IoT is a rapidly growing market, and one of the challenges to companies embracing IoT is the lack of specialists who know and understand IoT's many complexities.
With proven knowledge, experts will place themselves in an excellent position to take that next step of career advancement, and organizations will seek them out. IoT adoption has increased rapidly, and organizations are looking for people with the right skills. If they can't hire them, retraining existing staff in IoT skills is likely to be a major training focus.
By 2025, IDC projected there will be over 41.6 billion connected IoT devices around the world; yet, a Microsoft survey reported that 47% of its survey respondents are concerned about finding enough skilled IoT workers to implement and support IoT technologies. Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents acknowledged that the complexity and technical challenges to use IoT present significant barriers to IoT adoption in their organizations.
Certifications can help boost your career and stand out to employers, and fortunately, there are many certifications to choose from. The question is what the right certification is.
IoT certifications provide proof of the necessary knowledge, abilities, and skills to design and deploy IoT networks. Here are nine certifications to consider to advance your career.
Offered by the CCC, the IoT Foundation certification is considered one of the top IoT certifications available, covers principal IoT topics and is vendor-neutral.
The CCC certification covers six learning modules, including IoT security and governance, architecture, and monetization and business use cases. There are no prerequisites to take the course, but you're expected to have a grasp of cloud-related terms and concepts.
The CCC offers in-person training partners across the U.S. and other countries, as well as online self-study. Course length depends on how long participants want to study.
All study materials and a voucher for the exam cost $349.
Another in-depth, vendor-neutral certification program is CertNexus Certified Internet of Things Practitioner. This shouldn't be confused with its Certified Internet of Things Security Practitioner (CIoTSP), which is a separate certification.
This course covers six topics, ranging from planning and programming IoT devices to deploying and managing the devices in real-world use cases. This certification is notable because it's accredited under the American National Standards Institute/ISO/IEC 17024 standard, which is required for many government projects.
Costs depend on the resources participants choose. Self-study options start at around $450, while in-person classes can be as high as $1,500. The exam is $250.
This is a separate certification program focused on security because IoT has extra security needs due to its remote nature. IT experts who decide to demonstrate proficiency in tools from any IoT vendor should take this certification. It covers every aspect of IoT security within the IoT device lifecycle, including design, implementation, operation and end-to-end management.
In eight lessons, students learn and prepare for the ITS-110 exam on IoT risk management; interface, network, data and physical security; IoT resource access control; data privacy; and software and firmware risk management.
This course requires previous fundamental knowledge of IoT technology, which can also be acquired through the CertNexus CIoTP course with exam ITP-110. Attendees have various purchasing options for digital courseware, labs and an exam voucher of self-led study or instructor-led courses over three days. Training materials start at $350, and the exam voucher costs $250.
AWS is the most popular of the cloud service providers and has a comprehensive IoT offering. AWS's Internet of Things Foundation Series is a good starter choice for any IoT professional.
The 9.5-hour online course is free and covers four topics: telemetry, IoT command and control, fleet management and predictive maintenance. Amazon recommends you take its "Introduction to AWS IoT" course if you don't have the IoT background. AWS gives a certification that can be shared on LinkedIn.
Cisco offers multiple certifications for IoT architecture, processing and analysis of edge IoT data, the Cisco IOx OS, edge processing, open source IoT, data visualization and security. The organization also offers a free introductory IoT course that doesn't provide a certification, but develops a solid overview of IoT.
A Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification, targeted at plant administrators, control engineers, and IT and network engineers working in manufacturing, equips individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to build, manage and operate converged industrial networks. Cisco certification prices vary, as do exam vouchers, but training courses typically range between $500 and more than $2,000. The CCNA preparation bundle costs $1,179.
Microsoft began offering an Azure IoT Developer certification in 2020. Topics covered include all aspects of the IoT device lifecycle, such as setup, configuration, maintenance, connectivity, debugging, security and cloud services.
The certification is designed for developers who implement, code, or maintain cloud and edge IoT components. Developers should already have experience with development of cloud and edge components for Azure IoT products.
IoT developers can take Microsoft learning path courses -- such as "Introduction to Azure IoT" -- to prepare for the exam for free online or pay for an instructor-led class. Candidates must be able to recognize Azure IoT service configuration settings within the code and perform certain coding tasks.
In-person instruction is available at 35 locations, runs four days and costs can run as high as $2,990, depending on the training partner. The test itself costs just $165.
Arcitura's Certified IoT Architect consists of three courses that cover IoT technology and architecture, radio protocols and telemetry messaging. The course includes lab exercises and a final exam that must be passed for certification. The content balances technical application and a general understanding of the business value behind IoT.
A Certified IoT Architect must be proficient in IoT design with scalable connectivity and functional distribution models. Candidates can take instructor-led training supplemented by self-study materials. The certification workshop costs $1,200. The Next-Gen IT Exam IoT90.01 and study kit materials have additional fees.
This program gives participants a business overview of how organizations can take advantage of IoT and a close-up look at technologies, such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi hardware systems. The University of California, Irvine offers an IoT certification for students who take three courses over nine months for nine course credits and finish with a passing grade.
The three courses offered in the program are "Introduction to the Internet of Things," "Designing and Integrating IoT Devices" and "Networking and Securing IoT Devices." The program also covers integration, standards and compliance, IoT business processes and security. IT professionals can take this program online for $2,820. It runs for nine months.
Stanford offers a short course certification that consists of taking four noncredit IoT courses that applicants must complete before they pursue a graduate certificate. The course provides an overview of the underlying IoT technology, including sensors, embedded systems, networking, circuits and applications. IoT practitioners looking to expand their skill set and business professionals who work with IoT engineering teams would get the most from the Stanford graduate certificate.
The Stanford program has academic advisors who can help select a subset from the 15 IoT courses offered that best aligns with professional and educational goals. Some prerequisite knowledge of specific programming languages or technology might be necessary for certain courses. Applicants to the graduate certificate must complete the course within three years, and tuition is based on the number of credit units taken.
How to select the type and specialty of the course
Tech professionals who pursue IoT certifications to advance their career have a wide range of choices that they can tailor to their career goals. Each of the certifications listed above states clearly in its course outlines who should take the courses.
Tech professionals who pursue IoT certifications to advance their career have a wide range of choices that they can tailor to their career goals.
Certification programs offer foundational and business-oriented IoT courses to get started, even if tech professionals have little familiarity with IoT or work on the business side of IoT implementation. For individuals in this category, a vendor-neutral IoT course can give them a solid foundation.
IT experts in networks, applications, architecture or security might gain the most from IoT certifications for specific vendors or technologies that their organization and the general market use.