Microsoft MCSD: App Builder
Learn to create and implement modern web applications as well as develop the skills to build a modern mobile and web applications service with the new MCSD: App Builder certification.
A study by Gartner found that the market demand for mobile app development will grow at least five times faster than internal IT organisations’ capacity to deliver them.
The MCSD: App Builder is the top certification in developing the skills to design and implement application architecture, security and user experience, and we’re confident it will skyrocket in 2017.
10. CompTIA Security+
CompTIA’s Security+ certification develops the skills to troubleshoot security events and incidents and operate within applicable policies, laws and regulations.
This certification is vendor-neutral and is developed with the input from industry, government, academia and front-line practitioners. This means you can be sure it’s content reflects the current needs of the industry and it's also largely why this certification will almost certainly continue to perform outstandingly in 2017.
Some of the key topics covered include network security, threats and vulnerabilities and application, data and host security.
Firebrand is a CompTIA platinum partner so you’ll benefit from the highest level instructors and the most up-to-date curriculum.