IT Career JumpStart

Feb 25 2013   4:03PM GMT

Interesting Look at Some Extreme, Hardcore IT Certs

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

Over at “IT Certification Master” Mirek Burnejko strikes some interesting paydirt as he lays out a story on “10 of the Hardest IT Certifications to Get.” In that story, he provides brief profiles of his current choices for the hardest IT certifications to earn nowadays, among the 700-800 items available to IT professionals right now.

A Different, Difficult and Demanding Top 10 Certs List to Ponder...

A Different, Difficult and Demanding Top 10 Certs List to Ponder…

Here’s his Top 10 list, delivered Letterman-style in reverse numerical order:

10. Certified Wireless Network Expert (CWNE)
9. CCIE Data Center
8. Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
7. VMware Certified Design Expert — Datacenter Virtualization (VCDX)
6. Offensive Security Certified Expert (OSCE)
5. Oracle Certified Master (OCM) DBA 11g
4. GIAC Security Expert (GSE)
3. ITIL V3 Master
2. Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) Windows Server: Directory
1. Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr)

I really can’t quibble with any of his choices, though I would add some additional observations:

  • Any of the CCIE credentials could appear in place 10 (or elsewhere in the list) because of their level of difficulty, expense, and time commitment required to earn one.
  • The SAP Consulting certifications are also pretty expensive, demanding, difficult, and scarce, and might be worth a place in a future such list, if not the present list.
  • Architect-level certs rightfully make a couple of appearances on this list, and there are numerous other such credentials from which one can choose. See my stories “Senior-level Certification: IT Architect Credentials Can Open Career Doors” and Bredemeyer Consulting’s excellent bibliography/overview piece “Architect Role and Skills” for more information on this fascinating and demanding IT specialization.
  • The placement of these certs in the order depends on some interesting and subjective assessments from Mr. Burnejko. I don’t always agree with those assessments, but again these are quibbles. Thus, for example, I’m not sure that the MCA deserves to be so close to the top (I’d switch places between it and the GSE, for example, because of the sheer amount of work and ongoing cert maintenance required to keep up that pinnacle GIAC certification).

All in all this is a great story that highlights some interesting and sometimes perversely difficult IT certifications. It does lay out some “supreme goals” for the super-Type-As among the IT professionals out there, and should be enough to keep most readers busy for several lifetimes!

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