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Certification Watch (Vol. 20, No. 2)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, Certification Magazine unveils a new Salary Survey 75 power list, ISACA cautions against the rising menace of ransomware, and more.

Certification Magazine Rolls Out List of 75 Top-Salaried Certs


75The Golden Globes have just been awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is about to announce its Oscar nominations (Jan. 24). This feels like the right time for some IT certification glitz and glamor, and right on cue, our friends at Certification Magazine have rolled out a new Salary Survey 75 list. An outgrowth of the magazine's popular annual Salary Survey, the Salary Survey 75 provides an IT certification heat check, of sorts. The list comprises the 75 highest-salaried certifications held by survey respondents, or at least held by a sufficient number of survey respondents to calculate a statistically relevant average. The top credential this year is Cloud Security Alliance's Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK), followed by the IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP). The average annual salary for CCSK holders in the United States is a potent $149,760, while the U.S. CIPP holders have an average annual salary of $144,580. It was a good year for information security in general, and for cybersecurity association (ISC)² in particular, which placed six credentials in the Top 20. The highest-ranked cert that does not have an information security focus is the Certified Customer Service Systems Architect (CCSA) from Pegasystems, with an average annual salary of $137,460.


Lend a Hand and Give Your IT Career a Boost


It's typically been said of the "real world" that you can't get something for nothing. Popular sayings were spoken to be broken, however, or something like that, and IT in particular offers an intriguting exception to the "rule" about giving nothing and getting something. Hmm, or maybe we should say "giving something for nothing, but still getting something"? Volunteerism is generally seen as being a good thing in any profession, but it can be particulary rewarding for IT professionals, as described this week at the Insights blog hosted by tech recruiting firm Dice. Tech expertise is often notably in demand at nonprofit organizations, for example, and an IT professional who fills that need on a volunteer basis can attempt challenging projects, or devise innovative solutions, that might be off-limits in a more bottom-line-driven business environment. That's to say nothing of the purely personal rewards of giving, sharing, and helping other, as well as the potential to form career networking connections. If time and circumstances permit, then don't hesitate to give away your expertise. You may not get back any monetary compensation, but your efforts won't go unrewarded.


CompTIA Lists Hot Skills, Pending Developments for 2017


Last week, IT industry association CompTIA had a backward-facing posture, celebrating its most read blog posts of 2016. This week, CompTIA's IT Career News blog is resolutely facing forward, first with a post identifying five IT skills that hiring managers will be eager to attract in 2017. Security is deemed the No. 1 most sought-after IT skill of 2017, and the next three predicted abilities are also among the "usual suspects" for such lists, but No. 5 might surprise you. CompTIA's other compilation is more specific to its own sphere, listing 10 forthcoming developments that will alter the CompTIA landscape in 2017. At the top of this list is the pending release of the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) credential.


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