The Best IT Certifications 2012

by Mirek Burnejko

Best IT CertificationAfter dozens of emails with headhunters, engineers and managers, we created a subjective list of ten the best IT Certifications 2012 Edition.

The list will tell you what is important on the IT market.

Pass one of these exams and say goodbye to problems with money and employment.

If you want to move to another level, you would love The Hardest IT Certifications to Get.


Still one of the best IT certifications. In 2012 the internet still will be growing, and we will see new data centers. All solutions need good and reliable network at the bottom. Still CCIE R&S certification is the best determinant of a network engineer.
New certifications like CCDE and CCAr will not have value to the employers. A good CCIE with experience is the best investment for 90% of big companies.

Click to read more about CCIE R&S


This year VMware presented a new ESXi 5.0. Virtualization technologies are almost in every corporation and even smaller companies are using the VMware solutions in their data centers. Almost every engineer know, how to configure and operate vCenter, ESX and ESXi. Not too many people understand all aspects of virtualization and know how to scale systems with all aspects of high availability. Year 2012 will belong to VMware Certified Design Experts. Number two on the list of the best IT certifications 2012.

Click to read more about VCDX

3. PMP

As always in 2012 a good project manager will be the most valuable for IT departments. Coordination of all teams and translation technical language to business needs and vice versa with risk management is as important as never. And as always PMP is the best IT certification for project managers.

Click to read more about PMP

4. CCNP Security

CCNP Security is one of the most updated exam in the Cisco portfolio. Many people think that CCIE Security is the most important. This is true, but not for each employer. After passing all exams from the CCNP Security track, you will achieve all needed requirements to configure and design firewalls, IPSs and the security settings on routers and switches. Everything with the newest versions of software and on new devices. Important for big companies.

Click to read more about CCNP Security

5. MCITP: Windows 2008 R2 Server Enterprise Administrator

Windows 2008 will be the most popular operating system in small and big companies. MCITP Enterprise Administrator gives all necessary knowledge for operators of big server farms. Combination with VCP/VCDX or MCTS: Virtualization gives you a good job in almost all companies in the world.

6. MCTS: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist – Windows Server Virtualization

Still few steps after VMware, but perfect integration with SCCM and almost all futures from VMware, gives Microsoft Certified Technology Specialists a good place in big organizations.

7. HP Master ASE – Network Infrastructure (MASE)

HP, after acquiring 3Com and H3C, is ready for the BIG market. Many companies are starting to implement HP devices beside Cisco’s. All CCNPs and CCIEs can upgrade their competencies and translate the Cisco language to the HP language. If you are CCIE or CCNP, do not wait and upgrade your skills to MASE.

Click to read more about HP Master ASE – Network Infrastructure


Still Red Hat Linux is the most important operating systems in all companies (after Microsoft Windows) and still employers want to hire engineers with the RHCE certification. Architecture is not as important as configuration and troubleshooting in this segment of organizations.

Click to read more about RHCE


For many years in TOP TEN of the best IT Certifications. In 2012 CISSP will be, as always, needed in all security departments.

10. CCIE Voice

The last place on the list of the best IT Certifications 2012. CCNP Voice and CCIE Voice will be important in all organizations. IP telephony will be growing (as always) and the last old PBXes will be migrated to CallManagers and IP gateways. The voice specialization will be very important for many years.


Best IT Certifications

You cannot find other big players on the list, like Juniper or Oracle (which are still very important). The first one is still in the shade of Cisco. The second one in not the best choice, because DB world is migrating to non-sql standards.

Also on the list of the best IT Certifications 2012 you cannot find nothing for programming and application developers. Not too many companies need an IT certification from a developer. “Only” knowledge and experience is needed.

Year 2012 will be dominated by virtualization technologies and big consolidations. For all these projects we need also good network engineers and project managers.

Check out The Hardest IT Certifications to Get.

  • toufiq

    Where is juniper certifications as I can see lot of jobs requiring juniper experts specially in google.I know lot of my friends prefering to do JNCIE rather than CCIE.

    • ICM

      A lot of my friends also are preparing to JNCIE, but specially for JNCIE-SP. JNCIE was and will be always an amazing certification. JNCIE-ENT and JNCIE-SEC are not as popular as Cisco’s CCIE R&S and CCIE SEC (which is also not on the list). JNCIE is very valuable, specially SP, unfortunately it hasn’t as much recognition from the CIO’s point of view as CCIE R&S (which in is directed to Enterprise and a little bit to SP market).

      Thank you very much toufiq for the comment.

      • nanu

        And What about dotnet?

        • I believe certifications for developers from Microsoft, Oracle, IBM or other big companies aren’t much popular. IMO here still experience is the biggest factor. What do you think nanu?

  • Responder

    “The second one in not good choice, because the DB world is migrating to non-relative databases. ”

    Firstly its not called non-relative. The more appropriate term is non-sql databases. Though nosql databases is the hottest thing right now. You will find RDBMS (relational Database management System) in 99% of the Top 500 Companies in the world. Simply, because RDBMS is still the best way to store and process Financial data where data integrity is important. And oracle is the largest player in DB markets. Experience Oracle DBA’s command 90k plus salary. Agree that OCP (Oracle Certified Professional) doesn’t have the same weight anymore. But it is a long shot to call Oracle certifications dead.

    • ICM

      Trully agree with you. At this moment I work full-time in an world-wide insurance company and we have big Oracle systems with RAC, etc.
      Oracle SQL databases will be critically important and the marketplace also certified OCP/OCM will be important as a certification program.
      I believe Oracle will add some non-SQL (thank you for correction) certifications to the portfolio soon.

      Thank you for that valuable comment.

  • Michael

    I would be interested to know WHO you talked to in these big companies. “IT professionals and CIOs from small and big organizations” doesn’t really say a whole lot. I ask because a)these certifications don’t match ANY other list I can find online (which really means nothing) and b)I’ve never seen most of these on any job listing.
    Good list, though, thanks.

    • ICM

      Thank you Michael for that good question about WHO.

      2012 post was done as a my first post almost 5 months ago and was added.. at the beginning of the site.
      There was contiribution of about 12 engineers from different fields (USA, Asia and Europe) and 5 CIOs (2 from Fortune 500).
      The number isn’t big so I decided to don’t write about amount of people here.

      I know that data from 100-1000 engineers, headhunter and CIO’s would be better, but at this moment this is the startup and if my life allows me the 2013 list would be more accurate 🙂
      I really happy with help from the community. Specially from LinkedIN. I believe the list (and the website itself) will be better and more proffesionall.

      Thank you one more time Michael and I glad that you like the list.
      I receive more and more information from Program Managers. Fore example Palo Alto Networks, ETA and even from IBM. The list will be better and better.

  • ICM

    Look at this.
    Demand is hottest this year for Java developers, new survey of 1,200 hiring managers shows.

    Do you think 1000 is a good number for our survey? That’s our goal for 2012 – The best IT Certifications 2013 Edition.

  • Arun

    Which certification is best for a beginner after ccna ?

    • Hamza

      It depends on which technology you want to specialize in. If you are into routing & switching, CCNP would be the next logical step. If you are into security, CCNA security would be the next step, and if you are into telephony then CCNA voice would be the next step. Hope this answers your question.