AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is ranked as the #1 cloud certification for two consecutive years. It is the first level of AWS certification for beginners and professionals that tests a candidates knowledge in designing distributed applications. This certification includes an in-depth understanding of the deployment of AWS systems, AWS best practices, and several other topics.
The appetite for cloud-based data, applications and services delivered on demand through shared computing resources shows no signs of waning. That’s because there are many compelling benefits of cloud computing for organizations, including reduced IT costs, more scalability, better business continuity, faster software updates, ease of collaboration and flexibility for the workforce. As traditional data centers rapidly give way to more agile, hybrid infrastructures built on virtualization, the need for IT professionals with virtualization skills is growing faster than ever. Today’s employers recognize how those with virtualization certifications can help to close their team’s skills gaps.
Virtualization is the Foundation of Cloud Computing
Organizations want to reap the myriad benefits of virtual environments, including reduced costs (from having fewer physical servers), fast provisioning, increased uptime, better disaster recovery and greater IT staff productivity. Cloud computing is supported by a virtual platform of server OS and storage devices, giving users access to secure and segregated instances created from a wide variety of bare-metal server options. While public cloud environments are virtualized by design at the hypervisor layer, system architects also recognize the value of running their on-premises infrastructure with the same design to create private clouds that maximize resources. Organizations can share a single, physical instance of a resource or an application with multiple users. Essentially, virtualization is the enabling technology for private cloud delivery and allows organizations to fully leverage the value of cloud computing.
But without expertise, it’s a formidable undertaking for organizations to design, build, maintain and grow hybrid cloud infrastructure. That’s why the IT job market for virtualization roles remains hot. Virtualization is a must-have technology skillset for IT professionals who work with software, systems, networks or IT infrastructure and architecture. Becoming a virtualization expert also pays well. Those who have the right certifications can earn an average annual salary of $136,659 per year1.
Virtualization Certifications Are All About the Platform
When it comes to virtualization, choosing the right certification starts with knowing which platforms you’ll use. The top virtualization certifications come from vendors such as Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware, and cover their unique virtualization technologies and tools. Whether you’re looking to start or advance your career in virtualization, having certifications from one or more of these vendors on your résumé can provide better job opportunities within your company and increase your salary potential.
Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is a data center platform for virtualization. Many Cisco technologies also integrate with Citrix and VMware virtualization solutions. Cisco data center credentials validate your knowledge and skills in designing, implementing, maintaining and troubleshooting enterprise-level data centers that host business-critical applications.
Citrix’s mobile workspace solutions facilitate connecting and collaborating in real time. The company provides server, application and desktop virtualization services for about 98 percent of the Fortune 500, which equates to more than 400,000 organizations worldwide. Citrix offers virtualization certifications at the associate, professional and expert levels.
Most modern businesses have multiple Microsoft products in their infrastructure. Technologies like Azure and Windows Server are prominent in the cloud and virtualization space. Microsoft certifications are extremely popular with employers2, as they demonstrate that you can implement the commonly used Microsoft virtualization technologies.
Oracle’s virtualization solution is less common among organizations, so someone certified to manage it could have a career advantage with employers that use the technology. This certification would be considered niche expertise that could command higher salaries.
VMware is a widely used virtualization technology. vSphere, the company’s virtualization platform, helps businesses run, manage, connect and secure applications across data centers and the cloud. VMware offers vendor-approved virtualization certifications for different expertise levels, including associate, professional, advanced professional and design expert.
Choosing the Right Training Provider for Your Virtualization Certification
One of the most convenient ways to earn certifications from these prominent vendors is to learn from an industry-leading training provider. When exploring your options, it’s important to choose a training provider that offers vendor-approved courses. Virtualization technology vendors create the curriculum and set the standards for the certifications that only they can award, and many training centers administer these certification exams at their approved testing centers. But some training vendors write their curriculum and might not be teaching what’s on the vendors’ exams. A vendor-approved training provider will ensure their courses are updated with the latest versions of vendor technology and standards, better preparing students to pass the exams.
The award-winning, vendor-approved training provider ExitCertified has delivered courses to IT professionals like you since 2001. ExitCertified offers instructor-led and self-paced training in the classroom, on site at your location or through its Individual Multimedia Video Presence (iMVP®) platform. ExitCertified’s expert instructors have earned awards and recognition from several vendor partners and IT organizations by offering courses that thoroughly prepare IT professionals for certification exams. And you can continue your learning beyond the certification through ongoing e-mentoring and learning subscriptions.
ExitCertified has one of the largest catalogs of guaranteed-to-run courses in North America, and offers 90 virtualization certification courses from 10 vendors — Cisco, Citrix, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, NetApp, Nutanix, Red Hat, Veeam and VMware — several of whom have recognized and awarded ExitCertified for its training quality and expertise.
Now Go Get Those Opportunities
With the popularity of virtualization technologies and the growing need for qualified professionals to install and maintain them, virtualization certifications can provide a solid foundation for your career growth. Talk to ExitCertified today to choose the virtualization certification that interests you the most.
1. Columbus, L., Forbes, “15 Top Paying IT Certifications In 2020,” Feb. 10, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2020/02/10/15-top-paying-it-certifications-in-2020/#11f12f2358ea
2. Bayern, M., TechRepublic, “11 popular IT certifications and cross-certifications that pay the most,” Jan. 2020, https://www.techrepublic.com/article/11-most-popular-it-certifications-that-make-the-most-money/