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What are the key IT certifications to obtain over the next year?

What will be the top IT certifications to obtain over the next year or so? Should IT professionals lean more towards Unix/Linux skills or is getting an MCSE still important.

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If you believe in absolute numbers as a predictor or indicator of what's important, compare a total of less than 50,000 credentials per year for all Linux certifications versus more than 50,000 per year for both MCSE and MCSA. My advice, however, is to follow your interests to wherever they might lead you, becauese ultimately you're going to have to work 40+ hours a week doing something, so it might as well be something you enjoy. While there may not be as many opportunities for Linux/Unix administrators as for MCSA/MCSEs, that's not the same thing as saying there are no such opportunities to be found, nor that this makes MCSA/MCSE "better" than similar Linux/Unix credentials.

Outside the SysAdmin/NetAdmin arenas, information security remains a white-hot certification area, and one probably worht obtaining at least an entry-level cert like Security+ for. For more information about where the interest (if not all the action) is, visit "The 10 Hottest Certifications for 2004" at This will give you some idea about what other IT professional find interesting certification-wise.

This was first published in February 2004

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