9 Salary-Boosting IT Certifications

IT pros should consider obtaining additional skills

You don’t have to become a developer or launch your own startup to make a good living in technology. Often, you can do so even without completing a college degree, through tech certifications.

Recently, employment site Dice.com and CIO.com featured a list of the IT tech certifications that gave its holders the biggest salary increases over the past year. Here are nine that provided the largest increases by 16%, 15%, and 14%. In parentheses is the percentage by which those with the corresponding certification saw salary grow from 2014-2015.

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Cybersecurity Forensic Analyst (16%)
There are 1.5 million cybersecurity jobs that will need to be filled by 2019.

IT pros can transition or further their careers in the cybersecurity field with a cybersecurity forensic analyst certification. These analysts conduct thorough forensic inspections on computers and other digital/electronic devices and may work for law enforcement, other government agencies, or the private sector. Candidates must pass an FBI criminal background check, as well as an intense, three-day exam. This certification was one of the highest-paying last year and the job prospects are excellent.

Open Group Master Architect (16%)
The Open Group master architect certification qualifies someone as capable of building and managing IT architecture. These professionals typically work on unifying siloed and inefficient IT systems and processes within an organization, and streamlines and optimizes them for cost-savings, efficiency, and ROI.

Open Group is a San Francisco-based consortium that develops open, vendor-neutral IT standards and certifications. The OGMA-certified are often employed at large enterprises or universities—generally organizations which may have a lot of different and complex IT components.

Program Management Professional (16%)
The program management professional (PgMP) certification qualifies that individuals can effectively coordinate multiple projects that may be underway in an organization. Project management combines IT skills with traditional business project planning. PgMP certifications are often obtained by those who have also obtained other lower-tiered project management certifications, have experience working with project management software and systems, and who are ready to advance to management levels in their career.

Open Group Master Certified IT Specialist (15%)
Yet another Open Group certification, the Open Group master certified IT specialist, is the step-up certification to the Open Group certified IT specialist, which is awarded when IT professionals demonstrate the skills, knowledge, and experience of a seasoned IT expert with the ability to work across any number of platforms and systems. Both certifications are given via written applications and peer interviews of candidates.

TOGAF 9 (15%)
TOGAF 9 is also an Open Group enterprise architecture standard used by organizations to increase business efficiency. It is a beneficial and lucrative certification for systems integrators, CIOs, and IT Managers. As per the Open Group, a TOGAF 9 certification ensures that the candidate has the skills necessary to make sure business needs are met, by standardizing enterprise architecture, effectively utilizing resources, and achieving demonstrable ROI.

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