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5 Most Popular IT Certifications for 2020

Global Knowledge
  • Date: 10 June, 2020

Global Knowledge’s annual IT Skills and Salary Report has yet to be released for 2020—but we’re not going to make you wait for all of the findings. Let’s take a sneak peek at some certification numbers and examine the most popular credentials held by IT professionals.

Cybersecurity remains the most popular certification category, though you’ll only see one cybersecurity credential on this list. Other top categories include Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA and ITIL/IT service management.

Here are the five most widely-held certifications this year.

1. ITIL Foundation

Over 19% of IT professionals have earned their ITIL Foundation certificate, making it the most popular certification in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

ITIL Foundation has been an industry staple for years, but the upgrade to ITIL 4 in early 2019 only added to this certification’s popularity amongst those who manage IT best practices. Its first update since 2011, ITIL 4 covers the latest best practices in IT service management (ITSM), the new terminology that organizations are using within ITSM, and how DevOps, Agile, and Lean IT are affecting the ITSM domain.

ITIL Foundation is also associated with higher-than-average salaries. This is because IT professionals who earn their ITIL certificate often go on to earn more advanced certifications. In fact, ITIL-certified professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on an average earn $69,323 a year.

To be more specific about cross-certification, ITIL-certified individuals are most likely to also be certified in cybersecurity, Microsoft, CompTIA, project management and Cisco.

Prepare for this certification with the ITIL 4 Foundation – course. 

2. CCNA Routing and Switching + 3. CCNP Routing and Switching 

Cisco’s routing and switching credentials, designed for network engineers, have always been popular in our IT Skills and Salary Report. This year, 17.2% of IT professionals in Europe, Middle East and Africa have earned the CCNA Routing and Switching certification and 9.7% the Cisco Certified Network Professional R&S certification. In general, Cisco-certified professionals are in abundance. It’s the second most popular certification category worldwide.

As of February 2020, Cisco instituted a new certification framework. While you can no longer achieve CCNA Routing and Switching, all Cisco CCNA-level certifications have been condensed into a single certification supported by one exam. CCNA - Cisco Certified Network Associate is now the launching point for almost all Cisco certifications.

Cisco's new 'Next Level' certification program has also had a significant impact on Cisco's CCNP certification program. From February 2020, you obtain a Cisco Professional certification with two exams: a core exam and a concentration exam. The basic knowledge is tested with a core exam, a concentration exam is to specialize.

View the new Cisco certification tracks

4. CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor


ISACA’s globally-recognized certification that validates audit, risk and cybersecurity skills is held by 9.3% of EMEA IT professionals. This certification has existed since 1978 and leads a strong field of cybersecurity certifications this year—55% of survey respondents have at least one cybersecurity certification.

CISA-certified professionals also earn $77,618 annually in the EMEA-region, making it one of the top-paying IT certifications. These same individuals tend to be a little older and have more career experience.

CISA leads a trio of popular ISACA credentials — CISM - Certified Information Security Manager and CRISC - Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control are also widely-held among cybersecurity professionals. CISA-certified professionals are likely to be cross-certified in ITIL Foundation, CISSP and PMP – Project Management Professional or Prince2.

Prepare for the certification


CISA - Certified Information Systems Auditor Prep Course

5. Citrix Certified Associate - Virtualization (CCA-V)


6.5% of IT professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have earned this year the Citrix Certified Associate - Virtualization (CCA-V) certification.

The Citrix Certified Associate - Virtualization (CCA-V) credential validates the skills that IT operators and administrators need to manage, maintain, monitor and troubleshoot XenDesktop solutions. The next step after the CCA-V certification is Citrix Certified Professional - Virtualization (CCP-V). This credential validates the skills that experienced IT solution builders, such as engineers and consultants, need to install, configure and roll out common XenDesktop solutions. 

Recommended training for certification

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