Federal agencies are moving toward cloud-based IT data centers dedicating their budget to hybrid and multicloud environments, cloud native technologies and cloud analytics. See how these trends affect you and your organization.
The cloud offers companies far more than a respite from hardware in data centers. When used correctly, it offers flexibility, scalability and a quick way to write, test and deploy software in hours or days compared to weeks and months. But most companies don’t know what the best ways are to use the cloud and are looking for cloud experts to guide them. IT professionals who hold cloud certifications are seen as specialists who have the knowledge and experience to consult with companies regarding the operations and management of specific cloud technologies. But IT professionals are not the only ones who can benefit from cloud certifications. Since businesses run on the cloud, business professionals and people in sales and legal departments may also benefit from basic foundational certifications that help them understand how the cloud can benefit their business and clients.
Cloud computing is now the mainstream in computing. There are dozens of technologies that revolve around the cloud that help in the quick deployment and operations of applications. For example, there are tools and technologies for automating, programming, and containing applications as well as for creating business analytics. To use these cloud tools efficiently and effectively, you need to be trained. But don’t stop there as companies see cloud certifications as the gold standard in mastering the cloud. Pearson VUE found that 60% of IT managers stated that job applications with IT certifications are significantly more likely to be reviewed, and that 66% said employees with IT certifications produce higher quality work.
Top Cloud Certifications
With companies moving more and more of their systems and applications to the cloud, to be current in IT, every IT professional needs to know how to work in the cloud. While there are hundreds of courses and dozens of cloud certifications for beginners and more advanced IT professionals, below is information on the top 5 cloud certifications, and below that is the overall top 10 cloud certifications. These rankings are based on various websites and courses that our clients have taken to obtain their cloud certifications.
While this blog reviews the top cloud certifications, we also have listed in another blog post the Best IT Certifications of 2022.
1. AWS Certified Developer – Associate IT Certification
AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification validates your ability to write and deploy cloud-based applications using AWS. This certification demonstrates your ability to create, deploy, and maintain applications on AWS. IT pros holding this certification often work as a Cloud Developer and are expected to understand the core AWS services and apply best practices regarding security and scalability.
AWS recommends that anyone interested in taking this certification exam have the following skills:
- Thorough knowledge of at least one high-level programming language like Python
- Good understanding of core AWS services, their usage and the responsible use of AWS architecture
- Expertise in developing, deploying and debugging cloud-based applications with AWS
- Expertise in writing code for serverless applications
AWS Certified Developers – Associate earn an average of $122,799 annually, according to ZipRecruiter.
The best way to prepare for the AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification is to attend the Developing on AWS class.
2. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator
The Azure Administrator certification demonstrates proficiency in implementing, managing and monitoring an organization's Microsoft Azure environment, as well as major services related to computer, storage, network and security. Azure administrators often work with one another to execute, monitor and supervise vital elements in cloud infrastructure, such as identity, storage and virtual networks.
Azure Administrators are most often identified with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, which typically relates to running virtual machines in the cloud, so they should be familiar with Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.
On average, as of March 2022, Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrators earn approximately $108,000 annually, according to ZipRecruiter.
3. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a foundational level certification that validates your foundational AWS knowledge and is recommended for those looking to achieve Specialty or Associate certification. The certification is often obtained by people outside of IT like those in sales, legal, marketing, business, and management, but it’s also good for any IT individuals that seek a detailed overview of cloud concepts. These professionals will learn various ways businesses can improve product and service offerings using cloud technology.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioners are familiar with core AWS services like network, compute and storage, as well as AWS cloud security best practices and compliance solutions.
On average, as of April 2022, jobs for entry-level AWS Certified Cloud Practitioners pay approximately $89,000 a year, according to ZipRecruiter.
4. Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer
The Associate Cloud Engineer certification verifies your ability to build and deploy secure applications, monitor operations, and manage enterprise solutions on Google Cloud. This certification demonstrates your knowledge of various Google services and your ability to set up a cloud solution environment, and to configure, implement and operate a cloud solution.
There’s no pre-requisite for this certification, but Google recommends you have six months of hands-on experience with Google Cloud. The best way to prepare for this exam is to attend the Architecting with Google Compute Engine course.
The average annual salary for an associate cloud engineer in the U.S. as of April 2022 is $108,000, according to ZipRecruiter.
5. Professional Cloud Architect (Google)
The Professional Cloud Architect certification is designed for IT professionals who have several years of experience in cloud computing and want to master the role of a cloud architect. You’ll need a solid understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing like the benefits and limitations of cloud services to help you avoid problems. Professional Cloud Architects (Google) enable organizations to leverage Google Cloud technologies to design, develop and manage robust, secure, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives.
As a Professional Google Cloud Architect, you’ll be able to build and supervise cloud infrastructure, understand several GCP decision flowcharts and maintain the majority of Google Cloud operations. You’ll also be equipped to lead the cloud computing strategy of a company and strengthen its ability to get the best out of Google Cloud technologies.
The Professional Cloud Architect certification validates your abilities to conduct the following tasks:
- Design and plan a cloud solution architecture
- Manage and provision the cloud solution infrastructure
- Design for security and compliance
- Analyze and optimize technical and business processes
- Manage implementations of cloud architecture
- Ensure solution and operations reliability
Google recommends that those who are interested in obtaining this certification have more than three years of industry experience, including one year of experience building and maintaining solutions on Google Cloud. The best way to prepare for this exam is to attend the Architecting with Google Compute Engine course.
Professional Cloud Architects earn approximately $132,000 annually on average, in 2022, according to ZipRecruiter.
Top IT Certifications for Cloud Professionals
Cloud certification is important to both employers and employees. In Pearson's 2021 Value of IT Certification Report, 66% of IT managers felt that candidates with IT certifications had a better chance of being selected for interviews. There’s a shortage of IT professionals with cloud computing skills and annual postings of jobs continue to rise. Market research firm Gartner forecasts that public cloud services will grow 24% in 2022, and in 2023, end-user spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion. This will certainly increase the demand for professionals skilled at cloud computing. Cloud computing must now be a core competency of all IT organizations. So, here is a list of the top IT certifications for cloud professionals to consider.
Top Cloud Platform Certifications
- AWS Professional (Architect, DevOps Engineer)
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
- AWS Certified Developer Associate
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
- Google Cloud (Cloud Architect, Cloud Developer)
- Google Certified Professional Data Engineer
- Microsoft Azure (Administrator, Developer, Solutions Architect)
- Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals
Top Cloud Security Certifications
- Cloud-Specific Security Certifications (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Certified Information Security Professional (CISSP)
- CompTIA Security+ Certification
- Certified Ethical Hacker
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
Top Cloud Native Certifications
- CNCF Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
- CNCF Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
- CNCF Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
Top Cloud Analytics Certifications
- Databricks Certified Associate Developer for Apache Spark
- Snowflake SnowPro Core Certification
- Cloud-Specific Data Engineering/Analytics Certifications (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud)
Discover the cloud training courses that will help you obtain these certifications and dozens more.
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