Product and service reviews are conducted independently by our editorial team, but we sometimes make money when you click on links. Learn more.

Best Virtualization Certifications 2018

Best Virtualization Certifications 2018
By , Mary Kyle

These virtualization certifications are in demand in 2018. Find the most valuable certification for your career path on Tom's IT Pro.

Credit: ShutterstockCredit: Shutterstock

In today's competitive IT job market, virtualization is a must-have technology skill set, fueled by the exploding popularity of virtualization and cloud computing. IT professionals can get started in this red-hot technology space with these five best virtualization certifications for 2018.

In both up and down economic times over the last few years, IT job opportunities related to virtualization have remained an unaffected hot spot on the job market. As we looked at top IT jobs, top IT pay and top IT certification surveys for the last six years, in fact, we saw at least one virtualization entry in every single one of them. That makes a strong case that virtualization is a good set of skills and knowledge for any IT professional who works with systems, networks or IT infrastructure and/or architecture to pursue and possess.

Virtualization is a technology space where the platform rules. This explains why our top certifications originate from vendors who offer their own specific virtualization platforms and tools. These leading companies include VMware, Cisco, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Microsoft. (Citrix and Red Hat also offer virtualization certifications for their platforms, and are mentioned at the end of this article.) Though there are other virtualization players in this niche, they don't really compete with these large and well-established companies.

If you follow this article from year to year, you'll notice some changes to our top five lineup as compared to last year. The HPE Product Certified Converged Solutions certification makes a debut appearance this year, as does the Oracle VM 3.0 for x86 Certified Implementation Specialist. The CCNP Data Center credential (which replaces both the Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Design Specialist and Support Specialist credentials) also makes the leader board, along with the Microsoft MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure cert, which replaces the MCSE: Private Cloud certification credential. Rounding out our top picks is an old favorite – the VMware VCP-DCV credential.

It's not hard to understand why professionals want to specialize in virtualization technologies from a salary perspective. Per SimplyHired, the average salary for virtualization engineer jobs is $111,405, with the lower end at $81,618 and the high at $152,065. Glassdoor reports a salary range from about $63,000 for entry-level engineers to almost $180,000 for senior-level positions.

Before you dive into the featured certifications, check out the job search results below. They indicate how frequently these certifications appear in actual job postings, at least at the time we took this snapshot of that data.

Job Board Search Results (in alphabetical order by certification)*

CCNP Data Center (Cisco)
HPE Converged Solutions (HPE)140
MCSE: Cloud Platform & Infrastructure  (Microsoft)9911,065
Oracle VM CIS (Oracle)185194
VCP6.5-DCV (VMware)**379403261

* See our complete methodology for selecting top five certifications in the "Best Certifications" series.
**Search conducted on "VCP Data Center." The VCP6.5-DCV is too new as of this writing to generate significant job board results.

The remainder of this article provides details on these featured certifications, with a brief follow-on discussion that reports other related credentials also worthy of mention.