Guide to Cloud Computing Certifications (Plus Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Cloud computing is a valuable service and skill for a variety of industries and professionals. Becoming certified in this service can increase a professional's career opportunities and potential earnings. If you want to improve upon your technological capabilities, it may be helpful to learn about different types of cloud computing certifications. In this article, we define cloud computing, discuss the benefits of earning a certification, list several cloud computing certifications you can pursue and provide tips to help you choose which option is best for you.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a pay-per-use service that offers IT departments data storage and security capabilities over the internet. There are many providers of cloud computing services, so organizations often have several options when choosing services. Using cloud services eliminates the need for servers and databases and provides businesses with more workspace capabilities. Cloud computing also enables businesses to access IT services without internally hiring IT professionals. Employees who earn cloud computing certifications provide valuable services to their companies and may qualify for advanced roles.

Related: A Beginner's Guide to Information Technology

Benefits of earning a cloud computing certification

Here are some benefits you may experience by earning a cloud computing certification:

Lends credibility to your skills

Certifications provide proof to employers that certain candidates possess helpful skills and qualifications. They can offer you credibility but also help you develop expert-level knowledge of a subject. Having a certification may encourage a potential employer to hire you over other job candidates because they may gain confidence in your abilities to complete important tasks.

Enables you to earn a higher salary

Becoming certified may enable you to work in a high-paying job position. For example, cloud architects earn an average annual salary of $134,640 per year. This career requires specific certifications that teach you how to develop and implement systems for cloud providers. A cloud consultant earns $122,068 per year and pursues certifications to make recommendations to their clients about the cloud computing services their business may find most useful.

Provides you with in-demand skills

Technology-based solutions, such as cloud computing, are common in workplaces across many industries, so employers often seek candidates with IT skills. Earning a certification helps you develop a skill set that many employers seek. These skills may also be transferable if you switch careers or leave to work for another company. An advanced skill set is useful for securing promotions, such as managerial roles.

Read more: Information Technology Skills In Demand Today

Types of cloud computing certifications

Here are some popular cloud computing certifications you can consider pursuing:

Data engineer certifications

Professionals who monitor processing system data and perform tasks to gather, optimize and publish data can pursue certification as a data engineer. Before taking these exams to become certified, it's often useful to have several years of experience in troubleshooting and designing solutions for cloud computing. These certification exams typically test applicants' knowledge of designing, securing and monitoring data processing systems.

Systems administrator certifications

Systems administrators can become certified SysOps administrators after completing at least a year in the management of cloud computing operations. These types of exams test you on your abilities to deploy, manage and operate cloud systems. Certification validates your knowledge of implementing and managing data flow and recommending cloud services to customers and clients.

Related: What Is an Application Developer?

Microsoft certified Azure certifications

IT professionals who work in an organization that uses Microsoft Azure may consider pursuing certification to highlight their knowledge of managing Azure resources. There are certifications for cloud administrators, developers and solutions experts. Each certification requires professionals to pass an exam that validates their knowledge regarding an Azure specialty. The exam tests your ability to deploy, manage and configure Azure resources and manage virtual networks.

There's also a certification for the fundamentals of Azure, which never expires. For this certification, you demonstrate your knowledge relating to the cloud, Azure services, pricing for applications and Azure application life cycles. You might also consider pursuing certification as a solutions architect expert, which validates your ability to construct infrastructure for applications, develop workloads and security measures and develop applications for cloud services. This is an expert-level certification that can help qualify you for management or consultant opportunities.

Related: Top 50 Azure Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

Security certifications

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium (IISSCC) offers certifications in cloud security, such as Certified Cloud Security Professional (CSSP), which is valid for most cloud computing service providers. The exam tests your knowledge of the cloud infrastructure and your abilities to develop and manage data and build applications. It's important to understand cloud aspects, such as its architecture and security features, to pass the exam.

The IISSCC recommends this certification for those who work in security as architects, administrators, engineers, consultants or managers. Before certification, it's essential to work in IT security for a minimum of five years to develop knowledge and experience with the service.

Related: Top 5 Security Certifications for IT Professionals

Cloud optimization certifications

Certifications in cloud optimization can apply to any career in IT or software development. An example of certification in cloud optimization is a CompTIA Cloud+ certification. The exam applies to all cloud service providers and tests your knowledge on cloud infrastructure services. Training for certification helps develop skills to configure, deploy and manage cloud applications and maintain systems and security measures. You also learn to identify and solve common issues with cloud services. Experience in systems administration can provide an excellent knowledge base to help prepare for this exam.

Tips for choosing cloud computing certifications

A variety of factors contribute to choosing the right certification to pursue, including the length of each program, your career aspirations and cost. Here are tips to help you choose a cloud computing certification:

Research career requirements

Identifying the certifications your career requires might be a major consideration when choosing to become certified in cloud computing. Researching requirements that employers often seek is useful in determining the certification you require. Learning about jobs and the qualifications they require can also help narrow your job search. Some employers may offer payment assistance for you to become certified. Consider researching the requirements for each role you want to pursue, which can help you decide which certification to earn.

Related: What Is Job Tuition Reimbursement and How Does It Work?

Plan your career path

Consider your career goals when choosing which certification to earn. If you aim to become a team leader, your certification requirements may differ from working in software development or maintenance. Depending on the level of seniority you desire to achieve, you may require certification in more than one aspect of cloud computing.

Related: How To Make a Successful Midlife Career Change

Make a schedule

The duration of training often varies for each certification. It may be helpful to make a schedule for yourself to determine the time commitment you can make for pursuing a certification while handling other responsibilities. You can also research how organizations administer training, which you might be able to earn through online training, for example.

Please note that none of the companies and certifications mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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