Top 6 IT Certifications For 2011



Change happens fast in the IT industry – and what’s hot at the moment will always make way for what’s smaller, faster and more efficient.

And as technologies change, so do the certifications that are most in demand. The following are a few on their way to the top in 2011:

1. VMWare
IT departments are trending towards a leaner infrastructure, and that usually includes the use of SAAS platforms and virtual environments. The approach, when done intelligently, can save big money.

VMware is the current big dog in the virtual environment pack; however, certifications, such as the vSphere VCP, are poised to swell in demand over the coming months.

2. (MCTS) Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist – Windows Server Virtualization
For the same reasons above, but to a lesser degree, expect Microsoft’s Hyper-V platform to gain steam in 2011. It doesn’t have the foothold that VMWare does, but it’s still likely to be a valuable qualification to have under your belt.

3. (MCTS) Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist certification – Windows 7
Windows is the undisputed behemoth in the commercial world, which won’t change anytime soon. So it stands to reason that with Windows 7 only a year old, its hold will strengthen as time moves on. Hiring managers will be looking for (and rewarding) folks who hold certification around this platform.

4. (CCNA) Cisco Certified Network Associate
You don’t need me to say it, but wireless is kind of a big deal. In 2009, the International Data
Corporation (IDC)
projected a 37% decline in wireless and networking professionals by the end of 2011. That equates to opportunity for the industrious.

Besides, the CCNA cert is, has been, and will be respected by hiring managers far into the future. It’s a good one to have, no matter what the job pool looks like.

5. (ITIL) IT Infrastructure Library v3
Automation is a buzzword for organizations. As payroll budgets slim, companies look to get more out of technology to make up for less manpower. That’s where ITIL becomes important.

Bear in mind this isn’t a job-”getting” certification, but it is a great differentiator that shows a clear mastery of certain core IT skill sets. As the job market gets more crowded, it’ll be the details – like holding an ITIL – that make the difference.

6. EC-Council CEH
The attention on infrastructure security is only going one direction in 2011 – up! Most EC-Council certifications are going to be in demand, but pay particular attention to the CEH v6 Ethical Hacker certification. Government organizations, and the private sector alike, will be asking for it.

In Closing
What should you expect as an IT professional in 2011? 1) IT budgets will tighten up, forcing your team to do more with less. 2) Companies will start looking for varied certifications, hoping to land employees that can wear multiple hats.3) Legacy platforms will stick around longer, due to budgets aren’t funding upgrades.

All in all, it’ll be a challenging, exciting, fulfilling and predictable year. There’s plenty of opportunity to be had – and salary increases to secure – for those who prepare now to make them most of them.