The 5 Most In Demand Licenses and Certifications

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In today's competitive job market, it can be difficult to advance your career or find a new role without the necessary training and qualifications. Luckily, continuing education is embedded in our culture and there are plenty of certification options on the market. Certifications are a great route for anyone looking for a flexible opportunity that offers a great return on investment.These five certifications are some of the most popular options on the market today. Each option offers a unique set of benefits. If you are are on the hunt for a new job, or simply looking to advance in your current role, consider one of these opportunities. You' won't regret investing the time to take care of yourself and your future.

1. Actuary Certification

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) are the two most widely recognized certifying bodies when it comes to actuarial science. These two programs are extremely rigorous but rewarding. Actuaries typically work for insurance companies and are responsible for analyzing data and predicting the liability for certain benefits. Job security is outstanding, and compensation is above average. Students completing the certification are generally rewarded with an average 30 percent increase in pay. The certification does require a strong background in mathematics and business, and the certification process is lengthier than most. However, the return on investment is significant when you consider compensation potential and job longevity.

2. Real Estate License

A license in real estate is one of the more fast-paced certifications on the list. Depending on the state of your residence you could obtain certification after only 200 hours of coursework. From there, you'll take an exam to officially earn your license. There is no cap on your earnings as a real estate agent and the flexibility is ideal for many families. If you're looking for a change of pace, or even a way to earn additional income a license in real estate might be the right fit for you.

3. Information Security Certification

The information technology industry is booming as modern business transitions more fully from paper to electronic processes. The change to a more digital platform brings convenience, but it also presents security concerns for many business leaders. For this reason, many IT security professionals enjoy higher than average job security and one of the highest paid roles in the information technology field. The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) designation is one of the most popular certifications followed closely by Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

4. Project Management Certification

Project management skills are necessary for almost any role. Project management requires organization, good communication, and analytical skills. The Project Management Certification (PMP) ensures that certified students speak the global language of the industry and are able to complete projects on time and on budget. Employees with the PMP certification earn almost 20 percent more than their non-certified counterparts and are invaluable assets to any organization. The testing for the certification is rigorous and students have four hours to complete an exam containing 200 questions. However, the exam is low cost for the return on investment. You can expect to pay around $400 for the exam.

5. Six Sigma Certification

Six Sigma methodologies are recognized across the globe as the standard for process improvement strategies. Six Sigma is a data-driven approach that works to eliminate waste and inefficiency in business processes. The certification validates an employee's ability to recognize system weaknesses and make improvements. The certification is applicable across many organizations and Six Sigma certified individuals are routinely some of the highest paid business professionals around the world. There are several levels of the certification based on your work experience. The certification is reasonably priced and participants can expect to complete the work in approximately 30 days.

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