Six Hot Cloud Computing Certifications for 2022
Cloud infrastructure has developed rapidly over the last few years. Today's cloud data systems are more secure, stable, and accessible than they were in the initial years. Early on, enterprises were apprehensive about moving critical applications and data to someone else's cloud.
That is no longer the case. Organizations have overcome their hesitations and are leveraging cloud technologies to realize business objectives and stay ahead of competition.
Currently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader in public cloud services, with Microsoft Azure in second place and Google Cloud in third. Google's market penetration is still considerably lower than AWS and Microsoft Azure's, but it is popular among developers and its adoption is increasing.
Cloud skills are among the most in-demand tech skills today. A lot of activity has moved to the cloud because of the pandemic, thereby speeding up digital transformation. Recruiters are looking to hire professionals with expertise in cloud architecture and design, solutions, development, virtualization, automation security, and data science.
Highly-paid cloud roles include cloud architects, DevOps engineers, developers, cloud administrators, cloud security professionals, network architects, and cloud engineers. For those looking to build careers in cloud computing, certifications are a good way to develop in-demand cloud skills as well as enhance one's skillset in order to move on to senior roles.
There are a host of cloud certifications available. Which one you opt to pursue depends on your interests and career goals. Let's take a look at six of the impactful and important cloud certifications:
CompTIA Cloud+ is a vendor-neutral performance-based certification that demonstrates the ability to set up cloud infrastructure, and automate and secure the same across different cloud platforms. The certification is designed to enable candidates to develop the skills necessary to install and manage cloud environments that sustain high availability of systems and business data.
The Cloud+ credential has global recognition and is approved for DoD 8570.01-M. This certification is not for beginners. It would suit IT professionals who have a few years of overall IT experience, with 2 or 3 years in systems admin or networking, and intend developing foundational cloud skills irrespective of any particular platform. Cloud+ certified professionals are equipped to work in multi-cloud environments, and with any cloud service provider.
To achieve the Cloud+ credential, you need to pass one 90-minute exam, CV0-003, with a passing score of 750 on a scale of 100-900. The exam comprises 90 multiple-choice, performance-based questions. The earlier exam CV0-002 was retired on Jan. 7.
The new exam covers configurations and deployment, cloud architecture and design, cloud security, maintenance, and troubleshooting. CV0-003 has been updated to emphasize high availability, automation, virtualization, and foundational concepts of cloud architecture.
Prerequisites for CV0-003 are 5 years of IT experience, including two-to-three years of networking or systems admin experience as recommended. CompTIA recommends the Network+ or Server+ certification. Cloud+ is valid for 3 years from the exam date, after which it can be renewed by earning specified higher certifications, or participating in specified training programs and activities.
Exam prep options and other information are available online.
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
Security of business assets in the cloud is one of the top priorities of enterprise IT managers. This is why highly-skilled cloud security professionals are sought after by large and medium enterprises.
The CCSP is an in-demand cloud security credential managed by (ISC)2. It is designed for information security professionals tasked with the responsibility of securing company systems and assets in the cloud. This credential covers best practices to be applied in the area of cloud security architecture and design, and operations and service organization.
CCSP validates in-depth knowledge and superior skills in designing, managing, and securing systems, applications, and data in the cloud. Prerequisites for the CCSP certification are 5 years of paid cumulative professional IT experience, including at least three years in information security and a minimum of one year in one or more of the six domains of (ISC)2 CCSP Common Body of Knowledge (CBK).
If you lack the requisite experience, you can still take the CCSP exam and become an Associate of (ISC)2 until you complete the experience requirement. (ISC)2 also offers the option of experience substitution. CSA's CCSK certification can substitute for one year of experience, or (ISC)2's CISSP certification can exempt the holder from the entire CCSP experience prerequisite. Once you pass the exam, you need to complete the endorsement process and commit to the (ISC)2 Code of Ethics.
(ISC)2 offers both self-study and instructor-led exam training options for the exam. Additional information is available online.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate (CSAA)
A large number of organizations that have moved to the cloud use Amazon Web Services (AWS). These companies process and store valuable business information on AWS cloud systems. In order to achieve safe and stable business processing and storage, businesses require highly-skilled and experienced professionals to design, implement, manage, and secure distributed systems on AWS.
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate is one of the most sought-after cloud certifications and a challenging one to earn. It is designed for professionals who have been working with AWS services for at least a few years. The CSAA validates critical skills and knowledge needed to plan and implement safe, available, reliable, and scalable distributed AWS cloud systems.
AWS recommends on-the-job experience handling AWS technology, including AWS compute, storage, networking, database, deployment, and management services. To earn this certification, you need to pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect –Associate exam (SAA-C02). This 130-minute exam consists of 65 multiple choice and multiple-response questions.
Details of exam prep options, including exam guide, webinar, sample questions, and digital training are available online.
Google Professional Cloud Architect (PCA)
Google Cloud ranks third after AWS and Microsoft Azure in the public cloud market. The Google Professional Cloud Architect certification is currently one of the top cloud computing credentials around.
The PCA is not an entry-level certification. It suits IT professionals that have experience working with Google Cloud solutions and aspire to become cloud solutions architects. The role of a solutions architect is an important function, given that they design, develop, implement, maintain, and secure business applications in the cloud.
This credential demonstrates in-depth understanding of cloud architecture and Google Cloud technologies, and the ability to plan, develop, and maintain highly available, reliable, safe, and scalable Google Cloud solutions in order to enable organizations to work toward fulfilling business goals.
To achieve the Professional Cloud Architect certification, it's necessary to pass a 2-hour multiple-choice, multiple-response exam. This is not an easy exam. It requires relevant hands-on experience and deep knowledge of exam topics. The exam covers cloud architecture design and implementation, managing and provisioning solutions infrastructure, security and compliance, process analysis and optimization, and reliability of systems and operations.
There are no prerequisites for this credential, but Google recommends more than three years of IT experience, with over a year in design and management of cloud solutions using the Google cloud platform. Google cloud credentials are usually valid for 2 years. They can be renewed before the expiry of 2 years. For renewal details, please refer to the certification web page.
Exam prep details and other information are available online.
Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate
Microsoft Azure is second only to AWS in the public cloud services market. It is popular among large and medium enterprises as well as small businesses.
The Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate is intended for IT professionals with some Azure experience looking to work as administrators on the Azure platform. This certification validates the skills required to implement, monitor, and manage a company's Azure infrastructure.
Microsoft requires candidates for this credential to have at least 6 months practical experience in running Azure, as well as deep knowledge of main Azure services, security, workloads, and governance.
Candidates are required to pass one exam (AZ-104) to earn the Azure Administrator Associate credential. The exam assesses technical expertise in managing Azure identities and governance, implementing and administering storage resources, handling compute and virtual networking resources, and monitoring and backup.
Additional information is available online.
Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
The Google Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification is a specialist credential suitable for technicians that have hands-on experience with Google cloud solutions, and are looking to develop advanced skills required to facilitate and support cost-efficient and reliable development operations in order to enable reliability of service and swift delivery.
With more and more developers choosing to work on the Google cloud platform, there's robust demand for competent DevOps engineers with expertise in Google cloud technologies. The certification demonstrates the ability to develop reliable and efficient software delivery pipelines, position and monitor services, and manage, analyse, and record incidents.
To earn this credential, you need to pass one 2-hour multiple-choice and multiple-response exam. Google recommends three-plus years of IT experience, with more than a year managing Google cloud solutions.