Top 15 Moneymaking Certifications For 2014

Certifications Are Key To Success

To advance in the IT industry, having the right certification is key. While getting certified requires dedication, training and fees, it certainly is a career move with proven ROI. Having certifications can strengthen an organization's professionalism and offer quality assurance to clients, and most organizations will pay a pretty penny to the IT professionals who hold them.

Based on information gathered from the 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey, conducted by N.Y.-based business training and certification company Global Knowledge, this compiled list ranks certifications that are sure to increase your skill set, along with your salary.

Whether focusing on security, storage, project management, cloud computing or networking, read on to find out the top 15 lucrative certifications for 2014.

No. 15 Citrix Certified Associate (CCA) For Citrix XenDesktop

The Citric Certified Associate (CCA) for Citrix XenDesktop will bring in an average salary of $95,094, according to the survey.

The CCA for Citrix XenDesktop certification authenticates the skills of IT operators and administrators in installing, managing, maintaining, monitoring and dealing with troubleshooting for XenDesktop 7 solutions. This includes XenDesktop deployment, Provisioning Services, Desktop Delivery Controller, XenServer and XenApp. Version 5 of CCA for Citrix XenDesktop is available in English only, whereas Version 4 is available in Chinese and Japanese.

No. 14 Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer certification brings in an average salary of $95,276 and is ranked it at No. 14, according to the Global Knowledge survey.

However, this certification is old and can no longer be accessed. Instead, it has since been replaced by Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE.) The MCSE certifications can be achieved in server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud, data platform, business intelligence, messaging, communication and SharePoint.

No. 13 Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)

The Cisco Certified Design Associate brings in an average salary of $95,602, according to the survey.

This associate-level certification is for network design engineers, technicians, and support engineers who are involved with establishing proficient network environments. By being CCDA certified, the individual will be able to exhibit services to design basic campus, data center, security, voice and wireless networks.

Prior to getting this certification, an authorized Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCNET), Cisco Certified Network Associate Routing and Switching, or any CCIE certification is required.

No. 12 ITIL Expert Certification

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Expert certification brings in an average salary of $96,194, according to Global Knowledge.

This certification requires passing the ITIL Foundation exam and the capstone exam, Managing Across the Lifecycle. This certification is for those IT pros concerned with establishing and presenting a higher knowledge of the ITIL system.

Key requirements include having the ITIL Foundation certificate or a Bridge qualification equivalent, a total of 17 credits as the minimum from Foundation and Intermediate modules. This certification is a prerequisite for the ITIL Master Level, the highest level of qualification within the ITIL structure.

No. 11 Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) For Citrix XenServer

The Citrix Certified Administrator for XenServer certification, the survey found, brings in an average salary of $97,578.

This CCA certification is currently being offered for version 6 and allows the certified professional to install, configure, administer, maintain and troubleshoot a XenServer deployment, including provisioning services.

No. 10 ITIL v3 Foundation

According to the survey, the ITIL v3 Foundation certification brings in an average salary of $97,682.

This entry-level certification gives applicants an overall knowledge of key elements, concepts and lexicon utilized for the ITIL Service Lifecycle, which incorporates the connections amid lifecycle stages, processes used and contribution to service management organizations.

No. 9 Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

The Certified Ethical Hacker certification brings in an average salary of $103,822, according to Global Knowledge's survey.

Created and managed by the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (EC-Council,) this certification allows security professionals to be proficient in finding holes, weaknesses and vulnerabilities in an organization's network defense utilizing hackers' techniques. They will be able to scan, test, hack and protect their own systems. While a hacker is interested in inflicting damage and stealing information, a CEH is able to address and fix these insufficiencies, which is critical today.

No. 8 Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA) For Citrix NetScaler

The Citrix Certified Administrator for Citrix NetScaler brings in an average salary of $103,904.

Although the CCA for NetScaler certification is out of date for NetScaler 9, those with it are urged to upgrade to the new Citrix Certified Professional - Networking (CCP-N.) The CCP-N certifies network engineers with the comprehension and skills in implementing, managing and optimizing Citrix NetScaler 10 for networking performance and optimization.

No. 7 Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer (CCEE)

The Citrix Certified Enterprise Engineer brings in an average salary of $104,240, the survey found.

This legacy certification demonstrates proficiency in various Citrix products. This includes XenApp6, XenDesktop 5 and XenServer 6 through the Citrix Certified Administrator (CCS) exam, the Citrix Certified Advanced Administrator (CCAA) for XenApp 6 and an engineering exam around implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and troubleshooting a virtualization solution operating through Citrix products. Engineers with a CCEE certification help to build Citrix environments with data centers, private cloud and desktops. The certification also addresses security and staff mobility issues on devices.

No. 6 Certified Scrum Master

The Certified Scrum Master brings in an average salary of $107,396, according to Global Knowledge's survey findings.

This project management certification focuses on software application development. The process will entail a project manager to understand the Scrum framework, which involves team roles, activities and products.

To earn this certificate, a project manager will have to take a CSM course from a certified Scrum trainer and show progress through the online CSM test.

No. 5 Project Management Professional (PMP)

The Project Management Professional certificate, the survey said, brings in an average salary of $108,525.

This renowned project management certification has more than half a million active PMPs in 193 countries across the globe. To become certified, the test covers information on the lifecycle of a project including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. To become certified, 35 hours of PMP-related training along with 7,500 hours of project management experience without a bachelor degree or 4,500 hours of project management experience with a bachelor degree or higher is required.

No. 4 Six Sigma Green Belt

The Six Sigma Green Belt brings in an average salary of $109,165, the survey said.

This certification focuses on manufacturing and producing better quality products. With the Six Sigma Green Belt, the certification holder will be able to analyze, solve problems and improve existing processes in a production manufacturing setting.

The Six Sigma Green Belt is best for mid- to upper-level project managers, process engineers, consultants and manufacturing engineers.

No. 3 Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)

According to the survey, the Certified Information Systems Auditor brings in an average salary of $112,040.

This certification dates back to 1978, and it is just for auditors. The CISA certifies those who are involved with auditing, monitoring, controlling, assessing IT and or business systems. Applicants will be tested for their capability in managing vulnerabilities, ensuring compliance standards within IT and business, and proposing controls, processes and updates to a company's policies.

No. 2 Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

The Certified Information Security Manager brings in an average salary of $114,844.

With more than 23,000 people with the certification since its debut in 2002, it is highly sought after, the report said. To enhance IT management expertise, this certificate is geared toward individuals who manage design and oversee an organization's information security.

The exam is exclusively offered only three times a year in 240 different locations and requires at least five years of experience in IS including three years as a security manager.

No. 1 Certified In Risk And Information Systems Control (CRISC)

The CRISC brings in an average salary of $118,253.

More than 17,000 people have earned the CRISC since its unveiling in 2010. This certification was created for IT professionals, project managers and for those who identify and manage risks through information systems controls. By focusing on risk and IS controls, the professional will be able to monitor and respond if and when threats occur.

To become certified, the IT professional must have at least three years of experience in three of the five areas the certification covers. The exam is only offered twice a year.