10 valuable cloud computing certifications

10 valuable cloud computing certifications

Which IT certifications will boost your cloud computing credentials – and salary? Here’s data and advice on the best cloud certifications

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May 13, 2019

Cloud security certifications

As long as people have been talking about cloud, they’ve also been talking about cloud security. Moving workloads to a cloud environment does not mean you’re also offloading the security of your data and systems, at least not entirely.

There’s plenty of demand for people with cloud security skills. The major cloud vendors all have security-related certificates. There’s the AWS Certified Security – Specialty, for example. These tend not to have the star appeal of other certifications, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have value.

As Mahesh Ramachandran, vice president of product management at OpsRamp, told us recently: “[Security] flies under the radar because we see too many job candidates coming to us with operational certifications around network, compute, and storage, when they fail to address the top IT concern [or] initiative today: security. Maintaining security in the cloud isn’t necessarily sexy, but it is definitely a necessity.”

If you want to kick the tires on a vendor-neutral cloud security certification, Cloud Security Alliance offers several, including the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK) and Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP).

Emerging technology certifications

It’s also helpful to keep an eye on credentials that may fly under the radar or are newer in the industry. For cloud, the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) programs from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation are beginning to attract more attention, in concert with the growing use of Kubernetes overall. Just as hiring demand tends to boost a cert’s value – and hiring demand for Kubernetes is growing – there’s also a relationship between the popularity of a particular tool or technology and credible certifications for that tool or technology.

Matt Jones, senior director and head of data engineering and technology strategy at Fitch Solutions, told us earlier this year that either of these certs would give a boost to a candidate seeking a Kubernetes role. (Which one depends on your role and goals; CKAD is a better fit for devs, whereas CKA is usually the choice for people focused on infrastructure and operations.)

[ Read the related story: Kubernetes job interview questions: How to prepare ]

Ramachandran, the OpsRamp exec, had this to say about the emergence of CKA: “As we continue to build support for Kubernetes workloads, I like to see candidates with this certification because it signifies a good general understanding of the technology and the CNCF.”

[ Are you searching for a new IT job? Get expert advice: Download our IT job interview cheat sheet. ] 

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