Top 3 Cloud Certifications for 2016
Over the past several years, no other area of IT has generated as much interest and investment as cloud computing. As a result, cloud computing attracts considerable coverage and attention from certification providers and companies that offer cloud related products.
With the cloud computing industry expanding exponentially, there has never been a greater need for skilled cloud professionals. IT pros with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand and only in the U.S. 3.9 million jobs are associated with cloud computing, with 384,478 of them in IT, according to Forbes. At the same time, the median salary for IT professionals with cloud computing experience is $90,950.
Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations, universities, technical education institutions, and leading IT companies offering certifications in cloud computing and closely-related topics. From companies like Google, Red Hat, Rackspace and VMware to organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance and GetCloudCertified.com, cloud computing certifications cover generalized knowledge and focused areas of specialization related to specific cloud services, such as Amazon.
With new credentials being added each year, how do you choose the cloud computing certification that’s right for you? Here’s an updated list of three best cloud certifications you could use in 2016.
1. Amazon Certified Solutions Architect – This exam tests user knowledge of Amazon Web Services’ cloud and how to deploy applications on it. Topics covered include how to design and deploy applications on AWS, ingress and egress of data to and from AWS, selecting the appropriate AWS service and knowing AWS architectural best practices. AWS also offers a Certified Solutions Architect Professional; AWS Certified Developer Associate; AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate and AWS Certified Devops Engineer Professional
2. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Cloud – The CCNA Cloud from Cisco tests a variety of cloud topics, including cloud characteristics and deployments, knowledge of cloud networking, end user support, infrastructure administration, chargeback and billing, cloud provisioning, systems management and remediation. It focuses on Cisco cloud products and is valid for three years. There’s also a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) for Cloud exam. Cisco offers training courses for both.
3. CompTIA Cloud+ Certification – This exam is from the Computing Technology Industry Association and is meant to prove knowledge of cloud models, virtualization, infrastructure management, security and resource management. It’s meant for data center compute, network or storage administrators who want to transfer their knowledge to IaaS cloud platforms.
There are many other independent third-party training and certificate programs such as CloudAcademy.com and CloudSchool.com. CBT Nuggets offers training on a variety of topics, including cloud computing. CompTIA Cloud Essentials is another cloud-focused CompTIA certification meant for managers or non-IT staff.
And in case you are wondering how valuable these certifications are, the 2015 CompTIA study HR Perceptions of IT Training and Certification revealed that:
- 65 percent of employers use IT certifications to differentiate between equally qualified candidates
- 72 percent of employers use IT certifications as a requirement for certain job roles
- 60 percent of organizations often use IT certifications to confirm a candidate’s subject matter knowledge or expertise
- 66 percent of employers consider IT certifications to be very valuable – a dramatic increase from the 30 percent in 2011
Finally, I would recommend anybody with an interest in securing their place in the cloud job market to look closely at these and at many more certifications out there. The cloud is here to stay, so consider an exciting career in cloud computing.
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