VMware Certification: Where to Begin Your Virtualization Career

Overloaded by Choices…

Donkey Cart OverloadRecently as I was browsing the My Learning Portal on VMware, I was amazed by all the certifications now available for different VMware products.

Talk about Sprawl!

Back when I started getting serious about my virtualization career, there was only one CERT, VCP.

Now there are 16 CERTS and more coming soon…


Different VMware Certifications



Data Center Virtualization

VCA-DCV, VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCA, VCAP5-DCD, VCDX5-DCV (And there are more now with 6.x)

End-User ComputingVmware Certificatation Roadmap


Cloud Application Platform

  • Coming Soon…Spring Professional
  • Web Application Developer
  • Enterprise Integration Specialist
  • Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)
  • Storage Virtualization (VCA-SV)

How much is the VCP Test?

  • The average cost for basic vSphere Installation and Setup Training, $3500 and higher. Not ready to pay for the official VMware training, No problem. Learn new skills by going checking out our guide for the best vSphere online training.
  • The average cost of taking the VCP6.x test, $275.
  • Average difficulty, medium (multiple choice).

There’s even a VMware certification roadmap PDF for planning your training.

More Virtualization Certifications Choices:

Virtualization Council Certificates

We’re not done yet…there are even vendor-neutral virtualization certifications.

  • Virtual Infrastructure Professional VIP
  • Master Infrastructure Architect MIA

Check out the Virtualization Council website for more information. And to find virtualization tutorials and practice questions.

Storage and Networking CERTs

And to top it all off, every network and storage vendor has their own certification programs and training to get you certified in their hardware and software platforms, too.

So which CERT do you need?

I started my virtualization career as a VMware Certified Professional VCP and it has definitely paid off. And, it’s still paying off.

I have a great time learning about cool new technology and supporting new VMware products all the time.

But honestly, I’m not caught up in the hype, it’s a credential I use just like, CCNA, ITIL, and other certifications I have.


Well, if you are chasing certifications as a badge of honor – go for it. That’s never been my thing.

Simple Truth

Hiring managers want people who add value, not celebrities with badges or attitudes.

If you work in a (1) VMware vSphere shop with (2) Cisco Networks, (3) HP Blades, and (4) EMC Storage then there’s your roadmap for what you should be focusing your training and learning on.

Whereas, if you are a vendor representative for products and services, it makes perfect sense to have CERTs on the products you sell.

And, then if you are a consultant who gets involved in all types of engagement with various hardware configurations from different vendors (servers, network, and storage), well then you may have a challenge keeping up.

In most cases, you just need to get really good at what you do and let it speak for you.

A CERT may help you get the job but actions and talent will grow your career and keep you working.


Do you have enough presence of mind to analyze a problem and then apply the right solution?

Or to call technical support so you are not wasting excessive amounts of time because you are stubborn?

Here’s some friendly advice – certifications don’t make the IT professionals, the IT Professional makes the CERTS [wow that was deep and true].

Training and certification only give you the theory (book smarts), experience, and time provide the howto (value). And sometimes how to pick up the phone and call support is all you need to know.

The Career Nugget

Here’s the real career nugget in today’s software-defined data center. Talented people who can connect all types of vendor devices together via an API are high-value candidates.

After more than 16 year as an IT professional, if I could start over – I would have learned to be a scriptor: bash, VBscript, perl, Ruby, .Net and PowerShell.

The future will no longer be people banging on keys to administer and deploy virtual servers; it will be automation tools like Puppet or Chief working with OpenStack or vCD to orchestrate everything going on in the cloud.

Learn advanced scripting and you will have the edge.

Read more nuggets: server uptime and vSphere commons mistakes. These are tips from a life in the trenches and will help beginners get an understanding of best practices vs best efforts.

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