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How do I decide which certs to focus on?

Expert Ed Tittel helps guide a reader toward the best certification for him to acquire in today's IT market.

What would you consider the easiest certification to get vs. the most useful? In other words, the one which is in most demand vs. the one that will make you the most money? Thanks for your time.

A wise man once told me that the answer to any good question always begins with the same two word -- namely, "That depend."

In your case, a meaningful answer depends on knowing more about what interests you, your current background and skills, and so forth. For some clues to this situation, you might try to look at recent articles I've written for SearchWinIT.com on IT salaries, or checking out the Certification Magazine 2005 Salary Survey in their December, 2005 issue. These will give you some ideas of what pays best and what is most useful. What I can say is that the easiest and/or cheapest certs to obtain are also those that are far too often least useful and that do not provide much expectation (or hope, even) of generating large salaries.

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