List of Professional Certification for IT Leadership

Are you putting your IT best team on the field?

You’re the coach of the IT team. Read on this article to be sure you’ve got the right game plan for your teams, your structure, and your initiatives. It covers:

  • Calling IT plays for your rookies, starters, and veterans
  • How to keep your special teams sharp (security, cloud, virtualization, etc.)
  • How to score with the C-suite by showing ROI
  • Get the right team on the field

Table of contents

Game on!
Your Rookies
Your Starters
Your Special Teams
Your Veterans
Get on the Field
What’s the Score?
Be the Champion

Game on!

Regardless of what’s on your business card, you’re the coach of your IT team. Your team is looking to you for a game plan, and your organization’s leadership is looking for results.

Just like a sports team, your IT team has generalists and specialists, rookies and veterans. How do you meet the needs of all of these players? How do you help them achieve their goals?

It’s up to you to field an effective team every day and anticipate the future needs of your organization… all while IT unemployment is at an all-time low.

Welcome to the IT leadership playbook. Finally, you’ve got a resource to help you achieve a winning record.

Your Rookies: Get them in the game

Entry Level

Your young ones. Your green team. Whatever you call them, you’ll always have a few people on your team who are just starting in IT. With tech unemployment as low as 1.9% in the US, you’re bound to need to hire someone with a less than optimal skill set.

Give them a path that starts with the basics, and that’s easy to navigate.

The CompTIA courses and associated certifications are a solid starting point for all IT professionals. Suppose your hires come in with those under their belt, great. If not, or if they need a refresher, you’ve got them covered.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech unemployment was at 1.9% in 2018.

Here’s the game plan for your entry-level folks:

  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • MTA – Security Fundamentals – 98-367
    Security fundamentals
    Novice
  • MTA – Cloud Fundamentals – 98-369
    Cloud fundamentals
    Novice
  • CompTIA Accelerated A+ (220-901/220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • End User Security Awareness
    Best security practices for the end-user
    Novice
  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals+
    IT Fundamentals+
    Novice
  • Linux for Beginners
    Getting started in Linux for new users
    Novice
  • MTA – Windows Operating System Fundamentals – 98-349
    Windows operating system fundamentals
    Novice
  • MTA – Server Fundamentals – 98-365
    Windows server administration fundamentals
    Novice

Desktop Support

Desktop support is a key area for all organizations and is a good, early step in the career of an IT professional. While the ideal ratio of end-user to the IT service desk worker is 70:1, this number varies widely.

Most organizations use this role as a springboard to more advanced IT positions, so it’s a great place for your youngsters to dig in.

If you’re supporting a Windows shop or a Mac shop solely, you’ve got a single layer of complexity. Supporting both? Make sure your team is cross-trained to handle every situation. Really, who doesn’t need a few more desktop support folks?

According to Gartner, the ideal IT end user to IT service desk worker ratio is 70:1.

Here’s the game plan for your desktop support team:

  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • AntiVirus / AntiMalware
    Detection and solutions
    Novice
  • Building a PC
    Assembly and configuration
    Novice
  • CompTIA Accelerated A+ (220-901/220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • Virtualization Technologies
    Fundamentals of Virtualization
    Novice
  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals+
    IT Fundamentals+
    Novice
  • Linux for Beginners
    Getting started in Linux for new users
    Novice
  • MTA – Windows Operating System Fundamentals – 98-349
    Windows Operating system fundamentals
    Novice
  • ACA Mac Integration Basics 10.13
    Apple Certified Associate
    Novice
  • Windows Server 101
    Introduction to Windows Server
    Novice
  • End User Security Awareness
    Best Security Practices for the End User
    Novice

Your Starters: Keep them at their prime with new skills

System Administrators

These are the folks that keep the engines running in your organization — systems administrators and network administrators. Your system admins are experts in any system you may throw at them. Your network admins keep the network operating smoothly. If these folks don’t do their job, you’ll hear about it… loudly. If they do, it’s business as usual, and that’s a good thing.

As a coach, you need to approach them with the right balance of a manageable workload with challenging tasks and continual upskilling.

Here’s the game plan for your system administrators:

  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • Microsoft Office 365 – 70-346
    Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
    Intermediate
  • Microsoft Office 365 – 70-347
    Enabling Office 365 Services
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Accelerated A+ (220-901 / 220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-740
    Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-741
    Networking with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • MTA – Windows Operating System Fundamentals – 98-349
    Windows Operating system fundamentals
    Novice
  • CompTIA Network+ (N10-007)
    Vendor-neutral networking
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Server+
    Planning, Maintaining and Securing Server Equipment
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Linux+
    Powered by LPI
    Intermediate
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-742
    Identity with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • SharePoint 2016 – 70-339
    Planning and Administering SharePoint 2016
    Intermediate
  • Microsoft Exchange 2013 – 70-341
    Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
    Advanced
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 – 70-345
    Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
    Advanced
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager – 70-243
    SCCM
    Advanced
  • Advanced SharePoint 2016 – 70-339
    Advanced Technologies of SharePoint 2016
    Advanced
  • MCSE Windows Server 2016 – 70-744
    Securing Windows Server 2016
    Advanced

Here’s the game plan for your network administrators:

  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-742
    Identity with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • CompTIA Network+ (N10-007)
    Vendor-neutral networking
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Security+
    Vendor-neutral IT Security
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Accelerated A+ (220-901 / 220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
    Cisco Certified Network Associate
    Intermediate
  • CCENT
    Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
    Novice
  • MTA – Networking Fundamentals – 98-366
    Networking Fundamentals
    Novice
  • CompTIA Linux+
    Powered by LPI
    Intermediate
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-740
    Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-741
    Networking with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • CCNP Routing and Switching – ROUTE
    Implementing Cisco IP Routing
    Advanced
  • CCNP Routing and Switching – SWITCH
    Implementing Cisco IP Switched Networks
    Advanced
  • CCNP Routing and Switching – TSHOOT
    Troubleshooting and Maintaining Cisco IP Networks
    Advanced
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
    CASP
    Advanced
  • Cisco ASA Express Security
    Next-Generation Firewall
    Advanced
  • FirePOWER with Advanced FireSIGHT Administration
    SSFIPS
    Advanced
  • MCSE Windows Server 2016 – 70-744
    Securing Windows Server 2016
    Advanced

Your Special Teams: Stay ahead with advanced skills

Special Teams

As the IT landscape expands and your responsibilities as an IT leader grow, you’ll need more specialized players to get the job done. Your special team’s group is just that — a group that plugs in for specific needs and goes deep on their expertise in the field.

Whether it’s your cloud specialists, cybersecurity experts, virtualization crew, or DBAs, suit them up with the right training.

Cloud

There are so many variables with your cloud computing approach. You’ve got multiple vendors (AWS, Microsoft Azure Certificate, Google Cloud) and different deployment options (public, private, community, hybrid). Your cloud specialists can ensure you’re getting the most value from the cloud.

In 15 months, 80% of all IT budgets will be committed to cloud solutions.

Here’s the game plan for your cloud team:

  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-742
    Identity with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • MCSE Windows Server 2012 – 70-413
    Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
    Advanced
  • MCSE Windows Server 2016 – 70-414
    Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
    Advanced
  • MCSE Windows Server 2012 – 70-744
    Securing Windows Server 2016
    Advanced
  • MCSE Private Cloud – 70-246
    Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud
    Advanced
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-740
    Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-741
    Networking with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
    Designing distributed applications on the AWS platform
    Intermediate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
    ACSA
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Network+ (N10-007)
    Vendor-neutral networking
    Novice
  • MTA – Cloud Fundamentals – 98-369
    Cloud Fundamentals
    Novice
  • MCSE Private Cloud – 70-247
    Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud
    Advanced
  • Certified Cloud Security Professional
    CCSP
    Expert
  • Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions – 70-535
    Microsoft Azure
    Advanced
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure – 70-533
    Microsoft Azure
    Advanced

Virtualization

While all of your team should be familiar with virtualization technology, you’ll need folks to take a deep dive. Your go-to people should understand the technology common to all virtualization tools and know the main tools inside and out.

Here’s the game plan for your virtualization team:

  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-742
    Identity with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-740
    Installation, Storage, and Compute with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • MCSA Windows Server 2016 – 70-741
    Networking with Windows Server 2016
    Intermediate
  • VMware Certified Associate 6 VCA6-DCV
    Data Center Virtualization
    Novice
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 VCP6-DCV
    Data Center Virtualization
    Intermediate
  • MCSE Private Cloud – 70-246
    Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud
    Advanced
  • MCSE Private Cloud – 70-247
    Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud
    Advanced
  • MCSE Windows Server 2016 – 70-744
    Securing Windows Server 2016
    Advanced

Cybersecurity

Your security pros are in demand. They must be familiar with the basics, plus pen-testing tools, cryptography, malware detection, and more. Are they tasked with running your end-user security awareness program as well? Arm them with the best, most current training around.

According to Forbes, there will be as many as 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021.

Here’s the game plan for your cybersecurity team:

  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • MTA – Security Fundamentals – 98-367
    Security Fundamentals
    Novice
  • CompTIA CySA+ (CS0-001)
    CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst
    Intermediate
  • MTA – Server Fundamentals – 98-365
    Networking Fundamentals
    Novice
  • MTA – Networking Fundamentals – 98-366
    Windows server administration fundamentals
    Novice
  • CCENT
    Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician
    Novice
  • CompTIA Network+ (N10-007)
    Vendor-neutral networking
    Intermediate
  • ECES
    EC-Council Certified Encryption Specialist
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Security+
    Vendor-neutral IT Security
    Intermediate
  • CEH v9
    Certified Ethical Hacker
    Intermediate
  • CHFI v9
    Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Linux+
    Powered by LPI
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
    CASP
    Advanced
  • CyberSec First Responder
    Logical Operations
    Advanced
  • GIAC Security Essentials
    GSEC
    Intermediate
  • CISA
    Certified Information Systems Auditor
    Advanced
  • Systems Security Certified Practitioner
    SSCP
    Advanced
  • CISM
    Certified Information Security Manager
    Expert
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional
    CISSP
    Expert
  • Certified Cloud Security Professional
    CCSP
    Expert
  • CCNA Cyber Ops (210-250 SECFND)
    Cisco Cybersecurity Fundamentals
    Advanced
  • CCNA Routing and Switching
    Cisco Certified Network Associate
    Intermediate
  • CCNA Security
    Cisco Certified Network Associate Security
    Intermediate

Database Administrators

The DBA is the heart of an organization, running queries and slicing and dicing info upon request.

Here’s the game plan for your DBAs:

  • CompTIA A+ (220-901) & (220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 – 70-462
    Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Accelerated A+ (220-901 / 220-902)
    Vendor-neutral hardware and software technologies
    Novice
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 – 70-461
    Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2014
    Intermediate
  • CompTIA Server+
    Planning, Maintaining and Securing Server Equipment
    Intermediate

Your Veterans: Advanced their skills even further

Veterans

The team members with a ton of experience can help take you to a new level with advanced certifications. Get your IT team to perform at optimum levels and keep them there with processes and disciplines that are proven at organizations globally.

Whether you choose ITIL®, Lean Six Sigma®, Agile, Project Management Professional (PMP), PRINCE2® or CompTIA Project+, the key is applying the learnings your team brings to the table and using these strategies to optimize your organization.

ITIL® certification is among the top 5 highest paying IT certifications.

Here’s the game plan for your IT project and service management gurus:

  • CompTIA Project+
    Project Management
    Novice
  • Accredited SIAM Foundation
    SIAM Foundation
    Novice
  • Accredited ITIL® Foundation
    Foundation
    Novice
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – RCV
    Release Control and Validation
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – OSA
    Operational Support and Analysis
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – PPO
    Planning, Protection and Optimization
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – SOA
    Service Offerings and Agreements
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – Service Design
    Service Design
    Intermediate
  • Lean Six Sigma® – Green Belt
    Green Belt
    Novice
  • Lean Agile Project Management
    Project Management
    Novice
  • Accredited PRINCE2® 2017 Foundation
    Introductory certification to PRINCE2® 2017 project management
    Novice
  • Accredited ISO/IEC 20000:2011
    Information technology – Service management
    Novice
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – Service Operation
    Service Operation
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – Service Strategy
    Service Strategy
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – Service Transition
    Service Transition
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® Intermediate – CSI
    Continual Service Improvement
    Intermediate
  • PMI: Organizational Change Management
    Implementing transformational projects
    Intermediate
  • Accredited Agile Project Management Foundation (Scrum)
    Agile Foundation
    Novice
  • Lean Six Sigma® – Yellow Belt
    Yellow Belt
    Intermediate
  • Accredited ITIL® – Practitioner ITIL®
    Practitioner
    Advanced
  • Project Management Professional 6
    PMP
    Advanced
  • Accredited ITIL® Expert – MALC
    Planning, Protection and Optimization
    Expert
  • Accredited PRINCE2® 2017 Practitioner
    PRINCE2® Project Management 2017 Practitioner Level
    Expert
  • How To Become an ITIL® Master
    The most prestigious of the ITIL® qualifications
    Expert

Get on the Field

Now that you know the paths for your team, how do you get each person on the right one and keep them there? An easy way is to invest in a training platform that is broad enough to meet everyone’s needs but also dives deeply enough to get beyond surface knowledge. Look for a platform that specializes in IT training.

Your chosen platform should also track everyone’s progress, allow you to assign and unassign seats, set learning paths and assign courses.

Tips for making sure your team is engaged in training:

  • Include a segment on training at regular team meetings
  • Discuss milestones at your one-on-one meetings with direct reports
  • Share progress reports with the team
  • Display certs in department hallways/conference rooms
  • Publicly celebrate certifications achieved
  • Tie training goals to individual and team KPIs
  • Ensure managers are checking in on training metrics

What’s the Score?

You’ll truly know the score when you can show the return on investment (ROI) of your training spend. Here are a few metrics that can be part of your reporting:

  • Track certifications achieved and how those certs add value to your team
  • Note new skills added — cloud, security, etc. — with no travel expenses or time away from work at training/conferences
  • Calculate the reduction in outsourcing needs when you upskill your existing team
  • Show the number of episodes watched as a metric for how your team is staying ahead of tech

Be the Champion: How do you win at IT leadership?

Your team wins

when you have team members who feel that their careers are moving forward with new skills and certs.

Your organization wins

when you are maintaining systems, retaining employees, anticipating needs, and preventing lapses in service.

You win

when your workload is manageable, your staff is content, and your leaders trust you to get the job done.

Now get out there and grab your trophy!

Source: ITProTV

Published by Tommy Droste

, Windows Insider MVP, MCP, MCITP EA and SA, has almost six years technical writing experience. He is now the author of Pupuweb Blog. Before working as a writer, He was a technical support helping people to solve their computer problems. He enjoys providing solutions to computer problems and loves exploring new technologies.