10 Certifications Every IT Pro Needs To Have For 2014

With a difficult job market continuing in 2014, Certifications are a must for IT employment and here are the Certifications to have this coming year:

1.  MCSA: Windows 2012 Server This certification provides the information on how to install, maintain, and manage the Windows 2012 Server Operating System.  Windows Server powers many of the worlds’ largest datacenters, enables small businesses around the world, and delivers value to organizations of all sizes in between. Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more. Simply put, Windows Server 2012 helps you transform your IT operations to reduce costs and deliver a whole new level of business value.

2.  MCSE: Network Infrastructure Companies are looking for IT professionals who can help them build network and private cloud solutions to optimize IT service delivery. Are you ready?  Show that you have the skills needed to run a highly efficient and modern data center, with expertise in identity management, systems management, virtualization, storage, and networking.  The MCSE Certification is the Professional level certification to demonstrate your ability to handle the implementation, management, and maintenance of this latest server product.

3. MCSA: SQL Server 2012  As the business conducted on the internet continues to grow at a faster pace than brick-and-mortar retail locations, the potential to do this business lies in the ability to implement, manage and maintain large databases.  Millions of websites provide the opportunity to find products through proper usage and installation of this database, a powerful scalable reliable engine for business success.  Demonstrate to potential hiring managers your essential skills and breakthrough insights in developing and maintaining the next wave of mission critical environments by achieving the MCSA: SQL Server 2012 certification. This certification is your first step towards earning an MCSE: Data Platform or MCSE: Business Intelligence certification where properly trained individuals can find business opportunities in mass amounts of data that would otherwise go unnoticed.

4.  CISSP  Security is one of the major concerns of any organization.  With hundreds of thousands of other country state-employed hackers working to obtain your sensitive information, security today is at a high level.  Businesses make substantial investments in information assets, including technology, architecture, and processes.  These assets are protected on the strengths of the professionals in charge.  Industry standards, ethics and certification of IS professionals becomes critical to ensuring that higher standards for security are achieved.  Training for the CISSP exam covers all ten domains of the Common Body of Knowledge.  This course should be attended by network and firewall administrators, information security officers, and anyone interested in understanding the principles, best practices, and core concepts of information systems security.  CompTIA CASP  The CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP) Certification is a vendor-neutral credential. The CASP exam is an internationally targeted validation of advanced-level security skills and knowledge. While there is no required prerequisite, the CASP certification is intended to follow CompTIA Security+ or equivalent experience and has a technical, “hands-on” focus at the enterprise level.  While the CISSP is primarily theory, the CASP has a more hands-on approach.

5. Cisco CCNP Certification Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) validates the ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and wide-area enterprise networks and work collaboratively with specialists on advanced security, voice, wireless and video solutions. The CCNP certification is appropriate for those with at least one year of networking experience who are ready to advance their skills and work independently on complex network solutions. Those who achieve CCNP have demonstrated the skills required in enterprise roles such as network technician, support engineer, systems engineer or network engineer.  Cisco CCNP Security is the most efficient way to ensure Network Security Engineers have the practical skills needed to deploy, service, maintain, and support Cisco network security solutions. CCNP Security delivers the practical skills needed to enforce cybersecurity performance, gain high quality security service levels, and meet compliance mandates.  Cisco CCNP Voice Cisco Certified Network Professional CCNP Voice validates advance knowledge and skills required to integrate into underlying network architectures. Furthermore, this certification validates a robust set of skills in implementing, operating, configuring, and troubleshooting a converged IP network. With a CCNP Voice certification, a network professional can create a collaboration solution that is transparent, scalable, and manageable. The CCNP Voice focuses on Cisco Unified Communications Manager (formerly Unified CallManager), quality of service (QoS), gateways, gatekeepers, IP phones, voice applications, and utilities on Cisco routers and Cisco Catalyst switches. Additionally, the integration and troubleshooting of Cisco Unified Communications applications are now covered in the CCNP Voice, specifically the Cisco Unity Connection and Cisco Unified Presence applications.

6.  CISSP/Ethical Hacking/Computer Forensics With hacking and theft of company/government information at an all-time high, security of the LAN/WAN environment, and tools to combat thievery is required.  All security assurance positions should have this skill-set and knowledge.  High DOD requirement for Directive 8570.01M

7.  MCSA: Windows 8 With the End-of-Life support for Windows XP coming up on April 8, 2014, the move to the most advanced desktop operating system is in order.  With the changes and improvements with Release 8.1, the new OS will power millions of devices: PC, Windows Phone and Surface; that said, it is expected to change everything. With this program, you will gain a level of Windows 8 proficiency that can only be taught through hands-on labs, simulations, and the real-world application of skills.  Understanding and implementing the security aspects of the desktop is essential and this new operating system is stronger than previous efforts.

8.  CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+  These foundational level courses provide you the hard facts on how systems work in a network.  Without this knowledge, you may be guessing as to how DNS, subnetting and other aspects of the LAN/WAN work properly.  CompTIA A+ certification is the one you need to take if your job responsibilities include entry-level computer service technician support duties and the support of computers running the Windows desktop operating systems. In this course, you’ll build on your end-user background knowledge as you acquire the specific skills required to install, configure, upgrade, troubleshoot, and repair PC hardware components and systems. You will also learn the specific skills you need to install, maintain, and troubleshoot the Windows desktop operating systems.

The CompTIA Network+  certification ensures that the successful candidate has the important knowledge and skills necessary to manage, maintain, troubleshoot, install, operate and configure basic network infrastructure, describe networking technologies, basic design principles, and adhere to wiring standards and use testing tools.

Security+, a CompTIA Certification is the primary course you will need to take if your job responsibilities include securing network services, network devices, and network traffic.  You will build on your knowledge and professional experience with computer hardware, operating systems, and networks as you acquire the specific skills required to implement basic security services on any type of computer network.

9.  PMP PMI’s certification provides the skills and abilities to manage large projects with critical paths, critical dates, available resources, and track the progress of the project from inception to completion.

10.  MCSD: SharePoint Applications Demonstrate your expertise at designing and developing collaboration applications with Microsoft SharePoint. To achieve this certification you must have a solid foundation of web programming skills using HTML5 with JavaScript and ASP.NET MVC 4.  SharePoint has become the collaborative tool for most large organizations today.

About The Author

Rich has operated computer training centers since 1993, including the #1 location for Microsoft Certifications in North America, CED Solutions. Find out more about Rich.