These certifications could land you the best paid IT roles in 2024

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IT professionals with cloud and cyber security-related certifications remain the most sought-after in the tech sector, according to Skillsoft’s 2023 IT Skills and Salary report.

The global survey collects insights from IT professionals about their compensation, certifications, job roles, challenges, and more.

Of the 1,600+ IT professionals who live in Europe and the Middle East (EMEA) surveyed by Skillsoft, the highest paid IT professionals included those who were Google Cloud Certified. 

Certifications are typically viewed by employers as a significant value-add to their organization, with research showing these employees can deliver up to £25,000 in value each year. 

So, what are the highest paying certifications in the EMEA region in 2023?

Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Security Engineer

A Google Cloud Professional Cloud Security Engineer certification comprises designing and deploying secure infrastructure on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), managing access and identities, data protection, managing compliance, and responding to security threats. 

Last year the Professional Cloud Security role ranked seventh with an average salary of £80,739. The report explains this notable increase as a result of the maturation of cloud technology and the growing number of organizations that rely on Google’s cloud platforms for their day-to-day operations.

Following the top spot are Professional Cloud Developer – $155,763 (£126,728), Professional Cloud Architect – $​​141,244 (£114,916), Professional Data Engineer $136,667 (£111,192) – all Google Cloud Certified. 

Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Developer

In second place with an average salary of $155,763 (£126,728) is the Google Cloud certified Professional Cloud Developer. This certification validates a professional’s ability to leverage Google Cloud for application development. 

Staff with the Professional Cloud Developer certification are trained in the design, development, and management of scalable applications with Google Cloud technologies.

Google Cloud Certified – Professional Cloud Architect

The Professional Cloud Architect certification, ranked 15th last year, validates the holder’s capabilities in building, managing, and implementing secure and scalable cloud solutions using GCP.

Cloud architects were found to be paid an average of $141,244 (£114,916) by Skillsoft. 

Google recommends a candidate has three years of experience before sitting the exam.

Google Cloud Certified – Professional Data Engineer

This certification confirms a professional's ability to create scalable and reliable data solutions and manage these systems throughout its lifecycle. 

Ranked 11th in last year's survey, this qualification, like the other Google Cloud certifications, has experienced heightened demand from organizations across the EMEA region in 2023.

Greg Fuller, Senior Director, Tech & Dev at Skillsoft explained certifications in cloud and cybersecurity continue to be highly valued across businesses due increasing reliance on cloud platforms.

“Cloud and cyber security certifications remain long-standing perennial favorites. What’s interesting is the rise in importance and value of Google Cloud’s certifications. As Google’s Cloud Platform gains momentum and the overall reliance on and maturation of cloud evolves, cloud professionals are increasingly necessary for all organizations” Fuller said. 

The highest non-Google Cloud Certified role on the list was the CISSP-certified Systems Security Professional with an average salary of $129,375 (£105,259). 

CISSP – Certified Systems Security Professional 

Consistently well regarded in the cyber security space, the ISC2’s Certified Information Security Professional certification was the highest paying certification in the EMEA region in 2022. 

Holding the CISSP certification has been compared to earning a master’s degree in IT security, and requires candidates to have at least five years of paid, relevant work experience in two or more of the CISSP domains. 

Salaries for top tech certification holders continue to rise

Skillsoft’s research shows professionals with sought-after certifications including those relating to cloud computing and cyber security have seen a 64% year-on-year salary increase. 


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Fuller said this rise is a natural result of demand outpacing supply as further advancements in the sector require more skilled workers who can demand better remuneration for their capabilities. 

“Looking at IT talent and skills as a whole, demand far outweighs supply right now. And, with the current AI wave, we’ll likely see IT salaries surge even higher next year” he said.

“Earning certifications is a win-win scenario for talent and organizations alike, with the former able to increase their value and proficiency and the latter seeing improved quality of work, increased engagement, and faster performance across their IT workforce. On both ends, investment in professional development is an investment in future success.”

Solomon Klappholz
Staff Writer

Solomon Klappholz is a Staff Writer at ITPro. He has experience writing about the technologies that facilitate industrial manufacturing which led to him developing a particular interest in IT regulation, industrial infrastructure applications, and machine learning.