Cloud Computing Certifications – Everything You Need to Know

Cloud computing is one of the fastest growing trends in the world of IT. As of now, companies are either in the cloud or planning to move into the cloud. This new trend has opened up an entirely new job market for IT professionals; and IT pros have every reason to be excited. A 90 day survey conducted by wanted analytics in 2012 revealed that more than 2,400 companies said that they were looking for IT pros with skills in cloud computing. On top of that, the demand for IT candidates with cloud knowledge increased by 61% from 2011 to 2012.

Career Options in Cloud Computing

There are two main career options that seem to be coming up first, the jobs that are in need of specific cloud technology skills and second, positions seeking IT administrators with cloud architecture know how.

I.            Jobs Requiring Specific Cloud Computing Technology Skills

The cloud computing skills in this case are like Google App Engine development skills or Amazon Web Services (AWS) prowess. These kinds of jobs are typically with organizations that have already made a commitment to specific cloud service vendors. The positions are mainly focused around tactical solutions development. Positions for IT pros with particular cloud computing skills comprise the majority of the cloud computing jobs that are currently in the market. These jobs normally range from configuration to development.

II.            Positions for Cloud Architects

These are positions for IT admins who can fully define the cloud. They should have knowledge about everything from business requirements to the actual cloud deployment. Such jobs are typically with organizations that are yet to clearly define their path to the cloud and require some assistance to do so. They may be tasked with defining the use of existing public and private clouds or building clouds from scratch. Candidates for the cloud architect position should have enterprise architecture experience coupled with knowledge of the proper use of cloud computing technology.

Once you have decided the path you want to follow, choosing a certification course to do will be easier. .

Top Cloud Computing Certifications

Getting certified is a good way to measure your skills and knowledge against vendor specific and industry benchmarks. The certification also gives you a competitive edge in the industry and provides your employers with proof that you indeed have the perfect mix of expertise, cloud knowledge and skills.

  • Cloud Security Alliance: CCSK (Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge)

This certification was the first one in the cloud computing security certification scene. It is completely vendor neutral; CCSK certifies competency in important cloud security areas. The  exam is priced at $295 and is usually based on two documents: ‘Cloud computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security’ and ‘Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing’. For you to pass, you will have to correctly answer at least 40 of the 50 questions in 60 minutes or less.

  • Rackspace: Cloud U

Cloud U is a vendor-neutral curriculum that is specifically designed for business leaders and IT professionals. It certifies fundamental knowledge of cloud computing. The cloud university’s content is always available to any professionals, however you have to complete the requirements and courses for a certificate that formally recognizes your knowledge about cloud computing. In order to pass, you have to complete 10 cloud U lesson quizzes and a 50 question test.

  • Google: Google Certified Deployment Specialist

This is the first cloud-centric certification being offered by the search giant. The courses will help you become a certified deployment specialist. The Google Certified Deployment Specialist course covers the most fundamental technical expertise, knowledge and skills required to successfully deploy Google Apps for Business and Education. Aside from this technical certification, Google also offers a Google Certified Sales Specialist certification. For you to pass you will have to successfully complete a 98 question exam.

  • Force.com: Certified Force.com Developer

Salesforce is a premier cloud computing service that offers several certifications that are recognized by the industry; however, all their certifications are based on their cloud services. Their Certified Force.com Developer certification is considered to be one of the best cloud development certifications out there despite the fact it is only relevant to force.com. For you to pass, you have to score above the 68 percent in test containing 60 questions.

  •  IBM Cloud Certifications

IBM is one of the lead players in cloud computing so naturally it would offer specialized courses in the field. There cloud-specific IBM Certifications include;

a)      IBM certified Solution Architect: mainly deals with the architecture, management, planning and design capabilities of IBM’s cloud computing infrastructure.  The exam has 49 questions and takes 75 minutes to complete. In order to pass you have to get above 65 percent.

b)      IBM Certified Solution Adviser: covers the cloud computing basics along with IBM’s offerings such as TSAM, ISDM, Websphere, CloudBurst, and Virtualization. The exam has 50 questions and takes 90 minutes to complete. In order to pass, you have to score above 68 percent.

Their certifications are meant to provide a fair, valid and reliable method of assessing knowledge and skills while at the same time developing a loyal community of highly skilled certified cloud computing professionals.

  • CloudSchool.com: Cloud Certified Professional

CloudSchool.com offers several vendor-neutral certifications and each of them are based on a single day course module and are meant to test competency in particular areas of cloud computing. The Certified Cloud Professional covers the basic of cloud computing and NIST knowledge. In order to get certified, you have to pass an elective examination and the fundamentals exam.

  • VMware: VMware Certified Professional

This certification is currently the most popular when it comes to virtualization. It certifies expertise and knowledge in a variety of virtualization related methodologies and technologies (including coverage of V-sphere’s role in cloud architecture). In order to get certified, you will be required to take specific courses and pass a final exam containing 85 questions.

  • Comp TIA: CompTIA Cloud Essentials

The CompTIA Cloud Essentials certification is addressed to people who wish to understand the basic ideas of cloud computing. It certifies that individuals understand cloud computing from both a technical perspective and a business perspective. The certification also covers governance of cloud computing environments and migration to the cloud. The exam has 50 questions and takes 60 minutes to complete.In order to pass, you have to score above 72 percent.

This might not be a complete list of certifications. There might be several other cloud computing certifications out there. Having a good understanding of your career path would help in choosing any certification.