Тop 5 Certifications to Have in 2020

The results from Global Knowledge’s annual survey on the best paid skills and certifications for 2019 are now out. They inspired us to conduct a similar survey among our consultants who voted on the most beneficial certifications to have in 2020 basing their votes on their experience as well as the current trends in training and certification.

ITIL® 4 Foundation

ITIL® is the most recognized and widespread framework for the delivery, support and management of IT services on a global scale. As Global Knowlege states in its report, in the last 30 years ITIL® has become the most widely recognized IT service management methodology as it presents best practices for aligning organizations’ IT services with their needs.

In addition to those practices. the updated ITIL® 4 includes practices from DevOps, Agile and Lean to offer the contemporary professional knowledge, experience and practice that reflect the needs of modern organizations and teams. ITIL® 4 Foundation in particular offers a great start on the methodology as it includes general knowledge on the lifecycle of IT services.

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® is Project Management Institute’s fastest growing certification and is also among the most common Agile certifications as it serves as proof of the holder’s practical experience and the mindset that contemporary organizations need and look for. The certification guarantees that the holder gets well acquainted with the whole cycle of understanding and applying Agile practices – from the origin of Agile frameworks through different approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, eXtreme Programming, planning and executing an entire agile project or product, roles and continuous improvement.

This certification does not demonstrate the holder’s specialization in a particular role but rather certifies that they are an Agile practitioner. The PMI-ACP® certification is also more demanding and rigorous than other Agile certifications. Although the Scrum Master Trends 2019 report shows Professional Scrum Master™ I as the most common among the participants in the survey, PMI-ACP® is known for demanding that those certified demonstrate not only their Agile skills but also theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

Scrum Master

With organizations’ increasing demand for Agile and digitally skilled professionals, the role of Scrum Masters is increasingly recognized. Recent surveys among various organization show that more than 80% of practicing Scrum Masters possess at least one certification.
Among the best acknowledged certifications are:

Professional Scrum Master level I (PSM I) is the perfect starting point. PSM I is offered by Scrum.org, one of the most reliable bodies of knowledge in the Agile world, and founded by the Ken Schwaber, co-founder of Scrum. This certification is suitable for those who want to demonstrate and validate their depth of Scrum knowledge. The certification demonstrates that the holder have covered the fundamental level of Scrum mastery.

The certification Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®) guarantees that the holder has fundamental knowledge on Scrum and understands the team roles, artifacts, and events. CSM is one of the best recognized ways to the role of servant leader and the protection of the team of developers from both internal and external distractions.

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

SAFe Agilist (SA), SAFe Product Owner (POPM) and SAFe Scrum Master (SM) are part of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), the leader in the scaled agile market. Certified SAFe professionals are world recognized for their ability to facilitate successful transformations of organizations and their teams into Lean-Agile enterprises. Role-based SAFe certifications focus not only on scaling agile but also serve as proof that the holders have the basic understanding of the agile mindset, practices and roles. The certified SAFe practitioner also understands how to support and release software and products that carry added value and are subject to continuous improvement.


The fast pace of digitalization that we live in, called by many the Fourth Industrial Revolution, makes it necessary for companies to set their short- and long-term Digital Agenda which includes business innovations plans, product development strategies and the underlying processes and applications. Gartner estimates that by 2021, 40% of organizations will trust enterprise architects to design and execute new business innovations, made possible by emerging technologies.

That is why the role of enterprise architects will become more and more significant. Architects’ first task on the road to developing an effective digital agenda which demands new processes and technologies is to prepare an accurate description of the current state of their enterprise architecture – a challenge that many organizations struggle with.

TOGAF is a world-recognized standard which provides solid knowledge in the terms and concepts of enterprise architecture. This certification is a necessity for every enterprise architect and a strong recommendation to leaders in organizations which develops and executes transformation programs.

The aim of this article is to shed a light on the skills and certifications that will be helpful and beneficial to professionals in 2020. These guidelines are based on international research and reports as well as ITCE consultants’ assessment.
Stay tuned for the upcoming article which will list the top 5 IT and cloud certifications.

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