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What are the Most Popular & In-Demand Cloud Certifications of 2021?

What are the Most Popular & In-Demand Cloud Certifications in 2021
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Table of Contents

What are the Most Popular & In-Demand Cloud Certifications in 2021 for you?

As businesses continue to adopt cloud platforms, cloud computing has become the mainstream technology in organizations from what once used to be good-to-have. This adoption has created a new demand for people skilled in designing, developing, and managing cloud applications.

Cloud computing entails delivering computer services such as data storage, networking, analysis, intelligence, and database services.

Cloud certifications operate as the validation of IT skills needed during decision-making in cloud computation. When looking for an expert in cloud computation, several cloud certifications are crucial.

Most popular cloud certifications include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud certifications.

Amazon Web Services Certifications

Amazon Web Services commenced its professional certification program in the year 2013. AWS is the biggest market player that means earning AWS certification demonstrates that you have some of the most sought-after cloud skills validated by the market leader in cloud computing.

Currently, AWS offers 11 cloud certifications that can be further divided into four levels of experience: Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty with roles as Practitioner, Architect, Developer, and other Operations roles.

  • Foundation-Level AWS Certifications
  • Associate-Level AWS Certifications
  • Professional-Level AWS Certifications
  • Specialty-Level AWS Certifications

Foundation-Level AWS Certifications

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
    The foundational level consists of only AWS Cloud Practitioner certification. The certification targets individuals who know foundational cloud concepts such as what is cloud, how does AWS work, etc. It’s the most basic AWS certification to start the AWS certification journey.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: The candidate should have at least six months of fundamental AWS and industry knowledge.

Associate-Level AWS Certifications

The Associate level includes 3 role-based certifications in architect, operation, and developer roles.

  • AWS Solution Architect – Associate
    This certification validates your knowledge of building and deploying AWS cloud applications. The exam questions will include your understanding of defining a solution using architectural design principles and their best practices.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: The candidate should have at least one year of experience in architectural responsibilities.
  • AWS Developer – Associate
    The certification tests the individual knowledge and skills in developing, maintaining, and debugging AWS applications. The exam tests your knowledge of AWS SDK, service optimization, and functional level security practices.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: AWS says at least one year of experience in the development and maintenance of AWS applications is recommended.
  • AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate
    The certification seeks your ability to deploy, manage and operate scalable systems on AWS. The candidate should know how to manage fault-tolerance and highly available systems on AWS. Also, one needs to be familiar with all the requirements in application operations and administration.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: The certification targets candidates who have one year of experience in deployment, process, and management, and gathering requirements of AWS Cloud services.

Professional-Level AWS certifications

The Professional level has two AWS certifications AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional. It’s ideal for candidates who probably already have decent experience working on AWS and have earned Associate level certifications.

  • AWS Certified Solution Architect – Professional
    This certification is intended for those individuals who can perform solution architect roles and have two years or more hands-on experience managing and operating systems on AWS. The certification expects a more in-depth understanding of designing and deploying dynamically scalable applications on AWS. The candidates should have handled complex migration and multi-tier applications on AWS.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Two years of comprehensive experience in designing, operating, and troubleshooting solutions using AWS.
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
    This certification is for those individuals who can perform requirements evaluation and prepare architectural suggestions for implementing AWS applications. They are expected to have in-depth technical skills and experience in AWS applications.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least two years of experience in designing, operating, and troubleshooting solutions using AWS cloud. It is ideal to have AWS Certified Developer Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate before going for this exam. 

Specialty-Level AWS Certifications

The Specialty certification level has five primary certifications, which include:

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
    This certification is aimed to certify your high degree of technical skills in performing complex networking tasks. This also includes how to manage network architecture on AWS.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: It is recommended that candidates have AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or an Associate level certification.
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
    This certification validates an individual’s ability to design, implement, deploy and maintain Machine Learning solutions for various business problems.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: AWS recommends that candidates should have 1-2 years of experience in development or data science role using ML or Deep Learning on AWS Cloud.
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
    This certification is for those who have used tools and services in the AWS cloud to build data analytics systems and handled AWS services for designing and architecture big data applications.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At two years of hands-on experience in AWS and at least 5 years of data analytics technologies experience.
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty
    This certification is intended to validate candidates who have deep expertise in IT security and have performed advanced security tasks on the AWS cloud. Those who have an understanding of data encryption methods, secure internet protocol, specialized data classification, and AWS mechanism to implement them.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least two years of hands-on experience securing AWS workloads.
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty
    This certification is intended for those individuals who perform various database services on AWS and accelerate the use of database technology to drive the organization’s business transformation.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 2 years of hands-on experience on AWS and 5 years of experience with database technologies.

How to prepare for the AWS Certifications Exams?

The preparation for all amazon web services examinations will entail the same steps. The following is a step-by-step guide for the exams preparation:

  • Get exam guides and other details from the AWS website.
  • Search for some relevant training programs on the AWS website, Coursera, ACloudGuru, etc.
  • Prepare notes and thoroughly read amazon web services frequently asked questions.
  • Get AWS exam readiness by preparing for the AWS exam at QWIKSKILLS with exam-oriented Practice Tests.
  • Finally, revise the notes and do lots of practice. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Google Cloud Certifications

In recent times Google cloud has emerged as a serious player against established market leaders like AWS and Azure. Due to its rapid growth and its benefits, Google Cloud has attracted big brands such as Coca-Cola, Facebook, Intel, LinkedIn, etc. With its rapid growth, there is increased demand for Google Cloud certifications.

Google Cloud now has 9 certifications that professionals can use to validate their Google Cloud skills. These 9 Google Cloud certifications are divided into two levels Associate and Professional.

Associate-Level GCP Certifications

Associate level certifications are meant for individuals who possess fundamental skills of deploying, monitoring, and maintaining applications on the Google cloud. Currently, there is only one certification in this level of Google Cloud Engineer. Everything begins somewhere and this certification can be a good starting point for candidates who are new to the cloud and want to level up ahead.

  • Google Cloud Associate Engineer
    It is for those who can do basic maintenance work on already existing Google cloud applications. The primary tasks of Cloud Engineer are deploying an application, monitoring operations, and managing enterprise solutions.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least six months of hands-on experience with Google cloud.

Professional-Level GCP Certifications

Professional certifications assess and validate advanced skills in design, implementation, and management on Google cloud
These certifications are recommended for individuals who have industry experience and familiarity with Google Cloud products and solutions.

  • Google Cloud Architect
    A professional cloud architect is one who expertise in helping organizations to leverage Google cloud technologies. This certification helps in gaining a thorough understanding of designing, developing, and managing robust, secure, scalable, highly available solutions to drive the businesses.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud Developer
    A professional cloud developer is able to build scalable and highly available applications on Google cloud. This certification is intended to help to gain experience in cloud-native applications, various developer tools, managed services, and advanced databases.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud Data Engineer
    A professional data engineer helps organizations in data-driven decisions making by collecting, transforming, and publishing data. This certification is intended to help to gain experience in design, build operationalize, secure and monitor data processing systems with security and compliance.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud DevOps Engineer
    Google Cloud certified DevOps Engineer handles efficient development operations that can balance reliability and delivery speed. This certification is intended to help to gain experience in building delivery pipelines, deploy and monitor services and manage and learn from the incidents.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud Security Engineer 
    A Google Cloud certified security engineer helps organizations design and implement security infrastructure on Google cloud. This certification is intended to help to gain experience in the best security practices and industry security requirements. The individuals with this certification should be able to design, develop and manage a security infrastructure that can leverage Google cloud security technologies.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud Network Engineer
    A Google cloud network engineer is responsible for implementing and managing network architecture on Google cloud. Networking is an essential part of the cloud. Without a network, there is no cloud. Google cloud certified network engineer performs tasks of network services, hybrid connectivity, and implementing VPCs.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud Collaboration Engineer
    A Google certified professional collaboration engineer is capable of transforming business objectives into a concrete configuration, policies, and security practices according to users, content, and integrations.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.
  • Google Cloud Machine Learning Engineer
    A Google cloud certified machine learning engineer is one who designs, builds, and creates machine learning models to solve business challenges using Google cloud. This certification is intended to help to make candidates proficient in various aspects of model architecture, data pipeline interaction along with familiarity with application development, data engineering, and security.
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: At least 3 years of industry experience including 1 year of designing and managing solutions on Google cloud.

How to prepare for Google Cloud Certifications exams?

  1. The first step involves choosing the right learning path. Google Cloud certification has nine certifications that you can choose. Make a wise choice.
  2. Take a look at the exam guide on the Google cloud website.
  3. Doing thorough practice. If need be, visit the Qwiklab to achieve optimal results.
  4. Find case studies in the exam guides and try to tackle them.
  5. Take certification’s all Practice Tests thoroughly QWIKSKILLS and face the exam with confidence.

Microsoft Azure Certifications

After AWS’s second-biggest global cloud leader is Microsoft Azure. The Azure market share has been consistently rising from about 10% in 2017 to 20% by end of 2020, Synergy Research reported. Such significant market growth has increased the demand for professionals with Azure certifications. Microsoft Azure certifications are primarily role-based that are aligned with the job title usually get published. Microsoft Azure certifications can be divided into four into 4 levels Fundamentals, Associate, Expert, and Specialty. As of April 2021, Microsoft offers a total of 17 Azure certifications. Out of these 17 certifications, 3 are Fundamentals, 11 role-based certifications (9 are Associate and 2 Expert), and 3 Specialty certifications.

Fundamental-Level Azure Certifications 

Azure offers 3 Fundamental level certifications. Fundamental certifications are for those who are new to Cloud and seek to master the basics. These 3 certifications are:

  • Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam AZ-900
    The candidates for this certification should have a foundational knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Azure. It focuses on cloud concepts, Azure services, basic security, privacy, and compliances.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: The candidate should be familiar with basic computing concepts and terminology. An understanding of cloud concepts is helpful but not necessary. If you are new to the cloud or new to Azure then this is a good fit for you.
  • Microsoft Azure AI Fundamentals Exam AI-900
    The certification is an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of common ML and AI concepts and related Azure services. It measured your skills in AI workloads, the fundamental principle of ML on Azure, computer vision workload on Azure, conversational AI workloads on Azure, etc.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: The candidate for this exam should have a basic understanding of ML and AI workloads and how to implement them on Azure.
  • Microsoft Azure Data Fundamental Exam DP-900
    The candidates for this certification should have a fundamental knowledge of core data concepts and how they are implemented using Azure data services.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: The candidate for this exam should be familiar with concepts of rational and non-rational data and different types of data workloads.

Associate-Level Azure Certifications

Microsoft Azure certification Associate level comprises 9 certifications that are role-based which are:

  • Microsoft Azure Administrator Associate Exam AZ-104
    Candidates for this certification should have expertise in implementing, managing, and monitoring an organization’s Microsoft Azure environment. The candidates should be able to demonstrate the knowledge of identities and governance of Azure, implement and manage storage system, deploy and manage Azure resources, monitor and back up Azure resources.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have at least 6 months of hands-on experience administrating Azure and a strong understanding of core Azure services, Azure workload, security, and governance.
  • Microsoft Azure Security Engineer Associate Exam AZ- 500
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise implementing security controls and threat protection, managing identity and access, protecting data and applications, and networks in cloud and hybrid environments.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure Security Engineer Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have strong skills in scripting and automation, deep understanding of networking, virtualization, and cloud N tier architecture, strong familiarity with cloud capabilities, products, and services for Azure.
  • Microsoft Azure Developer Associate Exam AZ-204
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise in designing, building, testing, and maintaining cloud applications and services on Microsoft Azure.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure Developer Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have 1-2 years of professional development experience and experience with Microsoft Azure. Also have programming skills in a language supported by Azure and proficiency in Azure SDKs, Azure PowerShell, Azure CLI, data storage options, data connections, APIs, app authentication and authorization, compute and container deployment, debugging, performance tuning, and monitoring.
  • Microsoft Azure Database Administrator Associate Exam DP-300
    Candidates for this certification should be data management specialists with subject matter expertise implementing and managing cloud and on-premises, relational databases built on top of Microsoft SQL Server and Azure data services.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure Database Administrator Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have experience working on methods and tools to perform day-to-day operations, including applying knowledge of using T SQL.
  • Microsoft Azure Data Engineer Associate Exam DP-203
    This certification is replacing the combined exams of DP-200 and DP-201 to earn the certification Azure Data Engineer Associate. Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise supporting business needs by designing and implementing the management, monitoring, security, and privacy of data solutions using the full-stack Azure data services.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure Data Engineer Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have a solid knowledge of data processing languages, such as SQL, Python, or Scala, and they need to understand parallel processing and data architecture patterns.
  • Microsoft Azure Data Analyst Associate DA-100
    Candidates should have subject matter expertise helping businesses to maximize the value of their data assets using Microsoft Power BI. They should be able to prepare and model the data and visualize and analyze the data.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Data Analyst Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have a fundamental understanding of data repositories and data processing in the cloud and in on-premises settings. Also, experience with Power BI.
  • Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate Exam AI-100
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise using cognitive services, ML, and knowledge mining to architect and implement Microsoft AI solutions with natural language processing, speech, computer vision, and conversational AI.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have knowledge and experience designing and implementing AI apps and agents that use Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Bot Service, Azure Cognitive Search, and data storage in Azure.
  • Microsoft Azure Data Scientist Associate Exam DP-100
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise implementing and running machine learning workloads on Microsoft Azure. They should be able to set up an Azure Machine Learning workspace, run experiments and train models, optimize and manage models, and deploy and consume models.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should have knowledge and experience in data science and using Azure Machine Learning.
  • Microsoft Azure AI Engineer Associate Exam AI-102
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise building, managing, and deploying AI solutions that leverage Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Cognitive Search, and Microsoft Bot Framework.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure AI Engineer Associate
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: Should be proficient in C#, Python, or JavaScript and should be able to use REST-based APIs and SDKs to build computer vision, natural language processing, knowledge mining, and conversational AI solutions on Azure.
  • Microsoft Azure Stack Hub Operator Associate AZ-600
    Not yet launched. Coming soon.

Expert-Level Azure Certifications

Microsoft Azure has 2 Expert level certifications:

  • Microsoft Azure Solution Architect Expert Exam AZ-303 + AZ-304
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise in designing and implementing solutions that run on Microsoft Azure, including aspects like compute, network, storage, and security.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience:
    For AZ-303, a candidate for this exam should have advanced experience and knowledge of technical tasks such as implement and monitor an Azure infrastructure; implement management and security solutions; implement solutions for apps; implement and manage data platforms.
    For AZ-304, a candidate for this exam should have advanced experience and knowledge of the following technical tasks: design monitoring; design identity and security; design data storage; design business continuity; and design infrastructure.
  • Microsoft Azure DevOps Engineer Expert AZ-400
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise working with people, processes, and technologies to continuously deliver business value.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified DevOps Engineer Expert
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: A candidate for this exam should have expertise implementing strategies for collaboration, code, infrastructure, source control, security, compliance, continuous integration, testing, delivery, monitoring, and feedback. Additionally, a candidate must be familiar with both Azure administration and development and must be an expert in at least one of these areas.

Specialty-level Azure Certifications

Azure Specialty certifications give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate deep technical skills and manage industry solutions. Azure has 3 Specialty certifications:

  • Microsoft Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty AZ-120
    Candidates for this certification should be architects or engineers with extensive experience and knowledge of the SAP system landscape and industry standards that are specific to the long-term operation of an SAP solution on Microsoft Azure.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure for SAP Workloads Specialty
    Recommended Knowledge & Experience: A candidate for this exam should have extensive experience and knowledge of SAP applications: SAP HANA, S/4HANA, SAP NetWeaver, SAP BW/4HANA, OS servers for SAP applications and databases, Azure portal, ARM templates, operating systems, virtualization, cloud infrastructure, storage structures, high availability design, disaster recovery design, data protection concepts, and networking.
  • Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop Specialty AZ-140
    Not yet launched. Coming Soon.
  • Microsoft Azure IoT Developer Specialty AZ-220
    Candidates for this certification should have subject matter expertise developing cloud and edge components of an Azure IoT solution. Candidates should be skilled to Implement the IoT solution infrastructure, provision and manage devices, implement Edge, process and manage data, monitor, troubleshoot, and optimize IoT solutions and Implement security.
    Certification You Will Earn: Microsoft Certified Azure IoT Developer Specialty

How to prepare for the Microsoft Azure certification examination?

The following steps will guide you for the exam preparation:

  1. The first thing is to make making sure that you understand which Azure certification is good to fit your target.
  2. Microsoft learning will help you to have a better knowledge of the certification. Hands-on experience will help you immensely.
  3. Check study material available on various cloud training platforms like Cloud Academy, Coursera, ACloudGuru, etc.
  4. Take a Practice Tests at QWIKSKILS to get well versed in exam format, question type, and be ready with confidence

Conclusion

Cloud certification is increasingly gaining popularity in recent years. Taking a cloud computing certification can significantly enhance your skills resulting in better career choices and salaries. As Cloud Computing continues to be adopted by businesses and organizations, requirements for individuals with cloud skills are rising. Investing time, efforts, and money in getting cloud certification is definitely worth it. The article has highlighted the most popular certifications to help you make the right choice.

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