A holographic image of an award badge hovers over a laptop for a user to select.

In-demand IT certifications to carry your employees forward in 2024

A holographic image of an award badge hovers over a laptop for a user to select.

In-demand IT certifications to carry your employees forward in 2024

Is your tech team prepared for what's ahead?


Read Time 11 minutes

It’s difficult to forecast the “best” IT certifications for any given year, especially since the relevance of certain certifications varies by industry. In late 2023 we spoke with Damon Garn for his insights. Damon is a Colorado Springs-based author, technical writer, courseware specialist, and founder of Cogspinner Coaction. He’s spent 20 years delivering technical training on Windows Server, Linux, information security, and CompTIA products, as well as working as a network administrator.

“I really do see the connection between IT certifications and training and success,” Damon explains. “Obviously, just because you’re certified does not make you successful in IT. But it gives a great foundation. Certification helps ensure common knowledge. It gives a good starting point both for folks that are just entering the field and for those that need to sharpen skills.”

Given the ongoing IT skills gap, qualified tech workers are needed more than ever. Current trends lead us to believe that the top tech certifications in 2024 will be those related to AI, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

Six in-demand IT certifications for 2024

In 2024, the most desirable certifications will help IT workers grapple with cybersecurity trends and AI developments while maintaining key cloud-based platforms:

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate-level)

AWS Certified SysOps Admin certification continues to be one of the most sought-after certifications in the cloud computing industry. It is widely recognized as one of the most challenging associate levels, and thus serves as an excellent litmus test when considering candidates for roles that include managing and operating systems on AWS.

Pearson VUE’s AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate) Complete Video Course is designed to bring learners up to speed quickly while helping them prepare to pass the updated certification exam. The course is best for those with a firm grasp of operations in a traditional IT infrastructure and a working knowledge of commonly used AWS services (e.g., EC2, S3, IAM, and CloudWatch). They should also already have experience with command-line scripting and operations using Bash, PowerShell, Python, and the like.

Microsoft Azure Administrator

Estimates vary, but it seems likely that at least more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies currently rely on Azure (in part or whole)—making the Azure Administrator Associate credential among the most sought-after Microsoft certifications. In 2020, Microsoft Azure Administrator certification ranked among the 15 highest-paying certifications. This makes it all the more important to upskill existing IT staff, rather than have to compete in such a tight labor market.

The Pearson CertPREP Microsoft Azure Administrator Course is a more advanced training aimed at cloud professionals ready to move up while honing their critical thinking and decision-making skills. This course is intended for people who already have several years of professional experience developing cloud-based solutions with Microsoft Azure. The program is best suited for professionals who are confident in at least one high-level Azure-supported programming language, and who have some skills managing cloud services (including storage, security, networking, and compute).

CompTIA Security+

As cybercrime continues to evolve and spread, CompTIA’s vendor-neutral Security+ certification becomes ever more important. It’s the cornerstone of any cybersecurity career, and widely recognized as a benchmark of cybersecurity expertise. CompTIA Security+ is approved by the U.S. Department of Defense to meet its expanded directive 8140 requirements, and usually ranks among the top three most widely held security, governance, compliance, and privacy-related certifications.

Pearson VUE’s CompTIA Security+ video training course is an entry-level course appropriate for anyone interested in learning IT security fundamentals. This self-paced program is built around topic-focused modules that offer deep dives into both security theory and everyday practices. Most lessons end with a “Security in Action” demonstration that provides a memorable, hands-on illustration of the most important concepts.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

CISSP certification is a logical next step for experienced professionals who hold entry-level certifications in IT security. The CISSP is a recommended (and often, required) certification for senior-level positions. It’s one of the most respected and recognized certifications in the information security field and is consistently tied to the highest-paying IT security roles. By most estimates, the global demand for CISSP-certified professionals significantly exceeds the supply.

CertPREP’s self-paced ISC2 CISSP Certified Information Systems Security Professional course offers in-depth training and preparation for the CISSP Exam. Topics covered include asset retention, secure provisioning, crypto attacks, machine learning tools, threat hunting, risk-based access control, zero trust, securing microservices/containers/managed services, and more. It helps learners identify areas where they still need to grow while building both high-level conceptual knowledge and hands-on skills.

This course is best for established IT security professionals and security leaders. It presumes learners have several years of IT security experience under their belts, and are already familiar with concepts like business continuity planning, disaster planning, and risk assessment.

Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification is made up of a rigorous training and examination process that focuses on teaching IT professionals to think like a hacker. This results in IT staff with a much deeper understanding of cybersecurity, able to sniff out vulnerabilities, understand potential exploits, and develop effective solutions to neutralize cyber threats. By understanding the tools of the trade, certified “ethical hackers” are better able to safeguard networks and help mitigate multi-pronged attacks on corporate infrastructure.

CEH certification is relevant for a wide range of positions within an organization, including penetration testing, vulnerability assessor, systems administrator, security officer, and even chief information officer (CIO). CEH cybersecurity course from Pearson VUE helps established IT professionals develop ethical hacking skills built on a foundation of reconnaissance, footprinting, enumeration, and vulnerability analysis. The course provides a thorough demo-based foundation in hacking methods, tools, and best practices for security risk analysis. These include attacks on web servers, applications, wireless networks, IoT devices, and mobile platforms.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

In 2020, the global market for AI was estimated to be around $29.86 billion USD. Just three years later, it had swelled to nearly $100 billion. By 2030, it’s expected to approach $2 trillion—roughly 6,600 percent growth in a single decade.

These new approaches to machine learning, data analytics, robotic process automation, and human-machine interaction will have a transformative impact of unknown depth and complexity. Companies cannot afford to be left behind. Nonetheless, many businesses are hesitant to fully embrace AI.

But just as AI and machine learning are rapidly developing, so are AI-specific certifications and training programs. CertPREP’s library of courseware currently includes two self-paced training courses for professionals looking to demonstrate their qualifications in this area.

The IT Specialist Computational Thinking program is designed for professionals in both non-technical and technical roles. It focuses on critical thinking and decision-making skills, as well as key foundational knowledge for IT staff. This includes key elements of data science, software engineering methodologies, algorithm representation, and an introduction to natural language processing and machine learning algorithms.

The IT Specialist Artificial Intelligence course offers more depth and technical detail on AI. It focuses entirely on machine learning, and is designed for those who want to develop skills in designing, evaluating, deploying, and monitoring machine learning-based solutions in production.

Remember the basics in 2024

Damon Garn is quick to point out that while there will always be new tech trends, it pays to mind the fundamentals.

“I was at a roundtable a few months ago to discuss training and certification, and everybody was very excited about all the new advanced topics. But my favorite things to teach have always been the beginner levels and IT fundamentals. CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ have been in the market for quite some time, but they are still critical. You still have to be able to understand IP addresses and know what a MAC address is. It’s not a bad idea to be able to glance at a Python script and say, ‘Alright, I have a clue what this is doing.’ Advanced-level topics will be out of reach if you don’t understand those building blocks.”

Prepare your IT staff to carry your company into 2024 and beyond

Our training and testing solutions prepare professionals to earn widely recognized credentials, driving progress in virtually every industry. Now is an excellent time to explore comprehensive training solutions with bulk discounts on training courses and certification exam prep materials. Enjoy the benefit of upskilled IT staff and future-proofed teams in 2024. For more information, visit PearsonVUE.com.

Looking for IT training and learning solutions to upskill your existing team or attract new pros?

Explore our catalog of IT certification prep materials, including courseware, practice tests, certification exam vouchers and more.

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