Certifications / Cloud

Roadmap to Success: VMware vSphere 6.5 (VCP6.5-DCV)

by Karin Klinger
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Published on August 22, 2017

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.

Virtualization is critical to IT professionals who are looking to save their organizations time and money, which means that the skills and knowledge needed to effectively administer virtualized infrastructure are in high demand across the IT space. The VMware vSphere 6.5 (VCP6.5-DCV) certification validates those skills and prepares learners for roles such as systems administrator (sysadmin), IT manager, senior systems manager, systems engineer, and more.

VMware Certified Professional 6.5 Data Center Virtualization (VCP6.5-DCV)

The VMware Certified Professional 6.5 Data Center Virtualization (VCP6.5-DCV) certification is designed to validate a learner's knowledge and skills of implementing, managing, and troubleshooting a vSphere 6.5 infrastructure. The VCP6.5-DCV is made up of two exams:

  • Select the exam of your choice: VMware vSphere 6 Foundations exam (2V0-620) or vSphere 6.5 Foundations exam (2V0-602); and

  • VMware Certified Professional 6.5 Data Center Virtualization exam (VCP6.5-DCV) (2V0-621).

CBT Nuggets training currently covers both the Foundations-level exam and the professional-level exam in one comprehensive online course with trainer Keith Barker, VMware vSphere 6.5 (VCP6.5-DCV).

The VCP6.5-DCV certification is an intermediate-level certification. Therefore, we recommend that learners have a basic understanding of virtualization concepts, experience working with VMware Workstation, familiarity with Windows Server 2012 (or Windows Server 2016) and IP networking, and six (6) months of experience working with directly with vSphere 6.5.

Downloadable Study Plan CBT Nuggets offers a study plan that maps to the VMware vSphere 6.5 (VCP6.5-DCV) course. This downloadable VMware vSphere 6.5 (VCP6.5-DCV) study plan breaks down the course and supplemental learning resources to equip learners with a strategic and manageable approach to conquer their training goals. Download the VMware vSphere 6.5 (VCP6.5-DCV) study plan.

Exam Eligibility

It is important to note that the VCP6.5-DCV is a VMware Certified Professional-level certification, and as such, learners must pass the Foundations exam (choose either version 6 or 6.5). In addition, learners must attend an official VMware course (there are eight to choose from and any one course fulfills the attendance requirement) in order to be authorized to sit for the VCP6.5-DCV exam.

Exam Details

As noted above, to qualify for the VCP6.5-DCV exam, learners must complete an official and approved VMware course, and pass the Foundations exam in order to earn certification.

VCP6.5-DCV (exam number 2V0-622)

Time allotted for exam: 105 minutes

Number of questions: 70

Passing score: 300

Question types: Single and multiple choice, proctored

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: $250 (USD)

Exam objectives: VMware Certified Professional 6.5 Data Center Virtualization (exam number 2V0-622) (free downloadable PDF)


The VCP6.5-DCV certification is valid for two years. Learners have three options to recertify their VCP6.5-DCV credential:

  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).

The Next Step

The VCP6.5-DCV certification is a professional-level certification that opens up a variety of opportunities. Usually, learners will pursue further VMware certifications following their VCP6.5-DCV, including:

Many learners will opt to diversify their certification portfolios, so they may consider pursuing virtualization certifications from other vendors. Learners who earn their VCP6.5-DCV typically also consider:

Career Considerations

Payscale.com/ provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the VCP. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds a VCP certification can earn anywhere from $48,616 to $123,728 annually. Roles for VCPs might include systems administrator, senior systems engineer, IT manager, IT systems engineer, or solutions architect.

VMware Certification Paths

VMware certifications are structured into four areas or categories, under which fall a variety of certification levels and exams.

Each category offers a variety of certification levels such as:

  • VMware Certified Associate (VCA)

  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP)

  • VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIX)

  • VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX)

Associate-level certifications generally require passing a single exam, while professional-level (and advanced professional-level) certifications typically require candidates to pass two or more exams. There are no formal prerequisites for associate-level certification exams.

It is important to recognize that unlike many other vendor certification paths, it is not necessarily true that learners must earn an associate-level certification before being eligible for professional-level certification. In most instances, learners are eligible to sit for professional-level cert exams after they pass a Foundations Exam and attend a required training course.

To achieve expert-level certification, learners must earn two VCAP credentials.

VMware also offers Digital Badges within the various certification categories that are designed to validate specific skill sets related to VMware products. While Digital Badges are not equivalent to certifications, they do offer learners a unique opportunity to demonstrate specific skill proficiencies.

Begin exploring other VMware training and certification options to open up new professional development opportunities.

Concluding Thoughts

Data center virtualization continues to prove its value to the IT industry, making IT pros who hold virtualization certifications highly desirable employees. As you develop your skills and expertise with VMware and its products, you will continue to advance your career and open up exciting new opportunities!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the VCP6.5-DCV!


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