Best Cloud Certifications: 2021 List

With many cloud professionals in the field, it might be difficult to set yourself apart from other candidates. One way to gain a competitive edge in your career is to pursue a cloud certification. We have curated a list of the best cloud certifications to guide your selection for career advancement.

In this guide, you will learn the importance of cloud certifications and the difference between a certificate program and a certification. You can also discover the top 10 cloud certifications and the criteria for selecting the most suitable program for you.

Why Are Cloud Certifications Important?

Cloud certifications are important because they can help you get a job in a growing technical field. Many companies are moving their storage to the cloud. The demand for professionals with cloud-based skills is increasing. You can easily attain these skills through colleges, online courses, or bootcamps.

Only having cloud-based skills is not enough. If you want to increase the number of job opportunities coming your way, you must get certified. This is the easiest way to prove your ability to manage, deploy, and maintain cloud-based applications. Cloud certifications can also provide you with the professional network you need to maneuver in the industry.

Professional Certification
vs Certificate Program

There is a vast difference between professional certifications and certificate programs. These two options can be used to help you upskill and learn cloud computing. Take a look at the major differences between professional certifications and certificate programs below.

Professional Certification Certificate Program
Involves an exam Sometimes involves assignments and quizzes
Issued by a third party association Issued by an education provider
Provided after successfully completing an exam Provided after completion of an educational program
Verifies that a professional has met an industry standard Teaches a specific set of skills
Usually expires after a set number of years Does not expire

What’s Demand for Cloud
Skills Like in 2021?

There is a high demand for cloud skills in 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that there will be an 11 percent increase in demand for computer and information technology professionals between 2019 and 2029. This means that there will be many more job opportunities within this time.

ZipRecruiter indicates that the average annual pay in cloud computing is $117,041. If you decide to get certified, you can increase your job opportunities and salary. You will be able to validate and showcase your skills to potential employers and negotiate salary prospects. You can also utilize the certification to earn a promotion.

The Best Cloud Certifications

The Best Cloud Certifications

Cloud certifications can help you achieve your career objectives. These certifications are instrumental in helping professionals land job promotions, earn salary increases, and receive industry recognition. They are popular amongst beginners and experts in top-ranked positions. Keep reading to find out the best cloud certifications.

Cost: $150

Validity: Three Years

This is a common certification among solutions architects. The certification requires practitioners to have hands-on experience in computing, networking, and database Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition, you should be able to deploy and manage AWS and identify technical requirements.

This is a highly recommended certification for professionals with more than one year of experience in AWS. Most solutions architects will have a basic understanding of architectural principles, AWS global infrastructures, and network technologies.

The 65-question certification exam will take about 130 minutes to complete. Aside from the $150 in fees, you can pay $20 for practice exams. This is an excellent way to gain insight into the upcoming certification exams. It’s also exceptional for professional cloud architects seeking career advancement.

Cost: $150

Validity: Three Years

If you are a systems administrator with more than one year in the industry, this may be the best certification for you. You must have extensive skills in deploying, managing, and operating AWS systems. It’s an excellent certification to showcase your ability to apply AWS operational best practices.

If you want to pass the certification exams, you should have a basic understanding of AWS tenets and networking technologies. You should also look into virtualization technology, architectural requirements, networking, and security concepts.

Once you are confident in your knowledge and skill ability, you can purchase the practice exam. The official website sells the AWS SysOps Administrator practice exams for $20. In addition, it can give you a deeper insight into the certification process.

Cost: $125

Validity: One Year

If you want to prove your experience and skill level in cloud infrastructure, you should consider the CCSP exam. Most professionals with this certification have valid knowledge and skills in managing data infrastructure in the cloud. In addition, they tend to have in-depth knowledge of procedures and best practices in cyber security.

It’s an excellent certification if you are looking to advance your career. It can also be beneficial for professionals looking for a community of cyber security practitioners. To maintain the certification, you will need to pay $125 each year.

To qualify for the certification exams, you must have at least five years of experience in information security. Three years should be experience as an information security analyst. You can also have one year in any domain from the international information system security certification consortium body of knowledge.

Cost: $1,200

Validity: Three Years

With more and more companies opting for the cloud, professionals with valid skills in cyber security are in demand. If you are a cloud administrator, network engineer, or cloud engineer, you can easily validate your skills and land well-paying job opportunities with this certification.

This certification is excellent for beginners in the industry because it doesn’t feature any prerequisites. It’s highly recommended if you recently graduated with a four-year degree. To pass the certification exams, you need a basic understanding of Cisco Cloud fundamentals. If you earn this certification, you will validate your skills in network security fundamentals.

If you want to prepare for the certification exams, you can take advantage of the official site’s resources. The Cisco site features an exam blueprint that you can download. You can also join the learning network of the CCNA community. There are plenty of training options for you to get ready for the exams.

Cost: $600

Validity: Three Years

The CCNP Data Center certification helps professionals advance in their data careers. They rely on this certification to verify their skills and knowledge in data center technologies and best practices in designing and managing data center infrastructures. It’s a highly recommended certification for professionals seeking senior job positions.

To pass the CCNP data center certification exams, you need to familiarize yourself with the major topics. The exam will test you on data center infrastructure, automation, unified computing, cloud integration, and security. If you are familiar with these topics, you should be able to pass the exams.

Cost: $338

Validity: Three Years

CompTIA Cloud+ is a globally acknowledged certification. It will help validate your skills in deploying and automating cloud environments for businesses. There are multiple cloud environments. This means cloud engineers rely on such certifications to upskill and gain recognition in handling different products and systems.

You can easily increase or polish your skills by attending the platform’s training programs. You will have access to live online classes, self-paced learning, and custom training. The training sessions will help you develop your skills in cloud architecture, cloud security, and cloud deployment.

By the time you are done, you will be well-versed in cloud operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Whether you are a systems administrator, network engineer, network administrator, or cloud specialist, you will find this certification highly rewarding.

Cost: $125

Validity: Two Years

The Google Cloud platform offers the Google Cloud certification exams to validate your knowledge and skills. This certification is popular amongst associate cloud engineers. These professionals can utilize Google Cloud Console to leverage Google Cloud services efficiently. They ensure successful operations on cloud solutions.

There are no prerequisites, but you may need some experience in the field. It is highly recommended that you have more than six months of experience using Google Cloud. This will give you the hands-on experience you will need to tackle the exam. If you want to learn Google Cloud, this certification is a great choice.

Cost: $200

Validity: Two Years

If you can successfully design scalable and reliable cloud-based applications, you should consider earning the Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer certification. This certification is common amongst professionals who have proficiency in a programming language and cloud-based applications.

You should also ensure you can build, test and deploy these applications successfully. Presenting this certification to potential employers may provide an added advantage over other candidates. To acquire this certification, you must have at least three years of experience designing and managing Google Cloud applications.

Cost: $99

Validity: Two Years

To earn this certification, you must have a solid foundation in cloud services and their integration with Microsoft Azure. It’s an excellent certification for beginners in the field looking to gain industry recognition or job promotion. In addition, the certification will prove your knowledge of cloud concepts, Azure services, and workloads.

You should expect the certification exam to touch on Azure cost and management, Azure security, and compliance features regarding the cloud. If you want to prepare for the exams, you can sign up for either the free or paid online classes on the platform.

Cost: $165

Validity: Two Years

This is a highly recommended certification to validate your ability to design, develop, build, deploy, and maintain cloud services on Microsoft Azure. The certification proves that you have the theoretical knowledge and technical ability to handle all phases of cloud development, from requirements to monitoring.

If you are an Azure developer, you will find yourself working in teams to achieve the client’s objective. Most of these professionals work hand in hand with cloud database administrators and cloud solutions architects.

You must have more than one year of professional experience in Microsoft Azure to pass the certification exams. In addition, you must be familiar with Azure command-line interface, data connections, API, debugging, and monitoring. The exams will test your ability to develop Azure storage, Azure security, and troubleshoot Azure solutions.

How to Choose the Right Certification

Choosing the right certification for your career can be a challenging process. First, you need criteria to help you ensure the certification helps develop your skill and career level. Take a look at the main factors you should consider when selecting a certification below.


Make sure you align your certification to your interests. It will be much easier to study and for something you enjoy. For example, if you are a software developer interested in becoming a cloud practitioner, you can easily take up a cloud certification exam. Always ensure your interests, career goals, and program options align.


There is no point in acquiring a certification that is already outdated. Ensure you check whether there are renewals before you commit to the exams. You can check with your certified colleagues for the best certifications to pursue in 2021. They can give you the best perspective on the future of the industry.


The best certifications will help you attain industry recognition, salary increases, or a job promotion. Depending on what you are seeking, be sure to verify the impact of the certification on professional careers in the field. This will be a great guide to determine the most suitable certification.

Resources to Prepare for
Your Certification Exam

These certification exams can be challenging for both beginners and experts in the field. This is why we curated a list to help you prepare for the certification exams. Read below to learn about the best courses and resources for cloud certification.

Type of Resource: Online Course

Cost: $94.99

This Udemy course will get you ready for the Cisco Certified Network Professional Data Center certification exams. The program covers Cisco ACI Fabric Infrastructure, basic packet forwarding, and management features. It’s an excellent program to help you cover the certification’s main target areas.

The course is highly recommended for professionals in the field looking to upskill. For example, you can take this course if you are a network designer, network engineer, data center engineer, consulting systems engineer, or technical solutions architect.

Type of Resource: Book

Cost: $30

Todd Montgomery wrote this effective study guide for professionals seeking the CompTIA Cloud+ certification. This book covers all essential aspects featured on the certification exams. Therefore, you should expect to be well-versed in the theoretical and practical areas of the certification exams.

The 432-page book will take you through cloud configuration, deployment, security, maintenance, and troubleshooting. The book also features additional learning tools. You can expect customized practice exams and more than 100 flashcards.

Type of Resource: Book

Cost: $25.99

Santiago Fernandez Munoz wrote a book to help prepare students for the Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Developer Associate certification exams. This book will help you cover all basics of Microsoft Azure.

You can easily master how to develop Azure infrastructure, Azure storage, and Azure secure from this book. You will also learn how to monitor and troubleshoot any issues. The 380-page book helps pass your certification exams.

Type of Resource: Online Course

Cost: Free

Cloud Academy provides a training program to help students prepare for the Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer certification exams. The program will help you cover the bases in the certification exams to succeed. In addition, you will learn how to design and deploy scalable and reliable cloud applications and manage application performance.

To gain admission into the Cloud Academy training program, you must have a solid foundation in IT architecture. You must also have some experience in software development. There are many different courses to choose from.

Type of Resource: Online Course

Cost: $50 to $95

Varsity Tutors provides network engineers, cloud administrators, and engineers with an opportunity to prepare effectively for the CCNA certification exams. Equipped with a tutor, you will have the flexibility to learn at your own pace with plenty of guidance. You should expect practice exercises and exams to help you gain more insight into the exams.

The platform prep service will ensure you cover significant topics addressed in the exams. You will learn the fundamentals of cloud computing, cloud deployment, cloud networking, cloud storage, and cloud characteristics. The platform features in-depth knowledge regarding each topic and practice exams.

Should I Pursue a Cloud
Certification in 2021?

Yes, you should pursue a cloud certification in 2021. With the demand for certified developers rising each day, you will need proof of skill to land a well-paying position. A cloud certification can easily give you the industry recognition and job placement you desire as a professional. It showcases your level of professionalism and commitment to excellence.

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