There are a rangle of key IT skills that are paying very well, and not necessarily requiring certification or accreditation. CIO's Rich Hein describes 10 of red-hot skill areas -- most of which don't require certification. Employers just want good, knowledgeable people with the right experience:
- Apache and Big Data: Hadoop, MapReduce, Hbase, Cassandra, Mahout, SAS, Greenplum. (Thanks to reader Sidic for the contribution here.)
- SAP development: SAP HANA (In-Memory Appliance), SAP SEM (Strategic Enterprise Management), SAP ESA (Enterprise Services Architecture), SAP PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), SAP Solution Manager, SAP Retail, SAP SRM (Supplier Relationship Management), SAP CRM, SAP CO-PA (Profitability Analysis), SAP PS (Project Systems), SAP BI and SAP EHS (Environmental Management). (By the way, SAP offers a very comprehensive certification program, which can be a real plus.)
- Database development: Oracle Developer Suite, Oracle database, Informatica, MongoDB, and MySQL/MySQL Cluster. (Database vendors do offer certification programs, which adds even more oomph to a resume.)
- Web/e-commerce development: Microsoft Commerce Server, Microsoft .Net, EMC Corporation's Documentum (enterprise content management platform), Python, and Sharepoint Server, Oracle Workflow, SOAP, Google App Engine, and social networking skills.
- Management, process and methodology: Business process management, information risk management, business performance management, project management, quantitative analysis, risk assessment/risk management and change management.
- Systems and networking: Security (DW/BI, ERP, Web, and project assignments), virtualization, network security management, wireless network management and RFID. (More areas offering accreditation, if desired, which can put a job candidate over the top.)
- Java SE, EE and ME: Java Standard Edition (SE), Java Enterprise Edition (EE), Enterprise JavaBeans, servlets, portlets, JavaServer Pages, and Micro Edition (ME).
- Infrastructure architecture: Virtual computing (VDI and VI), physical computing (client/server), storage, network, backup & recovery, voice, video, management services and mobility.
- Information security: Risk management, network and cloud/virtualization security, operations security, and mobile device security. (Lots of certification programs also available here -- which can make a difference in organizations that are highly sensitive about their data.)
This is not to diminish the value and hard work that goes into certification. When times get tough for IT hiring, in fact, certification can be a real advantage. But nothing beats experience.