Career / Career Progression

CompTIA Certifications: Cloud+ vs. Cloud Essentials?

by Team Nuggets
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Published on December 4, 2017

Technology never stops evolving, especially on the most customer-facing sides of technology. As businesses and consumers constantly seek new ways to do things, it's important for IT professionals to ensure their skills are changing along with the industry, because it will help them stay competitive within their own job market.

One of the best ways to keep skills current is to keep training. Even if your end goal isn't sitting for a certification, regularly training on technology increases your worth as an IT professional.

There's no better skill set to acquire in the current environment than a cloud certification and no better place to start learning the cloud than CompTIA. If you're trying to weigh the differences between Cloud+ and Cloud Essentials, this guide should help.

Cloud Essentials is more basic than Cloud+

The easiest way to compare these two CompTIA certifications is the audience. Who needs to take Cloud Essentials versus Cloud+? IT pros typically will gravitate toward the highly technical Cloud+. Traditionally non-technical professions will benefit from the high-level, business-like orientation of Cloud Essentials.

That doesn't mean either group won't benefit from the other certification.

Cloud+ certification might be designed for the technical professional, but IT pros could benefit from learning the business implications of the cloud with Cloud Essentials.

Cloud Essentials was designed for businesspeople who need to fully understand the legal and business implications of cloud technology without getting deep into the weeds. It empowers anyone in an organization to learn the cloud, so they can make informed decisions. These people might include those in marketing, sales, management, and especially IT.

As Anthony Sequeira wrote recently when he released his new Cloud Essentials course: "Even those IT pros that have been working with cloud technologies for years might benefit from this course, as they might not be well-versed on the business implications of these technologies."

Similarly, Cloud+ is an entry-level cloud certification, so there's plenty of value for the non-technical professional to train on these topics. Whether or not you sit for the exam, you'll receive a Certification of Completion from CBT Nuggets, which qualifies you for CompTIA CEUs. It's also a professional credential that will make a non-technical resume a little more cross-functional.

Whether you plan to work for a cloud services provider or as a sales manager, the training you'll get through Cloud+ will equip you to work with cloud technology

Cloud Essentials might be a good start for IT pros.

CompTIA recommends that before pursuing a Cloud+ certification, you have at least two to three years of hands-on experience in IT networking or data center technology. The coursework is highly technical, but anyone with a basic understanding of IT fundamentals taught in Network+ can follow along.

For a less experienced IT professional, it may be better to start with the Cloud Essentials certification, which will serve as a stepping stone to Cloud+ and beyond. There are no prerequisites for the Cloud Essentials course.

Cloud Essentials is good for life

Another difference between the Cloud+ and Cloud Essentials certifications is shelf life. Once you receive your Cloud Essentials certification, you have it for life. You don't have to recertify. You may eventually want to add to that certification, but the credential will be on your resume whether you build on it or not.

The Cloud+ requires renewal every three years from the date of your exam. Because CompTIA also retires the old version of the exam and launches a new version every three years, you'll likely need to renew with the new exam. This will be happening in 2018 for Cloud+.

CompTIA's three-year renewal process ensures that your education always stays fresh, which means both current and potential employers will see you as an asset to the cloud community.

Professionals who hold Cloud+ certification from CompTIA also have access to continuing education opportunities that will help them stay current. CompTIA has a wide variety of recertification options for IT professionals. But it's important to find the perfect educational path to help you achieve your own long-term and short-term career goals.

The divide between Cloud+ and Cloud Essentials is pretty clear, you likely will know right away which is the right option for you. If you're a business professional who merely wants to learn more about what the cloud has to offer, choose Cloud Essentials. However, if you're interested in moving into IT, CompTIA has a certification that can help you each step of the way.


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