VMware Certifications: The Definitive Guide

VMware certifications are centered on the software and services developed by its parent company. These services and software range from; cloud management and virtualization, network virtualization, data center virtualization, desktop and mobility. Its certification opportunities were created for professionals interested in having a career that spans across the above software and services. Here you will find all the information you need to know in furthering your career through VMware certifications.

Is a VMware Certification for You?

Choosing a career path is a difficult task for anyone still struggling to find his or her feet and in the tech community, this difficulty is multiplied ten-fold due to the wide array of career options available to you. To cut through this confusion or difficulties, it is important to know your strengths and weakness as well as where your interests lie. If you are one of those who loves configuring networks, manipulating data or developing mobile/desktop applications, then pursuing a VMware certificate is definitely for you.

An Introduction to VMware

VMware is a subsidiary of tech giants DELL Technologies. Its role in DELL’s group of acquired companies, is the provision of cloud and virtualization software/services for commercial use and it has acquired worldwide renown for this. VMware’s interest in providing users of its solutions led to the creation of its certification program to teach IT professionals everything concerning cloud management, network visualization data centers and the role its applications play in these niches.

To achieve the aim of its certification program—to educate and validate an individual’s skill sets—a variety of exams and lab work have been introduced through different levels of the program to ensure that anyone can participate. It is also important to note that successful participants have a lot to gain through a VMware certification and these benefits will be covered in detail here.

Analyzing the Benefits of a VMware Certification

The benefits of obtaining a VMware certificate can be reaped by both individual professionals and organizations that make it a priority for its IT staff to be certified. This is due to their recognition in the tech community and the knowledge dispersed by every VMware certification program.

The Benefits for Individual IT Professionals

  • Recognition of Your Technical Knowledge and Skills—VMware services and solutions are used globally to solve complex IT infrastructure issues. Therefore, a VMware certificate will earn you worldwide recognition for your skills and abilities.
  • Increased Career Opportunities—adding a VMware certification to your list of achievements opens doors in the corporate world. It proves your dedication to professional development which helps you stand out from your colleagues.
  • Access to VMware’s Exclusive Offers—VMware also recognizes the effort successful candidates put in by providing access to its professional portal and freedom to use its logos on one’s professional profile.
  • A Spot on VCDX Directory—successful candidates also earn a spot on the VCDX directory of professionals who have the knowledge needed to deploy VMware services and software applications.

Benefits to Business Enterprises

  • Enhances a Business’s Operations—certified employees bring a level of expertise and professionalism when handling certain tasks that others lack. This is due to their understanding of latest policy standards and the ability to implement them.
  • Access to VMware’s SocialCast Group—certified experts are given access to connect with other professionals under the VMware certification program through the SocialCast group. Businesses with certified professionals can increase their networking reach and ability to hire the best IT pros.
  • Provide Exceptional Services—an organization with certified professionals highlights its ability to understand the IT infrastructure issues its clients and prospective clients face. It also validates a business’s ability to employ VMware’s software and services in solving these issues.

VMware is renowned globally for its IT solutions and it is also important to know that certain VMware certificates can also be used as prerequisites when pursuing other certifications across the cloud, data and IT infrastructure community.

VMware Certification Program Overview

The VMware certification program cuts across 4 categories of the tech space and the reputation of its services mean that it is a certificate virtualization professionals must have. The certificate program is closely tied to VMware’s services and software applications. Therefore, your knowledge will be centered on these solutions and every update made to the associated technology affects the validity of the related certificate.

VMware Certification Categories

The certification program consists of version 6 certificates due to the versions of the technologies associated with them. Currently, there are only two version 7 certificates available to candidates and these versions will be highlighted where applicable. The four certification categories VMware offers include:

Data Center Virtualization: the VMware data center virtualization certification program is built around its VMware vSphere environment. The certification programs—cut across different levels—and were developed to judge one’s ability to design, install and manage VMware vSphere infrastructures.

Network Virtualization: the network virtualization certification program focuses on testing your knowledge and skill with the NSX environment. The program consists of different certification levels that depend on your understanding and expertise with managing the VMware NSX ecosystem.

Cloud Management and Automation: VMware offers a plethora of cloud and automation software and services built around its vRealize ecosystem. Therefore, the certification program on cloud management covers your skills with installing, configuring and optimizing vRealize as a solution in an integrated cloud environment. The certificate also consists of different levels for beginners and expert IT personnel.

Desktop and Mobility: the VMware desktop and Mobility certifications are built around your understanding of VMware Horizon with view environment deployed around VMware sphere and the entire services ecosystem.

VMware Certification Levels

The VMware certification program understands that interested candidates have different levels of understanding concerning the software and services in its environment. Therefore, interested candidates can pursue certifications across the following levels:

  • VMware Certified Associate (VCA): the associate certification program covers your understanding of VMware’s software and services. The program is geared towards IT architects and tech executives looking to validate their technical abilities.
  • VMware Certified Professional (VCP)—the certified professional certificate was developed to test your abilities with using the solutions VMware offers across the IT community.
  • VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP): the advanced professional certificate tests your ability to provide complex solutions to IT problems using the VMware group of software applications and virtualization services.
  • VMware Certified Implementation Expert (VCIE): the certified implementation expert program takes things a step further by testing your implementation abilities with using VMware software applications across different cloud environments.
  • VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDE):the design level certification program was developed to test data architects, IT pros and engineers on their ability to design, build and manage VMware solutions and services.

These certification levels cut across the entire certification categories which we have outlined below. The next sections will cover the exams and procedures you need to go through in other to attain a VMware certification.

VMware Data Center Virtualization (DCV) Certification

The DCV certification program revolves around VMware’s vSphere environment and it was developed for IT administrators, engineers and data architects interested in validating their knowledge of data centers. Participants can pursue the following DCV certificates;

VMware Certified Associate Level—the associate level certification is an entry-level certification on data center virtualization that highlights your understanding of data centers and the challenges vSphere was designed to solve. At the end of the program, associate level certified professionals will be able to describe and differentiate vSphere software applications or products.

Required Exams: Candidates must focus their reading on identifying the technical requirements needed to manage a vSphere environment. The exam is a version 6 certificate exam and it runs for 75 minutes. Candidates will have to sit:

VMware Certified Professional Level—this certificate is designed for administrators and engineers to test their knowledge of implementing, managing and troubleshooting the infrastructure that comes with a vSphere V6. 5 ecosystem. The requirements one must attain to be eligible for the exam include; a valid DCV associate level certificate or an expired VCP certification.

Required Exams: the topics you will need to cover is centered on vSphere V6 infrastructure, scalable virtualization platforms and implementing vSphere applications. The exams candidates will participate in include;

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Level—certification is an advanced program designed to validate an individual’s skill with designing and deploying VMware V6 infrastructure solutions across a diverse IT environment. The certification was created for data architects and engineers who design and deploy these solutions for enterprises. There are two tiers to this certificate and they are for designing and deploying V6 infrastructure.

Required Exams: for VCAP6-DCV Design, interested candidates must focus on topics covering design and integrating these designs in a virtualized environment. Candidates will have to sit the following exam:

The advanced professional level certificate on deployment focuses on candidate’s abilities with deploying and optimizing vSphere V6 infrastructure as well as the best practices for deploying these solutions. The exam to take is;

VMware Design Expert Level—certification was developed for data architects with a view to validating their abilities to deliver real business value using the products in vSphere6.x. Interested candidates must have obtained a valid VCIX6-DCV certificate. It is the highest certificate one can attain in the data center virtualization category.

Required Exam: candidates should have acquired provable knowledge on enterprise design and deploying these solutions in a business’s enterprise infrastructure. The exams to take include:

  • VCDX6-DCV—to attain version 6 certificate
  • VCDX5-DCV—to attain the version 5 certificate

VMware Network Virtualization (NV) Certificate

The Network virtualization certifications are focused on providing a means for IT administrators and engineers looking to validate their abilities with implementing and managing a VMware NSX environment. The certificates in this category are highly rated due to the popularity of VMware’s software and services in the IT networking industry.

VMware Certified Associate Level: the associate level certification for Network Virtualization focus on examining an individual’s knowledge of the fundamentals of network virtualization and VMware NSX ecosystem. The certification gives you an entry into the world of network virtualization if you are interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Exam Requirements:candidates interested in obtaining the associate certificate in network virtualization must cover topics discussing network virtualization concepts, security, NSX components, services, features and their benefits. The exams include:

VMware Certified Professional Level: the VCP certificate tests a candidate’s understanding of the NSX environment a bit further than the associate level. The exam was designed for IT administrators and engineers willing to validate their ability to install, configure and troubleshoot issues in the NSX environment.

Exam Requirements: there are certain criteria aspiring professionals must meet to be considered as viable candidates for the program. They include a valid VCP-NV certification or a VCP certification in any of the categories or an expired VCP certification or CISCO certification. The exams include:

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Level: The VCAP is an advanced professional level certificate for IT pros, administrators and engineers who would like to learn more about optimizing the VMware NSX environment by creating scalable virtual networks for a business organization. The VCAP certificate focuses on deploying networks via NSX thereby earning the specification; VCAP6—NV Deploy.

Exam Requirements: as an advanced certificate, there are certain requirements to be met before one can seat for the VCAP-NV program and they include: a valid VCP6-NV certificate or a VCP6-DCV, VCP6-CMA or VCP6-DTM certification. The exam to take is:

VMware Certified Design Expert Level: certification is geared towards design architects and engineers who can design and implement complex ideas through vSphere and the NSX environment. It is the highest achievable certification under the network virtualization category. The certificate is highly revered in the field of networking and successful candidates go on to build great careers.

Exam Requirements: interested candidates would have to focus on the topics of designing and implementing ideas in the NSX ecosystem. The prerequisites for this course include a valid VCAP6 certificate. The exam to be completed is the;

VMware Cloud Management and Automation Certificate

The role cloud management and automation plays in today’s tech community have made attaining a recognized certificate in this niche the best means of validating your abilities. VMware also offers its vRealize solutions for cloud management and automation and this certification program is centered on it.

VMware Certified Associate Level: the associate level certificate was created to provide participants with a fundamental knowledge of cloud computing and the VMware solution—vRealize—developed for the cloud. It is basically an entry level certification that gives you the leverage to pursue a more advanced cloud-based certificate.

Exam Requirements: the topics prospective candidates must cover include an understanding of cloud concepts, cloud technology and their common uses. Knowledge of hybrid cloud environment and the role of VMware services in hybrid infrastructures are needed. The exams to take are:

VMware Certified Professional Level: this certification is developed for IT administrators and engineers looking to validate their knowledge and skills with installing, configuring and administering solutions through the VMware vRealize environment. At the end of the program, participants will be able to simplify complex procedures through the cloud.

Exam Requirements: candidates are required to have a valid VCP6 certification, or a VCP certification across another solution or an expired VCP certificate. Participants will have to study  install/configure vCenter server, vSphere storage deploying and administering vApps etc. The exams to take are:

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Level: the advanced professional level certification program focuses on an architect’s ability to design and deploy VMware cloud software and services within a business’s cloud environment. There are two sectors of the advanced professional certification and they cover both design and deployment.

Exam Requirements: candidates are required to have either a valid VCAP-CID certification or a valid VCAP4/VCAP5 certification. An expired VCP certificate can also stand in place for the above certifications. Topics to cover include designing and deploying cloud solutions in a business environment. The exams include:

VMware Certified Design Expert Level: the VCDX certification program is the highest certificate engineers and cloud architects can hope to achieve when pursuing a VMware cloud certification. The program focuses on testing applicant’s ability to design cloud solutions using vCloud suite and deploy these solutions as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environment for businesses.

Exam Requirements: there are prerequisites candidates must have to be eligible to participate in this program. The prerequisite is a valid VCAP6 certificate or an expired VCAP certificate in any of the certification categories VMware has to offer. To be successful, candidates must:

  • Submit a designed cloud system and
  • Defend the cloud design.

VMware Desktop and Mobility Certificate

This certificate program is designed to help you validate your skills with using the entire group of solutions in the VHorizon, View and vSphere ecosystem. Certificates under desktop and mobility check your understanding of fundamental issues and the ability to design install, and manage a VMware VHorizon with View environment deployed on a vSphere during implementation. The certificates are for IT pros, engineers and architects. The certification options include:

VMware Certified Associate (VCA6-DTM): the certified associate level is an entry-level certificate that has the ability to open doors for career growth.

Exam Requirements: the exam tests your understanding of desktop virtualization and how it aligns with other solutions in the VMware environment. The exam to take includes:

VMware Certified Professional Level: certification was created for administrators and engineers who work with desktop and mobility applications. There are two certification options for interested candidates and they are the version 6 and 7 certificates which are attached to the vSphere 6 and VHorizon 7 environment. The exams to pass include:

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Level—Design: the certification is for architects interested in validating their abilities to design and integrate large scale VMware Horizon 6 environment. Candidates must have gotten a VCP6 –DTM or VCP certificate to be eligible for this program.

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Level—Deploy: this validates a candidate’s ability to deploy and optimize VMware Horizon 6 with View environments. The prerequisite needed to be eligible for this program includes a VCP6-DTM certificate or other VCP certificate.

VMware Certified Design Expert: the VCDX-DTM certificate is recognized worldwide as the highest certificate one can aspire to with using VMware mobility and desktop services. The program is designed to test your ability to create desktop designs and deploy them within the VSphere/VHorizon environment.

Training and Practical Materials

As expected, VMware provides a dedicated education platform to help candidates learn about its software and services across the four tech niches it covers. Registration is open to the public and interested candidates can find certification support materials here. Also, specialized IT educational platforms offer both practical work and tutorials developed to help you meet your goals and SkillsBuild Trainingfall into this category.

The Salary Advantages of a VMware Certificate

VMware certificates are recognized globally and certified professionals generally witness a positive increase in their earning abilities. According to ITcareerfinder and Forbes, certified professionals can earn:

  • VCA—certified VMware associate professionals across all categories earn: $80,000 – $81,000
  • VCP—professionals at the VCP level earn: $ 90,000 – $95,000
  • VCAP—earn $95,000 – $99,000
  • VCDX—earn approximately $ 100,000- $125,000

This goes to show that obtaining a VMware certificate could prove to be one of the best financial decisions an engineer or IT professional can take. VMware’s global appeal means continuously renewing your certificates will enhance career growth while making you an important part of the global tech industry.