Is Cloud Essentials Worth It?
Cloud computing is everywhere in the enterprise. So, it's no wonder that cloud certifications are front and center for a lot of professionals. There are even cloud certs geared toward non-technical individuals as well.
One such certification is the CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ certification and we're going to try and answer the question as to whether this cert is worth the investment and effort.
What Is CompTIA Cloud Essentials+?
Cloud Essentials+ is an entry-level, cloud certification offered by CompTIA. As with all CompTIA certifications, Cloud Essentials+ is a vendor-neutral credential that's relevant independent of which vendor or private cloud service is used. It's an excellent stepping-stone to vendor-specific cloud certs offered by AWS, Microsoft Azure, and GCP. There are plenty of CompTIA training courses that focus on cloud fundamentals to get you started.
Unlike CompTIA's Cloud+ certification, which is designed for IT technical professionals, Cloud Essentials+ is targeted primarily toward non-technical personnel. The cert aims to validate individuals' understanding of cloud design principles, how to assess the applicability of cloud services, the implications of operating cloud services, and the related risk and compliance issues.
Cloud Essentials+ is NOT a technical credential, rather it provides assurance that project, operations, and business personnel are competent to work within environments where cloud services are being considered, being implemented, or are in day-to-day use.
For an in-depth look at CompTIA's cloud and other certifications, check out our Complete CompTIA Certification Guide.
Who Should Be Interested in Cloud Essentials+?
People who pursue Cloud Essentials+ certification are not going to be technical Cloud professionals — or at least not initially. Rather, this credential may be of interest to the following individuals:
Sales/marketing, business, or operations personnel in cloud service/managed service providers, or
Business analysts, success managers, and process owners in cloud services customers, and
Technical support people — help desk techs, sysadmins, and net admins — who want to position themselves to work directly with the cloud.
In the first two categories, it's clear that cloud technology takes second place to the business aspects of the particular cloud service. For these individuals, Cloud Essentials+ is right on the money in terms of how the services are used, how they are best deployed, and how the cloud customer benefits from the service.
In the third category, we may find individuals who may not be ready for a deeper technical cloud cert. For example, they may be in a support role such as a help desk technician and are looking to position themselves for a new role closer to the business.
Or they may want to make a lateral move into cloud admin or operations but need some cloud "credibility". Perhaps they're considering investing in a technical cloud cert, but want to test the waters before they dive in at the deep end.
What Types of Positions Will Cloud Essentials+ Set You Up For?
The focus of the CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ cert is the business understanding of when, why, and how enterprises should use cloud services — including security, risk management, and compliance.
Think about the marketing, selling, and application of cloud services by cloud vendors and managed service providers. Or consider a project manager, business analyst or business process owner looking to use cloud services to improve process efficiency.
In both of these situations, the cloud technology details are not as important as the 'when, why, and how' questions related to a customer using cloud services.
If you're one of these professionals, Cloud Essentials+ certification is an ideal complement to your basic skill set. It will give you the confidence to discuss the cloud and its impact on business operations.
Let's not forget the support professionals like help desk techs, sysadmins, network engineers. Cloud Essentials+ certification can be an ideal way to test the water or acquire cloud proficiency that will open up opportunities.
Earning Cloud Essentials+ provides foundational knowledge that is beneficial for roles like cloud administrator, cloud support specialist, and customer success specialist. It might even help convince your boss that you have what it takes to move to the next level.
So, is CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ worth the investment of time and money? It definitely is — if you're looking to validate that you understand the fundamental concepts of the cloud services and how customers assess, adopt, and secure cloud operations.
If you're in the market for a business-oriented certification that will polish up your cloud credentials, then CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ will benefit your skillset and career.
Check out CBT Nuggets' CompTIA Cloud Essentials+ (CLO-001) training course. While learning about the business value and risks of cloud computing, you also are preparing to take the Cloud Essentials+ (CLO-001) certification exam.
Full disclosure: CompTIA recently introduced a new 75-question Essentials+ exam. However, you can still take the shorter 50-question CLO-001 exam. And the good thing is that the Cloud Essentials+ certification is good for life, so once you pass CLO-001, you're golden!