The cloud is no longer just the future of technology, it’s the here and now. Millions of businesses are trying to take advantage of the scalability, cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and accessibility of the cloud. However, many companies find themselves struggling with a severe cloud computing skills gap.
SEE: 3 out of 4 IT teams face critical skills gaps (TechRepublic)
To truly harness the power of the cloud, companies must fulfill a wide range of roles focused on everything from cloud architecture to cloud security. And for aspiring cloud experts, the opportunities are endless and ripe for the picking.
Whether you have cloud computing experience or are just starting out, a critical step in your career should be cloud certification. Earning a certification emphasizes your knowledge of cloud-specific methods and tools. Additionally, many organizations are looking for certified cloud specialists to fill their open positions.
There are many cloud certifications available depending on your technology career goals. When pursuing your certification, remember to choose a program that fits your chosen niche, whether it’s operations, governance, or something else entirely.
Best cloud certifications
Google Professional Cloud Architect
Google is one of the leading cloud service providers. The Google Professional Cloud Architect certification is an excellent choice for those looking to use the central platform. This certification covers everything from cloud infrastructure design and compliance to cloud implementation and management.
Although there are no prerequisites for this certification, Google recommends having at least three years of industry experience before taking the exam.
Google Associate Cloud Engineer
For Google Cloud professionals with less than three years of experience, the Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification might be the right choice. This foundational certification proves that the professional knows how to plan, configure, monitor, and secure cloud-based environments using Google Cloud.
According to Google, this certification is best for those who have six months or more of hands-on experience using Google Cloud.
The CompTIA Cloud+ was designed for cloud professionals who need to work with a wide range of cloud-based tools. In this certification, aspiring cloud experts learn how to analyze cloud patterns, manage cloud environments, troubleshoot cloud tools, migrate legacy systems to the cloud, and more.
The CompTIA Cloud+ prepares professionals for roles such as Cloud Engineer, Cloud Project Manager, and Systems Engineer.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
Microsoft Azure is another heavyweight in the cloud computing space. The Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals certification is a must for professionals who want to work within Azure. This certification covers core Azure concepts as well as cloud fundamentals, including cloud patterns, security, and beyond.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
The Azure Fundamentals certification above is a great stepping stone to other more advanced Azure certifications, such as the Azure Administrator Associate.
This certification prepares professionals to become cloud administrators, focused on implementing and managing cloud environments. This includes everything from cloud governance to implementing cloud storage best practices.
According to Microsoft, the skills measured in this certification include monitoring Azure resources, deploying Azure, and managing virtual networking.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
According to Gartner, Amazon Web Services is a leader in cloud services. AWS is also the most widely used cloud platform today. For this reason alone, an AWS certification is incredibly useful in the field.
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is an entry-level certification for those with basic knowledge of the Amazon Web Services platform. AWS recommends that professionals have six months of exposure to the AWS cloud to successfully earn this certification.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
For those looking to take their AWS certification to the next level, the AWS Certified Solutions Professional certification fits the bill. It teaches cloud professionals AWS best practices and delves into cloud architecture design and management.
This certification is ideal for cloud professionals who have two or more years of experience working within the AWS platform.
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
There are few certifications focused on cloud security. However, the Certified Cloud Security Professional certification was designed to certify that a professional has the technical knowledge required to effectively secure cloud-based environments. The CCSP is often chosen by those considering getting roles focused on cloud architecture or security analytics.
The CCSP includes topics such as data security, application security, and legal risk and compliance. It is important to note that CCSP requires professionals to have at least five years of IT work experience along with a few other prerequisites.