Don’t know where to start with DevOps certifications? In this article, I’m going to take a look at some of the most popular DevOps certifications available, so you can decide which might fit best for you. Before that, let’s go over what the certifications are.
What Is a DevOps Certification?
Generally, a DevOps certification is a course paired with an exam that allows you to prove your course mastery. The exams are usually knowledge-based, but some are also hands-on, meaning you need to build something and demonstrate your skills. This sounds like a lot of work, but is it really that bad?
Time Requirements for a DevOps Certification
You may be wondering: how much time do I need to get a DevOps certification? Is it worth the time just to get a badge? Let me tell you: the answer depends on the certification.
On one hand, the more advanced DevOps certifications take months to prepare for. They may also require you have years of experience. This is the case with the AWS Professional Services Engineer certification.
On the other hand, some certifications only require a little time. Simply learn the material in a few hours, then directly apply it. This is basically the premise of GitLab’s CI/CD certification!
To help you decide, I’ll take you through the most popular DevOps certifications you can earn with 5 different platforms.
AWS has many exams to choose from depending on your role. The following are my recommendations for a DevOps engineer. Remember that DevOps is very broad and can encompass these skills.
|AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (CLF-C01)||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F65 questions||90 Min||$100||Basic IT and AWS knowledge, AWS 101|
|AWS Certified Developer – Associate (DVA-C01)||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F65 questions||130 Min||$150||Advanced coding, AWS, and cloud knowledge|
|AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C02)||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F65 questions||130 Min||$150||Proficient on-hand AWS experience|
|AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional (DOP-C01)||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F75 questions||180 Min||$300||In-depth AWS knowledge, years of experience|
Get these DevOps certificates in this order to increase your mastery of AWS.
- CLF-C01 is your starting point in the AWS universe.
- DVA-C01 is the next step to gaining more in-depth AWS knowledge.
- SAA-C02 is where you showcase your ability to build solutions for clients.
- DOP-C01 is the capstone for your years of experience working with AWS.
The AWS certifications are difficult to achieve overall. They’re also well worth the effort, as they show prospective employers that you know your stuff! Now let’s move on to our second platform, Microsoft Azure.
2. Azure DevOps
Microsoft Azure is very popular, so you’ll likely have experience working with it. Even so, it’s a good idea to get certifications, starting from the fundamentals.
|Azure AZ-900||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F40-60 questions||85 Min||$99||Basic Azure knowledge|
|Azure AZ-104||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F 40-60 questions||85 Min||$165||Substantial Azure expertise|
|Azure AZ-400||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F 40-60 questions||150 Min||$165||Extensive experience and knowledge on Azure, years of experience|
Consider getting these DevOps certifications in this order as well.
- AZ-900 introduces you to the Azure fundamentals.
- AZ-104 shows you how to manage the admin side of Azure.
- Az-400 encompasses all the knowledge you’ve accumulated on Azure through the years.
Now that you have the basics, what else do you need? Well, you’ll also need to demonstrate your skills in other important programs. One example is Docker. Let me show you the DevOps certification you can get with Docker!
|Docker Certified Associate||Multiple Choice, free answer, T&F 55 questions||90 Min||$195||At least 6 months of working with Docker|
Docker is very useful for container management, so it’s a good tool in your arsenal.
- The Docker Certified Associate test shows you have experience in container management.
- The Docker Certified Associate test requires you have 6 months of experience working with Docker.
Going hand-in-hand with Docker is Kubernetes. If you use Docker, you most likely use Kubernetes as well. You can also get a DevOps certification with Kubernetes to show off your containerization skills!
|Certified Kubernetes Administrator Certificate||Configure real-world cluster||120 Min||$300||Knowledge of Kubernetes, and, by extension, Docker|
- The Certified Kubernetes Administrator Certificate proves your experience in container orchestration.
- Kubernetes goes hand-in-hand with Docker, so if you plan to work with Docker, consider getting a certificate in Kubernetes as well.
All these tests were excellent for containers and container management. Yet, a DevOps engineer can always do more. I’ve got one more test for you to master HashiCorp’s Terraform.
|Terraform Associate Certificate||Multiple Choice, 60 questions||60 Min||$99||Knowledge in IaC (infrastructure as code).|
- Your Terraform Associate Certificate will showcase your IaC knowledge.
- The exam questions are very nuanced, so understand the question before answering.
The Bottom Line
With so many DevOps certifications on the market, you may not be able to get all of them. But depending on your specialization or work requirements, you can decide which certificates are best for your working situation or goals..
To start, if you don’t have any, I’d suggest getting one from a base like AWS or Azure and then adding on extras, such as Docker, Kubernetes, or Terraform. Start studying and collecting your badges today! Only you can decide whether you can justify the time and money required to get a DevOps certification. That said, I do believe the badges add value.
Need more information? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below!
Can DevOps certifications raise my salary?
It’s not 100% guaranteed, but having DevOps certificates on your CV will increase your chances to negotiate your salary higher. Furthermore, they’ll also catch the eye of hiring managers when they’re sorting CVs for candidates. Having any DevOps certification is a boon to anyone.
How much do DevOps certifications cost?
They call it investing in yourself for a reason! Fees for the DevOps certificates usually start from $100 and go up to $300 or $400, depending on the exam. Generally, the higher the tier, the higher the cost of the certificate.
Are DevOps certifications mandatory?
They aren’t required by any means. However, your company may ask you to get certified in the tools that you use. Generally, the company will also pick up the costs for the exams. This is also a good learning opportunity to take advantage of.
What happens if I fail a DevOps certification exam?
Don’t worry! Many people don’t pass on the first attempt. If you don’t pass, the general consensus is that you can usually try another 2 times within a year. You’ll have to pay the examination fee again, of course, but this time you have a better idea of what’s on the exam. You’ll also prepare yourself better by knowing how the exam will go. Many pass on their second attempt.
Are DevOps certifications popular?
Yes. As the DevOps profession grows and the technologies change, more and more certifications keep appearing. The more certifications that you have, the better off you are. Right now, they help you get picked over those without certificates and also help you get a boost to your salary.
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