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Best Data Center Certifications For 2017

Best Data Center Certifications For 2017

Owing to software-defined data center technologies, many of today's data center certifications require additional skills, including virtualization and cloud computing. Other trends affecting this space include big data, the Internet of Things, network virtualization and more. Here are some of the very best options for data center certifications for 2017.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: ShutterstockBecause of a significant trend toward virtualized data center networking and software-defined networks, the lines between data center and cloud certifications have blurred. Typically, data center networking skills require knowledge of virtualization and cloud technologies, and supporting data in the cloud usually means managing information housed in a data center and making it available securely.

However, there are still plenty of organizations that offer certifications specific to data center networking and infrastructure, which tend to focus mainly on traditional networking technologies. But as you dig into their details, you'll see virtualization and cloud management skills woven into those requirements as well.

This article explores the top five data center certifications for 2017, which come from Cisco (two different credentials), VMware, Juniper Networks and BICSI, and then introduces you to a few worthy competitors that belong in a more extended list.

Before you examine these certifications in detail, browse the results of our informal job board search for a birds-eye view of which certifications employers are seeking. (Results vary considerably on different job boards and in different geographies, so think of the numbers in the table as guidelines, not as hard and fast rules.) Regardless of which job board you use, there are a lot of employers looking for qualified people to join their data center teams! SimplyHired listed more than 114,000 data center jobs in the U.S., with more than 139,000 on Indeed, 37,000 on LinkedIn Jobs and 13,000 on TechCareers. With the right credential(s) in hand, one of these jobs is sure to be yours.

Job Board Search Results

CertificationSimplyHiredIndeedLinkedIn Jobs
CCNA Data Center1,6441,8666101874,307
CCNP Data Center1,2871,4075231523,369
DCDC (BICSI)1431507731401
VCP Data Center409445176601,090
Juniper Networks Certified Professional Data Center (JNCIP-DC)19421114325573

Data center job roles start at the network technician level and advance through senior architect. Most of the certifications covered would result in an associate- or professional-level network engineer position. According to SimplyHired, the average salary for network engineer jobs is $91,700, with the lower end at $61,000 and the high at $137,800. Glassdoor reports a national average salary of $73,165, although their average for senior network engineers climbs to $104,260.

Let's take a closer look at the top five data center certifications for 2017.

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