What Are the Best IT Certifications?

by Jessalynne Madden | Jun 26, 2019

A photo of a trophy and the question, What Is the Best IT Certification?It’s no secret that IT certifications are a boon to an information technology professional’s career. Many IT pros would agree that earning in-demand certifications can increase your paycheck, improve your chances of securing the highest-paying jobs in IT and boost your confidence by optimizing your tech skills.

But with a sea of certifications to choose from, how do you know what are the best IT certifications? I mean, if you ask us, we’ll say CompTIA. But it’s not just us saying this. See what other IT industry publications have to say about CompTIA certifications.

What Others Are Saying About CompTIA IT Certifications

CompTIA Security+

CompTIA Security+ is one of the most popular IT certifications for 2019, according to Global Knowledge. It said that 4.5% of IT pros intend to earn the cert this year. Many employers require tech professionals to acquire CompTIA Security+ before they can be considered for non-entry-level IT positions of all types.

Global Knowledge noted that CompTIA Security+ can help tech professionals earn up to $110,321 per year. Now that’s a certification that pays for itself.

Other popular IT certs for 2019, as mentioned by Global Knowledge: 

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect
  • Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching

Business News Daily also listed CompTIA Security+ in its top 5 information security certifications for 2019. It stressed that the cybersecurity skills gap is soaring, with almost 302,000 cybersecurity jobs vacant in the United States today.

Business News Daily touted CompTIA Security+ as a valuable IT certification due to its vendor-neutral nature and ability to equip IT pros with high-level tech skills and expertise in a variety of disciplines related to security.

Other top IT certifications, as listed by Business News Daily:

  • Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
  • Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
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CompTIA A+

CompTIA A+ is one of the better-known IT certifications out there. Robert Half listed it among the most valuable IT certifications and said it can jumpstart your IT career by giving you critical foundational skills like troubleshooting, providing technical support and working with hardware.

Robert Half also stated that CompTIA A+ is especially helpful to those wanting to gain basic knowledge of the following IT disciplines:

  • Mobile devices
  • Networking
  • Security
  • Operational procedures
  • Various operating systems

Every IT pro has to start somewhere. For those ready to get into IT, earning CompTIA A+ will pay off in spades.  

Other valuable IT certifications, as mentioned by Robert Half:

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE)

CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+)

CompTIA IT Fundamentals (ITF+) is well worth your time and money if you either hope to start a career in IT or wish to change career paths within the tech field, according to CIO. Like CompTIA A+, CompTIA ITF+ provides foundational knowledge of IT and helps candidates determine whether or not a career in IT is a good fit for them.

As an added bonus, the exam costs just $119. Career changers and new grads alike will find that this certification is worth every penny.

Other top entry-level IT certifications, as mentioned by CIO:

What's on an IT Certification Exam?

Wondering what topics are covered by the IT certifications you're considering? You can download the exam objectives for all CompTIA exams for free to see what topics are covered and begin reinforcing the things you know and learning the things you don't.

Download CompTIA Exam Objectives to See What's Covered

CompTIA Network+

Just about any professional in any industry is interested in a pay increase. How about you? For those in IT, a pay raise may be just a certification away.

CompTIA Network+ certification holders can earn an annual salary of up to $107,143, per GoCertify. This proves that the skills covered by CompTIA Network+, such as network security and the installation, maintenance and troubleshooting of networks are in high demand among employers. If you need to start earning extra cash STAT, CompTIA Network+ can deliver the hefty ROI you want.  

Other top-earning IT certifications, as mentioned by GoCertify:

  • CompTIA Security+
  • ITIL Foundation
  • Citrix Certified Associate – Virtualization (CCA-V)
  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

Increase Your Level of Job Satisfaction with IT Certifications

A mere 19% of IT employees feel highly satisfied with their job, and just 26% believe they have a significant opportunity for professional growth at work, per The State of Employee Engagement in Tech.

Pursuing the best IT certifications on the market can be empowering as you are actively creating your own opportunity for professional growth, as well as earning the credentials needed to switch jobs within IT. Gaining CompTIA certifications not only optimizes your IT career by increasing your pay, but also by renewing your excitement about what you do for a living.

Need help discerning which IT certs are best for you? Check out What IT Certification Should I Get?


  • Mark B

    Friday, June 28, 2019

    I'm surprised that the Comptia CySysA didn't get an honorable mention here ... I see more and more DoD job postings that reference it directly. https://certification.comptia.org/certifications/cybersecurity-analyst

  • Karam Muhammad

    Friday, June 28, 2019

    I received my A+ when graduated from CEI (Computer Education Institute) They went out of business I’ve been trying to find a sister company to update my certification. Could you assist me in finding out who they may be Thanks

  • Pedro Garza

    Saturday, June 29, 2019

    Very true article surrounding the value of certifications

  • Bob

    Sunday, June 30, 2019

    Take those salary figures with a pinch of salt, as the survey cannot tell you if a person received that salary because they only had that qualification at the job interview. Salary is based on the following factors and probably more: Company, location, job role, education, ALL qualifications, years of experience, etc.

  • Monday, July 1, 2019

    Hi, Mark! We agree that CySA+ is very valuable and recognized by more and more employers. However, this article focused on what others are saying about CompTIA certs. Because CySA+ is still relatively new, it's gaining traction. I'm sure it will make some of these lists in the near future!

  • Monday, July 1, 2019

    Hi, Karam! Thanks for your question. I am not familiar with CEI, but you can find training partners and testing centers in the Training and Testing sections of this website. If you simply need to renew your CompTIA A+, check out the Continuing Education section for details on how to do that. Good luck!

  • Nathan Miller

    Monday, July 1, 2019

    Does comptia offer certs at a discounted rate for veterans and disabled veterans?

  • shumaisa Irfan Chatters

    Monday, July 1, 2019

    Interesting article. Between Security+ and CISSP, there is a path and will be helpful to take CySA+/PenTest/CEH, because CISSP requires 10+ years of experience to land a job. By just doing security+ and not having years of experience later, the CISSP cert will not get you a job. Unless anyone of you reading this article has a better idea.

  • Monday, July 1, 2019

    Hi, Nathan! Thanks for your question. CompTIA's charity, Creating IT Futures, offers free online training and certifications for veterans and military families. You can also find a number of discount options in this article: https://certification.comptia.org/it-career-news/post/view/2018/08/31/voucher-discount Good luck!

  • Newbie

    Monday, July 8, 2019

    How can someone like me get experience in IT? I have the IT Fundamentals certification, have passed CORE 1 220-1001 and is studying for CORE 2 220-1002. I want to begin applying to jobs, but everyone requires 6 months -1+ years experience. What kind of jobs can I get with no IT experience at all? I have textbook knowledge, but no real-world, hands-on experience? What should be my next steps to gaining real-world experiences? What professional organizations should I join? Are there any IT jobs that would allow me to work from home?

  • Monday, July 8, 2019

    Hello! Thanks for your question. Many IT pros run into this, and it can be frustrating. But the nice thing about IT is that if you have access to a computer and the internet, you can get hand-on experience. You can tinker on your own machines or even help out friends, family and local nonprofits to resolve their IT challenges. On your resume, be sure to list this experience. Although it wasn't gained in a traditional job, it shows that you have done IT and can help you get your foot in the door. Read this article for more: https://certification.comptia.org/career-change/switching-career-path/how-to-try-it Good luck!

  • Rick

    Monday, July 8, 2019

    I have A+, Net+, Sec+, Project+ and don't make near what is advertised. I must be doing something wrong.

  • Erik

    Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    @Rick Where are you located if I may ask?

  • Alex

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    I have A+, N+, Server+ and ITIL V3 and dont make these figures. 17 years on the field . Living in Montreal Canada

  • Trevor Smith

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    Personally, I think many should look toward the CompTIA CASP+ as the gold standard for cybersecurity. CISSP is just more widely known, but the CASP is a much harder exam than the CISSP.

  • Henry Quinones

    Friday, July 19, 2019

    I’m an IT Tech- Specialist/ System and Network administrator with 10 years of experience with the US Army, Sec+, Net+, A+ certified. And also currently pursuing Cisco CCNA and have pursued also CISSP and CEH. I’m just getting ready in the case I go out and look for a civilian job in a future. My suggestion is don’t stop trying to get your certifications, the more prepare you are, the easiest way to get that great job that pays you what you expect according to your preparations for qualifications. Thanks and good luck.

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