Upskilling for Career Growth: Certifications Every IT Leader Should Consider

by | May 11, 2023 | Professional Growth & Careers

An IT manager monitors and implements strategies to enhance the performance of the organization’s IT infrastructure. From installing the latest cybersecurity tools to optimizing the benefits delivered by artificial intelligence, it appears on the surface that IT managers spend a large chunk of their careers finding solutions to highly technical problems. The rapidly changing IT landscape requires managers to stay ahead of the technology curve by obtaining certifications that enrich their technical acumen.

The IT manager job description now includes a large section devoted to management responsibilities.

Upskilling for career growth for IT managers requires dedication to polishing and improving management skills. The modern-day IT manager must develop leadership skills in addition to remaining at the forefront of developing and retaining highly technical skills. Leaders such as CIOs and CISOs have a seat at the table of an organization’s leadership conferences. The key to claiming the seat at the leadership table requires an ongoing effort of earning the most coveted IT management certifications of the 21st century

Why Do IT Leaders Need to Earn Management Certifications?

The end game for earning IT management certifications is to sit at the seat of your organization’s executive leadership table. Learn more about Developing a Successful Career Path to CIO.

As an IT leader, your peers leading the other departments of your organization have taken the necessary steps to enhance their management skills, from the head of accounting to the director of marketing. As an IT leader aspiring to assume the role of a CIO, CISO, or any other leadership role in the IT department, earning an advanced degree no longer ensures your career ascent is guaranteed.

Earning an IT management certification helps you develop the critical, yet practical skills required to lead an entire department. Although developing leadership skills is the primary objective of achieving an IT management certification, most of the certifications incorporate academic lessons that help IT leaders stay updated on the development of current and future technologies. Earning an IT certification helps you improve your professional credentials by adding value to what you present on your resume.

The bottom line is adding IT certifications to your resume that blend management and technology curriculum indicates a mark of excellence that translates into earning more money.

Let’s look at four IT certifications that help IT leaders upskill for career growth.

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

As an IT leader, you are responsible for juggling multiple projects at the same time, which requires you to develop better organizational skills. The CAPM certification offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) represents the ideal certification to earn for IT leaders aspiring to assume more leadership responsibilities. To earn this IT certification, you must first achieve a secondary education degree that includes at least 23 hours of project management curriculum.

The examination fee is $225 for members and the certification expires every five years.

Information Technology Management and Leadership Professional (ITMLP)

Getting the most value out of an IT certification involves earning an IT certification that does not expire. This is one of the many reasons why many IT leaders earn an ITMLP certification. The ITMLP certification is one of, if not the best certification for offering a curriculum that blends the latest IT management trends with teaching highly technical skills. After earning an ITMLP certification, you should acquire a well-balanced foundation for your career that brings a competitive advantage to your organization.

Enrolling in the ITMLP certification program does not require you to meet any prerequisites.

Six Sigma

The Six Sigma certification helps IT leaders combine the development of business tools and theory with learning about different quality control strategies. Enhancing your quality control knowledge gives you an advantage over your IT leader peers by improving user experiences, while not sacrificing the establishment of a successful cybersecurity program. IT leaders that obtain the Six Sigma certification advance through four levels of curriculum before assimilating the program’s entire methodology. As you complete each level, you increase your value to achieving the organization’s mission.

The perquisites for entering this certification program vary depending on the vendor, as does the examination fee. Once you earn Six Sigma certification, you do not have to worry about it expiring.

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

Since cybersecurity has become one of the most important issues not only for IT leaders, but also for managers in every department of your organization, earning the CISM certification is one of the most important certifications to earn for career ascension. The CISM certification confirms your technical knowledge in governing data, as well as the ability to identify risks to your organization’s highly sensitive and often proprietary information. The demand for IT leaders who have earned the CISM certification is strong, and it should continue to grow even stronger because of the emphasis on building the strongest cybersecurity platform.

You must have at least five years of information security experience to enter this certification program. The certification expires every three years.

Learn more about cybersecurity certifications here.

Additional IT Career Resources

Looking for some guidance to help advance your IT career? As part of the Career Resources, accessible on the IT Executives Council Career Center, you can connect with expert career coaches and resume writers who can answer your questions and help prepare you for your IT job search.

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