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Roadmap to Success: VMware vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV

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Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We recently updated this article August 2, 2016 to reflect relevant changes to the VMware vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV certification curriculum.

Virtualization is a critical approach to the work of IT professionals. The VMware vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV certification is among our most popular virtualization courses for CBT Nuggets learners. The certification affirms your knowledge and skills to successfully install, deploy, scale, and manage VMware vSphere environments.

VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV)
The VCP5-DCV certification is designed to qualify learners’ skills and knowledge in working with vSphere environments. The certification is designed to measure your skills and abilities for installing, configuring, and administering a VMware vSphere environment. The VCP5-DCV requires just one exam for certification, but provides two exam options:

  • vSphere 5.5 Based Exam
  • vSphere 5.5 Delta Exam

You can choose the exam experience that best fits your needs. Most typically, learners are currently choosing to take the vSphere 5.5 Based Exam, for which CBT Nuggets provides VMware vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV training.

Typically, learners pursuing this certification path should have six months of experience and some familiarity with VMware infrastructure technologies. Get started by reviewing the CBT Nuggets playlist for VMware Virtualization.

If you are interested in learning more about the VCP6-DCV or VCP6.5-DCV, visit our Roadmap to Success: VCP6-DCV or Roadmap to Success: VCP6.5-DCV blog posts.

Downloadable Study Plan
CBT Nuggets offers a study plan that maps to Keith Barker‘s VMware vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV course. This downloadable VMware vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV study plan breaks down the course and supplemental learning resources to equip learners with a strategic and manageable approach to conquer training goals.

Exam Eligibility
It is important to note that the VCP5-DCV is a VMware Certified Professional-level certification, and as such, learners must first earn a VCA-level certification before being eligible. You can explore the VMware VCA-DCV course on the CBT Nuggets website. In addition, learners must attend an official VMware course in order to be authorized to sit for professional-level certification exam. Attendance at a course is not mandatory for VCA-level courses for exam eligibility.

If you have previously earned a VCP5-DT (Desktop & Mobility) or VCP-Cloud certification, you are eligible to sit the VCP5-DCV exam without attending the mandatory course.

Exam Details
As noted above, to qualify for the VCP5-DCV exam, learners must complete an official and approved VMware course.

vSphere 5.5 VCP5-DCV (exam code VCP550)
Time allotted for exam:
 2 hours (120 minutes)
Number of questions: 135
Passing score: 300
Question types: Multiple choice
Exam registration: Request Exam Authorization through VMware*
Or Pearson VUE
Learners must create an account with VMware in order to request exam authorization.
Exam cost: $225 (USD)
Exam blueprint: VMware Certified Professional 5 — Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV, Exam Code CVP550) (free resource)

The VCP5-DCV certification is valid for two years. Learners have three options to recertify their VCP5-DCV:

  1. Take the current exam for your existing VCP certification;
  2. Earn a new VCP-level certification from a different learning track; or
  3. Advance your existing VCP certification to the next level (VMware Certified Advanced Professional or VCAP).

You can learn more about keeping your certification current from a previous CBT Nuggets blog post, Keep Your VCP Current.

The Next Step
The VCP5-DCV certification is a professional-level certification that opens up a variety of opportunities. Most typically, learners will pursue further VMware certifications following their VCP5-DCV, including:

Many learners will opt to diversify their VMware certification path portfolios, so you may consider pursuing virtualization certifications from other vendors. Learners who earn their VCP5-DCV typically also consider:


Career Considerations provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the VCP5-DCV certification. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds the VCP5-DCV certification can earn, on average, between $45,604 and $148,406. reports a range of salaries for employees holding any VCP certification between $46,880 and $125,917. Roles for employees holding a VCP certification include systems administrator, IT manager, systems engineer, and more.

VMware Certification Paths
VMware version 5 certifications are structured in four levels: VMware Certified Associate, VMware Certified Professional, VMware Certified Advanced Professional, and VMware Certified Design Expert. With the release of version 6, there was a change in the certification levels: the VMware Certified Advanced Professional level was changed to VMware Certified Implementation Expert. Learners can earn these certification levels in a variety of specializations: Data Center Virtualization, Cloud Management & Automation, Desktop & Mobility, and Network Virtualization. You can learn more about the VMware certification paths by visiting this VMware Certification page.

Begin exploring other VMware certification options for which CBT Nuggets provides training to open up even more professional development opportunities.

Concluding Thoughts
Virtualization is an essential component to your professional development. A VCP5-DCV certification demonstrates to colleagues and prospective employers that you have an excellent grasp of VMware and that you’re committed to growing and developing yourself and your skills. Advance your career by beginning your training for the VCP5-DCV today!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the VCP!

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CBT Nuggets has everything you need to learn new IT skills and advance your career — unlimited video training andTranscender® Practice Exams, Virtual Labs, validated learning with in-video Quizzes, Accountability Coaching, and access to our exclusive community of IT professionals.

Learn more about the CBT Nuggets Learning Experience.


Not a CBT Nuggets subscriber? Start your free week now.

CBT Nuggets has everything you need to learn new IT skills and advance your career — unlimited video training and Practice Exams, Virtual Labs, validated learning with in-video Quizzes, Accountability Coaching, and access to our exclusive community of IT professionals.

Learn more about the CBT Nuggets Learning Experience.


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