What 6 Top Security Certifications Pay

Security Certifications That Carry Clout

Amid all the attention businesses give to IT security, how much weight do security certifications carry when it comes to landing business?

According to executives with two solution providers, certifications – like a resume – can make a client prospect sit up and take notice and help you at least get in the door. But raw ability and customer references speak louder, they told ITBestOfBreed.

While internal IT professionals need security certifications to demonstrate credibility and qualifications, resellers and consultants also need "real-world experience," said Bob Hollander, vice president of sales and marketing for Netelligent, a solution provider based in Chesterfield, Mo., in an email. "Personally, I will always weigh experience and ability over certifications."

One possible exception: For someone looking to hop from a security analyst or similar role to a management or architect role, certifications seem to become more important, Hollander added.

Dom Grillo, executive vice president of Atrion Communication Resources, of Branchburg, N.J., added, "Having a good reputation and references seem to carry far more weight" than certifications.

Business training and certification company Global Knowledge recently published its survey-based report on IT skills and salaries. Here's a list of its top six security certifications, ranked by average annual salary last year in the U.S. and Canada.