12 Types of Data Center Certifications for 2023

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Updated July 26, 2023

An IT worker walks in a data warehouse and performs a check.

The field of information technology and data services often evolves quickly as technologies change. To keep computer systems, networks and servers running smoothly, data center professionals may consider taking certification courses to update their skill set. Whether you're hoping to gain basic knowledge or engage directly with a specific topic, there's likely a certification option that meets your needs. 

In this article, we define data center certifications and discuss 12 types of certification options.

What are data center certifications?

Data center certifications are courses designed to improve and standardize the skills necessary for information technology and data professionals. This is an excellent way for individuals to learn new tools and continue their professional development. A data center certification course may also be a useful way to stay updated on the most recent trends and data center products.

This type of certification is also an excellent way to gain credibility. Some data jobs require certifications from new hires to help them confirm that new team members can perform at the standard needed. Completing this certification might also increase your chances of gaining a promotion or a pay raise.

Related: How To Become a Data Center Technician in 7 Key Steps

Types of data certifications

There are many options for choosing a data center certification course. Some are suitable for entry-level professionals, while others require years of data center experience. The areas of focus also vary between certification options. Before making your decision, it's useful to review your personal and professional goals, communicate with your data center team and research the different programs thoroughly.

Here are 12 types of data center certifications you might consider:

1. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

The CCNA certification is a popular entry-level certification for networking professionals that covers networking fundamentals, IP services, security fundamentals, automation and programmability. This certification program includes one mandatory exam and a recommended training course that combines lectures, hands-on labs and self-study. A CCNA certification is valid for three years, at which point you may take the exam again or earn 30 continuing education credits to recertify.

Related: 10 Jobs With CCNA Certification Requirements

2. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Data Center

The CCNP Data Center certification, which is more advanced than the CCNA certification, is for design architects and technology engineers with three to five years of experience. It offers design and troubleshooting modules, and it may be a useful way for professionals to become more competitive and confident. This certification requires you to pass one core exam and one concentration exam.

3. Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) Data Center

The CCIE Data Center certificate program is for advanced professionals with five to seven years of experience in data center operations, design, optimization, technologies and solutions. There's a qualifying entrance exam for this program and an eight-hour practical lab exam at the end. Passing these exams can allow you to showcase a professional aptitude for the entire network life cycle, from installation to optimization. CCIE Data Center program is a relatively new expert-level certification that can help distinguish advanced individuals in the data center profession.

4. VMware Certified Professional 6–Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)

The VCP6-DCV certification focuses on administrating and troubleshooting with the VMware product vSphere. This certificate is typically for those with at least six months of vSphere experience. There's a selection of required training, which ranges from classroom courses to boot camp or fast-track options. After the training, candidates also take two exams. This offering may be a useful way to validate your VMware credentials.

5. Data Center Certified Associate (DCCA)

The DCCA certification from Schneider Electric is another entry-level certification option that's designed to help data center professionals focused on design, building and management. This course has both hardware and software-related segments and has no prerequisite requirements. Its completion requires one exam. This may be an excellent choice for individuals hoping to gain basic data center certification experience.

Related: 7 Top Hardware Certifications for Computer Technicians

6. Data Center Design Consultant (DCDC)

The DCDC certification option from Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) may be best for data center professionals with at least two years of experience. The DCDC certification focuses on system design and construction, including mechanical and electrical system requirements. Professionals may take this course to improve their knowledge about system efficiency and new innovations.

Read more: What Is a BISCI Certification and How To Obtain Yours

7. Registered Communications Distribution Designer (RCDD)

BICSI also offers the RCDD certificate, which focuses on telecommunications and may help you improve your communications-related design, integration and project management skills. It's necessary to have two years of data communications experience to participate in this course, which ends in an exam. You may also choose to complete additional specialty modules and exams, which your certification reflects.

8. Certified Data Center Management Professional (CDCMP)

The Certified Data Center Management Professional certification is an intensive program offered by CNet. It's a comprehensive guide to data centers, including basic principles, implementation, management, business, IT strategy and audits. This is a five-day course that requires 20 hours of additional preparation from an online tutor. This program may be suitable for professionals with two or more years of related experience.

9. Cloud Infrastructure and Services v3

This associate certificate is an introductory course offered by Dell EMC. It focuses on cloud computing, infrastructure and solutions. Professionals interested in improving their cloud-based knowledge can begin with the associate-level certification, then complete the specialist- and expert-level programs. You can complete a recommended training class before taking the DEA-2TT3 exam. 

Related: What Is Cloud Architecture? (With Benefits, Types and Tips)

10. Juniper Networks Certified Professional Data Center (JNCIP-DC)

Juniper Networks offers the JNCIP-DC program to improve knowledge of their Junos software and other company-specific equipment. Large corporations, network service providers, educational institutions and government organizations are frequent users of this equipment. The JNCIP-DC certification process ends in an exam and lasts for three years. After three years, individuals may renew their certification by taking the most current form of the exam.

11. Data Center Infrastructure Specialist (DCIS)

The DCIS course is the foundational course offered by International Data Center Authority (IDCA). It provides end-to-end coverage of the mission-critical infrastructure systems that support data centers and mission-critical environments with high availability requirements. Students include data center professionals, specialists, experts, technicians, architects, managers, operators and business professionals. 

The DCIS is the first of a series of data center courses that encompass data center operations and management. Students can build upon a DCIS credential with second- and third-level courses leading to various certifications: 

  • Second-level certifications: Data Center Engineering Specialist (DCIS), Data Center Operations Specialist (DCOS), Data Center Infrastructure Expert (DCIE), Data Center Operations Manager (DCOM) and Data Center Technology Professional (DCTP) 

  • Third-level certifications: Data Center Manager (DCM), Data Center Expert (DCE) and Data Center Authority (DCA)

12. Accredited Tier Specialist (ATS)

The Accredited Tier Specialist certification from Uptime Institute may be a useful certification for experienced data center managers, owners or operators. Data center operations, performance and communication with upper management and stakeholders are all areas of focus for this certification. This program involves a five-day remote course from an experienced industry professional and a final exam.

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


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