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8 coveted IT certifications that turn managers into leaders

Suppose you work as an IT manager in a company and oversee the entire organizational architecture as well as the different IT teams. But that’s not the ultimate phase of your IT career. To transition from a manager to an actual industry leader, it is imperative that you build up your knowledge regarding the fundamentals of data storage, security, software, networking, and management frameworks. Moreover, you must hone the skills necessary for managing processes, projects, and teams. And, all this is possible only with the right IT certifications. Depending on the technologies you work with and the methodologies followed by your organization, you could select one of the eight IT certifications for managers mentioned below to boost your career prospects:

Certified associate in project management

When you hold the coveted position of an IT manager, you will be tasked with looking after different IT projects in the course of your career.

An individual who acquires the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) will showcase his or her capability to juggle multiple responsibilities, be it managing a specific tech product or even a service lifecycle.

Aspirants must appear for a generalized entry-level examination. However, if you possess some knowledge and experience in the field of project management, it would be better to consider the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from PMI.

Only IT managers with long-standing experience in the industry and a history of project management roles can hope to ace the PMP examination, which makes it all the harder to obtain and valuable to their career growth.

Certified in the governance of enterprise IT

The Information Systems Audit and Control (ISACA) is a non-profit, international association concerned with IT governance. According to professional members of this organization, IT employees with a Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) certification are some of the highest paid in the industry. And there’s a valid reason behind it.

Holders of this designation are capable of resolving any security issues threatening the organization.

On top of that, they are also quite well-versed regarding the needs of IT governance. If you wish to earn this certification, you must have a minimum of five years of experience in the field of IT management or governance so you qualify for the test.

Certified information security systems professional

One of the key areas of focus for any IT organization is security, and once you switch from the management to the leadership position, it will become a major priority for you as well.

If you hold a Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP) certification from the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, or (ISC)², it demonstrates your skills and knowledge regarding IT information assurance and security.

These particular IT certifications cover a wide range of subjects, from budgeting to risk management, organizational structure to monitoring, managing large-scale, complex projects to communicating with a remote team of employees and executives.

COBIT 5 foundation IT certifications

Any organization that subscribes to the COBIT 5 IT management framework would do well to have a manager who has passed the COBIT 5 Foundation test from Information Systems Audit and Control.

The examinations consist of two phases — implementation and foundation, and they highlight your ability to better understand IT challenges. COBIT may be applied to resolve existing issues with the organizational processes.

Several vendors offer this COBIT examination, and some of them even throw in boot camp programs and training sessions for professionals unfamiliar with COBIT 5. Others just enable you to appear for the tests.

CompTIA strata green IT

The Strata Green IT certifications from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is carefully designed to enhance an IT employee’s knowledge, experience, and credentials when it comes to incorporating emerging systems shaping the international green IT industry right now.

This is one of the latest certification programs offered by the non-profit trade association and it helps determine the candidates who are trained in virtualization processes and power management techniques.

The certification even offers training on calculating and developing return on investment for green IT initiatives. Plus, you also pick up valuable information on how to get rid of waste in an environmentally sound manner.

Information technology infrastructure library

Offered by Axelos, this framework is considered a cornerstone in the IT service. If your company subscribes to this methodology, the ITIL certification will serve as proof of your expertise in the field of information technology infrastructure.

Managers at every level of the organization stand to benefit from this certification as it focuses mainly on implementing time-tested and accurate management strategies for improving team efficiency and process within the organization.

Candidates may be certified up until the expert level, which showcases high competency when it comes to ITIL best practices. You must locate a third-party vendor that provides an accredited examination or program if you wish to avail this designation. Prices are going to vary based on the training provider or company of your choice.

Six Sigma certification

The Six Sigma methodology consists of five distinct certification levels, beginning with the green belt. You will slowly have to move your way up to the top level of the hierarchy, which is executive leadership.

This is a training and mentorship course with a focus on IT leadership and project management. Every level mentors a lower level of Six Sigma trainees, trying to bring about effective leadership practices by staying agile and implementing change through organizational transformation.

TOGAF 9 certification

This standard is developed by The Open Group and it caters to companies interested in the management of enterprise architecture. IT managers who secure this certification prove their deep-seated knowledge regarding framework and methodology.

The TOGAF 9 certification is mainly focused on aligning the goals of the IT teams with that of the overall business. The IT management framework hones your cross-departmental communication skills and eliminates process errors throughout the organization.

Shooting for the top with these IT certifications

There are many IT certifications out there. But the key toward a positive career growth lies in knowing which of them holds the potential to boost your career to the leadership level.

Benjamin Roussey

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006). Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.

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