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2018 New and Emerging IT Certifications

Looking ahead at new and upcoming certifications provides insight into the areas deemed highly valuable in the IT industry. If you are an early adopter or in a position where you need to show that you have the bleeding-edge expertise of a technology, this alphabetical list of recently released or soon-to-be-released certifications is for you. Here’s a snippet from our 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report that’s being released next month.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam enables individuals with an overall understanding of the AWS Cloud to validate their knowledge with an industry-recognized credential. This entry-level exam allows more individuals to pursue an AWS certification and demonstrate knowledge about the AWS Cloud platform.

The exam covers four domains: cloud concepts, security, technology, and billing and pricing. Candidates should have at least six months of experience with the AWS Cloud in any role, including technical, managerial, sales, purchasing or financial.

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam serves as a pre-requisite option for specialty exams. Individuals who hold either an Associate or a Cloud Practitioner certification will be eligible to take specialty exams. Individuals can choose to pursue the Cloud Practitioner certification before attempting an Associate exam, but it is not a requirement. Candidates looking to prepare for this exam should take AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials, a free digital training course, or AWS Tech Essentials.

Ultimately, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam gives individuals in a larger variety of cloud and technology roles the opportunity to validate their AWS Cloud knowledge and enhance their professional credibility. Organizations who are planning to migrate to the AWS Cloud need individuals with cloud talent on their team, and can rely on AWS certification as independent validation as they look to build foundational cloud knowledge on their teams.

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Start learning and then register for an exam to validate your knowledge at


AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification

The AWS Certified Security – Specialty exam was released in April 2018. This exam allows experienced cloud security professionals to demonstrate and validate their ability to secure the AWS platform.

This is the third specialty exam within the AWS Certification program. Specialty exams validate advanced skills in specific technical areas, and require either an Associate or Cloud Practitioner certification. The first two specialty exams, AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty and AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty, were released in May 2017.

Candidates for this new exam should have five years of IT security experience designing and implementing security solutions, and at least two years of hands-on experience securing production AWS workloads.

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Blockchain Training Alliance (BTA) certifications

The demand for blockchain skills is rising, and with it rises the need for standardization. Enter the Blockchain Training Alliance, an organization with a focus on disruptive technologies and believes the “distributed ledger is the movement of the future.” Its mission is clear: “provide the most relevant content, instruction, and certifications for the blockchain technology as it reshapes the corporate world.” The BTA certification advisory board is comprised of technology executives, thought leaders and developers from training organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and universities.

On May 7, the BTA, in conjunction with Pearson VUE, released three blockchain certifications: BTA Certified Blockchain Solution Architect (CBSA), BTA Certified Blockchain Developer - Ethereum (CBDE), and BTA Certified Blockchain Developer - Hyperledger Fabric (CBDH).

Here’s what you need to know about each:

BTA Certified Blockchain Solution Architect (CBSA) certification

A person who holds this certification demonstrates their ability to:

  • Architect blockchain solutions.
  • Work effectively with blockchain engineers and technical leaders.
  • Choose appropriate blockchain systems for various use cases.
  • Work effectively with both public and permissioned blockchain systems.

The Solution Architect exam will prove that a student completely understands:

  • The difference between proof of work, proof of stake, and other proof systems and why they exist.
  • Why cryptocurrency is needed on certain types of blockchains.
  • The difference between public, private, and permissioned blockchains.
  • How blocks are written to the blockchain.
  • Where cryptography fits into blockchain and the most commonly used systems.
  • Common use cases for public blockchains.
  • Common use cases for private and permissioned blockchains.
  • What is needed to launch your own blockchain.
  • Common problems and considerations in working with public blockchains.
  • Awareness of the tech behind common blockchain.
  • When mining is needed and when it is not.
  • Byzantine Fault Tolerance.
  • Consensus among blockchains.
  • What is hashing.
  • How addresses, public keys and private keys work.
  • What a smart contract is.
  • Security in blockchain.
  • The brief history of blockchain.
  • The programming languages of the most common blockchains.
  • Common testing and deployment practices for blockchains and blockchain-based apps.


  • Government Officials
  • Consultants
  • Developers
  • Programmers
  • Software Engineers
  • University Professors

How to prepare for the CBSA exam:

It’s recommended that professionals seeking the CBSA certification attend the Blockchain Architecture Training course or have extensive Blockchain implementation knowledge and experience. 

Learn more about the Certified Blockchain Solution Architect certification.


BTA Certified Blockchain Developer - Ethereum (CBDE) certification

A person who holds this certification demonstrates their ability to:

  • Plan and prepare production-ready applications for the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Write, test and deploy secure Solidity smart contracts.
  • Understand and work with Ethereum fees.
  • Work within the bounds and limitations of the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Use the essential tooling and systems needed to work with the Ethereum ecosystem.

The Ethereum exam will prove that a student completely understands how to:

  • Implement web3.js.
  • Write and compile Solidity smart contracts.
  • Create secure smart contracts.
  • Deploy smart contracts and test Ethereum networks.
  • Calculate Ethereum gas costs.
  • Unit test smart contracts.
  • Run an Ethereum node on development machines.


  •  Application Architects
  • Developers
  • Programmers
  • Software Engineers

How to prepare for the CBDE exam:

It’s recommended that professionals seeking the CBDE certification attend the Blockchain Ethereum Training: Hands-on Development Bootcamp course or have extensive Ethereum development knowledge and experience.

Learn more about the Certified Blockchain Developer – Ethereum certification.


BTA Certified Blockchain Developer - Hyperledger Fabric (CBDH) certification

A person who holds this certification demonstrates their ability to:

  •  Plan and prepare production-ready applications for the Hyperledger blockchain.
  •  Write, test and deploy secure chain code.
  •  Understand how to use Hyperledger Composer to rapidly build Hyperledger applications.
  •  Write chain code using either Go or NodeJS.

The Hyperledger Fabric exam will prove that a student completely understands how to:

  •  Create a Hyperledger model.
  •  Build proper access controls for blockchain assets via .acl.
  •  Implement a Hyperledger “.bna” banana.
  •  Write and compile smart contracts as chain code.
  • Deploy smart contracts on channels in the private network.


  • Application Architects
  • Developers
  • Programmers
  • Software Engineers

How to prepare for the CBDH exam

It’s recommended that professionals seeking the CBDH certification attend the Blockchain Hyperledger Training: Developing on Hyperledger Fabric course or have extensive Hyperledger development experience.

Learn more about the Certified Blockchain Developer - Hyperledger Fabric certification.


After passing one of these exams, your certification will be registered on a blockchain platform where professionals and employers can easily verify certificates on a trusted network, using a unique cryptographic hash given to each certificate holder.

Dell EMC certifications

  • Dell EMC Certified Associate Converged Systems & Hybrid Cloud Platforms
  • Dell EMC Certified Expert Multi-Cloud
  • Dell EMC Certified Master Enterprise Architect
  • Dell EMC Certified Specialist Infrastructure Security

Dell EMC Education Services is labeling these four as “transformational certifications.” According to Dell EMC, the intent of these certifications is to develop “highly skilled talent that can make transformation real” and stay on top of emerging technologies. Dell EMC education and certification ensures that you gain a solid understanding of the technology and can establish a team with the right skillsets to maximize your ROI today and drive your transformation into the future. As part of the Dell EMC Proven Professional program, these certifications confirm the knowledge and experience needed to accelerate an IT department’s time to transformation.

The new certifications will help you:

  • Understand how to manage converged/hyperconverged platforms.
  • Develop expertise to enable automation and service delivery with multi-cloud solutions.
  • Incorporate critical security controls for Dell EMC enterprise infrastructure.
  • Translate emerging business trends into the technology solutions and new operating models of the future-ready organization.


DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA) certifications

DASA DevOps Fundamentals certification

Organizations are under constant pressure to get products to market ahead of the competition. This inevitably can cause friction for development and operations teams to meet demands. The DevOps framework can bring cohesion to the two teams. The DASA DevOps Fundamentals certification provides an extensive introduction to the core Agile DevOps principles, covering basic knowledge and skill competencies that have been defined by the DevOps Agile Skills Association (DASA). The DASA DevOps Fundamentals certification is designed for anyone who is working towards implementing Agile and DevOps strategies into their organization. The DASA DevOps Fundamentals certification is the first step in the DASA competence framework.

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DASA DevOps Practitioner certification

The DASA DevOps Practitioner certification builds on the fundamentals necessary to put DevOps into practice. This certification focuses on four skills from the DASA competence framework: courage, team-building, DevOps leadership and continuous improvement. Meeting these four skills puts a candidate at the “proficient” level of DevOps knowledge and practical application.

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DevOps Institute (DOI) certifications

DOI DevOps Foundation certification

The DevOps Institutes’ DevOps Foundation certification is based on the desire to promote a healthy culture in the workplace. Development and Operations teams can gain skills to improve communication and collaboration between the two teams. Improved workflows will result in a more streamlined approach in order to design, develop, deploy and operate software and services faster.

In order to pass the DevOps Foundation certification exam, candidates must achieve 65% or higher on this 60-minute exam, consisting of 40 multiple-choice questions.

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Google Cloud certifications

Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer certification

As businesses continue to invest in the cloud, the demand for individuals with the skills to leverage cloud technologies increases. This year, Google Cloud Certified will launch this new Associate Cloud Engineer certification, an ideal entry point for individuals who have used the Google Cloud Console and are able to deploy applications, monitor operations, and manage enterprise solutions. Cloud Engineer follows the 2017 debut of two professional level certifications, the Cloud Architect and the Data Engineer, which were developed as an assessment of advanced skill levels to identify experienced individuals with a broad scope of Google Cloud knowledge.

  • The Associate Cloud Engineer has the fundamental skills to work with Google Cloud Platform and lays the groundwork for those who will be pursuing the professional level architecting and data engineering certifications.
  • The Professional Cloud Architect demonstrates the ability to design, develop and manage a secure, scalable and reliable cloud architecture using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) technologies. Learn everything you need to know about the GCP Architect certification in our “A Complete Guide: How to Become a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect.”
  • The Professional Data Engineer possesses the necessary skills on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to design, build, maintain and troubleshoot data processing systems with a focus on security, reliability, and fault-tolerance. Learn everything you need to know about the GCP Data Engineer certification in our “A Complete Guide: How to Become a Google Certified Professional Engineer.”

All three of these certifications are industry-recognized and are valid for two years after which recertification is required.

Vendor-neutral certifications


Certified Machine Learning Specialist (CMLS) certification

The CMLS certification, from the Global Science and Technology Forum (GSTF), validates skills across machine learning topics like algorithms, neural networks, natural-language processing and more. Machine learning has moved past the “hype cycle” and although many enterprises are seeking to automate their analytics processes and take advantage of machine learning technologies, adoption is hampered by a shortage of professionals with proven artificial intelligence expertise. Candidates for this certification should have a minimum of two years of experience in software development, data analysis, business analysis or a relevant business domain.

The CMLS certification exam primarily consists of 40 multiple-choice questions that assess a candidate’s understanding of machine learning, as well as their ability to evaluate and apply their knowledge, and identify and manage associated risk.

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Internet of Things Foundation (IoTF) certification 

The IoTF certification from the Cloud Credential Council (CCC), covers the basic concepts, terminology and key components of IoT from both a business and technical perspective. Skilling up for IoT can be challenging for organizations due to the deep and wide scope of IoT use cases. IoT is “everywhere” and capitalizing on IoT technologies requires organizations to validate their employees’ skills in this area. IoTF certifies high-level competencies and a common lexicon that is critical for the proof of concept and early adoption phases. Candidates for the IoTF certification are not required to have prerequisite experience but should be conversant with cloud concepts and vocabulary.

The IoTF certification exam is a 75-minute assessment that consists of 25 multiple-choice questions about topics like IoT implications, security, business perspectives and more.

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Get first access to the 2018 IT Skills and Salary Report when it's published in June.