Forging a rewarding and lasting career in the ever changing field of IT can be challenging. There do exist, however, professional certifications that can light the way to your future and keep you in demand. Recently Global Knowledge has released the results of its 2017 IT Skills and Salary Survey, shedding light on how 2017 has shaped up for specials skills demand and how you can formulate your strategy for advancement and challenging career posts accordingly.

1.Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC): Surveyed Salary $131,298

The group formerly identified as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association, now just ISACA offers the CRISC certification. This is designed for IT professionals but includes others whose function is to identify and manage the business and IT risks through Information Systems controls. The CRISC certification, begun in 2010, covers the entire management circuit, from design through implementation to ongoing maintenance. Over 20,000 people worldwide have earned this certification, with a 96% certification renewal rate. Because demand for professionals with this unique skill set and certification is high, their number low, CRISC is the highest paying IT certification at this time.

2. Certified Information Security Manager (CISM): Surveyed Salary $128,156

The same group, ISACA, also created and sustains the CISM certification aimed at management that focuses on security strategy and assessing the security policies currently in place. Certification requires at least five years of IS experience and at least three of those years performing as a security manager. More than 32,000 people hold this certification since its introduction in 2002, making these individuals highly sought after because of their relatively small supply.

3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: Surveyed Salary $125,091

This AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate level exam demonstrates someone’s ability and expertise in designing scalable systems and using them on AWS. This is a first step towards achieving the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification. Although there are over 10,000 certified people, this is a comparatively small number given the growing demand and popularity of the AWS platform. Experience with AWS is recommended before sitting for the certification exam.

Achieving and maintaining your IT certifications is a sure way to remain in demand at a competitive salary in an ever changing market. Although the face and function of IT will change over the years, even within a year, the need for skilled professionals will never slacken. Certifications are the only way to easily recognize those who can perform a job, and open the door to a first interview.