Certifications in the Cloud

The year 2012 may be the end of the world but it seems like Cloud certifications are just beginning. For those seeking proof of their abilities or employers looking for ways to validate employee skills the new certifications will become essential. Let’s face it, systems administrators who can handle a Windows Server are a dime-a-dozen. Those who can help a company migrate to the cloud (and prove they can) are in high demand. If you’ve ever put an experienced Windows admin on an EC2 platform you know there is a surprisingly steep learning curve. So what credentials exist to validate cloud capabilities? Right now there are several and in 2012 we can be assured the number will grow exponentially.

The available credentials can be categorized into a few buckets. The two biggest buckets will be in the conceptual vs the practical categories. Conceptual credentials will validate a candidate’s ability to plan and advise on a Cloud implementation. Practical credentials demonstrate an ability to actually set up and run the servers and services. Microsoft certifications typically fall into this bucket. Add the System Center 2012 exams to your Server Admin MCITP and you have Microsoft’s Private Cloud Certification. Microsoft’s System Center exams are currently in beta but should be available to the public shortly. You could even be the first kid on the block with your shiny new cred.

Falling more into the conceptual bucket are the certifications from the new Cloud Credentials Council. CompTIA and ITpreneurs have launched a pair of certifications aimed at those who have to understand the Public Cloud at a governance and business level. These two vendor-neutral certifications, Cloud Essentials and Virtualization Essentials, provide a solid foundation in core concepts of the Cloud as a business concept.

If you are a server administrator or a IT project manager you will eventually be involved in a cloud migration project and certifications are available to help you prepare and land the next job. The Cloud is here to stay and will be touching every level of business. In an increasingly tight job market those without the credentials are simply unlikely to make the first cut.

Disclaimer: Sawyer Training is a partner with ITpreneurs and occasionally provided with cool swag by Microsoft for blogging. 

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