Top 10 Certifications with Staying Power

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Projects have existed for as long as humankind has been on earth in one form or another. Project management as a distinct discipline came into being in the 1950s. The need to manage projects effectively, while spotting issues, resource constraints, and other problems, early on created the need for project managers, and thus a certification around project management was born. While project management is not necessarily related to IT projects, it can be (as well as any other type of project) and thus is included here; ITIL (discussed next) is often closely related in the IT arena. As with CompTIA's other certifications, Project+ is a vendor-neutral, entry-level certification that certifies that an individual can create and manage a project, from inception to closure, including completing projects on time and on budget. No specific work experience or other prerequisites apply.

PMI's PMP, on the other hand, is much more demanding and recognized. PMI was founded in 1969 and created the PMP certification in 1984. More than 350,000 people have the certification today. Similarly to the CISSP, to get this certification, you must have 35 hours of project management education and documented proof of a high school diploma (or equivalent), with five years of experience, including a minimum of 7,500 hours running projects, or a bachelor's degree with three years of experience, including a minimum of 4,500 hours running projects. After you pass a certification exam, you become PMP certified; to maintain the certification, you must earn 60 professional development credits every three years as well.

For information on Project+ certification, please refer to http://certification.comptia.org/getCertified/certifications/project.aspx, while PMP information is available at http://www.pmi.org/Certification/Project-Management-Professional-PMP.aspx.

IT is a very fast-changing industry - what is hot today may be a tiny niche market in only a few years and things that few have heard of may be huge trends in the same timeframe. That having been said, many certifications have a long life span, by which we don't mean that the certification is good for many years before it expires, but rather that the certification has been around and will be around (as best as the future is predictable) for a long time. This does not imply that recertification on new versions and/or continuing education credits are not required to maintain certification, however. Predicting the future is always challenging, not the least a future in IT, but these certifications are good bets.

The top 10 certifications that meet this criterion (in no particular order), identified by Global Knowledge instructor John Hales, include the following. Note that the certifications are broad in terms of topics covered and are not all strictly IT administrator-based.


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