Six Hot Certifications to Improve Your Versatility in 2022
As you wrap up one year and look forward to the next, it's a good idea to put aside some time to plan out your year of certifications. Any experienced IT professional should be well-rounded, and certification is an excellent way to diversify your skill set. You can acquire new knowledge and learn new skills while verifying proficiency at the same time.
To help you lay your plans for 2022, let's examine a grab-bag of six certs that can help you become a more versatile, flexible IT professional. Each of the credentials covered here can help you cross over to a new realm of knowledge. I'll discuss what is special about each, as well as why I believe that employers will be seeking out individuals who add these noteworthy certs to their résumés.
Without further ado: Here are six hot certifications to help you maximize your tech versatility in 2022.
The first one on my list is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional credential offered by Amazon Web Services. Amazon Web Services offers a variety of certifications, but the Solutions Architect branch of the AWS tree (there is also an Associate credential) is a great way to establish and build up your cloud computing bona fides.
AWS software is widely used by both large and small enterprises, making it an ideal choice for your résumé whether you use AWS tools already, or plan to in the future. Really, any company that uses AWS solutions would benefit from having an AWS-certified Solutions Architect on staff.
This certification assesses your ability to create and deploy scalable systems on AWS while ensuring security, stability, and quality — and keeping costs low. If you have this cert and you know your stuff, then you can walk into a fat salary with a variety of employers.
In my opinion, what makes this certification unique is the architecture design component, where the certificate holder can design across multiple applications in the cloud. When studying to complete this certification, most institutions will give you a real-world scenario to be solved in a simulated cloud computing environment.
Employers will surely seek out individuals with this certification, since this credential helps organizations identify and develop talent with critical skills for implementing cloud initiatives. And really, in 2021, there are only two kinds of companies: Those that know they need cloud computing expertise, and those that about to find out they need cloud computing expertise.
Next up is the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) certification offered by (ISC)2. This is perhaps one of the top security certifications going for 2022 and one that I would personally recommend. The certification exam covers cloud concepts, architecture, design, security, risk, and compliance.
(ISC)2 recommends that candidates have at least five years of IT experience, including at least three years in information security and one year in one or more of the six CCSP body of knowledge areas. The pay on this one can travel, depending on your focus, to the double six-figure range: $200,000 and up.
The certification validates your knowledge and skills in cloud data, apps, infrastructure architecture, management, and security. The thing of beauty on this certification and what makes it unique is that anyone can profit from it, and it will look good on anyone's resume that is in the technology field.
Among those whose careers will benefit are include enterprise architects, security administrators, systems engineers, security architects, consultants, software engineers, and even executive management. Because (ISC)2 has a sterling reputation, and because cloud computing skills and cybersecurity savvy are BOTH in high demand, this cert is a double boon to your IT CV.
My third pick is the Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) credential offered by cybersecurity and IT governance professional association ISACA. CDPSE certification verifies that the credential holder has the knowledge and abilities to navigate the increasingly complex data privacy and security realm.
This is a highly technical credential that evaluates your ability to "implement privacy by design, resulting in privacy technology platforms and solutions that establish confidence and improve data privacy." This is broad terminology, but there are many applications of knowing the ins and outs of data privacy.
CDPSE certification require at least five years of experience in privacy governance and architecture If you already have another ISACA credential — CISA, CRISC, CISM, CGEIT, or CSX-P — then the two-year experience requirement will be waived. This certification is so new that it doesn't even have an establish range of salaries.
Data privacy protection is moving into the mainstream, with GDPR, California's new privacy laws, and a long line of other states and nations expected to follow suit. Employers are likely to seek out any IT professionals who has a privacy certification under her or his belt, and the market for such skills will only grow in coming decades.
Fourth on my list is Certified Data Professional (CDP). Every organization and business has data that it stores, analyzes, and acts on. This certification tests a candidate's proficiency in a myriad of data disciplines. The certifying body is the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP).
What makes CDP unique and impactful is that among the domains open to CDP applicants are business analytics, data analytics, design, data governance, data integration and interoperability, data management, data warehousing, enterprise data architecture, information systems or IT management, and many others.
The CDP is available at many levels, beginning with the foundation and advancing to associate, mastery, principal, and executive management. There are not many technology certifications that cover "everything" about a particular branch of IT, but this is one that truly does. Every potential employer you come across has data and needs skilled professionals to work with it.
Fifth on our list is a certification that recently received an overhaul. EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) credential validates your ability to identify and prevent computer system vulnerabilities. As an ethical hacker, you use the skills, knowledge, and methods of a hacker to improve cybersecurity and forestall future attacks.
Ethical hackers are responsible for detecting holes in an organization's networks and systems and then using that information to shore up the organization's defenses. I am CEH-certified, though my credential is now out of date.
The new CEH is unique in that you will work with real-world hacking tools that, if actually used in a production environment, for a company that did not employ you, would probably result in a visit from the FBI. Given the proper amount of attention, this certification is very impactful to all those who achieve it. Cybersecurity is a problem for everyone, and your ability to help provide solutions would be an asset while traveling any number of IT career paths.
Speaking of omnipresent demand for cybersecurity knowledge, my final pick is the Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) credential offered by ISACA. The CISM addresses information security governance, a topic increasingly important to organizations worldwide. It verifies that you possess a broad overview of information security practices and principles.
The certification is intended for technology professionals who work with or manage IT security and networks and want to demonstrate their understanding of information security governance, risk management, program formulation and management, and information security incident management.
CISM is unique because of its focus on governance, or overall security posture. Looking at a computer network through this lens is not something that can be measured well, and this certification does exactly that. It has a ton of impact on any organization that the holder works at.
Any employer will be happy to have someone on staff with this certification, as someone they know will make every facet of technology they work with more secure. High six-figure salaries abound among certification holders. This is truly a certification that I would recommend having in 2022.
Whether you go for all of these credentials, just one, or somewhere in between, 2022 should be a prosperous year for all certified IT professionals — one that I am sure will add certifications to your CV and greenbacks to your bank account. May this be a prosperous year for you and, as always, happy certifying!