Best Unified Communications Certifications For 2016

Best Unified Communications Certifications For 2016
By , Kim Lindros

Unified Communications brings multiple applications, such as e-mail, instant messaging, IP telephony, as well as audio and video conferencing together under one umbrella. In today's globally dispersed world, UC certifications are growing in demand.

The need for today's organizations to share information, along with the proliferation of high-speed broadband connections, has been driving the global unified communications market for several years. UC streamlines communications, so that geologically dispersed employees can interact digitally as if they're in the same office, even if they're thousands of miles apart.

Centralized administration also makes UC popular with IT managers because of the reduced time and effort needed to support and secure corporate communications of all kinds. Because of the need for specialized skills to make large-scale UC implementations run at their best, the top UC vendors offer certifications as a measure of workforce quality.

As far as salaries go, SimplyHired lists $89,000 as the average salary for a Unified Communications Engineer role. This is up by $16,000 from 2015 when the site reported average earnings of $73,000 for the same role. GlassDoor lists UC salaries as high as $167,000 for senior and UC engineer positions.

With Cisco maintaining its lead in the UC product arena for several years now, we chose to feature two Cisco certifications in our top five list -- the CCNP Collaboration and the CCIE Collaboration. You'll also read about the MCSE: Communication cert (based on Microsoft's Lync Server, or Skype for Business) and UC certs from IBM and Avaya.

Table 1 below lists the results of an informal job search we conducted to see which unified communications certifications are in demand with employers today. These numbers are a snapshot in time but should give you some idea of what's available in this space.

Table 1: Job Board Search Results

Avaya ACSS558125677
CCIE Collaboration32246211121115
CCNP Collaboration242359457122
IBM Sametime53971592545280
MCSE Communication32611713139199

With new UC technologies continually coming to market, unified communications offers interesting and in-demand job opportunities as companies labor to improve communication and collaboration. If you have an interest in telephony or video conferencing, UC is a good career path to explore. As you'll notice in the pages that follow, it's also not an easy path. Unified communications roles require knowledge of a number of IT areas and technical disciplines, and as a result, earning UC certifications often requires multiple exams and credentials.

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