Top Cloud Certifications

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06th Aug, 2021
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06th Jul, 2021
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Top Cloud Certifications

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud is the new buzzword these days, and the term Cloud Computing is everywhere. Everyone, everywhere, is moving their storage to the cloud, and reaping its immense benefits. With the advent of Cloud storage, there's also been a rise in job opportunities in the field. Cloud Computing jobs relate to professionals in Cloud Data Management systems, who have the expertise to deal with cloud servers and the problems that may arise both on the user level and the server levels.

Why Cloud Computing?

Due to the rise of Cloud services, like iCloud and Dropbox, to name a few, there's also a rise in the number of professionals needed for the job. Cloud Professionals and engineers are paid handsome amounts for their work - as much as $117892 (Source) per year or even more, depending on the level of experience or expertise. It is a growing field, so jobs are unlikely to diminish over the next few years, in fact quite the opposite. So, it is not too late to gain experience and get started in the world as a Cloud Computing professional.

The Need for Certification and Prospective Opportunities

As we have mentioned before, the value and salary of a Cloud Professional depends on their experience. One of the ways to show expertise is through certifications. They provide you with appropriate knowledge to deal with the job and provide valuable proof of expertise in the market if they're obtained from reputed sources. A certification is sure to kickstart fruitful career in Cloud Computing. Keeping that in mind, we have compiled a set of the most reputed certifications in the field of Cloud.  

Top Cloud Certifications

ndustry-recognised certifications give you an edge over your non-certified peers, increasing your employability and helping you get ahead in your cloud career. Fresh, certifiable skills are guaranteed to open new career opportunities and increase your salary as well! 

Listed below are the top cloud certifications that you can consider: 

  1. Google Certified Professional Data Architect 
  2. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect- Associate 
  3. MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (Microsoft) 
  4. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)  
  5. CompTIA Cloud + 
  6. VMware VCP7-CMA 
  7. CCNP Cloud (Cisco) 

1. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect 

Google Certified Professional Data Architect has the honour of topping the lists of the hugest paying IT certifications in the United States of America. Google is a borderline ubiquitous brand. Most people used a few Google products to reach this article in the first place, so here is the same reputed company offering a certification that validates proficiency on the Google Cloud Platform. It includes the fields of Cloud architecture design, development, and management on different scales and an incredibly high degree of security and standards. 

  • Prerequisites: There are no official pre-requisites, but Google recommends more than three years of experience in the industry, including more than a year's worth of designing and management experience using the Google Cloud Platform.  
  • Exam Cost & Duration: The exam costs $200 each,  (Source), and a test Center can be found on the Google Cloud website. The exam duration is 2 hours long and can be taken in either English or Japanese.  
  • Exam Guide: Google Cloud offers an exam guide with a dedicated list of topics and many case studies that can help with studying for the exam. They also offer a training path comprising of texts and videos, which are easy to engage with as well.  
  • Salary: The average Pay for a Google Cloud Architect can be around $103K (Source) 

2. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Solutions Architect- Associate 

Amazon Web Services is one of the top cloud computing companies in recent times. They have achieved an impressive 43% growth over the last year. They are followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud with a close lead. Amazon Web Services offer certifications at the foundation, associate, and professional levels. This prepares a candidate for developing and architecture roles and offers operational knowledge. The associate certification can be a steppingstone to a potential professional level certification which comes with veteran level jobs and authorizes years' worth of experience in the field of Cloud Computing architecture, and design.  

  • Prerequisites: Amazon prefers hands-on experience in the fields of networking, database, computational, and storage AWS services with the ability to perfectly define requirements for an AWS application. They require critical thinking skills taking into view the AWS service format along with knowledge on building security services.  
  • Exam Cost: It costs $150. A practice exam can be purchased for $20 USD. (Source). The exam can be taken in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese languages. 
  • Exam Guide: Amazon offers a collection of hands-on training courses, videos, and much more to prepare for the exam. Self-evaluation methods include an exam guide and sample questions.65 MCQ format questions.  
  • Salary: The average Pay an AWS solution Architect can expect is around $121K (Source) 

Top Cloud Certifications

3. MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (Microsoft)

Microsoft is, again, one of the brands which have made a mark on the technology industry today. The MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Course certifies a person's ability to effectively manage cloud data, shows their skill in managing virtual networks, storage management systems, and many more cloud technologies,  

  • Prerequisites: One does not just take the MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solution Associate): Azure certification. They must also score a passing grade on an exam called the MSCE, which covers development, and Azure-based and related architecture solutions along with hybrid cloud operations and bits of big data analytics. An MCSE along with two or three pre-requisite exams need to be taken.  
  • Exam Cost: The MCSE exam costs $165, (Source) while the pre-requisite exams cost $165 and $300 (MCSA and LFCS, respectively) 
  • Exam Guide/Courses: Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) offers free courses and reference matter relevant to Cloud professionals and cloud development. A program called Exam Reply is available that allows candidates to buy a slightly discounted exam, a practice attempt (which needs a slight upcharge), and a retake attempt as well.  
  • Salary: The job title that can be earned after this certification is Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect, and this role can earn around $154133 per year. (Source) 

4. Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)

Offered by the (ISC)^2 (International Information System Security Certification Consortium, the CCSP is a globally recognized certification. It validates a candidate's ability to work within a cloud architecture along with good abilities in the field of design, secure applications, along data and infrastructure. These are carried out under the protocols offered by (ISC)^2, which are a hallmark of security. It's ideal for those who want an enterprise architect role, and other roles include systems engineers, security administrator or a consultant in the field of security.  

  • Prerequisites: The (ISC)^2 recommends around five years of experience in the field of IT, including three in Information security and one in any of the domains prescribed by CSSP Common Body of Knowledge. 
  • Exam Cost: The exam is provided by Pearson VUE. The standard registration for the exam costs $600 (Source) 
  • Exam Guide/Courses: The CCSP examination involves preparation in 6 different domains, as highlighted in the CCSP exam outline.  
  • Salary: The job title earned is Cloud Security Professional, a job that can pay up to $138k per annum. (Source) 

5. CompTIA Cloud+ 

An acronym for Computing Technology Industry Association, CompTIA is a non-profit. It serves the IT industry and is one of the global leaders in certifications like the ones you're looking for on the list. These are vendor-neutral, meaning you can apply to a broad range of jobs, and it means you're not restrained to any particular company. They cover certifications from novice to professional levels. 

CompTIA Cloud+ acts as a foundation-level certification. Like its selling point, Cloud+ offers a piece of foundational knowledge in a broad domain in the Cloud market. It authorizes skills in the maintenance and optimization of cloud software. It shows that a candidate can demonstrate the ability to migrate data to cloud platforms, manage cloud resources and make appropriate modifications, perform automation tasks to improve performance, all the while focusing on security. 

  • Prerequisites: It needs 2-3 years' worth of experience in system administration. 
  • Exam Cost & Format: The exam includes 90 questions. Available in English and Japanese Costs $338 (Source), The certification expires in 3 years after launch 
  • Salary: As a cloud specialist an average pay that can be expected in the US market is around $80317 (Source). 

6. VMware VCP7-CMA 

VMware is a company that is well known within the IT-sphere for its strong grasp of virtualization technologies. The VCP7- Cloud Management and Automation is the latest in a series of certifications the company has rolled out. The vRealise and the vSphere-based program are instrumental in certifying new as well as veteran IT professionals in the field of virtualization in the Cloud. 

Prerequisites:  

  • A prerequisite is to have a minimum of 6-month experience with the vSphere 6 and realized software.  
  • One also needs to complete one of the training courses offered by VMware, which keeps updating on the current course list portion of the website. 
  • Candidates can choose one out of 3 exams: vSphere 6 Foundations, vSphere 6.5 Foundations, or VMware Certified Professional Management and Automation exam.  
  1. Exam Cost: vSphere 6 and 6.5 cost $125, whereas the third exam costs $250 (Source).A VMWare candidate ID is needed to register.  
  2. Exam Guide: Exam Self-study material is available on the certification page. 
  3. Salary: As a VMWare Staff Engineer, the salary expected could be up to $188446 every year. (Source) 

7. CCNP Cloud (Cisco)

CCNP stands for Cisco Certified Network Professional. This is one of the more reputed certifications that allows a professional to validate their skills in the fields of data management, cloud architecture, and design and authorize their path as a cloud professional. Along with the Cloud, the CCNP is also available as a Collaboration, Service Provider, Data Centre, and many other fields in the collection of solutions. Be warned, though. Cisco focuses on the practical requirements as well, so their certification process is equally rigorous, with design, practical, architecture-based assessments to keep one on their toes. But in the end, this multidisciplinary approach proves itself. An understanding of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is also vital. They provide a lot of resources to prepare as well, with assignments, discussion forums, self-assessments, and much more! 

Training in the fields of CLDING, CLDDES, CLDAUT, CLACI, CLDINF is highly recommended. These cover information on Cisco cloud infrastructure, automation, infrastructure, and troubleshooting.  

  • Prerequisites: There are four exams that need to be taken in each of the above fields. They are administered by Pearson VUE.  
  • Exam Cost: Each exam costs $300, $1200 total. (Source) 
  • Exam Guide: For the study material, Cisco has curated many resources like Learning Network games, self-assessment modules, seminars, videos, and much more. Textbooks and other materials are also available on the Cisco Marketplace Bookstore.  
  • Salary: The typical job that can be obtained is Cisco Systems Cloud Engineer that pays around $158010 per annum.(Source)   

Certification Levels

These cloud certifications can be segregated into Professional and Associate levels, where various criteria are required to be fulfilled to be eligible to apply for the respective certification. 

As per the market trends and the demand, here is a detailed description of some of the most coveted certifications: 

  • Amazon Web Services - AWS 

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional 

This certification is for professionals who have experienced hands-on solutions architect roles. A candidate must have 2 or more years of experience in operating and managing the AWS operations. The exam costs 300 USD and is 180 minutes long. 

This course validates the following abilities:  

  • Implementation of cost control strategies  
  • Designing fault proof applications on AWS  
  • Choosing appropriate AWS services for design and application  
  •  Migrating the complex applications on AWS  

Exam criteria 

  • 2 or more years of experience in handling cloud architecture on AWS 
  • One should have diverse knowledge of AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates, the AWS Billing Console, and the AWS Management Console  
  • Detailed knowledge of the scripting language  
  • Must have worked on Windows and Linux  
  • Must be able to explain the five pillars of the AWS architecture Framework  
  • Practical knowledge of the architectural design across multiple projects of the company.  

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate  

This course is for professionals who have one year of experience in handling and designing fault free and scalable distributed systems on AWS.  

This certificate validates the following abilities:  

  • In depth knowledge of deploying the secure and powerful applications on AWS  
  • Knowledge and application of customized architectural principles  

Exam criteria 

  • The course requires a complete understanding of the AWS global infrastructure, network technologies, security features and tools related to AWS  
  • Knowledge of how to build secure and reliable AWS applications  
  • Experience of deployment and management of management services.  

The exam duration is 130-minutes and the fee is $150. The above were some of the main certified courses of AWS. The other two Associate level courses are AWS SysOps Administrator Associate and the AWS Developer Associate. 

3. The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

This exam is for professionals who have experience as a DevOps engineer and have experience in provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments.  

This course validates the following abilities: 

  • Management and implementation of delivery systems and methodology on AWS  
  • Deploying and managing the logging, metrics, and monitoring system on AWS  
  • Implementation and management of highly scalable, and self-healing systems on AWS.  
  • Automation of security controls, government processes and compliance validation  

Exam criteria   

  • Knowledge and experience in administering operating systems and building highly automated infrastructure.  
  • Knowledge of developing code in at least one high level programming language.  

The cost of the exam is 300 USD and the duration is 180 minutes. There will be 75 questions.  

  • Microsoft Web Service – Azure:  

1. Azure Developer Associate AZ-204

This course will provide you with the skill set to design, build, test and maintain cloud solutions from the start to the end. 

You will master the basics of developing an app and all the other services Azure provides. This certification course will help you learn the actual syntax and programming languages that are used to integrate the application on Azure. 

Exam criteria 

  • You are required to take an Exam AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure ($165 USD) and must have at least 1-2 years’ of experience with development and azure development.  
  • Having a good command in any of these languages like C#, PHP, Java, Python, or JavaScript would be a plus.  

Getting certified with this course will set you ahead of your peers in the development sector. 

2. Azure Data Scientist Associate DP-100

Turning data and facts related to a business into useful and actionable insights is an artand getting the Azure data scientist certification will prove that you have the required expertise in data and machine learning.  

This course is for professionals who are currently working as data scientist or are planning to become one soon. Exam: DP-100: Designing and Implementing a Data Science Solution on Azure ($165 USD) 

Exam criteria 

  • You should have knowledge and experience in data science and in using Azure Machine Learning and Azure Databricks. 

This certification course can future-proof your career, as there is spectacular growth in internet use and the demand for job roles in this sector will continue to increase year on year  

Wondering where to start? Here are some pointers:

Are you a Newbie?

If you are a lost soul in the world of technology but want to learn, then the perfect way to start is the Azure Fundamentals Course. Any beginner can grasp the fundamentals and get started.

Are you in the middle of the road?

If you are someone who has average experience and has worked with hands-on AWS, GCP, or Azure then too we would recommend you start with the Fundamental course. Refresh your knowledge and make your basics stronger before you move on to the Administrator Associate certification, which can be very intimidating otherwise. 

Are you an Expert?  

If you have had enough experience with cloud computing or have got serious geek vibes in you, then you can take up any speciality or professional certifications to add the missing edge to your expertise.  

If you still need more clarity, you can explore our cloud certification category page for more details. Need more handholding? Contact our experts by using the Contact Learning Advisor button and fill up a small form. Let’s connect! 

Top Cloud Certifications

Why be a Cloud Computing Professional? 

1. A Growing Field 

As more and more of our lives are uploaded on the Cloud, the demand for professionals with the capabilities to handle cloud architecture is increasing by the dayProfessionals with the right expertise are paid handsome salaries, and the investments made in certification repay themselves many times over. The demands for Cloud professionals outstrip the supply by a huge margin, making this an easy job for entry-level applicants.   

2. A Good Pay

The salary for a Cloud Engineer ranges from $117,892 to $229,000 (Source)This is a rewarding field, indeed! You can get onto the entry point of the ladder and work your way up, which is an easy journey if you earn a certification. It is one of the highest paying jobs that can be found in the IT sector.   

Companies Hiring Certified Cloud Computing Professionals 

Some of the companies whose certifications we addressed above are also among the key employers in the Cloud Computing market. The key employers for these jobs are listed below.    

Amazon 

They are the undoubted leaders in the fields of Cloud Computing and management. They are branching out in the fields of AI, the Internet of things, machine learning, and database management as well, and you can explore exciting new opportunities in any of these fields. As documented above, AWS has faced over 43% growth year after year for a sustained periodThey are undoubtedly one of the largest hirers in the field as they need competent workforce for their expanding ventures.  

Microsoft 

After the enormous success of the Office 365 platform, Cloud Computing was the next step forward for Microsoft, with the Azure platform. They are neck to neck with Amazon for the number 1 spot in the field of Cloud architecture and database management.  

IBM 

The waning brand of IBM has now made a sudden resurgence to capitalize on the demand in the fields of AI, the Information Age, and the new Cloud phenomenon. They have recently acquired Red Hat and have entered the field of hybrid cloud development. They will surely be looking for professionals in the field to boost their chances.

Dell Technologies (VMware) 

VMware, mentioned on the above lists, has partnered with Dell Technologies to form a robust cloud platform. A veteran player in the industry already, VMware has constantly evolved to adapt to advancements in the industry. They have partnerships with all the huge players like AWSMicrosoft Azure and Google Cloud as well.  

Conclusion

It is quite evident that Cloud computing is one of the most exciting and lucrative fields one can be in, considering the investment to return ratio. These certifications offer incredibly excellent value for money and will lead to placements in leading companies, which is not easy via other paths.  

There is a lot to learn in the field of Cloud Computing, and it is a highly adaptive job as well; that is why one needs to keep an eye on the newest software and architecture in the market. These certifications make sure that you can validate your experience and increase your employabilityWhile there are many certifications available, only the ones from reputed institutions help to get a job. They show that you have the knowledge and expertise to make your mark in the industry.  

It is never too late to start your learning journey, so grab that certification exam guide and start learning. Happy computing! 

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Abhresh Sugandhi

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Abhresh is specialized as a corporate trainer, He has a decade of experience in technical training blended with virtual webinars and instructor-led session created courses, tutorials, and articles for organizations. He is also the founder of Nikasio.com, which offers multiple services in technical training, project consulting, content development, etc.