Need help finding your Program

Fill out this form and we will get back to you

IT Program Advisors

  • Rick Hefner

    Rick Hefner

    Caltech CTME, Executive Director

    Dr. Rick Hefner serves as the Executive Director for Caltech’s CTME, where he develops customized training programs for technology-driven organizations. He has over 40 years of experience in systems development and has served in academic, industrial, and research positions. 

    Twitter  LinkedIn


  • What Is an IT Certification?

    An IT certification is a viable confirmation that the individual in question possesses competency in a given field or aspect of technology. Candidates earn certification pending a successful assessment, examination, or review, normally after completing a course of study.

    In short, IT certification is tangible and verifiable proof that you know what you’re doing.

  • How Good Are IT Certifications?

    So, you’re up on the terminology and processes of your field of study, and you can prove it by showing documentation. Great! So what? What does that do for you?

    As it turns out, quite a lot!

    Having some top IT certifications validates your job expertise and grasp of the appropriate skills. It shows job interviewers that you have reached a given level of proficiency in a particular field, and that’s reassuring. Many organizations dread going through the recruiting process, especially wary of the risks that some candidates may be exaggerating their experience and skill sets. Certification grants recruiters a peace of mind.

    IT certification also increases your value to many of today’s IT-related organizations. Many positions work out better with a certified hire in place. Even if potential employers don’t say so outright, they are more inclined towards the certified candidate over the uncertified one. IT certification gives you that extra edge and shows a prospective employer that you’re serious about the IT field. It opens more doors. Considering the proliferation of IT in all of today’s industries, it’s obvious that having a top IT certification is a smart idea.

    Finally, the process of earning a top IT certification exposes you to new ideas as it refreshes your existing skills. IT certification programs give you access to additional resources (training materials, online communities) and better networking opportunities with like-minded peers. The more you network with others, the more connections you make, and you never can tell when that will be useful sometime in the future.

    In other words, you can’t help but learn new skills while you’re in the process of certification. That’s a value add for someone starting a new career, or the industry veteran who wants to upskill and increase marketability. The world of IT is always changing, ever growing, and certification helps you keep pace.

  • Which are the Best IT Certifications in 2023?

    These are some of the most valuable IT certifications available today. There are a variety of specializations available within each program.

    There is a wealth of IT certifications and related courses available online, enough that anyone can be overwhelmed by all the choices. To make the selection process a little easier, here is a sampling of what Simplilearn, the world’s #1 online bootcamp, offered for the highly motivated individual.

    1. AWS Solutions Architect Course
    This AWS Solutions Architect Certification Training will help you gain an in-depth understanding of Amazon Web Services (AWS) architectural principles and services such as IAM, VPC, EC2, EBS, and more. The course is aligned with the latest exam announced by AWS, and you will learn how to design and scale AWS Cloud implementations with best practices recommended by Amazon. AWS certified solutions architects command average salaries of $155,000 per year.

    2. Big Data Hadoop and Spark Developer Certification
    This Big Data Hadoop Training Course lets you master the concepts of the Hadoop framework, preparing you for Cloudera’s CCA175 Big Data Certification Exam. Additionally, you will earn how various components of the Hadoop ecosystem fit into the Big Data processing lifecycle. Ideal for becoming a data scientist, data analyst, or data engineer.

    3. Certified Ethical Hacking Course
    This Certified Ethical Hacker-Version 10 Course will train you on the advanced step-by-step methodologies that hackers use. These include writing virus codes and reverse engineering, so you can better protect corporate infrastructure from data breaches. The course will help you master advanced network packet analysis and advanced system penetration testing techniques. You can build your network security skill set and stay one step ahead of hackers or become a white-hat hacker yourself!

    4. Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
    This Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification Training program is the second stage in the Lean Six Sigma Master’s program. You’ll learn the core principles of Lean Six Sigma, how to implement quality projects and applications, and how to use the Minitab tool for practical statistical analysis. The course is aligned to the IASSC exam, integrates lean and DMAIC methodologies using case studies and real-life examples, and will give you the skills to empower your organization for continuous improvement. This certification is ideal for anyone who wants to be a Six Sigma specialist, product engineer, or chief strategy officer.

    5. Data Scientist Certification Training - R Programming
    This Data Science with R Certification Training Course helps you become an expert in data analytics using the R programming language. You’ll master data exploration, data visualization, predictive analytics, and descriptive analytics techniques with the R language. You’ll get hands-on practice by implementing various real-life, industry-based projects in the domains of healthcare, retail, insurance, and many more. This certification is ideal for data mining engineers, data warehouse architects, or competitive intelligence analysts.

    6. Certified ScrumMaster
    The Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certification Training course provides a comprehensive overview of the Scrum framework for agile project management and prepares you to become a certified Scrum Master. You’ll learn the basics of scrum and the scrum lifecycle, how to organize a Scrum team and set up a project, and how to implement a scrum, from releases and sprints to enterprise transformation. This course is essential for becoming an Agile Scrum Master or Agile Coach.

    7. DevOps Certification Training
    This DevOps Certification Training Course will prepare you for a career in DevOps, the fast-growing field that bridges the gap between software developers and operations. You’ll become an expert in the principles of continuous development and deployment, automation of configuration management, inter-team collaboration, and IT service agility, using modern DevOps tools such as Git, Docker, Jenkins, Cucumber, Ansible, TeamCity, and Nagios. This course is valuable for software developers, considering how projections on future DevOps adoption show an increase through 2022.

    8. Digital Marketing Specialist Certification
    The Digital Marketing Specialist Course is designed to help you master the essential disciplines in digital marketing. The course includes search engine optimization (SEO), social media, pay-per-click (PPC), conversion optimization, web analytics, content marketing, email, and mobile marketing. Digital marketing is one of the world’s fastest-growing disciplines, and this certification will raise your value in the marketplace and prepare you for a career in digital marketing. If you want to be a digital marketer, SEO specialist, or social media manager, then this is the course for you!

    9. ITIL® 4 Foundation Certification
    The ITIL® 4 Foundation Training Course is the most widely acknowledged entry-level ITIL certification available for IT professionals. This newest training for the ITIL framework is designed to introduce learners to the management of modern IT-enabled services. These include fundamental concepts and universal language used in the ITIL services lifecycle. These also include how lifecycle stages are linked, processes involved, and best practices for improving the quality of IT services across an organization. ITIL service managers need this course.

    10. PMP® Certification Training
    PMP® Certification is the gold standard for project management professionals. This course covers the latest best practices highlighted in the PMBOK® Guide - 6th Edition. Learn from expert practitioners and pass the PMP exam on your first attempt, a must for aspiring project managers.

    11. Machine Learning Certification
    This AI ML Course will make you an expert in machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence. Machine learning automates data analysis to enable computers to learn and adapt through experience to do specific tasks without explicit programming. You'll master machine learning concepts and techniques. These include supervised and unsupervised learning, mathematical and heuristic aspects, and hands-on modeling to develop algorithms and prepare you for the role of a machine learning engineer.

    12. Salesforce Administrator & App Builder Certification
    With this Salesforce Training course, you’ll gain certified, hands-on expertise in managing and developing apps for one of the most popular CRM products in the world. The Salesforce training prepares you to pass the two Salesforce exams and teaches you the core administrative features of CRM. You also get to learn analytics and customization skills to tailor the system for your specific implementation, along with the declarative capabilities of the platform to create applications using the lightning version. This course is excellent for Salesforce developers, proposal managers, Salesforce administrators, and Salesforce analysts.

    13. Selenium 3.0 Training
    This Selenium 3.0 Training Course helps you master the complete Selenium 3.0 suite. You will learn concepts such as Selenium WebDriver, TestNG, Wait, Locating Techniques, AutoIT, Sikuli, Page Object Design Pattern, mobile testing with Appium, and Selenium Grid. Performance testers, software testers, and QA analysts would benefit most from this course.

    14. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
    The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certification is a globally recognized credential that indicates an individual has the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively manage an information security program. The CISM certification is administered by ISACA, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the global information security profession.

    To earn the CISM certification, candidates must pass a rigorous exam and meet experience and education requirements. The CISM certification is valid for three years and must be renewed through continuing education and professional development activities. 

    With CISM certification, you can earn up to $149,000 per year.

    15. Google Cloud Platform Architect Certification
    The Google Cloud Platform Architect Certification is a professional-level certification that demonstrates an individual's expertise in designing and managing applications on the Google Cloud Platform. This certification is ideal for those who want to show their skills in designing, managing, and optimizing Google Cloud solutions. The exam covers a wide range of topics, including Google Cloud Platform services, architecture, networking, security, and more. And if you clear the exam once, you can earn up to $169,000 per year.

    16. CISSP
    The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is a globally recognized certification for information security professionals. CISSP holders are responsible for developing and maintaining an organization's information security program. They are also responsible for identifying and responding to security threats, and for ensuring compliance with security policies and procedures.

    17. Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect
    Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect design, implement and manage cloud solutions using Microsoft Azure technologies. They hold deep knowledge of distributed systems, storage, networking, and security, as well as experience with Azure tools and services. Besides, they can effectively communicate Azure architectural designs to key stakeholders. Earning the Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect designation demonstrates expertise in cloud solutions architecture and provides a valuable credential for career advancement.

    18. CCSP
    The Cloud Credential Council (CCC) is an international, not-for-profit membership organization that promotes the adoption of best practices for cloud computing and provides credentials to professionals who work with cloud technologies. 

    The CCC provides the Cloud Certified Solutions Professional (CCSP) credential, which is a globally recognized credential that demonstrates an individual's expertise in working with cloud technologies. The CCSP credential is backed by leading organizations in the cloud computing industry, including Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Microsoft.

    19. CRISC
    The Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) designation is a globally recognized certification that indicates an individual's ability to design, implement, and maintain an effective risk and information systems control program. 

    Individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and skills in the field through a rigorous examination process hold the CRISC designation. With CRISC certification, you can earn up to $151,000 per year.

    20. CISCO Certifications
    Cisco offers a range of certification programs designed to help IT professionals demonstrate their skills and expertise in Cisco technologies. There are many CISCO certifications available, each with its specific focus.

    For example, the CCNA certification is designed for entry-level network technicians, while the CCNP certification is geared toward more experienced network professionals. Some of the other CISCO certifications include the CCIE, CCSP, and CCDP.

    CISCO certifications are highly respected in the IT industry and can open up many career opportunities. They are also a great way to keep your skills up-to-date and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing field.

  • Which Are the Highest-Paying Certifications?

    Here is a list of the top ten highest paying certifications necessary for 2022. The average annual salaries run the gamut from USD 58,000 to USD 175,000.

    Here’s another highest-paying list that sums up 15 of 2020’s best IT certifications. Sharp-eyed readers will note that AWS Certified Solutions Architects appear on both lists. As it happens, Simplilearn offers an excellent course in that very field!

    A certified candidate is a quality candidate, and most organizations don’t mind paying top dollar for professionals with some of the top IT certifications. In some instances, it’s very possible that the deciding factor between two qualified candidates could be certification. That’s why getting certified is such a good idea.

Recommended Resources

Free Masterclass

Free Online Courses

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.