The past year proved the relevance of certifications in the skills-based economy. In addition to advancing professionals’ careers in their respective fields, certifications validate their skills and knowledge.
The year 2020 is no different. In fact, here are the major reasons for you to pursue a certification this year:
- New Skills: Certification helps you combine soft skills with technical learnings, which is an added advantage. Certified IT professionals have proven to possess better communication and project management skills.
- Higher Revenue: A Deloitte study showed a 218% higher revenue per employee is possible through a comprehensive training program.
- Networking Opportunities: As a certified IT professional, you are a member of a group of experts who support you to build a career with professional expertise.
And now, without further ado, here are the top professional training courses you shouldn’t miss out on this year.
1) Project Management Professional (PMP)
Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is an accredited certificate awarded by PMI to Project Managers. With this certification in hand, project managers can prove their ability to improve leadership and build the appropriate organizational skills.
Moreover, PMP certified employees develop a more sophisticated approach to adopt the latest project methodologies. All this combined with other knowledge imparted during PMP certification training prepares professionals for leadership and managerial roles.
Benefits of the Project Management Professional Certification
To showcase the value of PMP certification, here are the core benefits of having one:
- Establishing a PMP Language: While training, you will get to develop the global standard language skills of project management.
- Getting a Higher Salary: According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a Project Management Officer (PMO) is $76k per annum.
- Achieving Global Recognition: PMP certification offers industry recognition to professionals globally.
How to Become a Certified Project Management Professional
To become a certified PMP, you need to pass the certification examination. First, however, you need to be eligible for the exam by meeting the following requirements based on academic qualifications.
That said, the PMP exam comprises 200 multiple choice questions which you need to answer in four hours. The focus of the PMP exam is divided in the following:
- Initiating the project (13%)
- Planning the project (24%)
- Executing the project (31%)
- Monitoring and controlling the project (25%)
- Closing the project (7%)
To ace the PMP certification exam, you may require training based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide version 6. This is especially true as participants are required to take a practice exam as part of the PMP certification.
2) Prince2 Practitioner
Offered by AXELOS, PRINCE2® (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is one of the widely adopted project management methods. The PRINCE2 Practitioner certification is especially beneficial for professionals involved in managing projects, including members in the team of design, development and project delivery.
The PRINCE2® Practitioner qualification testifies to your knowledge of applying PRINCE2® to projects. It also qualifies you to applying and tuning the method to address the specific needs and problems your organisation faces.
Benefits of Prince2 Practitioner Certification
Becoming a certified PRINCE2® Practitioner offers numerous benefits, including:
- Emphasis on Practical Aspects: Prince2® teaches practitioners how to tailor project principles, processes, stages, and roles and responsibilities according to their organisation’s needs.
- Adaptability to Change: This certification enables practitioners to recognise their plans, projections, and approach are susceptible to change. That’s why stages or phases are set to determine if the organisation is on track to achieve required outcomes.
- Additional Confidence: By building on PRINCE2 Foundation, Prince 2 Practitioner empowers practitioners to choose methods which fit their unique projects rather than be confined to a single formula.
How to Become a PRINCE2 Practitioner
If you want to become a certified PRINCE2® Practitioner, you need to pass the certification examination. For the latter, you must provide proof of having passed one of the following:
- PRINCE2 Foundation (or higher) – this only applies to certificates obtained after 1 January 2009
- Project Management Qualification (PMQ)*
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)*
- IPMA Level A® (Certified Projects Director)
- IPMA Level B® (Certified Senior Project Manager)
- IPMA Level C® (Certified Project Manager)
- IPMA Level D® (Certified Project Management Associate)
The duration of the certification exam is 2.5 hours. There are 68 objective questions you should attempt. To be certified, you need to correctly answer 55% of questions, i.e. 38 questions. Participants can use the PRINCE2 guide during the exam.
To be prepared, consider taking a PRINCE2® Practitioner course to become more proficient in applying the principles of PRINCE2®and secure the certification from your first attempt.
3) Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Becoming a CISM makes you a valuable addition since you will promote the knowledge of Information Security Program and International Security practices at your employer’s enterprise. Besides, while the demand of IT security professionals is on the rise, there are only around 23,000 CISM professionals worldwide.
As a CISM Professional, you will gain the knowledge and skill on Information Security governance, program development, risk management, and incident management.
Benefits of Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
The globally accepted and recognised CISM certification has the following core benefits:
- Customised Practices: Professionals can customise the practices they learn during preparing for the certification according to their companies’ needs.
- Global Recognition: Professionals can work anywhere across the globe as CISM is recognised by multinational clients and organisations.
- Improved Customer Retention: You get to demonstrate to enterprise customers their commitment to compliance, security, and integrity. In turn, you contribute to attracting and retaining customers.
How to Become a Certified Information Security Manager
CISM is a difficult certification to achieve. That said, it is not impossible if you are determined and have had proper training. The following professionals are eligible to appear for the CISM exam
- IS/IT Auditor
- Security Professionals
- Non-IT Auditors
- IS/IT Consultants
- IS/IT Audit Managers
The first step towards certification is passing the CISM exam. The latter focuses on the following areas:
- Information Security Governance (24%)
- Information Risk Management (30%)
- Information Security Program Development and Management (27%)
- Information Security Incident Management (19%)
The duration of the CISM exam is four hours, in which you need to attempt 150 multiple choice questions. The minimum scaled score to pass the exam is 450.
You need to also meet the work experience requirements, which is five years of information security work experience before applying for the certification. This experience should be gained within 10 years preceding your application for the certification, or after five years of passing the CISM exam.
4) Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
Business growth highly depends on the adoption of IT services and solutions, which is why ITIL is valuable for aligning the business needs of an organisation with IT Service Management (ITSM).
In fact, many high-profile organisations including HSBC, IBM and even NASA employ ITIL professionals to help them standardise procedures with the perspective of IT management.
The first step towards becoming an ITIL certified professional is achieving the ITIL Foundation certification. This mainly covers continuous improvement, service strategies, and how to adapt IT service infrastructures.
Benefits of ITIL Certification
With the knowledge and skill gained from ITIL, professionals will enjoy numerous benefits such as:
- Global Recognition: ITIL professionals are identified worldwide as future Service Management experts.
- Increased Salary: You can expect a 15% salary increment after achieving an ITIL certification.
- Professional Language: ITIL certification helps you learn the standard language and processes used globally.
How to Become a Certified ITIL Professional
There are four certification levels within ITIL 4 for you to pick from:
- ITIL 4 Managing Professional
- ITIL 4 Strategic Leader
While not mandatory, it is preferred that candidates prepare for the certification exam with the help of an accredited training course.
You will need to start from the Foundation level and work your way up. The ITIL Foundation exam comprises 40 Multiple Choice Questions which you need to attempt within an hour. To pass, you need 26 marks out of 40 (65%). With the Foundation certificate, you can move on to the intermediate certifications.
5) Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
Professionals interested in a lucrative career as experienced security professionals, managers and executive in organisations should consider the CISSP certification.
The CISSP certification validates your deep technical knowledge of managing the overall information security of an organisation. In addition to being proficient on the Eight Common Body of Knowledge domains, you’ll possess the appropriate skills to offer enterprise wide security information.
Benefits of CISSP Certification
CISSP gives security professionals an edge over their peers due to benefits such as:
- Credibility for Security Experts: As a security professional, the CISSP certification adds to your credibility by enhancing your practical skills.
- Up-to-Date Knowledge of Cybersecurity: Once certified, you will be required to earn CPE credits. That way, you will stay updated with the cybersecurity trends.
- Higher Salary: According to Indeed, 72% certified CISSP professionals earned more annually. This is because the credential helped them get better jobs and grow their careers.
How to Become a CISSP Professional
To be eligible for the certification exam, you should have five or more years of professional experience in at least two of the of CISSP common body of knowledge –
- Domain 1: Security and Risk Management
- Domain 2: Asset Security
- Domain 3: Security Architecture and Engineering
- Domain 4: Communication and Network Security
- Domain 5: Identity and Access Management (IAM)
- Domain 6: Security Assessment and Testing
- Domain 7: Security Operations
- Domain 8: Software Development Security
The examination of CISSP is challenging since it uses Adaptive Testing (CAT). This means the computer will determine which questions you get based on previous answers. Therefore, the more questions you answer correctly, the more difficult the test may become. That is why you should consider preparing properly with CISSP training.
As for the exam’s particulars, it is three hours long and consists of 100-150 questions. The passing grade for the examination is 700 out of 1000 points.
6) The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is an important framework for enterprises to plan and design their IT infrastructure according to their unique requirements. As a certified TOGAF expert, you will be entrusted with communicating with various departments, and designing and implementing an IT strategy.
Benefits of TOGAF Certification
The TOGAF certification offers multiple benefits to professionals choosing to pursue it. Here are a few of the benefits you can gain:
- Enhance Managerial Skills: Training for the TOGAF certification will help you master the technical and managerial aspects of the enterprise architecture.
- Understanding of a Common Language: You will get the chance to connect with other TOGAF architects and build a professional network. It improves the communication skills among the enterprise architecture professionals as well.
- Better Opportunities: As a certified expert recognised from the industry board, professionals get the chance to grow career opportunities in different organisations. Enterprises seek to work with experts of business architecture methodology for the business’s success.
How to Become a Certified TOGAF Professional
To obtain TOGAF certification, you need to pass two exams (aka levels). It is highly recommended that you enrol in an accredited training course to prepare for the exams. Traditionally, the course will cover the following:
- Phase A: Architecture Vision
- Phase B: Business Architecture – Catalogs, Diagrams and Matrices
- Phase C: Information Systems Architectures
- Phase C: Data Architecture – Catalogs, Matrices and Diagrams
- Phase C: Applications Architecture – Catalogs, Matrices and Diagrams
- Phase D: Technology Architecture – Catalogs, Matrices and Diagrams
- Phase E: Opportunities and Solutions
- Phase F: Migration Planning
- Phase G: Implementation Governance
- Phase H: Architecture Change Management
As for the levels/exams, those are:
- Level 1, which comprises 40 MCQs out which 22 points are required to pass the exam. Passing this level will award you the entry level qualification, TOGAF Foundation.
- Level 2, which is based on 8 complex scenario questions, out of which 60% is required to pass the exam. Passing this level will make you TOGAF 9 Certified.
While you can take these exams separately, you can combine them to directly become TOGAF 9 Certified.
7) Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) is one of the important certifications for business analysts. It testifies to your expertise in various business domains as well as your ability to take on complex projects, collaborate with stakeholders on business requirements, and identify opportunities which allow the business to thrive.
Benefits of CBAP® Certification
Offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA), CBAP equips professionals with business analysis skills based on the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge® (BABOK®). This certification also provides benefits such as:
- Build Confidence in Business Analysis Role: Certification requires that you require complete 7,500 hours of work experience based on the BABOK guide. This experience builds professionals’ confidence in their business analysis skills.
- Improve Problem Solving Skills: The knowledge and skills you gain while preparing for the certification exam prepare you for solving problems using carious approaches. By thinking out of the box, you will be able to add value to your enterprise.
- Higher Earning Potential: CBAPs earn 16% more than non-certified peers. This is mainly because they have access to better projects which add value to their profiles. Moreover, their contributions have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
How to Become a CBAP Professional
Before applying for the CBAP, you need to possess five years (7,500 hours) of business analysis experience and 900 hours of experience in four of the six knowledge areas define in the BABOK Guide.
Next, you need to have 35 documented professional development hours (PDs). For that, you need to partake in business analysis training courses which qualify for credits.
With these in hand, you can submit your CBAP application through IIBA’s website. Once your application is approved, you can schedule an exam. The exam consists of 150 multiple choice questions which you need to attempt in 3.5 hours. While there is no specific passing score, you should aim to score 75% overall.
To prepare for the certification exam, you need 150-200 hours of study and training. In addition to reviewing reading materials, consider a CBAP certification training course. The latter cover important topics you will be examined on, including:
- Business Analysis Key Concepts
- Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
- Elicitation and Collaboration
- Requirements Life Cycle Management
- Strategy Analysis
- Requirements Analysis and Design Definition
- Solution Evaluation
- Underlying Competencies
- A Survey of Business Analysis Techniques
- Test-Taking Strategies
8) ISO/IEC 27001 Certification
ISO 27001 is probably the best-known standard for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). Professionals seek ISO/IEC 27001 certification to become valuable assets to their organisations. This is because they support the information security process of the enterprise and proactively manage risks.
Benefits of ISO27001 Certification
While optional, certification to ISO/IEC 27001 offers enterprises (and their employees) many benefits which they will not get by using the framework for best practice alone:
- Competitive Edge for the Business: Companies employ certified ISO 27001 professionals to demonstrate good security practices, which in turn impacts relationships with prospective and existing clients.
- Better Compliance: The standard itself is designed to help enterprises select controls which protect information and adhere to regulator requirements. In turn, certified professionals can avoid the multi-million penalties associated with data breaches.
- Protect the Business: ISO/IEC 27001 help protect their companies from threats and reduce the need for repeated customer audits. They also enable businesses to grow rapidly by making them more productive.
How to become a Certified ISO27001 Professional
To start your journey as a certified ISO/IEC 27001 professional, you need to start from the Foundation qualification. This is especially important if you wish to prepare for the ISO/IEC 27001 Practitioner – Information Security Officer qualification.
The ISO/IEC 27001 Foundation certification exam comprises of 50 multiple choice questions which you should attempt within an hour. You need to achieve 50% (25 marks or more) to pass the exam. For that, consider preparing with an accredited trainer.
9) COBIT® 2019 Foundation
COBIT 2019 is ISACA’s globally accepted framework for providing an end-to-end business view of the governance of enterprise IT. The latest version of the framework, it delivers the strengths of COBIT 5 while introducing new concepts and updates to ensure the relevancy of COBIT.
Benefits of COBIT® 2019 Certification
The success of today’s businesses relies on how well they implement advanced Information and technology related tasks. That is why they seek talented certified COBIT professionals and pay them well. Remuneration aside, the following are some benefits of this certificate:
- Improve Strategic Alignment: Professionals are more capable of aligning the enterprise’s IT goals with larger strategies. This is especially vital for large organisations as they are highly dependent on IT.
- Better Audits: As information security is an important aspect in COBIT 2019, certified professionals develop foresight which protects enterprises from compliance issues. This, in turn, protects businesses from fines and reputation damage.
- Networking Opportunities: In addition to your employer, you yourself will enjoy numerous benefits. The biggest perk is creating networking opportunities between other certified professionals and practicing organisations.
How to Become a COBIT® 2019 Certified Professional
COBIT 2019 Foundation is your first step towards certification. You can prepare for the certification exam by enrolling in accredited training, which traditionally provides an overview of COBIT® 2019 and goes over key concepts, designing and implementing a governance system, and performance measurement.
To achieve the COBIT 2019 Foundation qualification, you need to pass the certification exam. This two-hour closed book exam comprises 75 multiple choice questions. You need to score 65% or higher to pass and achieve the certification.
10) Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT)
The Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT) qualification is considered the elite IT governance qualification. Developed by ISACA, the certificate testifies to your knowledge and ability to apply IT governance principles and practices.
However, the certification is designed for seasoned IT governance professionals who have significant management, advisory, or assurance roles in their enterprises. Professionals with experience in strategic alignment, value delivery, and risk management may also benefit from the certification.
Benefits of CGEIT Certification
Professionals enjoy many advantages by pursuing CGEIT certification, including:
- Better Job Opportunities: Organisations tend to hire certified professionals and pay them higher as the certification vouches for their expertise, knowledge, and credibility.
- Higher Wages than Peers: The CGEIT certification is considered one of the most remunerative certifications in IT.
- Up to Date Knowledge: All CGEITs are required to maintain their certification with continuing professional education (CPE). As a result, their skills and knowledge remain relevant and up to date.
How to Become a CGEIT
The first step towards CGEIT is passing the certification exam. The four-hour exam comprises 150 multiple choice questions. To pass the CGEIT exam, you need to score 450 or higher. Therefore, consider enrolling in a CGEIT bootcamp before you attempt the exam.
Once you pass, you will need to demonstrate the required minimum work experience to be certified. According to ISACA, candidates need to have at least five years managing or service in an advisory role or supporting IT governance. Of these five, one year should be dedicated to defining, establishing, and managing an IT governance framework.
So are You Ready to Get a New Certification?
Embrace a better you this 2020 with the help of the best certifications in your domain. Business Beam can help you further through its wide range of professional training courses. For more details, check out our list of training courses offered.