Up-to-Date: Earning the Certs the Market Demands

Certification is an excellent way to enhance your skills and employability, but although everyone wants to move ahead, many lack direction. Which certifications should be pursued to achieve the best return on your investment in time and money?
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Project Management Professional (PMP), Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Sun’s Java certifications are in high demand, said Lisa Spieth, president of LSRCS, a human resource and recruitment services firm.

“The current IT market shows great demands for qualified applicants with at least one certification in their given field,” Spieth said.

She emphasized higher-level certifications but also stressed that certifications should be balanced with adequate experience.

“Higher-tier certs are in greatest demand, and employers look for those who can demonstrate the intense specialized knowledge a higher-level cert conveys and the dedication required to move up through the certification tiers,” she said. “However, high-level certs are of little value without commensurate experience.”

Below is a brief overview for each certification, the steps required for achievement and the types of positions certified individuals can expect to hold. Use this as a quick reference but keep in mind that industry demand should not be the sole reason for choosing a certification — choose a cert that is on the career path you desire.


The MCSE is considered Microsoft’s flagship certification — it has the strongest brand identity and has been in high demand…



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