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Top Ten Certifications You Can Do In 2020

Top Ten Certifications You Can Do In 2020


The article highlights the top 10 certifications to consider for career growth in 2020. It suggests agile and Scrum for project management, AWS Certified Solutions Architect for cloud computing, CISSP for cybersecurity, and Cisco Certifications for networking. Additionally, PMP for project management, CompTIA A+ for hardware and software knowledge, ITIL for IT service management, GIAC for information security, MCSE for Microsoft technologies, and CEH for ethical hacking are recommended. The certifications provide relevant skills and knowledge to stay competitive and seize new opportunities in rapidly evolving industries.

2020 is almost approaching. What is your resolution for 2020??

If you are a career-oriented person, then upskill yourself with the best certification to stay relevant and grab new opportunities in the coming years. 

Below are the Top 10 certifications that you can have!

1. Agile and Scrum 

Agile and Scrum are very popular certifications today.

Agile methodology is more adaptable to changes as per requirements throughout the course of the project. 

Commonly considered as a framework in agile project management, Scrum outlines a set of meetings, tools, and roles that work in harmony to help team structure and conduct their work.

Through this certification, you will be able to learn the Agile and Scrum framework and gain an understanding of team roles, events, and artifacts, as well as how to guide agile teams through a project successfully.

According to Payscale, in 2019, the average annual pay for a Certified Scrum Master in the United States is $115,700 a year.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect

It is one of the most popular cloud computing certifications. From storing and sharing files using google drive to watching movies on Netflix, everything is on the cloud. From the user base itself, it’s evident that cloud computing is a necessity today. If you are a person who wants to build a career in the cloud, then AWS certification is the best to start with. You can start with a basic level such as AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate and gradually move up the ladder with next step certifications.

That’s because AWS is more popular than its 10 other competitors like Azure, Google Cloud, etc.

The average salary of an AWS solutions architect is $123,700 per year according to  Indeed.Com

According to Enlyft, a marketing intelligence company, 47% of Amazon AWS customers are in the United States and that’s a lot of companies that can bring job opportunities for you. 

However, prior to taking an exam, you should have hands-on experience with AWS services and architecting large-scale distributed systems.

3. CISSP - Certified Information Systems Security Professional

It is one of the globally recognized IT security professional's technical skills. Companies usually look for applicants who have completed the CISSP exam because applicants with the CISSP certifications are sufficiently educated about cybersecurity and have hands-on experience of at least 5 years. 

This experience can be earned in a minimum of two of the eight cybersecurity knowledge domains. 

As per Indeed, there has been a sudden increase in demand for cybersecurity skills by 7% in the US. That’s good news! Isn’t it?

According to Payscale, the salary of a CISSP certified individual ranges from $87,000 to $165,000 depending on the years of experience in the USA as of August 2019.

4. Cisco Certifications

Within Cisco Certifications, the two very popular and valuable certifications are CCNA (Cisco certified network associate) and CCNP (Cisco certified network professional)

CCNA primarily focuses on developing appropriate skills to meet the speedy deployment of technologies in today’s complex networking environment.

Once you are a CCNA certified you can choose different paths that interest you, such as: 

CCNA Security - It deals in troubleshooting and monitoring network devices.

- CCNA Voice - It deals with VoIP, handset, voiceover mail, etc.

- CCNA Wireless - It deals with using Cisco equipment in configuring, implementing, and supporting wireless LANs

The majority of MNCs, as well as medium-sized companies, use Cisco products, which means they need people who can help with seamless operations while using those products.

In the US, the average salary of a CCNA-certified professional ranges from $72,000 to $100,000 as of August 2019, according to Payscale.

CCNP - One of the most popular certifications in the field of networking. This certification is usually preferred by CCNA as this helps them to scale up one’s career. CCNP will help you to validate your proficiency in planning, implementing, managing and troubleshooting WANs and LANs in business environments. It also helps you make aware of how to work in collaboration with other experts to manage wireless, voice, video and security solutions.

CCNP certified professionals earn $92,000 on an average per year which can go high up to $122,000 depending upon the experience according to payscale in August 2019.

5. PMP - Project Management Professional

It is one of the most recognized certifications globally in today’s date. It is created and administered by PMI - Project Management Institute. According to recruiters, the certificate adds immense value to your leadership skills and in addition, the PMP® certification brings a 22–25% increase over non-certified peers. 

PMP helps you examine yourself in five criteria; initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. The results provide you a clear picture of your capability and also for recruiters to choose you over others.

However, there are prior requirements to become PMP certified. You should have a bachelor’s degree with at least 4500 hours of project management experience and if you don’t have a bachelor's degree then you would need to have 7500 hrs of project management experience. And lastly, you need to have a 35-hour contact certificate to take the exam and you are good to go.

According to a survey done by PMI in 2019, Project managers take-home salary is $112,000 annually in the States and earns 23 percent higher than one without PMP certification.

Project Management includes other certifications such as CAPM, PRINCE 2 Foundation, PRINCE 2 practitioner and PRINCE 2 combo. 

6. CompTIA A+

With this particular certification, you will have a complete fundamental knowledge of hardware and software. You’ll also learn about troubleshooting a wide range of devices, from computers to smartphones.

The examination is outlined to certify the capability of entry-level personal computer service professionals in installing, operating, customizing, and maintaining personal computers and other devices.

In the US, a CompTIA A+ certified professional earns about $59,000 on an average per year according to PayScale as of August 2019.

7. ITIL 

ITIL or Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a set of best practices for IT service management. ITIL concentrates on adjusting or arranging on the IT services according to the requirements of the companies.

It includes a list of relevant specializations such as IT operations, capacity management, incident management, and availability management, to name a few. Best practices intend to manage or lessen IT costs, improve IT services, and balance IT resources.

You can start with the ITIL Foundation course which will give a brief understanding of the IT service lifecycle.

According to Ziprecruiter.com the majority of ITIL Foundation salaries as of August 2019, range between $52,000 to $118,500 across the United States.

8. Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)

GIAC provides a set of vendor-neutral computer security certifications. It offers 30+ specific information security certifications. The objective of these certifications is to focus on job-based capabilities rather than providing a standard course to all. The certification process approves the specific abilities of security professionals and developers with standards established on the most important benchmarks in the industry.

An increase in the number of devices and networks calls for more threat. It leads to the demand for highly skilled people to manage the threats and eliminate them.

According to PayScale August 2019, a GIAC certified can earn an average of $90,000 per year in the US.

9. MCSE - Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert

The MCSE certification will help if you are an IT Professional to validate your technical expertise through accurate, industry-proven, and industry-recognized exams.

MCSE certifications show the skills to design and build advanced solutions that integrate multiple Microsoft technologies.

Prior to doing MCSE, you will have to complete MCSA certification which will validate your ability to build and design solutions using core Microsoft technologies.

MCSE has various other certifications under it such as MCSE: Business Application, MCSE: Core Infrastructure, MCSE: Data Management & Analytics, MCSE: Mobility, and MCSE: Productivity.

The demand for skilled cloud specialists has exponentially increased due to a multi-cloud strategy approach taken by most businesses.

According to Payscale the average salary in the US for Microsoft certified solution expert is $92,000 per year as of August 2019.

10. CEH - Certified Ethical Hacker

In today’s date hiring an ethical hacker is not a choice but a necessity. If you wish to become one, you will have the ability to understand and know how to look for vulnerabilities in target systems. 

You will also be able to use the same expertise and means as a hacker but strictly aligned with the law to evaluate the security posture of a target system.

Not only in the US but also in other countries malicious hacking is a strict offense. However, one should have the same technical skills that hackers possess to catch a criminal. 

A Certified Ethical Hacker certification indicates your knowledge in network security, particularly in preventing malicious hacking attacks through pre-emptive countermeasures.

In the US, a Certified Ethical Hacker earns on an average of $90,000 per year according to Payscale as of July 2019.


Up your game this 2020 with relevant certifications! You can either jump into the rapidly growing fields such as cybersecurity and cloud. You can upskill yourself staying in the current area to face new opportunities as well as challenges. Regardless, you can choose a certification that aligns with your career interest. However, these certifications would help you in gaining a position you are aspiring to and would be a differentiator among the others.





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