Ten Interesting Under-the-Radar Certs

Ed Tittel identified 10 certs (or classes of cert) that deserve more attention from IT professionals than they're getting.

I see (and read) so many "Top 10," "Best Paying," "Most Sought After" tech certification lists that I thought it might be fun to share some credentials that are off-the-wall and obscure — yet nonetheless interesting — with my GoCertify readership. Actually, I got this idea from Kevin Casey at The Enterprisers Project.


In a recent article titled "15 IT Certifications Worth Watching" Casey listed a lot of the old familiars that I expected to see — but he added a section at the end that he described as addressing certfications coming from "trendy technologies ... but also under the radar."


This got me thinking about other up-and-coming IT certs to go along with those that Casey recommends, almost as an afterthought, at the end of his piece. That's how I created my own list of off-the-adar, up-and-coming IT certs, which is a definite change of pace. I have numbered my list only to make sure I get the count right.


I have absolutely no idea how to rank these things, so the numerical order is purely arbitrary and incidental, not informative.


Off-the-Radar: Ten Up-and-Coming IT Certs


1) Global Science and Technology Forum: Certified Machine Learning Specialist (CMLS) — Here's a wild (and obviously erroneous) prediction from this page for you to ponder: "In 2020, nearly 8 billion jobs will be created for the Machine Learning experts, generating USD $3B in the field ... " Gosh, I hope that first billion should have been million, otherwise those jobs don't pay very well!


2) Cloud Credential Council: Internet of Things Foundation (IOTF) — A basic, get-yourself-started foundational cert in IoT that aims at software engineers and application developers. The CCC is reasonably well known in the cloud space, so this might actually be worth checking out.


3) Blockchain Training Alliance BTA Certified Blockchain credentials of various kinds and flavors here: Business Foundations, Solution Architect, Security Professional, Developer Ethereum, Developer Hyperledge Fabric. Lots of stuff to dig into here, apparently.


4) EC-Council — Everybody knows this organization's Certified Ethical Hacker, but they want more people to climb up the skills ladder with other certs like their Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) or Licensed Penetration Tester (LPT) credentials. Expensive, but worth checking out.


5) ISACA CSX Cybersecurity Practitioner (CSX-P) — This one seeks to recast security certification from a hands-on, real-life skills perspective. A good choice for those seeking to leap from security theory into security practice.


6) Business Resilience Certification Consortium — Their Certified Business Resilience IT Professional (CBRITP) takes a different slant on Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery that interested professionals may find appealing.


7) NewSQL — Here we're mixing NoSQL's appetite for unstructured data with old-fashioned SQL database's support for structure, syntax and powerful programming tools. Certs are just starting to pop up in this area, most notably for Apache Cassandra. Check out Doug Henschen's InfoWeek article for pointers and possibilities.


8) Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE) — For aspiring IT architects, this group offers an interesting and up-and-coming portfolio of architect-focused credentials. Check it out!


9) The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) — This group offers the Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) credential, which sits in an interesting intersection of cybersecurity, governance, and risk assessment and management. Could be a fruitful focus for investigation.


10) International Association of Privacy Professionals — GDPR is here, getting bigger, and it's not going away. The IAPP is the only organization I can identify for sure that offers competent, relevant certs in this area. The organization has a whole portfolio of credentials, but for hard-boiled IT pros, their Certified Information Privacy Technologist (CIPT) sounds like a good fit, or a nice first rung to climb up their cert ladder.


OK then, that's my list, and I'm sticking to it. It's not exactly a walk on the wild side, but it is off the beaten certification track. So if you're looking for something different — and potentially interesting — and valuable, check one or more of these items out as your interests and availability may allow. Enjoy!


Would you like more insight into the history of hacking? Check out Calvin's other articles about historical hackery:
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.