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What Top-Paying IT Certifications Result in $160K-Plus Salaries?

Careers firm Skillsoft published a list of 15 top-paying IT certifications of 2022, which shows three certs correspond to average salaries of more than $160,000 for their holders.

Just like last year's report, current industry salary trends emphasize the importance of cloud and cybersecurity certifications, which the firm likely attributed to sustained demand for professionals with these skills among a continuing skills shortage.

As detailed in Virtualization & Cloud Review articles like "How to Address Crippling Cloud Skills Shortage?" and "Cloud Strategy Survey Highlights Skills Shortage, Cloud Overspend," upskilling employees via certifications is a commonly listed solution to mitigate the ongoing dearth of cloud and other IT skills.

"As the skills gap continues to impact businesses in critical areas like cloud, data science and cybersecurity, organizations seek out those professionals with reputable credentials that validate their experience and capability," Skillsoft said in a Sept. 29 post. "In turn, these certified professionals tend to enjoy more leverage in the marketplace because they've earned certifications recognized as trustworthy affirmations of their skills."

That leverage fosters the ability to earn salaries upward of $160,000, according to the company, which listed top-paying certifications this week in advance of a larger upcoming 2022 IT Skills and Salary Report.

The 10 top-paying certs and corresponding salaries (cents rounded off) are:

Top-Paying Certs (from 2021 Report)
[Click on image for larger view.] Top-Paying IT Certs (from 2022 Report) (source: Skillsoft).

For comparison, here is the certification list from last year's report:

Top-Paying Certs in North America (from 2021 Report)
[Click on image for larger view.] Top-Paying Certs in North America (from 2021 Report) (source: Skillsoft).

"This year's list is notable first by what topics continue to be hot this year -- cloud foremost, supplemented by a couple of key certifications in cybersecurity and data," said Skillsoft exec Michael Yoo. "Not surprising, given how nearly every company in every industry of every size in every geography is relying upon cloud computing to power their technology strategy."

Other findings from the big survey to be published by Skillsoft include:

  • The average salary of the 2,557 U.S. respondents was $110,765. Google Cloud's Associate Cloud Engineer was the most commonly held certification, followed by CompTIA's A+, Security+ and Network+. 62 percent earned a certification in the last year, hold four certifications, and manage a team (58 percent).
  • Almost half (45 percent) of IT professionals say the nature of their training in the last 12 months was certification focused, while the main reason for training was to prepare their organizations for a new technology, product migration or deployment. Despite this, 61 percent say their management doesn't see the value in training -- which is cited as the leading inhibitor to training.
  • 85 percent of IT leaders in the U.S. say certified professionals add $10,000 or more in economic value to their organizations over non-certified professionals. 21 percent say it's more than $30,000. IT leaders cite higher productivity as the leading benefit of certified staff, but also note competitive advantage and turnover reduction.

Skillsoft emphasized that while its data shows the list of top-paying certifications that have higher salaries associated with them, it's important to remember salaries are the culmination of several factors, including the ability to apply certified skills at work, job role, continuous professional development, tenure and hard work.

The data comes from survey responses from the Skillsoft 2022 IT Skills and Salary Survey, conducted May 2022 to August 2022.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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