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Industry Leaders

So, which certifications are the industry's leaders and which are realizing the most investment? While the cost of certification varies widely, investment in certification programs can be defined by which have the most graduated candidates. Among the top five certification programs, Microsoft's MCP certification had the largest body of certificants, achieved by 41 percent of the CertMag readers studied. Other prominent programs included Microsoft's MCSE (32 percent had certification) and CompTIA's A+ certification (22 percent). Microsoft's MCP+I (19 percent) and Novell's CNA (16 percent) round out the top five. Figure 4 shows the percentage of CertMag readers holding various credentials. Figure 5, then, lists the top 10 certification programs, as determined by analysis of the responses of CertMag readers.

Figure 4

Figure 5

Regardless of the share of certification holders accounted for by programs, the value and return on investment in those programs provides the IT professional with valuable information to help prioritize training. IT professionals are asking that certification providers, you guessed it, show them the money.

In this independent study (no certification providers provided funding for this study), the annual salaries of CertMag subscribers can be profiled with regard to the certifications they claim. Seven major certification providers were measured, considering annual salaries of their certified professionals who make up CertMag's readership:

  • Cisco

  • CompTIA

  • Hewlett-Packard

  • Lotus

  • Microsoft

  • Novell

  • Oracle

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