If you’re looking to switch up your career and are considering working in IT, you might be wondering which areas of IT will pay you the most. Many IT roles will either require you to have work experience, some form of formal educational qualification, or an industry-recognised IT certification like those provided by CompTIA. But which certification will pay you the most once completed? Cyber security? Cloud Computing? Cisco Qualifications? Let’s take a look.
What is an IT Certification?
Firstly, it’s important to define what an IT certification is and how it can help you to achieve your career goals. An IT certification is a way to demonstrate your skills/competencies in certain fields as a way to demonstrate to future employers that you’re committed to your professional development. Certification can allow you to gain a competitive edge when applying for jobs and seeking interviews in your preferred IT field.
In 2021, Robert Half reported that those in IT who are certified can earn 5%-10% more than their peers. So, not only can it help you to secure a lucrative role, it can be a worthy investment that can pay off yearly.
How do I choose the right certification?
This will be very individual to you. Have a think about what career type personally interests you and go from there. If you’re interested in security threats and network vulnerabilities then a career in cyber security might be for you. On the other hand, if you have a personal interest in cloud computing, the internet of things, and cloud design, you may be more suited to a Cloud Engineering training course.
Having said this. It still can sometimes be difficult to decide which route to go down, especially if you have no practical experience in the field. So, if you’re unsure after doing your research, you can always start out with a foundational course like CompTIA Fundamentals. This can kickstart your career in IT and then, through work experience, you can niche down depending on which areas you enjoy the most or feel you’re good at.
How do I start in the IT field?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions we get because many people feel like there’s a high barrier to entry when it comes to working in IT. The truth is there isn’t. The best way to get started is to enrol on a beginner’s IT certification programme which includes courses like CompTIA Fundamentals. These practical experience programmes can usually be completed within 12-16 weeks alongside other commitments and from there you can start applying for jobs. We also recommend getting your CV professionally reviewed before you send out initial applications to ensure the best success.
How do I become a specialist?
Specialists get to where they are by niching down and gaining the relevant skills on the job. If you’re just starting out, once you’ve completed your beginner’s course and had a bit of real-world experience, you can then look into training courses for more specific areas like cybersecurity, cloud computing, and Linux. Some IT training courses are actually only available to those who’ve already completed a certain amount of work in the field or particular training courses beforehand to ensure that there’s a solid foundation of knowledge before transferring to a more specialised field.
Which certifications pay the most?
Money is, of course, a great reason to want to get into the world of IT, with the average IT worker’s salary being £30,000+ per year for support technicians and £69,814 for IT directors according to research carried out by the Office for National Statistics that was reported by Yahoo. So which certifications can help get you your ideal salary?
One way of finding out which career path will pay the most is by examining current trends in the industry and trying to predict what the next big thing is over the years to come. By getting in there early, you could become an expert in your field before demand increases and then position yourself as an expert. However, this method isn’t completely fail-safe as some IT trends could end up being a bit of flash in the pan and might not stick around for long. Plus, identifying trends in advance isn’t always easy.
Generally speaking though, as you gain more experience, you will earn more and then be in a position to take more specialist certifications, like the Cyber Security Analyst qualification which could then lead to you earning upwards of £58,000 per year, and as you gain more experience and move up the ladder to roles like Head of IT Security, over £90,000 a year.
Why should I get an IT Certification
Technology is already a huge part of our lives and the industry is only set to grow; with a predicted CAGR of 10.36% per year to 2026, digitization trends are prompting small and medium-sized businesses to invest in their IT infrastructure which will create jobs. This, alongside the considerable technological advances we’re set to make in the next decade (think global Internet of Things and 6G technology) shows that the future is bright for those seeking a career in IT and certification is just the beginning of the journey.
Certification will ultimately help to improve your own knowledge and expertise, provide credibility for employers, especially if you’re just starting out, and allow you to demonstrate that you have the dedication and commitment to advance your career in IT.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with some more insight into IT certification, how you can get started and which certifications will help you to attain your dream salary. The benefits of getting a specialist IT accreditation are widespread and will help you to enjoy a long and fulfilling career in technology.