Aaron Holmes,Belle Lin,Jessica Xing
- Companies are searching for qualified candidates to hire, using certifications to find top talent.
- But sought-after certifications and skills can vary widely depending on the company and position.
- Insider rounded up the top skills and certifications to pursue to land six-figure jobs in tech.
The technology sector needs fresh blood.
In the first two months of 2022, employment in the industry increased by more than 20,000 positions, according to an analysis by training firm CompTIA. And that recent growth is only a portion of the 15-month streak of consecutive employment growth in the sector.
Companies have been frantically searching for qualified candidates to hire, frequently paying six figures or more to reel in top talent. To stand out in the process, recruiters and other industry insiders are recommending workers pursue certifications — a standards-driven way for candidates to show that they’re proficient in the skills needed to thrive in a career in programming or IT.
But the certifications and skills that have the most bang for a job candidate’s buck vary widely depending on the company and position. That’s why Insider rounded up the most sought-after skill sets at companies like Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, and more to help workers navigate which certification to pursue next.
Demand for cloud skills is growing and certifications are highly sought after by employers
A gap between the skills companies need and the qualified talent has led to a spike in demand. Candidates with cloud computing certifications can prove they’ll be able to bring those highly sought after skills to a firm.
Cloud giants like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and Google all offer their own product-specific certifications that usually come in handy if a company runs on one of those clouds. But there are general cloud skills workers can pursue, too, to make themselves more marketable.
These cybersecurity certifications help employees earn average salaries of $119,000
How much workers can earn with a cybersecurity certification depends on the level and specialization of the certification they pursue.
Generally, higher-tier certifications earn more. Companies like Cisco, however, offer a range of cybersecurity education offerings that range from specific areas of technology to general knowledge. Areas like cloud security in particular are known to be in high demand given the current shortage of knowledgeable talent, and even people with existing skills in cloud computing can earn more when they obtain a new cybersecurity certification.
Many types of developer roles exist, and workers will have to ensure they’re pursuing the right skills for the role they want
Becoming a developer is a common way to enter the tech field. Available roles, however, vary widely and can include front-end, back-end, and full-stack development.
Online courses are usually a free or low-cost way to get started in programming. Some programming languages are more profitable than others, with SQL, CSS, and Java near the top of the list.
Top certifications to get hired at Microsoft
Microsoft is one of the most valuable companies in the world, seeing growth in core business areas like its Azure cloud. To keep expanding, it needs qualified workers with knowledge of its Azure cloud processes, machine learning, its database services like Cosmos DB, process-improvement methodologies like Six Sigma, and more. Many of its workers earn well over $100,000 in base salary.
Amazon Web Services plans to hire 25,000 people this year, and having certain certifications will help candidates get hired
A top employer globally, Amazon’s cloud division alone aims to hire tens of thousands of workers this year. It’s looking for employees with knowledge of its cloud platform services like Aurora and Redshift, and other skills like cybersecurity or data science. Many of those jobs pay over $100,000 in base salary.
Cisco pays over $100,000 to workers with these certifications
New hires at Cisco earn average salaries of $123,000, with top engineers bringing home as much as $230,000. Most jobs at the firm require specialized knowledge of Cisco systems, ranging from its “internetwork” expert certification to certificated cloud security professional credentials depending on the role.