Cloud computing has fundamentally changed the way organizations deploy and maintain their IT environments. The cloud provides access to the applications and data storage that organizations need without requiring them to manage costly on-premises infrastructure. With these benefits, it should be no surprise that demand is high for experienced cloud developers, cloud security experts, and other professionals with cloud-native skills.
However, the great migration to the cloud has left many organizations struggling to fill these roles—there is definite “cloud skills gap” between the positions available and the people able to perform them. Organizations simply can’t fill cloud-centric roles fast enough to accommodate their growing cloud needs.
Certification is one way for organizations to improve their cloud competency. Whether you’re looking to train your existing staff or find new employees with cloud skills, here are a few of the cloud certifications that you should know about.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most popular of all public cloud vendors, with 61 percent of organizations preferring this platform. As such, AWS certification is a must-have for IT workers who manage clouds.
First launched in 2013, the AWS certification program allows professionals to verify their credentials in several cloud competencies. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional is one of the most preferred of all AWS certifications. This credential is designed for networking professionals with at least two years of experience creating and deploying cloud environments on the AWS platform. Those who obtain this certification have the ability to assess an organization’s cloud needs and plan and design effective solutions that meet them. They are also capable of providing guidance throughout the life of an AWS application.
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
(ISC)² developed the CCSP program to verify and enhance cloud professionals’ knowledge of key cloud security topics. A role- and vendor-neutral certification, CCSP is designed for experts. Those who want to obtain this certification must possess at least five years of experience working in the IT field. In addition, they must have spent three of these years as an information security specialist and at least one year working in a CCSP common body of knowledge (CBK) domain. The CBKs include cloud data security; cloud security operations; and legal, risk and compliance, among other niches. Obtaining CCSP certification provides cloud professionals with the tools needed to ensure the safety of the cloud environments they oversee.
Another vendor-neutral, performance-based certification, CompTIA Cloud+ is focused on cloud professionals who work in data centers. It’s designed for administrators with only two or three years of experience working in this role. A less advanced certification, it covers a wide range of skills that administrators need to manage virtual data centers and associated infrastructure.
In preparing to take the CompTIA Cloud+ certification exam, professionals hone their capabilities in such areas as cloud security, systems configuration, and maintenance. This certification is ideal for data center professionals looking to expand their skills outside of a single function.
Cloud Credential Council (CCC) certifications
A provider of vendor-neutral certification programs, the CCC supports IT and business professionals working in the public and private sectors around the world. With a focus on Big Data, the Internet of Things, and blockchain, the CCC offers a number of credentials that allow professionals to hone their cloud skills in different areas. For IT workers who require basic cloud knowledge, the CCC offers the Cloud Technology Associate Certification, which emphasizes a foundational understanding of cloud computing, virtualization, and cloud security topics. Database and systems administrators can obtain Professional Cloud Administrator certification, which covers topics like cloud deployment, workload, storage, multitenancy, bursting, and other concepts.
Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
As containers become an increasingly central facet of cloud computing, professionals need the skills to manage and deploy them. Kubernetes is the fastest-growing container orchestration platform, with adoption increasing more than 20 percent between 2018 and 2019 alone. More organizations are looking for professionals with the capabilities to manage Kubernetes environments.
CKA is an emerging certification that allows cloud professionals to demonstrate and expand their knowledge of Kubernetes. Offered through the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, the certification exam tests nearly a dozen Kubernetes competencies, including application lifecycle management, cluster maintenance, and troubleshooting.
Cloud Institute certifications
Leveraging the recommendations and expertise of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Cloud Institute has developed a certification program that is driving cloud adoption in the public sector. Professionals looking to develop their cloud skills can obtain one of two certifications. The first, Certified Cloud Architect, is designed for those who are instrumental in the design and deployment of cloud services. The certification exam highlights key cloud computing functions as well as architect-specific topics. It verifies the skills of those who oversee cloud project teams at their organizations.
The Cloud Institute offers a second certification program for people who are looking to become Certified Cloud Professionals. This exam covers not only cloud strategy, but also the ways that cloud computing can deliver business value to organizations. Certified Cloud Professionals also understand the various pros and cons of each cloud delivery model and know how to manage risk.