Cloud computing is one of the most important investments in modern IT and it’s grown to become a top priority for all organizations. That means IT professionals with cloud skills are in high demand and certifications can help make you even more hirable by validating your cloud skills and expertise. And cloud certifications can go a long way in boosting your IT salary.
The most popular cloud job roles are cloud architect and cloud engineer and the average salary for a cloud professional in North America is $138,320 per year, according to the Global Knowledge 2019 IT Skills and Salary report. IT professionals with six or more certifications reported earning $10,000 more than those who only held one certification.
Whether you’re just getting into cloud computing or you’re ready to take the next step in your IT career, there’s a certification that can help get you where you want to be. Here’s a roundup of the most valuable and sought-after cloud computing certifications for 2020, according to data from Global Knowledge. Salary and pay data for each certification comes from the Global Knowledge report unless otherwise noted.
The Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect certification covers the skills and knowledge IT professionals need to work with Google Cloud technologies in the enterprise. The exam covers your ability to design, develop and manage scalable and secure business solutions in the cloud, including topics such as designing and planning, managing and provisioning and implementing cloud architecture. You’ll also be tested on how to design cloud apps and services with compliance in mind, and on your ability to analyze and optimize business processes.
Average salary: $175,761
The Google Certified Professional Data Engineer certification is designed for data engineers working with the Google Cloud Platform. The certification exam covers your ability to design, build, operationalize, secure and monitor data processing systems. You’ll be tested on designing data processing systems, building and operationalizing data processing systems and machine learning models. It’s recommended to have three or more years of experience, including at least one year of designing and managing solutions on Google’s cloud.
Average salary: $157,185
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification is designed for solutions architects with one or more years of experience designing systems on AWS. The certification validates your knowledge of application architecture and how to deploy secure applications on Amazon’s cloud. You’ll be tested on your ability to pinpoint solutions based of customer requirements and to provide implementation guidance throughout the lifecycle of the project based on architectural design principles.
Average salary: $130,883
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator associate certification is designed for systems administrators with at least one year of experience in deployment, management and operations on AWS. The exam covers deploying, managing and operating scalable systems on AWS as well as implementing and controlling data flow, choosing an AWS service based on requirements, identifying AWS operations best practices, reducing costs and migrating workloads to AWS. It’s recommended to have at least one year of experience monitoring and auditing systems; to have an understanding of networking, virtualization and security concepts; and to have hands-on experience with AWS, CLI, SDK and API tools.
Average salary: $130,610
The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification is designed for cloud professionals working in development who have one or more years of experience developing and maintaining AWS-based applications. The certification exam tests your knowledge of programming languages, AWS core services, AWS architecture best practices and application life cycle management. It’s also important to know how to develop, deploy and debug cloud-based applications in Amazon’s cloud and to write code for serverless applications.
Average salary: $130,272
The Microsoft Certified Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification validates your knowledge of cloud concepts and Azure. The exam covers the fundamentals of cloud concepts, core Azure services, Azure pricing SLAs and lifecycles. You’ll also cover the basics of security, privacy, compliance and trust as they relate to Azure. The Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals certification does not expire, so you once you pass the exam you won’t have to worry about recertifying.
Average salary: $126,653
The Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator Associate certification is for IT professionals working in cloud environments using Azure. The certification exam covers your ability to manage Azure identities and governance, implement and manage storage, deploy and manage Azure resources, configure and manage virtual networks and monitor and backup Azure resources. It’s recommended to have at least six months of experience administering Azure and a strong understanding of core Azure services, workloads, security and governance. You’ll also need experience with PowerShell, Azure CLI, Azure portal and Azure resources management templates.
Average salary: $125,993
The Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification is for cloud professionals responsible for advising stakeholders and building reliable cloud solutions based off business requirements. The expert-level exam covers an extensive amount of information, including your ability to deploy and configure infrastructure, implement workloads and security, and create and deploy apps. You’ll also be tested on designing a data platform solution, a business continuity strategy and an infrastructure strategy. You’ll be asked how to implement authentication and secure data, develop for the cloud and Azure storage, determine workload requirements, design a data platform solution, design a business continuity strategy, design for deployment, migration and integration, and design an infrastructure strategy.
Average salary: $120,559 per year, according to PayScale
The Certified Cloud Security Professional certification is offered through the International Information System Security Certification Consortium, known as (ISC)². It validates your ability to design, manage and secure data, applications and infrastructure in the cloud, while also following the best practices established by the (ISC)². The exam covers cloud concepts, architecture, design, security and risk and compliance. The CSSP certification is best suited for those working with cloud technology in a role as an enterprise architect, security administrator, systems engineer, security architect, systems architect or security consultant, engineer or manager. It’s recommended to have at least five years of experience in IT, three of which must be in information security and one year of experience in one or more of the six domains in the CSSP Common Body of Knowledge.
Average salary: $116,025 per year, according to PayScale
The CompTIA Cloud+ certification is designed to validate that cloud professionals have the skills necessary to maintain and optimize cloud infrastructure services. The exam is vendor-neutral and covers several relevant vendors so you can gain a larger picture of cloud infrastructure services. You’ll learn and be tested on configurations and deployment, management of cloud resources, maintenance of systems, security and troubleshooting. It’s recommended to have at least two to three years of experience in system administration before taking the exam.
Average salary: $78,600 per year, according to PayScale