23 IT Certifications That Mean Higher Pay

Looking for IT certifications that deliver more bang for your buck? Well, here they are. These IT certs are commanding premium pay from employers and promise to be hot in the coming year.

Certifications are a great way to show the IT industry employers, peers and recruiters that you are up to date and knowledgeable on the given topic and, in some cases, that can equate directly to more money in your pocket. But which certifications offer the most potential earnings and will be in demand over the coming years?

The Foote Research Group just released its quarterly 2012 IT Skills Demand and Pay Trends Report and its CEO David Foote spoke with CIO.com about how you can use certifications to get employers to show you the money.

More and more companies are holding out for the IT pro who has the perfect skillset, which makes the certifications listed here among the most profitable due to industry demand. People with these certifications are getting paid a premium over what others in the same role without the certification are receiving. Premium skills pay is what Foote calls, "An additional monetary compensation or skills premium tied specifically to a certification [or skill]." Premium skills pay for the 23 certifications listed below is based upon a percentage of base salary. We've separated the list into three tiers from the lowest to highest. Let's take a look.

8-13 Percent Premium Added to Your Base Pay

The certifications in this first category come in with a premium skills pay of 8-13 percent of base salary. Many of these certifications fall into the intermediate range and are accessible to the average IT person.

Security Certifications

Related Story: 12 IT Certifications That Deliver Career Advancement

Architecture/Project Management/Process Certifications

  • Risk Management Professional (PMI)

    Prerequisite:
    • A bachelor's or the equivalent, at least 3,000 hours of project risk management experience and 30 hours of project risk management education.
    • or
    • A high school diploma or equivalent and at least 4,500 hours of project risk management experience and 40 hours of project risk management education.
  • IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Expert Certification

    Prerequisite:
    • All candidates must hold the ITIL Foundation certificate or a Bridge qualification equivalent.
    • A total of 17 credits minimum must be earned from Foundation and Intermediate modules.
    • The "Managing Across the Lifecycle" module must be taken and passed once 17 credits have been earned.
  • Microsoft Certified Architect

    Prerequisite—Candidates will generally have ten or more years of IT experience, and five or more years of specific architectural experience.

Database Certifications

Networking and Communications Certifications

Systems Administration & Engineering Certifications

  • HP/Master Accredited Solutions Expert (MASE)

    Prerequisite —No prerequisites are required for this certification.
  • HP/Master Accredited Systems Engineer (Master ASE)

    Prerequisite —This certification is now called HP/Master Accredited Solutions Expert or MASE. There are no formal prerequisites for this certification.

10-15 Percent Premium Added to Your Base Pay

People with certifications in this next bracket earned an impressive premium skills pay of 10-15 percent.

Occupying eight out of these 12 slots in this category are security certifications. With the myriad of malicious threats facing companies, it's no surprise that IT security is an area that is expected to have tremendous growth.

Security Certifications

  • CyberSecurity Forensic Analyst (CSFA)

    Prerequisite — CSFA candidates should have at least two years experience conducting forensic analysis from both technical and administrative aspects.
  • Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC)

    Prerequisite —Candidates need a minimum of three years work experience performing the tasks of a CRISC professional across at least three CRISC domains.
  • Related Story: Why Project Management Certifications Matter

    Architecture/Project Management/Process Certifications

    • Open Group Certified Architect (OpenCA)

      Prerequisite:
      • You will need to have submitted a signed Certification Board Member Agreement. This is obtained from The Open Group.
      • You will need to have been assigned by the Certification Authority to a Certification Board. When this is done you will be notifed.

    Database Certifications

    Networking and Communications Certifications

    12-16 Percent Premium Added to Your Base Pay

    This final category highlights architecture and project management certifications, clocking in with a premium skills pay of 12-16 percent.

    With the furious pace that the IT industry moves at, it's no wonder these certifications are currently demanding the highest pay, according to Foote's research. These skills will be needed by companies everywhere for a long time.

    Architecture/Project Management/Process Certifications

    • Open Group Master Architect (OpenCA)

      Prerequisite — Candidates need to have least three years of experience developing IT architectures.
    • Program Management Professional (PgMP)

      Prerequisite:
      • A Bachelors and at least four years of project management experience.
      • or
      • A high school diploma or equivalent with at least four years of project management experience and seven years of program management experience

    Related Story: Survey: IT Certifications Lead to Jobs, Higher Pay

    IT Certifications Pay Off

    Certifications are one facet of a well-rounded skillset but when it comes to compensation, it's an important one. This list represents the IT certifications that are making companies put their money where there mouth is. To be an IT professional with longevity, you need education, hands-on experience and the ability to evolve with the technology and while these certifications alone won't necessarily get you hired, they should ensure that if you are hired you get paid what your worth.

    What skills do you think are most in demand? As always we welcome your feedback.

    Rich Hein covers IT careers for CIO.com. Follow Rich on LinkedIn & Twitter. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google+.

    Resources

    Foote Partners Data

    Rich Hein covers IT careers for CIO.com. Follow Rich on Twitter @WebDev_Rich. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.

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