IT certifications aren’t like Pokémon: you don’t have to catch ‘em all. In fact, such is the volume of certifications available through traditional and online channels, you will only have the time and resources to obtain a fraction of them.

However, even a single, highly respected IT certification could be the difference between a recruiter discarding your resume and taking a closer look. To help you assess your options, here are some of the most valuable IT certifications today, divided by subject area.

best entry-level certifications

What is the best IT certification to start with? The following qualifications will help get your tech career off the ground.

CompTIA A+

Long regarded as a top IT certification for beginners, CompTIA A+ has evolved to cover hot topics like cloud virtualization, IoT device security and using SaaS applications for remote work.

Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)

A suite of entry-level certifications with specializations ranging from JavaScript and Python to networking and database fundamentals.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Interested in pursuing a career in the AWS cloud? This certification covers foundational cloud concepts and services and acts as a stepping stone to advanced AWS certifications.

data, analytics & business intelligence

The ability to analyze data and act on those findings is critical to business success these days. These certifications demonstrate that you have the skills to help organizations make data-driven decisions.

Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP)

This credential is designed for senior-level systems and technology professionals working in analytics and data management. You’ll need to pass two core exams plus one specialty exam of your choice, with topics for the latter ranging from data integration and interoperability to leadership and management.

Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE)

Designed for IT professionals with at least three years of experience in privacy governance and architecture, this certification proves that you have the ability and knowledge to assess, build and deploy sophisticated privacy solutions.

Certified Data Professional (CDP)

The CDP is offered at various levels, from the entry-level Foundation to the top-tier Executive Management. You can choose a specialization relevant to your experience and career goals, such as business analytics, data warehousing and public sector data governance.

cloud computing & infrastructure

Cloud professionals are in high demand, with roles like cloud engineer commanding high salaries. These certifications will help you launch or advance a career in the cloud.

CompTIA Cloud+

If you’re not sure whether you want to specialize in AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, consider this platform-agnostic certification, designed for cloud professionals who need expertise across multiple systems. It’s a straightforward way to demonstrate you have the technical skills required to implement, monitor and optimize mission-critical cloud applications.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional

Intended for cloud professionals with at least two years of experience designing and deploying cloud architecture on AWS, this certification validates your ability to implement sophisticated, secure and cost-effective cloud initiatives.

Microsoft Azure Developer Associate

This mid-level certification measures skills in monitoring, troubleshooting and optimizing Azure solutions and connecting to third-party services. Candidates should have 1-2 years of professional experience with Microsoft Azure and the ability to program in an Azure-supported language. More experienced professionals should consider a top-tier certification like Microsoft Azure Solutions Architect Expert.

Want to learn more about today’s hottest IT jobs — and the certifications, skills or credentials you’ll need to land them? Head over to our best jobs section to plan your next career move.