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Value of VMware-related Certifications

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A recent InfoWorld article summarized results of a study by Foote Partners, LLC that analyzed the changing value of IT certifications.  The InfoWorld piece provided some high-level observations that piqued my interest.  One Google search later I found the original report, which included details more relevant to those of us that work with VMware.  Below are highlights from the Foote Partners work that you may find interesting.

The free article published by Foote Partners is a bit of an infomercial.  They provide this summary as a way of advertising their $3000 report.  The $3000 report puts exact value to IT certifications.  The free report that I am summarizing only includes relative values.  Among those relative values, a decrease means the certification yields a smaller premium than the previous year.  A decrease likely means the industry is demanding this skill less or the workforce is over-supplying the skill.

What follows is my summary of “interesting” changes in the value of VMware-related certifications.  I used my own judgment in calling these certifications “VMware-related”.  I include Java certifications, for instance, because of VMware’s Spring acquisition.  I included infrastructure certifications because often VMware administrators also own other areas of the infrastructure.  I do not include a database certification because I do not consider database administration tightly connected to VMware product skills.

Declining value VMware-related certifications:

  • Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA)
  • CompTIA Network Technician (Network+)
  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Professional
  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate
  • Avaya Certified Specialist
  • Avaya Certified Expert
  • Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)

Rising value VMware-related certifications:

  • Oracle Certified Professional Java Programmer (formerly Sun SCJP)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)
  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist
  • Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA)
  • HP Accredited Platform Specialist (HP APS)
  • Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
  • HP/Accredited Integration Specialist (AIS)

Highest value VMware-related certifications:

  • Oracle Certified Master, java EE Enterprise Architect (formerly Sun SCEA)
  • Master IT Certified Architect (ITAC/The Open Group)
  • ITIL Service Manager Certification
  • IT Certified Architect (ITAC/The Open Group)
  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)
  • Cisco Certified Design Profesional (CCDP)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE, all variations)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)
  • Juniper Networks Certified Internet Expert
  • SNIA Certified Storage Networking Expert (SCSN-E)
  • Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA)
  • HP/Accredited Integration Specialist (AIS)
  • Citrix Certified Integration Architect (CCIA)
  • IBM Certified Infrastructure Systems Architect
  • HP Master Accredited Systems Engineer (Master ASE)
  • Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)
  • HP/Accredited Systems Engineer (ASE)

The VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) was recognized on page 27 but not tracked in the study.  Presumably that certification is too new.  The VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) are recognized and measured but not mentioned in the summary.  This probably means that the value of those certifications has been stable in the previous 12 months.  It also means that they are not among the highest value certifications.

The report also highlights non-certified IT skills.  That is a much larger list so I will not copy-and-paste here.  But there are notable gains in value for Ruby on Rails and Spring Framework.  There are declines in values of J2EE, Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware Server/ESX, ESXi Server, and all non-mobile operating systems.  The trend is clear: companies are paying more for skills in frameworks and complex applications.  Companies are paying less for operating system and programming language skills.

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