Top 10 IT certifications: Tools, tools, tools, and … project management?

In an opinion piece posted 12/10/2008, Erik Eckel, former executive editor of TechRepublic, listed what he thought are the ten best IT certifications:

  1. Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
  2. Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
  3. CompTIA’s Security+
  4. Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD)
  5. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  6. CompTIA’s A+
  7. Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP)
  8. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
  9. (ISC)² Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  10. CompTIA’s Linux+

I’m not surprised to see a heavy emphasis on software tools, but do you see something that jumps out at you? Me too. Even in an IT-oriented list on a tech Web site, the PMP’s certification is considered one of the most valuable. Eckel describes the MPM this way:

The certification measures a candidate’s project management expertise by validating skills and knowledge required to plan, execute, budget, and lead a technology project. Eligible candidates must have five years of project management experience or three years of project management experience and 35 hours of related education.

The PMP model is interesting to study. The successful candidate must have significant experience or experience and education, and must also pass an exam. That seems both reasonable and flexible.

Of course, with mass layoffs happening all around us (if not to some of us!), isn’t this a bad time to be spending money on certification? Not so, concludes Eckel: “As organizations battle tough economic conditions, having proven project scheduling, budgeting, and management skills will only grow in importance. The PMI’s PMP credential is a perfect conduit for demonstrating that expertise on a resume.”

Published by Steven Jong

I am a retired technical communicator, a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC), a former STC board member, and chair of the first STC Certification Commission. I occasionally blog about these and other topics.

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