Career / Career Progression

Charting Your IT Cloud and Virtualization Career Pathway

by Karin Klinger
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Published on January 19, 2017

UPDATED: We updated this article on September 15, 2017, to reflect relevant changes to various certification curricula.

The emergence of virtualization and cloud technologies has dramatically changed IT career pathways. Charting your career path in cloud or virtualization might seem challenging, but our expert trainers have some thoughts on building a certification vitae that can result in the IT career of your dreams.

Cloud Career Certification Pathway

Building a training and certification path for cloud and virtualization is not without its challenges, even for our expert trainers, but with their help, we put together a path that will set you up for success in this dynamic and rapidly changing realm.

Use these paths to chart your IT career, leveraging the power of cloud and virtualization technologies.

Cloud Certification Pathway

  1. CompTIA Cloud Essentials

  2. CompTIA Cloud+

  3. CompTIA Network+ - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: CompTIA Network+.

  4. Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2012 - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: MCSA: Windows Server 2012 or Microsoft MCSA: Windows Server 2016 - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: MCSA: Windows Server 2016.

  5. AWS: Beginner Skills

  6. Microsoft MCSA: Cloud Platform - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: MCSA: Cloud Platform.

  7. Cisco CCNA Cloud - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: Cisco CCNA Cloud.

  8. AWS: Certified Solutions Architect Associate - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate.

  9. AWS: Certified SysOps Administrator AssociateLearn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate.

  10. Microsoft MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure - Learn more about the certification from our Roadmap to Success: MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure.

  11. Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals*

  12. Google Compute Engine: Qualified Developer*

  13. Supplemental training, not necessarily for certification, but to build out your understanding of technologies impacted by the cloud and virtualization

  14. Docker

  15. Chef Fundamentals

  16. Puppet Fundamentals

  17. Ansible Essentials

  18. CompTIA Security+

*Please note that Google recently revised its certification structure. New Google Cloud training will be available from CBT Nuggets soon!

We recommend that you begin with a basic foundation in networking and server technologies before launching into the cloud (see what we did there?). This foundation will help you better understand some of the basic infrastructures on which cloud technologies are built and deepen your appreciation for what the cloud is doing for you and your organization.

CBT Nuggets Trainer Ben Finkel loves the cloud's accessibility. "I hope learners appreciate just how fast and easy they can get started using Google Cloud Platform," he said. "As big and powerful as the technology is, the ramp-up process is smooth and easy."

Ben went on to discuss the value of pursuing AWS certification. "Cloud computing continues to grow more prominent in IT year after year," he said. AWS represents the largest and most popular cloud platform on the market. It's a mature product that can immediately benefit your IT infrastructure, including your bottom line."

When it comes to the cloud, one of the biggest challenges is determining which service to use.

Some might even say Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are engaged in a cloud war. We did say that in a recent webinar.

Learn more from Jeremy CioaraBen Finkel, and Garth Schulte about how the services stack up against each other.

Virtualization Certification Pathway

Just like our recommended certification path for cloud technologies, we suggest you start with solid foundational networking knowledge for your virtualization certification path. But we move quickly into server technologies so you can get to the good stuff with virtualization.

Virtualization Certification Pathway

*Please note that Google recently revised its certification structure. New Google Cloud training will be available through CBT Nuggets soon!

New Cloud and Virtualization IT Professionals

As you begin your journey with cloud and virtualization, there's a lot to learn. But the beautiful thing is that most of the technology, products, and services you'll work with are designed for rapid onboarding. Virtualization and the cloud are interwoven, allowing you to learn both areas simultaneously.

When you start with virtualization and the cloud, you start small. You generally look for solutions for personal use, small businesses, etc.

However, as you continue to develop your skills and knowledge, look for opportunities to ramp up your skills by scaling up the services for your organization. As the organization grows, so do its needs and its complexities. That's good news! Look to work for increasingly complex organizations so you can scale your skills and knowledge, too.

Developing a passion for learning and training is the key to ongoing development and advancement in this rapidly evolving field. Learn more about building good IT training habits from Keith Barker's webinar.

Wrapping it Up

Virtualization and the cloud have changed the IT industry forever, and both continue to evolve as we discover more and more ways they can improve our services and systems. Developing a certification vitae that includes cloud and virtualization makes you a more marketable IT pro and helps you create a career path that can help you achieve your dreams.

The paths we provided here are recommended but certainly not set in stone.

Every IT pro's path is unique, so let your curiosity guide your training. Whatever path you choose, commit to learning to chart the IT career you want!

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