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Best IT Certifications for 2018

Best IT Certifications for 2018
Credit: Shutterstock/Gorodenkoff

Getting certified is a surefire way to advance your career in the IT industry. Whether you work for an enterprise, a small business, government, healthcare or any other place that employs IT professionals, your best bet for career advancement is to validate your skills and knowledge through a carefully chosen combination of certifications.

But certifications can get expensive. Factor in study materials, training and classes, exam fees, and the time that you devote to the whole experience; it all adds up. If you consider certifications as an investment in your career and your future, then wouldn't you want to work to obtain those that will benefit you the most?

Below you'll find certification guides that identify the best five credentials in a variety of different areas of IT, including security, storage, project management, cloud computing, computer forensics and more.

The growing field of big data, analytics and business intelligence is all the rage these days, and the number of certifications is ticking up accordingly. What's more, IT professionals with big data and related certs are growing in demand. Read more about the best big data certifications

Business continuity and disaster recovery certifications are seeing a healthy uptrend as new cloud-based tools proliferate the market. While BCP and DRP have always been important, they're becoming more critical, and IT certifications are following suit. Check out our best picks for business continuity and disaster recovery certifications

IT pros with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand as more companies adopt cloud technologies. With new cloud credentials coming out each year, the choices are multiplying. Here's an updated list of the best cloud certifications.

As hacking and computer crime continues to grow, the demand for qualified computer forensics professionals is also on the rise. From over two dozen computer forensics certifications, we list the five best options for 2018.

Computer hardware certs are a great entry point for IT pros interested in becoming computer technicians. These top credentials can help you demonstrate your knowledge and skills in maintaining computers, servers, peripherals and more. Read more about the best computer hardware certifications

IT pros skilled in the many areas of networking remain in high demand in today's job market. If you're serious about a career in networking, consider one or more of these certs to set yourself apart from the competition. Read more about the best computer networking certifications.

With emerging software defined data center (SDDC) technologies, many of today's data center certifications are requiring additional skills, including virtualization and cloud computing. Here are the best options for data center certifications for 2018.

Knowledgeable and savvy database professionals are always in demand. Here are the best certifications for DBAs, database developers, data analysis and architects, business intelligence and data warehousing specialists, and other data professionals. Check out our best picks among database certifications

The demand for highly skills IT professionals who understand not only technology, but the business and enterprise architecture as well, is on the rise. This is where Enterprise IT Architect credentials can help you get to the pinnacle of the IT certification pyramid. Read more about the best enterprise architect certifications

As global healthcare spending continues to grow, more IT pros with an understanding of healthcare's unique technology and compliance requirements are needed. Today there are a number of Healthcare IT certifications to choose from -- here are the top five.

Help desk and tech support positions remain popular points of entry for IT pros. To start or advance your tech support career and make yourself stand out, is to validate your knowledge and skills through one of these leading help desk certifications.

Infosec professionals serious about advancing their careers should consider these top security certifications. From entry-level choices to advanced credentials, these certifications will get you on your way to becoming a leader in the field of information security. Check out our top picks in infosec certifications

Organizations that must meet the rigors of compliance are always in need of experienced IT pros who can see the big picture and understand risks involved with technology. This means certified IT governance professionals are in high demand for 2018. Read more about the best IT governance certifications

Becoming an IT trainer is not an easy path, but the destination is full of opportunities. IT instructors need to stay on top of the technologies they're teaching, know how to effectively share their knowledge and engage with their students. Read more about the best IT trainer certifications

Linux continues to have a strong hold on the enterprise, especially in the web server and supercomputer space and IT pros interested in validating their Linux skills have a lot of certification options. Here are the best five Linux certifications for 2018.

Developers and IT pros interested in mobility and app development can get their resumes noticed with one or more mobile app development certifications. From Microsoft, Android and Java certifications, these credentials are a smart move. Check out the best picks for mobile app development certifications

Mobile technologies are experiencing unprecedented growth, with no slowdown in sight. Mobility is truly taking IT by storm, forcing management to rethink everything from big-picture infrastructure design to network integration. And mobile certifications are following suit. Read more about the best certifications for mobility

When considering computer programming certifications, make sure to evaluate not just the programming languages, but also the development platforms you'll be working with. IT pros interested in computer programming have no shortage of certification options. Check out our best picks for programming certifications

Project management certs continue to rate near the top of IT certification lists. Whether you're interested in becoming a project manager or want to add project management to the list of your skills, these certifications can help you achieve your goals. Read more about the best project management certifications to consider. 

Skilled storage professionals continue to be in high demand in today's workplace. Those looking to prove they have the chops have over 70 different storage certifications to choose from. We narrow down this list to the top five choices.

When it comes to managing modern servers, there's a long list of tools and technologies SysAdmins need to master. And an equally long list of certs to validate your knowledge and skills. Here are the best system administrator certifications for 2018.

If you're interested in telecommunications, you have a wide variety of certification options to choose from, including ones that cover telecom networking and various kinds of streaming voice and video platforms for unified communications. Read more about the best telecommunications certifications

Unified Communications platforms bring multiple applications together, such as e-mail, instant messaging, IP telephony, audio and video conferencing. In today's globally dispersed world, UC certifications are growing in demand. Check out our best picks for unified communications certifications

Virtualization continues to rank near the top of every best IT certification list. And the increased popularity of virtualization technologies translates to a high demand for skilled and certified virtualization professionals. Read more about the best virtualization certifications

As traditional PBXs and PSTNs are being replaced by VoIP and IP-based PBXs, the telephony space is changing and so are the credentials for IT professionals. Here are five of the best VoIP and telephony certifications to invest in this year.

The web design and development fields have undergone many changes over the years, and web certifications have evolved alongside the technologies. IT pros interested in validating their web skills should consider these top five certifications.

The explosion of mobile devices and wireless networks in the enterprise spells a high demand for qualified IT professionals specializing in wireless technologies. Here are our top five wireless certification picks for 2018.

 

Ed Tittel

Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written for numerous publications, including Tom's IT Pro, and is the author of more than 140 computing books on information security, web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.

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