A computer science certification can verify your skills to employers, qualifying you for more advanced positions and increasing your earning potential. They can even help with job retention by making you more valuable to your current employer. Evaluating the best computer science certifications that are available can help you determine which are the best for your skills and career path. In this article, we discuss 16 different certifications, divided by the specialization, to make it easier to identify which is the best fit for you.
Who can benefit from computer science certifications?
Any IT professional can benefit from a computer science certification. These certifications can enhance resumes, position candidates for higher salaries and help with job retention. That said, the best computer science certification for you will depend on your education, skills, experience, goals and the career path you're pursuing.
Related: 5 IT Certifications for Your Career
Computer science certifications for IT security professionals
Here are some of the best IT certifications for security:
ISACA Certified Information Systems Auditor
This certification is a global standard for IT professionals who work in information systems, specifically security, control and auditing. This certification demonstrates for employers that they have the skills and knowledge to meet the dynamic changes that companies today are facing. To obtain this certification, candidates must pass an exam that lasts four hours and consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. To qualify, they must have at least five years of professional experience in information systems auditing, security or control.
ISACA Certified Information Security Manager
This certification qualifies IT professionals as auditors, IT security managers and information risk managers. It requires that they hold in-depth knowledge of security policy and strategy. The test to obtain this certification consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and takes four hours to complete. The questions focus on information security governance, risk management, incident management and information security program development and management.
Certified Information Systems Security Professional
This is a globally recognized certification that verifies an IT professional's competency in protecting companies against cyberattacks. It proves that they have extensive technical and managerial abilities for engineering and managing information security programs. To obtain the certification, candidates must pass a 250-question exam within the six-hour time limit.
This is a global certification that verifies candidates have the baseline skills they need to perform core security functions and qualify for a career in IT security. This certification ensures that candidates have the practical security problem-solving skills to not only identify but also to address security problems.
Computer science certifications for cloud computing
Here are some of the best IT certifications for cloud computing:
CompTIA Cloud Essentials
Offered by CompTIA, this certification covers cloud computing and visualization skills. It is a foundational certification that ensures candidates understand the fundamental components that make up a company's cloud solutions.
This CompTIA certification verifies that candidates have the skills to maintain and optimize cloud infrastructure services. The vendor-neutral certification covers configurations and deployment, management of cloud resources, maintenance, security and troubleshooting.
VMware Certified Professional 6—Data Center Visualization
This industry-recognized certification verifies that you know how to administer and troubleshoot vSphere V6 infrastructures. It assures employers that you are knowledgeable about how to leverage best practices to provide a reliable and scalable virtualization platform for your organization. To obtain this certification, it's recommended that you have a minimum of six months of experience with vSphere 6. You also are required to attend one of the training courses at an authorized training center. You must also complete the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam or vSphere 6.5 Foundations Exam as well as the VM Certified Professional 6—Data Center Visualization Exam.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Professional
Amazon is the largest provider of cloud computing services, and this certification confirms that IT professionals have the ability to design and employ cloud environments using AWS. Amazon recommends that candidates have two or more years of hands-on experience in designing and deploying cloud architecture before taking its course.
Computer science certifications for help desk professionals
Here are some of the best help desk certifications to consider:
Apple Certified Support Professional
This certification is designed for help desk professionals or technical coordinators who manage networks or provide technical support for people who use Apple computers. The certification verifies that IT professionals understand macOS core functionality and can perform basic troubleshooting, configure key services and offer other types of general support for multiple Apple users.
HDI Desktop Support Technician
The HDI Desktop Support Technician verifies that candidates have the proven techniques for improving on-site customer interaction, they understand how service level agreements impact workflow, they can perform a root cause analysis and more. Of all the HDI certifications, this one is particularly popular among hiring managers.
HDI Technical Support Professional
This HDI certification focuses on customer service and service management best practices. It also emphasizes responsive incident escalation as well as the importance of metrics measurement, problem management and improving teamwork. This certification ensures that IT professionals have the knowledge and skills to provide superior technical support.
Information Technology Infrastructure Library certifications
This certification program offers five different levels of certification, from foundation to master. This framework ensures that IT professionals are delivering services according to a set of consistent, well-defined processes. Each level comes with its own relevant study guides, and candidates can take training through online courses, instructor-led distance learning or instructor-led classroom classes. You must then pass the accompanying exams for each level.
Computer science certifications in database and data technologies
Here are some of the best certifications in analytics, database and other technologies:
SAP Certified Technology Associate
This certification verifies a candidate has the knowledge required for SAP project management. This certification builds on consultant skills and experience and validates whether they have advanced business skills and the ability to apply the necessary methodologies and tools.
Microsoft SQL Server Certifications
Microsoft offers a variety of certifications, including data management and analytics, business intelligence and database administration. Candidates usually begin with the entry-level Microsoft Technology Associate certification. There are then several associate-level certifications, including SQL Server 2012/2014, business intelligence development and database administration.
Oracle Certified Professional
Oracle offers several certifications, from database administration to data warehousing and big data. The Oracle Certification Program is designed to verify candidates have the necessary knowledge and skill for Oracle products and technologies.
CCIE Data Center
This is a Cisco certification that verifies a candidate's skills in planning, preparing, operating, monitoring and troubleshooting complex data networks. An IT professional with this certification is qualified to hold a leadership role in harnessing evolving technologies and has the domain expertise to meet the requirements for an agile IT infrastructure.