In today’s technology-driven world, cloud computing is the backbone of countless businesses and organizations. As cloud computing becomes more integral to various industries, the demand for professionals with expertise in this field has skyrocketed. This has made cloud certifications a valuable asset for IT professionals looking to advance their careers. But are cloud certifications really worth the time and effort required to obtain them?

In this blog, we will dive into the world of cloud certification, exploring its worth, the various levels, and the impact it can have on your career in cloud computing.

The Growing Demand for Cloud Computing Skills

Before we discuss the value of cloud certifications, let’s highlight the increasing demand for cloud computing skills. Cloud solutions have transformed the way businesses operate, making them more agile and efficient. This shift has led to a surge in the need for skilled professionals who can design, implement, and manage cloud solutions.

As a result, companies are on the lookout for individuals with the technical skills to meet their cloud computing needs. A quick search on job site Indeed, shows the total number of jobs exceed over 12,000 at the time of writing this blog. If numbers are to be believed, Glassdoor shows the average salary of a cloud engineer is over $107k in the USA. 

So, what makes the certifications so lucrative as an individual! Let’s explore their role in the life of a developer. 

The Role of Certification Programs

Cloud certification programs, offered by major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, play a pivotal role in preparing individuals for various job roles in cloud computing. These programs validate your expertise and knowledge in cloud computing, which can be a valuable asset when pursuing a career in this field.

The Benefits of Cloud Certification

Now, let’s explore the benefits of obtaining cloud certifications:

  1. Validation of Technical Skills: Passing a certification exam verifies your knowledge and skills in that cloud area. Having certifications on your resume or LinkedIn profile serves as proof that you possess the competencies tested in the exam.
  2. Increased Earning Potential: Certified professionals often earn higher salaries compared to their non-certified counterparts. The average salary for cloud professionals tends to be significantly competitive.
  3. Hands-on Experience: Certification exams typically require hands-on experience, which ensures that you can apply your knowledge in real-world scenarios.
  4. Career Advancement: Cloud certifications can help you take the next step in your career. They demonstrate your commitment to the technology and willingness to upskill. This can enable you to earn promotions into advanced roles like Solutions Architect, Lead Engineer, or Cloud Consultant.
  5. Job Security: As the demand for cloud skills continues to grow, certified professionals enjoy greater job security and career stability.
  6. Learning Path: Certification programs provide a structured learning path, making it easier for you to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for your dream job.

Potential Drawbacks of Certification

While valuable, cloud certifications also come with some caveats:

  1. Substantial Time Investment: Earning certifications requires dedicating considerable time to study training materials and take practice tests. This training time can run into several months for more advanced certifications. It requires strong commitment.
  2. Exam Costs: Sittings for certification exams can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. Retaking failed exams leads to added costs. The expenses can add up quickly if pursuing multiple certifications.
  3. Focus on Theory Over Practical Skills: The exam questions focus mainly on factual and theoretical knowledge. While essential, this doesn’t necessarily equip you with the practical hands-on skills needed to design, build, and run cloud architectures. Real-world experience is still crucial.
  4. Rapidly Evolving Technology: With new cloud services and features launching frequently, the material tested on exams can become outdated. Keeping your certifications current requires re-certifying on updated exams regularly.
  5. No Guarantee of Job or Promotion: While valued, certifications alone don’t guarantee you will get hired or promoted. Actual hands-on ability and soft skills are still evaluated. But certifications certainly improve your chances and enable more opportunities.

Different Levels of Certification

Most cloud certification programs are divided into different levels, typically starting with an entry-level certification and progressing to professional and specialty certifications. The most common certification levels include:

  1. Cloud Practitioner (Entry-Level): Ideal for those new to cloud computing, this certification provides a foundational understanding of cloud concepts and services. Some common examples are AWS Cloud Practitioner and Azure Fundamentals
  2. Associate Level Certifications: These certifications, like the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate or Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer, focus on core competency in cloud computing.
  3. Professional Level Certifications: These certifications, such as the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional or Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect, are designed for individuals with a deeper understanding of cloud architectural principles and hands-on experience.
  4. Specialty Certifications: These certifications, like AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty, cater to professionals with expertise in specific areas within cloud computing.

Choosing the Right Certification

The choice of certification largely depends on your career goals and interests. If you are new to cloud computing, starting with an Associate certification is a sensible option. As you gain experience and expertise, you can progress to Professional or Specialty certifications.

You can use the unique certification guide from ReviewNPrep to figure out the next certification for your needs.

Final Thoughts

In the world of cloud computing, certifications are a valuable asset that can open doors to exciting career opportunities. Whether you are looking to land your first job in cloud computing or advance your existing career, cloud certification is worth the investment. With the increasing demand for cloud skills and the potential for high earning potential, cloud certification can set you on a path to a rewarding and prosperous career in cloud computing.

So, are cloud certifications worth it? Absolutely! 

They validate your expertise to employers and demonstrate your commitment to the technology. Remember that certifications work best when combined with hands-on experience, soft skills, and continuing education. Find the right balance of certification and practical ability for your cloud computing career goals.

Start your cloud computing journey today by enrolling in a training course, practicing with exam questions, and preparing for that all-important certification exam. Your dream job in the cloud computing industry could be just one certification away.

Further Reading:

Steps to transition from a non-tech role to landing a job in cloud computing.

Check out this blog on how to protect your organization from cloud computing risks.