Best Unified Communications Certifications for 2014

Best Unified Communications Certifications for 2014
By , Kim Lindros

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

The need of today's organizations to share information, and 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. Learn More: Enterprise Unified Communications

With Cisco leading the pack in the UC product arena these days, we chose two Cisco certifications to feature in this year's top 5 -- the CCNP Voice and the CCIE Collaboration. But Microsoft Lync Server is making great inroads into enterprise environments, so you'll see details about the MCSE: Communication cert. We cover UC certs from IBM and Oracle as well.

And, because Avaya is a major player in the IP telephony market, we mention the Avaya Certified Solutions Specialist (ACSS) cert at the end of this article. You'll be able to read more about Avaya's certs in our upcoming article on the best VoIP/telephony certifications.

As far as salaries for certified UC pros, SimplyHired lists $73,000 as the average salary for a Unified Communications Engineer role. GlassDoor lists salaries as high as $129,000 for senior and lead UC positions.

   Average Unified Communications Engineer Salaries (Image: SimplyHired)

With new UC technologies coming to market, unified communications is an interesting and in demand area to be in as companies work 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 areas, as a result many UC certifications will require multiple exams to achieve.

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