10 best highest-paying IT certifications for 2024

highest paying certifications
Earning certificates will ensure that you are on top of new developments, keeping your skills fresh and relevant. Source: AFP

Want to advance your career and increase your salary? Consider completing some of the highest-paying certifications in IT available today.

The value of IT certifications is evident, with 66% of IT decision-makers acknowledging that certified employees provide an annual economic value of over US$10,000, and 22% estimate that value at US$25,000 or more.

In this competitive job market, having the right certifications can significantly enhance your salary, set you apart from the competition, and open doors to promotions and new opportunities.

This is because IT certifications serve as a strong signal to potential employers, affirming your expertise, skills, and aptitude.

And with the right certifications, you can expect to earn well above the industry average, ensuring a rewarding and successful IT career.

highest paying certifications

Earning relevant certifications can boost your salary by as much as 20%. Source: AFP

Benefits of the highest-paying certifications

Earning an IT certification offers many benefits, and one of the biggest perks is the validation it provides.

This validation is a critical factor in the hiring process, ensuring that employers can rely on the skills and knowledge of their certified employees.

With a certificate, you have concrete proof of your expertise and proficiency in specific IT domains, giving potential employers the assurance that you have the necessary skills to perform tasks.

With this, comes higher pay and more senior roles.

Research shows that IT professionals with certifications are more likely to be hired and tend to earn higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts.

These certifications also provide career development opportunities, keeping you up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends, thus helping you maintain your relevance and edge in the IT world.

Looking for a leg up in your career? Here are the highest-paying certifications you can earn to boost your salary in 2024.

10 best highest paying certifications for 2024

highest paying certifications

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud, offering over 200 fully featured services from data centres globally. Source: AFP

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

Average salary: US$140,101

The AWS Solutions Architect Professional is one of the highest-paying IT certifications for 2024. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s leading public cloud service provider, and this certification is highly sought after.

In 2022, it was ranked as the highest-paying IT certification according to Skillsoft’s IT Skills and Salary survey.

As more businesses migrate their IT operations to the cloud, the demand for AWS solutions architects is rising.

For those with at least one year of experience in creating solutions for the AWS platform, this certification paves the way to a more lucrative career.

 To qualify for the certification, you must have some experience in Linux system administration, a basic understanding of databases and familiarity with distributed systems and multi-tier architectures. 

2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Average salary: US$137,166

The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification offered by ISACA demonstrates that a security professional possesses the knowledge and skills to design, engineer, implement, manage, and evaluate an enterprise-wide information security programme.

It also showcases competence in information security governance, risk management, and incident management.

CISM professionals excel in identifying, assessing, managing, and monitoring an organisation’s information security risks, making them invaluable assets in the cybersecurity landscape.

This certification is designed for information security managers, IT auditors, IT consultants, and managers who play a big role in supporting information security programme management. 

To qualify for the CISM exam, you need at least five years of previous work experience in information security within the past 10 years.

The CISM certification is valid for five years and requires the earning of continuing professional education (CPE) credits for maintenance. 

highest paying certifications

Google has been focused on developing products and services powered by the latest advances in AI that offer help in moments big and small. Source: AFP

3. Google Cloud – Professional Cloud Architect

Average salary: US$282,343

Looking for one of the highest paying certifications? Try the Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect certification.

This widely recognised certification provides you with the expertise in designing, developing, and managing highly secure and compliant cloud solutions.

For cloud professionals with at least three years of experience in building and managing systems on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), this certification opens the doors to a successful future.

It not only showcases your ability to design, build, and maintain complex cloud-based systems on GCP but also demonstrates your problem-solving skills and your capacity to implement the most suitable cloud architecture to meet business objectives.

4. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Average salary: US$126,000

The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification offered by (ISC)² is recognised as one of the highest-paying certifications for those looking to excel in the field of cybersecurity.

This prestigious certification equips professionals with the expertise to effectively design, manage, and implement a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.

CISSP-certified individuals are well-prepared to provide invaluable advice on mitigating risks and to plan, test, and implement disaster recovery procedures. 

5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Average salary: US$134,534

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification is the top choice for those looking to excel in the field of cloud solutions.

It tests your ability to define solutions based on customer requirements and your grasp of the best practices for AWS application implementation.

To excel in this certification, you must have practical experience with AWS services, a deep understanding of the best practices for building reliable and secure applications on the AWS platform, and knowledge of the AWS global infrastructure and related network technologies.

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification is highly sought after by cloud architects, and its value is underscored by the fact that 70% of certified professionals have earned another certification in the past year, with Google Cloud – Professional Cloud Engineer being a common cross-certification.

This certification serves as a stepping stone to various AWS certification paths, enabling you to align your credentials with your career goals. 

highest paying certifications

When you earn a certificate, you can expect anywhere from a 13 to 25% boost in your annual salary. Source: ETX

6. AWS Certified Security – Specialty

Average salary: US185,000

The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification is a great choice for security professionals looking to excel in AWS security services. This certification is a strong testament to your ability to secure AWS workloads effectively. 

To succeed in the AWS Certified Security – Specialty exam, you should have in-depth knowledge of AWS security services and features, an understanding of security operations and risks, and the capacity to make informed decisions to meet application requirements.

Familiarity with the AWS shared responsibility model, security controls for workloads, logging and monitoring strategies, cloud security threat models, patch management, security automation, data classifications, and AWS data protection mechanisms are among the critical topics covered. 

7. Project Management Professional (PMP)

Average salary: US$93,000

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is perfect for those seeking a path to managerial, leadership, or strategic roles in the world of project management.

This accreditation signifies not only competence but also expertise in managing projects, including budgets, goals, and project teams. 

PMP-certified project managers lead and manage all aspects of a project, from defining requirements to successful completion.

They are responsible for crafting project plans, managing resources, and meeting deadlines, ensuring that projects are executed.

This certification assesses a professional’s knowledge of project management fundamentals and their ability to navigate the five key stages of a project’s lifecycle. 

highest paying certifications

Achieving a certification shows dedication not only to a particular industry but also to learning and self-improvement.  Source: AFP

8. Nutanix Certified Professional – Multicloud Infrastructure (NCP-MCI)

Average salary: US$147,169.68

The Nutanix Certified Professional – Multicloud Infrastructure (NCP-MCI) certification is perfect for those aiming for success in cloud infrastructure.

This certification validates your ability to deploy, manage, optimise, troubleshoot, and scale Nutanix AOS in the enterprise cloud.

It covers a comprehensive range of topics, including cloud concepts, network management, VM creation and management, data protection, and more. The NCP-MCI certification is particularly popular among systems architects, with 65% of certified professionals earning new certifications in the past year, including the VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization (VCP-DCV) certification. 

9. Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Average salary: US$$133,185

The Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is undoubtedly one of the highest-paying certifications for IT professionals aiming to gain expertise in the Azure cloud ecosystem.

Designed for candidates with advanced knowledge and experience in IT operations, this certification demands a deep understanding of a wide range of domains, including networking, virtualisation, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data platforms, governance, Azure administration, Azure development, and DevOps processes. 

This is particularly popular among cloud architects, with 78% of certified professionals earning new certifications within the past year, with the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate being the most common cross-certification. 

highest paying certifications

Source: AFP

10. Google Cloud – Cloud Digital Leader

Average salary: US$159,010

The Google Cloud – Cloud Digital Leader is an excellent choice for those looking for one of the highest-paying certifications in the tech world.

This certification is open to anyone who wants to showcase their knowledge of leveraging Google Cloud products to help organisations achieve their goals. The exam covers various areas, including digital transformation with Google Cloud, innovation with data and Google Cloud, infrastructure and application modernisation, and security and operations.

This certification is particularly popular among cloud architects, with 75% of certified professionals earning new certifications in 2023.