The Best Cloud Certifications for 2021

1 March, 2021 | Jennifer Driscoll | Careers in IT

How 2020 Changed Cloud Predictions

Reports in 2019 forecasted the global public cloud service revenue to increase over 17% in 2020 bringing the total revenue predicted to be a hefty $266.4 billion. Furthermore, experts showed on average a 15% increase in companies utilizing cloud services year to year from 2017-2019. Prior to the worldwide disruption in 2020 caused by Covid-19, only 60% of companies ran their workloads on a hosted cloud service.

Enter – 2020… Covid-19 had a significant impact on businesses worldwide. Cost-cutting efforts, social distancing guidelines, daily interactive surroundings switched overnight to remote environments, were just a few of the challenges brought to companies and individuals alike. No one could have predicted the importance the cloud would have in transitioning the world into its new digital environment.

The most recent 2020 reports show 94% of enterprise workloads on a cloud-based solution, with the global public cloud service revenue exceeding $330 billion, it is estimated that by 2026 this number will go over $1,025 billion. These days it is almost impossible to find an organization that does not utilize a cloud service or solution.

Cloud-Powered Future

With the sharp uptick in migration from on-premises infrastructures to a cloud environment businesses needed to make the decision of which service(s) best suited their needs. The public cloud service models are typicallyHottest Cloud Certifications classified as:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – Allows businesses to utilize rented IT infrastructure(s) from a cloud provider on a pay as you go basis.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) – Allows user(s) access to components needed to develop and operate web/mobile applications over the Internet, without the need to setup and manage an infrastructure of servers, networks, and databases.
  • SaaS (Software as a Service) – This method is a software licensing and delivery model in which the software is licensed on a subscription bases and hosted centrally. This method is sometimes referred to as “on-demand software.”

Some businesses choose a Hybrid Cloud technology solution that combined both the benefits of private cloud computing with one or more public cloud solution(s), while giving businesses greater control over their private data.

As businesses make their shift to their preferred solution(s), SaaS was the largest market segment for end-user cloud IT spending, with PaaS expected to surpass it due to the higher rate of remote workforces introduced during the pandemic. Cloud computing has proven that it will be central to the post pandemic “new norm.” Throughout 2021, we can expect to see the drastic accelerated increase for demand in cloud related roles as more businesses adopt the various cloud models.

Most In-Demand Cloud Certifications for 2021

As businesses continue to allocate larger portions of their IT budgets to cloud related roles/tasks the debate becomes which cloud certification is best? Typically, when people mention “The Cloud,” Amazon Web Services (AWS), CompTIA Cloud+, or Microsoft’s Azure standout above the rest. If you are interested in an IT career within the cloud the following certifications are leading the way as the most in-demand cloud certifications for 2021:

  1. AWS Developer – An AWS Developer handles the setup, management, and evolving the cloud infrastructure of web applications. Developers are anticipated to understand and apply best practices regarding scalability and security. A typical salary for an AWS Developer starts around $130k/year with a projected growth rate of 17%.
  2. AWS Architect – An AWS Architect designs, implements, and optimizes the AWS Cloud by understanding AWS services and how those services fit into a cloud solution. An Architect will work with the development team to ensure all technical decisions made in the development phase are in line with the business’s goals. A typical salary for an AWS Architect starts around $155k/year with a projected growth rate of 22%.
  3. Azure Solutions Architect – An Azure Solutions Architect designs and implements solutions that run on Microsoft Azure. This includes aspects like compute, network, storage and security. A typical salary for An Azure Solutions Architect starts around $152k/year with a projected growth rate of 20%.
  4. DP-300: Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure – An Azure Database Administrator implements and manages cloud and on-premises relational databases built on top of Microsoft SQL Server and Azure data services. A typical salary for an Azure Database Administrator starts around $101k/year with a projected growth rate of 18%.
  5. CompTIA Cloud+ – An IT professional with the CompTIA Cloud+ certification typically aspires to convert themselves into a cloud specialist role. Some roles that this certification covers include; cloud developer, network engineer, network administrator, project manager, and systems engineer. An average salary for CompTIA Cloud+ certified professions is around $73k/year.

As companies continue to adopt cloud strategies and dump their data and services into the cloud environment, the extra requirements for software development, hardware expansion, increased security measures and the need to interact with other platforms has proven to be daunting. It is anticipated that more than $1.3 trillion in IT spending will be

Cloud Powered Future

 affected due to the shift to the cloud, by 2022 and overall cloud spending representing 35% of total IT budgets.

The top roadblock for organizations at this point is finding qualified IT professionals to fill the roles needed to successfully improve their cloud experience. Whereas you don’t need a degree in computer science or bachelor’s degree to be successful in the cloud it is highly recommended, and a majority of the time required, to be certified. Certifications are great indicators of skills and knowledge gained along your career path that help boost your IT career potential.

Get Trained, Get Certified, Get aHead

With so many companies and opportunities, it can be overwhelming to figure out exactly where to begin your training. With the increased use of public cloud services and organizations rapidly accelerating their digital transformation the “clouds” the limit when it comes to possible career roles. The easiest way to breakdown your certification pathway is to decide if you want a vendor-neutral or vendor-specific training format.

Whereas, both Microsoft and AWS are vendor-specific, CompTIA is vendor-neutral. What that means is that Microsoft and AWS certifications cover specific technologies related to their products, software, and platforms allowing for more focused expertise and CompTIA certifications deal with best practices and concepts that can be adapted to various vendors.

Each certification has the same exam objective; validate your skills, get noticed, highlight your achievements, and amplify your influence in your IT role. Based on your learning style and needs there are many training delivery options available to you, in order to become certified.

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