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Which IT Certifications are the Hottest in 2017 for New Graduates?

by Mary Ellen Slayter
4.3.2017

Certifications are a good choice for even for new graduates, industry association CompTIA says. We used CompTIA’s Career Roadmap site to round up five of the hottest areas of employer demand in IT, including the recommended certifications for people who are looking to get started in those industry areas.

INFORMATION SECURITY

What the role involves: Keeping data safe. The allegation of Russian hackers potentially influencing the 2016 presidential election is only the latest round of information security drama. Businesses and other organizations have been dealing with costly data breaches for several years, and it seems like everyone is looking for the security-minded specialists to protect their assets. This area is unlikely to slip out of the top spot in terms of demand anytime soon.

Recommended certifications for beginners: CompTIA A+, CompTIA IT Fundamentals, Microsoft Technology Associate: Security Fundamentals

WEB AND MOBILE

What the role involves: Developing mobile apps and websites. These areas have become part of the backbone of the economy in the past decade, and the role requires technical skills such as coding but also “soft skills” like communication, since in many cases this work involves you making a client’s vision a reality.

Recommended certifications for beginners: CompTIA A+, CompTIA IT Fundamentals, Microsoft Technology Associate: Developer Track, Adobe Certified Associate, CIW Site Development Associate

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

What the role involves: Plan and code software. Software development is increasingly in demand as more and more devices and parts of people’s everyday lives become technology-dependent. It’s another area that requires both technical skills and aspects such as collaboration with others.

Recommended certifications: CompTIA A+, Microsoft Technology Associate: Developer Track, Oracle Certified Associate in Java SE 6/SE 5

OFFICE PRODUCTIVITY

What the role involves: Focus on the development of business-related software. This is a spinoff of the Software Development sector, with the focus on improvements for existing software like Microsoft Office and Google Docs.

Recommended certifications for beginners: CompTIA A+, European Computer Driving License Advanced, Microsoft Office Specialist, IC3

IT MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY

What the role involves: A somewhat broader focus. This is a track to get into the area of project management, where you take responsibility for a product or project from conception to completion. It includes a base of technical skills but also adds aspects such as team building and budgeting.

Recommended certifications for beginners: CompTIA Project+, PMI Certified Associate in Project Management, Office of Government Commerce Prince2 Foundation

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