Certifications / Microsoft

Are you on the right cloud certification path?

Are you on the right cloud certification path? picture: A
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Published on January 11, 2016

First, if you are on any cloud path, then you're heading in the right direction.

Cloud certifications are in high demand and trending upward. RightScale reported that 93 percent of the companies they surveyed are using the cloud.

In 2012, Microsoft claimed that public and private IT cloud services would generate nearly 14 million jobs by 2015. That same year, Gartner predicted that the market would need to create 4.4 million jobs globally to support cloud services. For IT pros, it's clear from the job boards that cloud tech is unavoidable.

So, which path should you pursue?

The answer: It depends on your career goals.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) currently has a dominant market share in the cloud service provider space, but Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are growing quickly.

Here's a quick rundown of the major cloud certification paths:

  • Amazon Web Services: Amazon has three associate-level certification tracks in solutions architect, developer, and sysops administrator. We recommend that you have hands-on experience with an AWS-based application and a good handle on at least one programming language for the associate-level training. If you want to get started right away but lack hands-on experience, there are no prerequisites to start Jeremy Cioara's AWS: Essentials Course.

  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft has server and developer certification tracks for IT professionals. On the server track, you'll have to become a Linux Certified System Administrator and then pass one other exam (70-533) to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). On the developer track, you'll need to take 70-532, 70-533, and 70-534 to become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD): Azure Solutions Architect, which you can learn more about in our recent Roadmap to Success blog post. Trainer Ben Finkel can't get enough of the cloud, and he outlines five reasons to earn a certification with the fastest-growing provider out there.

  • Google Cloud Platform: The Google Cloud Platform CP100A (GCP CP100A) serves as the entry-level training you'll need to enter into the Google Cloud Platform universe and qualifies you for Google's three learning paths: systems operations professional, solution developer, and solution architect. You can progress to the 200-level training and the valuable 300-level Google Cloud Platform Developer courses. The qualification exams are relatively inexpensive, and the tools are powerful. It's Google, but if you still need more convincing, check out Garth Schulte's "5 Reasons to Learn Google App Engine" or watch our "10 Reasons to Love the GCP" webinar hosted by Garth and Ben.

Other trends in the cloud:

Security. Dice shows 22,148 cloud security questions right now. As cloud usage grows, the need to secure that data will grow. Remember when you didn't move critical data to the cloud? Today that has changed. Even if you aren't housing mission-critical data in the cloud, you're probably storing documents on the cloud that contain sensitive information. To brush up on your security skills and help ensure your information's security in the cloud, you might consider exploring our security courses from Keith Barker and James Conrad.

Containers. Last but certainly not least, don't forget the highly scalable, versatile containers that keep showing up as one of the hottest job skills for 2016. Container technologies such as Docker continue living up to their promise and growing in necessity. If you don't know how to use Docker, Shawn Powers has an entire course. It's worth the watch.

So what are you waiting for? Get your head in the cloud with CBT Nuggets cloud training courses!

You might also want to check out the webinar "Cloud Wars: Amazon versus Google versus Microsoft," where trainers Jeremy Cioara (Amazon Web Services), Ben Finkel (Microsoft Azure), and Garth Schulte (Google Cloud Platform) compare and contrast the platforms.


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