India is fast-emerging as a leader in the IT world. Both the country’s men and women are among the most competent programmers in the world. They play leading roles in the production of some of the best-selling and most commonly used applications. However, the Indian market is also in demand of skilled IT professionals since the country’s economy is largely technology driven. As a result, companies providing IT solutions are emerging rapidly while universities and other institutions of higher learning are supplying the market with skilled employees.

A university degree offers the students with general IT skills. The degrees are considered as part of the academic qualifications needed by potential candidates for IT related positions. For some positions, professional qualifications coupled with the appropriate academic credentials are needed. The professional qualifications usually come in the form of certifications. Some of the certifications are sponsored by the leading software vendors in the world. At the same time, other certifications are sponsored by vendor-neutral organizations while some are sponsored by educational institutions.

Top Certifications

What are the best certifications that can provide you with an edge on the job market? Microsoft and Cisco are some of the leading sponsors of certifications. IT professionals holding certificates from these certifying bodies are more employable, and they normally earn more than their colleagues who only hold college degrees. Microsoft’s MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) is one the most sought-after certifications by employers in India. A holder of an MCTS certificate is an individual who has been approved to install, maintain and troubleshoot some of the technologies released by Microsoft.

Cisco’s sponsored CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) is also very popular, and it offers IT professionals with an edge in the job market. To obtain this certification, the candidates have to pass a written exam and a practical exam conducted in a lab. Candidates who are certified as CCIEs must be re-certified every two years. Otherwise, the certification is going to be suspended. Security concerns on networks setup using Cisco products can be handled by a Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP) holder. This means that CCSP holders are very marketable in India.

However, for a candidate to take the CCSP exams, he needs to have completed a lower level certification exam such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) or the Certified Internetwork Specialist (CCIP) first. In addition, the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) is also a certification body responsible for certification of software testers in the world. In India, ISTQB certified testers are in demand as well.