Certification subjects certain to retain or add value in 2015

Laptop guy thinking thoughts

I first crossed paths with Aaron Axline in the early 2000s when he worked as a content developer for cert prep company CramSession, then a subsidiary of practice test and study guide vendor PrepLogic. Since then, he and I have worked together on numerous projects, and referred each other to still more projects independently. I liked his most recent GoCertify feature Five Certification Notions to Chew on for 2015 so much that I decided to fire back something complementary of my own right here, as I identify what I perceive to be the five hottest areas for IT certification for 2015, with some pointers to leading credentials in each of those areas. Here goes:

 

1. Cloud Computing and Virtualization
Yes, I know: This is two areas, not one. They are so intertwined and inseparable, however, that I don't feel comfortable citing one of them without the other, or even citing them each separately. See these two companion stories Best Cloud IT Certifications for 2014 and Best Virtualization Certifications for 2014 (and keep your eyes peeled for 2015 updates coming soon) to get a sense of top certs in each of these domains. Investing in certs in either — or preferably both — of these areas in 2015 is bound to pay handsome dividends, as virtualization is what makes cloud computing possible and workable, and cloud computing is remaking the IT business as we have known it in the past, know it today, and will know it in the future.

 

2. Big Data/Data Analytics/Data Mining
Aaron also points to this area in his section entitled "Big Data skills will be rewarded." I concur and offer a story entitled Best Big Data Certifications for 2014 to point out some of the key features on that portion of the certification landscape. Check it out, and keep a lookout for the upcoming update for 2015: key elements include credentials from HP, Cloudera, EMC, Oracle, and SAS, but there are many more options to choose from in this exploding technology area.

 

3. Information Security
Aaron alludes to this in his section entitled "Retail security will be a top priority," but I don't think he goes far enough. While a hot area for the past decade and more, information security looks to remain hot and grow hotter for the foreseeable future in the wake of the recent Sony hacks, not to mention the many breaches in many industries, including retail, over the past year. Check out Best Information Security Certifications for 2015 for tips on some leading lights in that area, but keep an eye over on SearchSecurity.com where our periodic survey of the entire Information Security certification landscape is due for an update before the end of January 2015 as well (it documents nearly 100 credentials in that active and important cert area).

 

4. IT Governance/Risk Management
IT is maturing as a discipline as well as an industry. Nothing confirms this observation better than the growth of the ITIL qualifications, a growing body of risk management and governance credentials, and a general understanding that formal methods and established best practices really should — and do — guide the best-run and most efficient IT operations around the world. Check out Best IT Governance Certifications for 2015 to get a good idea of where all this stuff is headed, and what's of greatest potential interest and value to IT professionals therein.

 

5. Programming/Software Development
As one of the primary engines that makes IT turn over and provides torque to the industry, building or customizing software remains a key element in what IT pros must understand, if not do themselves directly. For a sense of interesting directions and opportunities in this complex and interesting arena, check out Best Programming Certifications for 2015 and Best Web Certifications for 2015. At the same time, please check out Planning a Career Path in Mobile Application Development and the "App Savvy" section in IT Skills That Get You Hired to get some clues about the emerging and important field of mobile app development as well.

 

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About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran who's worked as a software developer, technical marketer, consultant, author, and researcher. Author of many books and articles, Ed also writes on certification topics for Tech Target, ComputerWorld and Win10.Guru. Check out his website at www.edtittel.com, where he also blogs daily on Windows 10 and 11 topics.