- Each of the five Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications brings in an average salary of more than $100,000.
- There are more than 685,000 Project Management Professionals (PMPs) worldwide, and their average annual salary is $116,094.
- Four of the 15 are Cisco certifications, solidifying the value of these certifications in enterprise IT.
These and many other insights about the highest-paying certifications this year are from Global Knowledge’s latest report, 15 Top-Paying Certifications of 2016 (free, no opt-in, 8 pp., PDF). Global Knowledge derived the salary levels for each certification by using the 2016 IT Skills and Salary Survey, completed in the fall of 2015. The survey is national in scope and reflects variations based on where IT professionals work, years and experience and type of company worked for.
Key takeaways from the study include the following:
- Most valuable IT certification skills involve creating apps on AWS and managing costs. AWS Certified Solutions Architects are required to have expertise in AWS cost analysis, demonstrating the ability to orchestrate AWS- advanced cost management and control features. This certification also covers ingress and egress of data to and from the AWS.
- Six of the 15 are focused on security, making this area the most in-demand in IT in 2016. Following security, cloud computing, networking and enterprise IT have three certifications in the top 15.
- Average income across the top 15 IT certifications is $110,400. Certifications that concentrate on auditing, security and risk pay above-average incomes with the lowest being $113,320. The following table provides a breakout of the top 15 IT certifications in 2016 according to Global Knowledge’s salary study.
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Now that you know what it is … build one in 15 minutes.
Hyper computers are on the horizon –
and they’ll see past your flimsy security
BY TIM JOHNSON
OCTOBER 23, 2017 5:00 AM
WASHINGTON — Remember Y2K? Now, get ready for Y2Q.
It’s shorthand for “years to quantum” – the advent of superfast quantum computers that will break encryption faster than a U.S. Marine can disassemble an M-16 weapon.
Quantum computers are still largely theoretical. But the U.S. government, China, Russia and big companies such as Google, IBM and Microsoft are working feverishly, and some estimates are that quantum computers will become a reality perhaps within eight years.
“It’s not science fiction,” said Scott Totzke, chief executive of ISARA, a Waterloo, Canada, company that applies unique mathematical codes to construct quantum-safe solutions. “We now know that a quantum computer will break public key cryptography, and that if we do nothing that we will no longer be able to protect the integrity of all the digital transactions that we participate in on a daily basis.”
The implications for consumers, businesses and national security are vast; essentially, nothing would be safe. Your Netflix account? Toast. Self-driving cars? Think demolition derby. Office swipe cards? Useless.
“Behind the scenes, there’s all this complex infrastructure which has to be updated. … Everybody who’s providing something over the internet to your house relies on strong encryption to make sure it is really you,” Totzke said. “Changing all that is a very complex thing.”
So now the race is on to build new quantum-safe software and install it on tens of millions of classic computers. Experts say it’s not too early to prepare. Otherwise, digital bank transactions, health records, email and even encrypted U.S. military secrets that enemies have hacked and stored, waiting for a quantum computer strong enough to decrypt them, will be vulnerable.
Quantum computers don’t use binary code — ones and zeros — to hold and process information. They’ll actually use atoms, photons and other quantum matter. Only prototypes exist, but experts already know how fast they will be. Really, really fast.
“If it takes a classical computer one day to crack a particular 56-bit encryption, it would take the quantum computer just 0.322 milliseconds — or one-thousandth the blink of an eye,” Linus Chang, the founder of a Melbourne, Australia, software company, Scram Software, wrote in a recent blog post.
In short, Y2Q will require a massive software update and alterations to the nuts and bolts of the internet to allow for more complex mathematical formulas that can stump even a quantum computer, experts said.
The search for those formulas is on. A U.S. government agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, has launched a global competition for algorithms that can provide security in a pending world of hyper computers. Submissions are due by the end of November. Money isn’t the motive for researchers.
“They get a lot of fame and acclaim. The people who end up designing the winning crypto systems are kind of renowned in the crypto community,” said Dr. Dustin Moody, a mathematician working on post-quantum cryptography.
Once standards for quantum-safe software are established, maybe in five years, it will take additional years to customize and roll out the updates across the billions of devices and computers in the U.S. alone. Even parts of the internet backbone will need to be overhauled to handle the tougher, more lengthy formulas.
That’s why maybe it’s a good thing that quantum computers are years off.
IF A QUANTUM COMPUTER WERE BUILT ONE YEAR FROM NOW, ALL OF A SUDDEN, YES, WE’D HAVE SOME PROBLEMS.
“If a quantum computer were built one year from now, all of a sudden, yes, we’d have some problems,” Moody said.
Luckily, quantum computers have an Achilles heel. They are extraordinary at many types of hard math. But not all. Totzke said five areas hold potential for creating problems that will confound even a quantum computer. They involve things like multivariate polynomials and lattice-based crypto.
“There are things that we wouldn’t expect that it could do any better than a conventional computer,” Totzke said.
It will take years to sort out which complex algorithms can provide adequate safety. And further years designing updates for software.
YOU CAN’T DO THAT IN TWO, THREE, FOUR YEARS. IT’S A MASSIVE PROJECT.
“You can’t do that in two, three, four years. It’s a massive project,” Totzke said, adding that companies and governments need to make preparations sooner rather than later.
“The risk is going to go up dramatically because you’ll have to do this in a much less controlled manner with less testing. You’re going to be in panic mode,” he said.
Moody said his agency believes it is acting in a timely manner.
“We hope to solve all the problems before we get there (to Y2Q),” Moody said. “But it’s not just a simple, easy fix.”
For some in the private sector, he added, “It is going to be a very important transition and a very painful one, we believe, too.”
Future quantum computers are likely to have capabilities not even today’s supercomputers can match. They will make existing encryption obsolete. Damian Dovarganes AP