Best Cloud IT Certifications for 2014

Best Cloud IT Certifications for 2014
By , Mary Kyle

Certified IT professionals with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand as more companies adopt cloud technologies. With new cloud credentials being added to the list each year, how do you choose the cloud computing certification that's worth it? Here's an updated list of our five best cloud certs for 2014.

Over the past seven years, no other area of IT has generated as much hype, interest and investment as cloud computing technology. Though the term can -- and often does -- have different meaning for different users, there's no doubt at all that the cloud has become a permanent fixture for end users, service providers, and companies and organizations of all sizes around the world.

As a result, cloud computing attracts considerable coverage and attention from certification providers and companies that offer cloud related products, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, and VMware.

Today, a close examination of what's available to IT professionals by way of cloud-related certifications shows a large and growing number of credentials. When I first wrote about this topic that was not the case, but my, how things have changed. Each year we've been able to add new certifications to the list and the variety continues to grow.

What's new this year? For the remainder of 2014 and into 2015, the best cloud computing certifications include two vendor-neutral options along with three vendor-specific certs from some of the top players in the cloud space.

As we dig into the best five cloud IT certifications and talk about other important and emerging players in the cloud certification space, it's important to understand that certification is what an economist might call a "trailing indicator" rather than a "leading indicator" for technology areas. That means that certification providers watch technology areas and markets carefully, and seldom jump into any of them until clear and strong interest has been indisputably established.

Apparently the cloud phenomenon is now peaking, because cert providers are jumping on the cloud in a big, big way. Check out Miroslaw Burnejko's excellent article: List of Cloud Certifications: 52 Certifications, 13 Vendors for a pretty exhaustive catalog of what's out there right now. If you're working with cloud technologies, make sure to take a closer look at the top five cloud certification picks for 2014.

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