IT Skills and Salary Survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Windows IT Pro in the fall of 2014, suggests the role of relevant IT certification in enhancing your career growth which reflects positively in your pay-checks.  Here is a compilation of 5 certifications in IT security, networking, and systems management that ranks high on pay scale.

  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) – Average Mean Salary: $118,348

ISACA created CISM certification. Ideal for managerial roles and focuses on security strategy and assessing the systems and policies in place. Since 2002, over 24,000 people have been certified, making it a highly sought-after area with a relatively small supply of certified individuals. In addition, the exams are conducted only three times a year, which builds up a lot of pressure on the exam-takers and hence the need for thorough preparation. It also requires at least five years of experience in IS, with at least three of those as a security manager. The cert demands hard work and detailed planning.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – Average Mean Salary- $110,603

CISSP provides vendor-neutral security expertise. It comprises of an exam based around ten different areas in computer security, including risk analysis, cloud computing, security when developing applications, mobile, cryptography, physical security, business continuity and disaster recovery planning, and legal and compliance issues. At least five years of full-time experience in at least two of the ten areas tested is required. However, in case you lack the required work experience, you may opt for Associate of (ISC) 2 designation while working toward the full certification. Additionally, you have to earn Continuous Professional Education (CPE) credits every year to remain certified. There are nearly 96,000 CISSPs worldwide, with approximately two-thirds of them in the United States.

Did you know it is the fourth highest paying and the first that is not security related?  There are over 630,000 PMPs worldwide. The exam tests five areas relating to the lifecycle of a project: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. You are expected to complete 35 hours of PMP-related training along with 7,500 hours of project management experience (If you have less than a bachelor’s degree) or 4,500 hours of project management experience with a bachelor’s or higher degree.  It requires careful planning and effort.

  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) — Average Mean Salary-$106,181

Best suited for IS auditors and so far over 106,000 people are certified since its inception. CISA certification requires at least five years of experience in IS auditing, control, or security in addition to passing an exam that is only offered three times per year. Ideal for people with job responsibilities that includes:  auditing, monitoring, controlling, and/or assessing IT and/or business systems. It is designed to test the candidate’s ability to manage vulnerabilities, ensure compliance with standards, and propose controls, processes, and updates to a company’s policies to ensure compliance with accepted IT and business standards.

An IT certification can certainly enhance your career prospects, all you need to do is plan well in advance, choose the cert wisely and start preparing now with best and comprehensive study materials available online.