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10 Best Cloud Certifications to Pursue in 2020

Date:
Jan. 09, 2020
Author:
Ryan Day

Cloud computing is the top investment area for worldwide IT professionals. And we’re not just talking about money—organizations need an infusion of cloud skills to match their monetary investment in cloud platforms and environments.

Certifications serve as validation for the skills that IT decision-makers so desperately need. A cloud certification can make a big difference in a cloud professional's career. They can make your resume stand out during the hiring process and they can result in larger paydays—three of the five highest-paying certifications are in cloud computing.

If you’re looking to fortify your cloud expertise, there are a number of certifications to consider. We have compiled 10 cloud certifications that are sure to positively affect your career. This list is based on survey responses from the Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report and traffic to Global Knowledge’s cloud certification prep resources.

 

Top Cloud Computing Certifications

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
2. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
3. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
4. AWS Certified Developer – Associate
5. Google Certified Professional Data Engineer
6. Microsoft Certified: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
7. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
8. CCSP – Certified Cloud Security Professional
9. CompTIA Cloud+
10. Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The AWS Solutions Architect certification was the most pursued and achieved cloud certification by IT professionals in 2019. In fact, it was the most popular IT certification in our 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report. Nearly one out of every three self-identified cloud professionals have earned this Associate-level credential.

North American professionals who hold this certification have an average annual salary of $130,883, ranking fourth in the region. The AWS Architect Associate exam is ideal for individuals who design cloud infrastructures and reference architectures, or deploy systems and applications. Solutions and enterprise architects, systems engineers and developers are prime candidates.

Certification prep guide: How to Become an AWS Certified Architect

 

Prepare for the exam with the following training courses:

2. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate

With the retirement of the popular MCSA: Cloud Platform certification, Microsoft unveiled its new lineup of IT certifications that align directly with sought-after job roles. This credential is ideal for Azure administrators who manage cloud services that span storage, security, networking and cloud capabilities.

This certification validates the ability to manage Azure storage, virtual machines, virtual networks, identities, application services and more. It is also a prerequisite for the more advanced Azure DevOps Engineer Expert certification.

Certification prep guide: How to Become a Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate

 

Prepare for the exam with this training course:

3. Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

GCP Cloud Architect emerged as one of the more valuable cloud certifications of 2019. It topped our list of highest-paying IT certifications in the United States.

IT professionals are increasingly using Google Cloud technologies and seek validation of their ability to design, develop and manage cloud architecture on the GCP platform.

GCP Cloud Architect is ideal for solutions and enterprise architects, systems administrators or operations team members.

Certification prep guide: How to Become a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect

 

Prepare for the exam with the following training courses:

4. AWS Certified Developer – Associate

The second most-pursued cloud certification of 2019, AWS Developer Associate is popular and high-paying. For the past two years, this credential has cracked the top five for highest-paying U.S. certifications. In 2019, North American professionals holding this certification earned 18% more than the average tech salary.

An individual who achieves the AWS Developer Associate credential understands core AWS services and best practices, and is proficient in developing, deploying and debugging cloud-based AWS applications.

AWS cloud practitioner and technical skills are prerequisites for this certification. It is recommended that candidates have one or more years of hands-on experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application.

Prepare for the exam with the following training courses:

5. Google Certified Professional Data Engineer

To maximize the data-processing capabilities of GCP, a skilled data engineer is needed to transform data into a useful format for analysis. The GCP Data Engineer certification asserts an individual is proficient in the GCP environment, and is able to build and maintain data structures and databases.

This certification is designed for data architects, data engineers, developers responsible for managing big data transformation initiatives, and data analysts. The average salary of a certified GCP data engineer is $157,185, which eclipses almost every other cloud credential.

Certification prep guide: How to Become a Google Certified Professional Data Engineer

 

Prepare for the exam with the following training courses:

6. Microsoft Certified: Microsoft Azure Fundamentals

More than one-third of IT decision-makers struggled to find qualified cloud professionals last year. With cloud skills in high demand, fundamental cloud training and certification have become essential. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals validates the understanding of core cloud concepts, Azure services, security, privacy and compliance—everything a novice cloud professional needs to better utilize Microsoft Azure products and services.

An Azure Fundamentals certification is the starting point for all Microsoft role-based certifications.

Prepare for the exam with this training course:

7. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

AWS SysOps Administrator is the fourth most popular cloud certification in the 2019 IT Skills and Salary Report. It’s also associated with an above-average salary of $130,610.

Achieving this certification validates technical expertise in deployment, management and operations on the AWS platform. Generally, system administrators, operations managers and individuals responsible for supporting operations on AWS will want to take this certification exam to demonstrate their expertise. However, that’s not to say you have to be in that role. You could be an architect or developer looking to diversify your skill set by adding another certification to your toolkit.

Certification prep guide: How to Become an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

 

Prepare for the exam with the following training courses:

8. CCSP – Certified Cloud Security Professional

CCSP is the most popular cloud security certification in our IT Skills and Salary Report. This (ISC)2 credential proves strong cloud security acumen and hands-on experience with cloud security architecture, design, operations and service orchestration.

CCSP isn’t platform-specific, so certification-holders can demonstrate their skills in any cloud environment.

The prerequisites for this certification are five years in IT, with at least three in information security. Though, earning your CISSP can be substituted for all CCSP experience requirements.

Prepare for the exam with this training course:

9. CompTIA Cloud+

CompTIA Cloud+ is a vendor-neutral, performance-based certification covering technologies that help build and support a cloud infrastructure. The certification helps identify skill sets that create cloud technologies, network, compute and storage.

Ideal candidates for this certification exam include those responsible for building and deploying computer systems, and those responsible for the connectivity of systems. This includes system administrators, system and network engineers, cloud developers and even project managers who are responsible for cloud scheduling.

Cloud+ is the rare CompTIA certification that is not introductory. It’s recommended that you have two or three years of experience before taking the exam. While CompTIA Cloud+ is vender-neutral, certification candidates would benefit from a basic understanding of AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure.

10. Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert

This expert-level, role-based certification will validate the mastery of the skills needed to design solutions that run on Azure, as well as expertise in compute, storage and security.

Candidates for this certification need to have advanced experience and knowledge across various aspects of IT operations, including networking, virtualization, identity, security, business continuity, disaster recovery, data management, budgeting and governance. This role requires management of how decisions in each area affect an overall solution. Candidates must be proficient in Azure administration, Azure development, and DevOps, and have expert-level skills in at least one of those domains.

Two exams are required to earn the Azure Solutions Architect Expert credential, AZ:300 and AZ:301.

Certification prep guide: How to Become a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert

 

Prepare for the exams with the following training courses:

 

We want to hear from you. Do you have one or more of the certifications on our list? If so, how has it helped your career. What cloud certification did we miss?
Let us know @GKonTheCloud.

 

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