IT certifications have always been popular among IT pros to bag the right job or
seek the right jump. Management and IT make a great combination. With the
economy back in green, IT jobs too are back. And with them the demand for IT
certifications, which in recent times have become more vendor- and technologyspecific.
So, what are the IT certifications that will keep IT pros in demand or are useful
for job/career opportunities going forward.
Technology research firm Foote Partners recently shared IT certifications that
could be considered "hot" in the coming months (these unranked certifications
are a part of the company's upcoming quarterly index on hot skills and
Here's over to the top 10 hottest IT certifications from the list.
VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
With virtualization technology becoming hot, it is little surprising that VMware
Certified Professional (VCP) programme is in demand. Research shows that
enterprises often face lack of required expertise specific to virtualization.
According to Forrester Consulting, proper skills for virtualisation-specific projects
are difficult to attain and retain.
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) is a professional certification for
Information technology audit professionals sponsored by the Information Systems
Audit and Control Association (ISACA). Candidates for the certification must meet
requirements set by ISACA.
The CISA certification is for pros seeking jobs in areas of IT auditing, security,
and control. CISA tests are conducted once a year, in locations spread worldwide.
Five years of verifiable experience in IS auditing, control or security is required to
take the exam.
GIAC Security Audit Essentials (GSAE)
GIAC Security Audit Essentials or GSAE is for pros planning to enter the
information security industry who are tasked with auditing organization policy,
procedure, risk, or policy conformance.
Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Certified Information Security Manager or CISM is a certification for information
security managers awarded by the Information Systems Audit and Control
To apply for the certification, an individual must have at least five years of
information security experience with a minimum three years of information
security management work experience in particular fields.
The certification aims to provide a common body of knowledge for information
security management and includes material on broader issues such as how to
govern information security as well as on practical issues such as developing and
managing an information security programme as well as incidents.
Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE)
Designed for experienced security professionals, Check Point Certified Security
Expert or CCSE certification is claimed to be one of the most respected vendorspecific
CCSE is an advanced Core security certification built on CCSA NGX, confirming indepth
skills and expertise in managing and supporting Check Point products.
Proficiencies include configuring and managing VPN/FireWall as an Internet
security solution and virtual private network (VPN), using encryption technologies
to implement site-to-site and remote access VPNs, and configuring content
security by enabling Java blocking and anti-virus checking.
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Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA)
Another Check Point-specific certification, Check Point Certified Security
Administrator or CCSA aims to validate a security administrator's ability to
maintain day-to-day operation of vendor's security solutions and ensure secure
access to information across the network.
Proficiencies include creating and installing security policies, using logging and
reporting features, and managing anti-spoofing, Network Address Translation
(NAT), and OPSEC applications.
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (Security )
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification provides an individual
skills in designing, implementing, and administering infrastructure for business
solutions based on Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server.
Implementation responsibilities include installing, configuring and troubleshooting
To be certified on newer Microsoft technologies, such as Exchange Server 2010,
Windows Server 2008, or SQL Server 2008, a prospective candidate should
pursue the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification. In case a
person has done the MCSE on Windows Server 2003 certification, he can upgrade
to the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) and Microsoft Certified IT
Professional (MCITP) on Windows Server 2008 certifications.
Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP)
Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP) is claimed to be an advanced
level certification that measures the ability to secure any wireless network.
A wide range of security topics focusing on the 802.11 wireless LAN technology
are covered in the coursework and exam, which is vendor neutral.
The CWSP certification is awarded to candidates who pass the CWSP exam and
who also hold the CWNA certification. The CWNA certification is a prerequisite to
taking the CWSP exam. The certification covers a range of security areas
including detecting attacks, wireless analysis, policy, monitoring and solutions.
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GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA)
GIAC Certified Intrusion Analyst (GCIA) is an information security certification
entity that specialises in technical and practical certification as well as new
research in the form of its GIAC Gold program. SANS Institute founded the
certification in 1999.
GIAC provides vendor-neutral computer security certifications linked to the
training courses provided by the SANS.
Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
Another vendor specific certification, Cisco Certified Network Professional or CCNP
aims to validate the ability to plan, implement, verify and troubleshoot local and
wide-area enterprise networks and work collaboratively with specialists on
advanced security, voice, wireless and video solutions.
To apply for CCNP certification a candidate must have at least one year of
networking experience. The CCPN tests are conducted by Pearson VUE.
There are five levels of certification: Entry, Associate, Professional, Expert, and
Architect, as well as seven different paths, Routing & Switching, Design, Network
Security, Service Provider, Storage Networking, Voice, and Wireless.