- IT certificates are near universal among the IT workforce, with 92% of IT workers saying they have earned at least one certification, a 5% increase from last year's data, according to Skillsoft. The company surveyed 9,300 global IT professionals for its annual IT Skills and Salary Report, distributed by Global Knowledge.
- Just under two-thirds of IT decision makers say employees who hold certifications deliver $10,000 or more in additional value each year than those who are not certified.
- The Google Certified Professional Data Engineer certification is the highest-paid certification in North America. On average, the yearly salary of IT workers who hold this certificate is $160,629.
Amid the pervasive tech skills shortage, workers are using certifications to get ahead in their career and upgrade salaries, while employers rely on them as a way to quickly vet potential candidates.
As a response to tech talent shortages, four in 10 companies expect new efforts to upskill and reskill current employees, according to CompTIA.
Tech executives turn to IT certifications as a way to help them verify whether technologists on board have the skill sets required, said Michael Yoo, GM of Technology & Developer at Skillsoft.
For employees, "certifications are a useful part of your professional arsenal, because they provide an independently verifiable way of [determining] whether you've got the skill or not," Yoo said.
Highest-paying certifications in North America
|1||Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect||$160,961|
|2||Google Certified Professional Data Engineer||$160,629|
|3||AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate||$151,730|
|4||CRISC — Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control||$148,336|
|5||CISSP — Certified Information Systems Security Professional||$147,885|
|6||CISM – Certified Information Security Manager||$146,880|
|7||PMP® — Project Management Professional||$146,335|
|8||NCP-MCI — Nutanix Certified Professional — Multicloud Infrastructure||$137,576|
|9||CISA — Certified Information Systems Auditor||$132,026|
|10||MCSE: Windows Server||$117,096|
SOURCE: Skillsoft IT Skills and Salary Report.
"The skill gaps across the technology landscape are pervasive almost everywhere in the organization," said Yoo. But in specific areas, certifications can be helpful to address company needs. Cloud certifications aligned with a company's provider of choice, for example, can help leaders find requisite skills, Yoo said. The list of highest-paying certifications hits similar themes as previous years, with cybersecurity, data science and cloud skills among those yielding higher salaries for IT workers.
Unlike cloud, cybersecurity certifications are not tied to a small group of providers, according to Yoo.
"Certifications are incredibly useful in that space because they are one of the very few ways that you can be certain that your security professionals are armed against the totality of threats and not just the threats that have come your way," Yoo said.