Certifications play a vital role in determining an individual’s salary. 2013 is looking to be a great year for IT professionals. The nature of IT is to stay ahead of the curve in all things related to technology. Today, the expectation is that IT professionals will have a measure of capability, if not proficiency, in everything from wireless networking and security to mobile app development and maintaining a cloud-based infrastructure. Extending your expertise into new areas demonstrates that as an IT professional, you can manage the complex changes taking place today in technology and that you are up to the challenge.

Here, we take a look at few certifications with the highest earning potential.

1. Project Management Professional (PMP):

The PMI-PMP certification is an industry recognized vendor neutral credential. The PMI PMP Certification (Project Management Professional) is one of the most popular certifications today. The PMP exam recognizes demonstrated knowledge and skill in leading and directing project teams and in delivering project results within the constraints of schedule, budget, and resources. PMP PMI’s certification provides experienced individuals 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, on time without cost overruns.

2. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP):

The CISSP certification is an advanced-level certification specially meant for IT security professionals who have a minimum of five years of professional experience (effective Jan 1st 2012) in the field of information security. The prerequisite for the ISC2 CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certifications is five years of professional work experience as an IT professional, but in a different domain. The certification is proof of a person’s competence in defining the architecture, design, management and security of business environments.

3. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA):

The CCNA certification is the novice certification, i.e., the entry level. It is a pre-requisite for all the advanced level Cisco certifications such as CCNP and CCIE.  It validates the skills of networking professionals to install, configure and troubleshoot routed and switched networks. CCNA Certified professionals are capable of implementing and verifying connections to remote sites in a WAN. They also have basic knowledge on security issues, Wireless networking and performance-based skills.

You can choose either of the two paths for becoming CCNA:

4. Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA):

The Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA) certification is considered the foundation-level enterprise Wi-Fi certification for the Certified Wireless Network Professional program and it also acts as a gateway to more senior credentials. As an increasing number of users view wireless connectivity as basic infrastructure and not as an extra bonus, the need for wireless management capability will continue to grow.  It is believed that the candidates should have a basic understanding and fundamental knowledge of information technology. The Certified Wireless Networking Administration certification exam is a standalone certification from CWNP with the exam code PW0-104. Its upgraded version is PW0-105.

5.  Strata Green IT:

The CompTIA‘s Strata Green IT certificate is designed to enhance an IT professional’s experience, knowledge, and existing IT credentials to incorporate emerging technologies shaping the global green IT industry today. IT professionals that pass the Strata Green IT exam validate that they have the aptitude needed to effectively implement and measure Green IT programs and investments.

The certification requires you to pass only one exam:

Cisco has created a new entry-level certification named Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) and has introduced the ICND1 (640-822), ICND2 (640-816), and CCNA (640-802) exams. The 640-802 exam is a single exam option for becoming a CCNA. A candidate can also opt for the ICND1 and ICND2 exams to be certified as a CCNA. However, the ICND1 (640-822) exam can be taken to achieve the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT).

The Cisco CCENT (Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician) certification validates the skills required for entry-level network support positions, the starting point for many successful careers in networking. Candidates should have the knowledge and skills to install, operate, and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security. The CCENT certification is the first step towards achieving CCNA, which covers medium-size enterprise branch networks having more complex connections.

Before taking the 640-822 exam, you should practice the following:

  1. Create a network of two computers through cross-over cables.
  2. Create a bus network.
  3. Create a star network.
  4. Create a mesh network.
  5. Configure hub, switch, and router.
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Q. What is the pre-requisite for taking the test Cisco 640-822?

A. The ICND1 (640-822) exam is the only requirement for achieving the latest entry-level CCENT certification from Cisco. It is also one of the two exams for achieving the CCNA certification. You now have to pass exams 640-822 and 640-816 if you opt for the two exams for your CCNA certification. The exam tests your ability to install, operate, and troubleshoot a small branch office network. There are no specific prerequisites for the ICND1 (640-822) test, and it is appropriate for you if you have knowledge in networking fundamentals, basic security and wireless concepts, routing and switching fundamentals, the TCP/IP and OSI models, IP addressing, WAN technologies, implementing NAT and DHCP,
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