Getting certified is a surefire way to advance your career. These days most of the professionals have realized the same and earning one ensures ones credibility as a professional to carry out their assigned jobs efficiently.

To put it in a nutshell, a certification holder upholds knowledge, experience, skill sets as well as the ability to shoulder specific job responsibilities. Although some professions require a professional to be certified, in others it simply augments the career graph of a professional.

When you have taken up a professional certification course, it guarantees you;

  1. To get a competitive edge over your non-certified peers or colleagues
  2. Better job opportunities and career advancement
  3. Get rewarded with higher wages and better perks

In every industry sector, employers seek certified professionals who are not only well equipped with the right skill sets but also who can take their organization to the next level. Let me put down five top credentials that are sought after by employers in 2015.

1) Project Management Professional – (PMP®)

Offered by PMI, Project Management Professional (PMP®) is one of the most recognized and revered credentials in project management across the world. In around 175+ countries in the world you will find around a million PMP certified professionals. This certification tests a candidate in five prime areas relating to a project lifecycle viz; initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closing.

To pursue PMP certification one has to complete around 35 hours of training apart from having not less than 7500 hours of project management experience.

2) Information Technology Infrastructure Library – (ITIL®)

The ITIL® owned and maintained by the UK Office of Government Commerce, is a globally recognized IT service management certification. The ITIL® Foundation certification is considered as the entry level qualification in the field of IT Service Management.

The ITIL® Foundation certified professional will be able to guide an organization in implementing the best practices in IT Service Management and also in using IT as a tool for a business change and growth. The ITIL® Foundation certification course emphasizes on adapting a common framework of IT Service Management practices that will help deliver value to a business. It also focuses on Quality Management approach and standards apart from following a practical approach to IT Service Management.

Operations managers, service delivery professionals, quality analysts, and production support engineers will find the course ideal. However, the ITIL® Foundation certification course can be taken up by anyone working in the IT service industry, like IT professionals who want to move ahead in the IT Service Management sector.

ITIL certified professional is most sought after because the training is not based on a specific technology, it is applicable in any IT organization. So an ITIL® Foundation certified professional will find suitable job opportunities in any IT organization. Moreover, according to the salary survey conducted by Global Knowledge and Penton, ITIL® Foundation certification is listed among the 15 top-paying certifications in 2014.

3) Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics refers to the process of collecting, organizing and analyzing large sets of data to discover patterns and other useful information. Not only will Big Data Analytics help you to understand the information contained within the data, but it will also help identify the data that is most important to the business and future business decisions. Big data analysts basically want the knowledge that comes from analyzing the data.

A certified Big Data Analyst has greater scope as almost every organization are increasingly looking to find actionable insights into their data. Many big data projects originate from the need to answer specific business questions. With the right big data analytics platforms in place, an enterprise can boost sales, increase efficiency, and improve operations, customer service and risk management.

It is ideal for Java developers, Architects, Big Data professionals, anyone who is looking forward towards building a career in Big Data and Analytics. Top companies like Microsoft, Software AG, IBM, Oracle, HP, SAP, EMC2 and Dell have invested a huge $15 billion on data management and analytics, thereby increasing the number of opportunities for Big Data certified professionals. Research shows that certified analysts earn $117,000 in comparison to their non-certified peers.

4) Certified Scrum Master – (CSM®)

CSM® is a certification that is related to project management focusing primarily on software development. It focuses on handling changes in IT Projects with a Project Management approach. It is used when the customer suggests some changes during the process of project development.

5) Six Sigma Green Belt

One of the most popular strategies in any business organization, Six Sigma Green Belt is widely implemented across various industry sectors for improving quality and processes. This is one certification that will never go out of business and help you scale greater heights.

6) The Open Group Architecture Framework – TOGAF®

If you are an Enterprise Architect then one of the hottest skills you need to acquire this year is TOGAF®, as there is a growing demand for TOGAF® certified architects all over. If you look at it, TOGAF Certification is considered as an achievement as TOGAF certified Enterprise Architects are earning a whopping $124,000 compared to their non-certified peers and are most sought-after by Fortune 500 companies. Credible research from ITJobsWatch show a steep increase in the average maximum salary for TOGAF professionals from 74,105 euros to 93,817 euros in the UK market. So in short being a certified TOGAF® Enterprise Architect ensures better job prospects and helps you stay ahead in the competition.

Simplilearn is one certification destination which offers all of the above mentioned certification trainings apart from offering a variety of another 200+ professional certification courses. With 200,000+ professionals trained worldwide, it is one of the first choice for any professional looking for professional certification. To know more you can visit Get Certified, Get Ahead – The Simplilearn Way!

Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage or blog You can also check him out on Wikipedia (