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Top 11 Cloud Architect Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular and widely-recognized cloud architect certifications available today.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications for cloud architects are important in the job market because they provide evidence that an individual has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the job. For employers, certifications can provide assurance that their cloud architect is qualified to perform the tasks required of them. Certifications also demonstrate that individuals have a deep understanding of cloud architecture, as well as best practices for designing, deploying, and managing cloud-based solutions. By having certifications, it can give employers confidence in hiring someone with the right qualifications needed for their organization's needs.

The purpose of this article is to review the most valuable certifications for Cloud Architects and discuss how they can help advance their career.

What are Cloud Architect Certifications?

Cloud architect certification is a professional certification designed to demonstrate an individual's knowledge and skills in designing, building, and managing cloud computing environments. It helps individuals demonstrate their expertise in cloud computing, which has become an increasingly important skill set for organizations seeking to leverage the power of the cloud. With this certification, individuals can show employers that they have a deep understanding of cloud architecture principles and techniques, along with the ability to design, deploy, secure and manage cloud-based solutions.

This certification provides a number of benefits to those who hold it. Individuals with this certification have higher earning potential due to their increased knowledge and capabilities. They are also more likely to be hired by organizations that need experts in cloud architecture and implementation. Furthermore, having a cloud architect certification can open up new opportunities for career advancement in the field of cloud computing. Finally, this certification allows individuals to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry and remain competitive as technology evolves.

Pro Tip: When considering a cloud architect certification, look for programs that offer hands-on experience and/or access to real-world projects. This will ensure that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the field. Additionally, make sure the program is accredited by a reputable organization such as AWS or Microsoft Azure.

Related: What does a Cloud Architect do?

Top 11 Cloud Architect Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Cloud Architects today.

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional is a certification offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that validates an individual’s ability to design, deploy, and operate applications on the AWS platform. It is designed for individuals who have experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.

In order to obtain this certification, candidates must first pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam. This exam tests knowledge of the core AWS services, their use cases, and how to design solutions using them. After passing the associate exam, candidates must then pass the professional-level exam which tests more advanced concepts such as networking, security, performance optimization, automation, cost control, and troubleshooting.

It typically takes about three months of study time to prepare for the professional-level exam. Candidates should be familiar with all aspects of AWS including EC2 instances, S3 storage buckets, IAM roles and policies, VPCs and subnets, CloudFormation templates and stacksets, Lambda functions and serverless architectures. Additionally they should be able to demonstrate an understanding of best practices for building secure solutions on AWS.

The cost of taking the professional-level exam varies depending on country but typically ranges from $300-$400 USD. The exam consists of multiple choice questions with a time limit of 170 minutes. Upon successful completion of the exam candidates will receive an official certificate from AWS acknowledging their achievement.

2. Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert

Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert is a certification program designed to help IT professionals demonstrate their expertise in designing, implementing, and managing solutions on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. It is the highest level of Azure certification available and requires a deep understanding of the entire Microsoft Azure technology stack.

To become certified as an Azure Solutions Architect Expert, you must first pass two exams: AZ-303: Microsoft Azure Architect Technologies, and AZ-304: Microsoft Azure Architect Design. Both exams are multiple-choice and require a passing score of 700 or higher. The exams cover topics such as deploying and configuring infrastructure, designing application architecture, developing for the cloud and security, identity, governance, and compliance.

The cost of taking both exams is $165 each (USD). You can purchase exam vouchers from Microsoft directly or through third-party vendors such as Pearson VUE or Prometric.

Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your official certification from Microsoft. This process usually takes up to 10 business days after you have completed all requirements.

3. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect

Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect is a professional-level certification from Google Cloud Platform. It is designed to validate the skills and knowledge of individuals who design, develop, and manage cloud solutions built on Google Cloud Platform.

The certification exam covers topics such as designing and planning a cloud solution architecture, managing and provisioning cloud architecture, designing for security and compliance, analyzing and optimizing technical and business processes, managing implementation of cloud architecture, and ensuring successful operations on the Google Cloud Platform.

It typically takes about 6 months to prepare for the exam. To get certified, you must pass the Professional Cloud Architect exam with a score of 80% or higher. The exam consists of multiple choice questions that assess your knowledge in areas such as networking, storage, compute services, security & identity management, data management & analytics, application development & deployment.

The cost of the Professional Cloud Architect certification exam is $200 USD.

4. VMware Certified Professional – Cloud (VCP-Cloud)

The VMware Certified Professional – Cloud (VCP-Cloud) is a certification that validates an individual’s skills in designing, deploying and managing cloud infrastructures using VMware vCloud Suite products. It is designed to demonstrate the expertise of IT professionals who are responsible for the design, deployment and management of cloud infrastructures.

To obtain the VCP-Cloud certification, you must pass two exams: the VMware Certified Professional 5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP5-DCV) exam and the VMware Certified Professional 6 – Cloud Management and Automation (VCP6-CMA) exam. The VCP5-DCV exam covers topics such as virtual machine configuration, storage and networking technologies, resource management, security and troubleshooting. The VCP6-CMA exam focuses on topics such as cloud infrastructure design, automation with vRealize Automation, monitoring with vRealize Operations Manager and troubleshooting.

The cost of obtaining the VCP-Cloud certification varies depending on where you take your exams. Generally speaking, it costs around $450 USD for both exams. It typically takes around three months to complete all requirements for the VCP-Cloud certification. This includes studying for the exams, taking practice tests and attending an official training course or self-study course from VMware Education Services.

5. Red Hat Certified Architect – Cloud Infrastructure

Red Hat Certified Architect – Cloud Infrastructure is a certification program that validates an individual's skills and knowledge in deploying, managing, and optimizing cloud infrastructure solutions. It focuses on the core technologies needed to design and operate cloud infrastructures, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Virtualization, and Red Hat Storage.

The certification requires three exams: EX210 (Red Hat Certified System Administrator in Red Hat OpenStack), EX294 (Red Hat Certified Engineer in Red Hat OpenStack), and EX318 (Red Hat Certified Specialist in Hybrid Cloud Management). The total cost for all three exams is $1,895 USD.

The exam preparation process typically takes 6-12 months of study. Candidates must have experience with Linux administration and cloud technology before attempting the exams. They should also be familiar with concepts such as virtualization, storage management, networking, security best practices, system automation tools, container technologies, and cloud orchestration tools.

Once the exams are completed successfully, candidates will receive their official Red Hat Certified Architect – Cloud Infrastructure certification. This certification is valid for three years from the date of completion.

6. Oracle Certified Master, Cloud Architect

Oracle Certified Master, Cloud Architect is a certification that demonstrates a professional’s expertise in designing and implementing cloud-based solutions. It is the highest level of Oracle Cloud certification and requires an individual to demonstrate their ability to design and implement secure, reliable, and cost-effective cloud solutions.

To become an Oracle Certified Master, Cloud Architect, individuals must first pass the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2020 Associate Exam. This exam covers topics such as cloud concepts, identity and access management, networking, storage, compute services, database services, application development services, monitoring and logging services. After passing this exam, individuals must then complete four additional exams: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure 2020 Architect Professional Exam; Oracle Autonomous Database 2020 Specialist Exam; Oracle Database Administration 2020 Specialist Exam; and Oracle Application Development 2020 Specialist Exam.

The entire process typically takes around six months to complete. To get started on the path to becoming an Oracle Certified Master, Cloud Architect you will need to register for the exams on the Pearson VUE website. The cost of each exam varies but can range from $150-$300 per exam depending on your location and currency exchange rate.

7. IBM Certified Solution Architect – Cloud Computing Architecture V2

IBM Certified Solution Architect – Cloud Computing Architecture V2 is a professional certification that validates an individual's knowledge and skills in designing, deploying, and managing cloud computing solutions. It is designed to help IT professionals demonstrate their expertise in cloud architecture and design.

The certification consists of two exams: C1000-018 Exam (Cloud Solutions Architect v2) and C2150-609 Exam (IBM Security Access Manager for Mobile). The exam topics include cloud architecture fundamentals, security, performance optimization, data integration, application development, and deployment.

It typically takes several months to complete the certification process. To get certified, you must first pass the two exams mentioned above. After passing the exams, you will be awarded the IBM Certified Solution Architect – Cloud Computing Architecture V2 credential.

The cost for each exam varies depending on your location and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs around $200 USD per exam.

8. Cisco CCIE Data Center: Cloud Infrastructure and Services Certification

Cisco CCIE Data Center: Cloud Infrastructure and Services Certification is a professional-level certification that validates an individual’s expertise in designing, deploying, operating, and troubleshooting complex data center solutions. It is designed for IT professionals who have at least three to five years of experience in the field of data center infrastructure and services.

The certification requires candidates to pass two exams: one written exam (350-601 DCID) and one lab exam (350-701 DCUCI). The written exam covers topics such as network fundamentals, cloud computing concepts, data center infrastructure design, virtualization technologies, storage networking technologies, automation and orchestration, security technologies, and application services. The lab exam focuses on configuring and troubleshooting Cisco data center solutions.

It typically takes around six months to a year to complete the certification process. Candidates should first take the written exam before attempting the lab exam. Once they have passed both exams successfully, they will be awarded with their CCIE Data Center: Cloud Infrastructure and Services certification.

The cost of the certification depends on several factors such as the country where you are taking the exams from and any additional training courses or materials you may need to purchase in order to prepare for the exams. Generally speaking however, it can cost anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 USD for both exams combined.

9. Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA)

Salesforce Certified Technical Architect (CTA) is the highest certification offered by Salesforce. It is a rigorous and comprehensive certification program that requires in-depth knowledge of Salesforce technology, architecture, and best practices.

The CTA certification typically takes about two years to complete. The program consists of three parts: an online exam, a hands-on project, and an interview with a panel of experts. Candidates must pass all three parts to become certified.

To get started on the path to becoming a CTA, candidates must first pass the Salesforce Architect Certification Exam (ADM 201). This exam tests your knowledge of Salesforce fundamentals, data modeling, security model, application design, and development lifecycle. After passing this exam, you can then move onto the hands-on project portion of the certification process. This involves designing and building a custom app using Salesforce technology. Finally, you will need to take part in an interview with a panel of experts who will assess your skills and knowledge before granting you the CTA certification.

The cost for taking the ADM 201 exam varies depending on where you live; however it usually ranges from $200-$400 USD per attempt. The cost for taking part in the hands-on project portion of the CTA certification process also varies depending on where you live; however it usually ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD per attempt.

10. CompTIA Cloud+ Certification

CompTIA Cloud+ is a vendor-neutral certification that validates an IT professional’s knowledge and skills in cloud computing. It is designed for IT professionals who work with cloud technologies and need to understand the integration of cloud-based platforms, virtualization, security, networking, storage and business continuity.

The CompTIA Cloud+ certification is composed of one exam (CV0-002). The exam covers five domains: Cloud Concepts and Models, Infrastructure, Security, Resource Management, and Business Continuity. It takes approximately 90 minutes to complete the exam.

To get the CompTIA Cloud+ certification, you must pass the CV0-002 exam. You can register for the exam through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. The cost of the exam is $319 USD.

11. HPE ASE - Hybrid IT Solutions Architect V1

HPE ASE - Hybrid IT Solutions Architect V1 is a certification program designed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to recognize individuals who have demonstrated their knowledge and experience in designing, deploying, and managing hybrid IT solutions. The HPE ASE - Hybrid IT Solutions Architect V1 certification validates the skills required to design and implement a comprehensive hybrid IT solution that meets customer requirements.

To become certified as an HPE ASE - Hybrid IT Solutions Architect V1, you must pass two exams:

  • Exam HPE0-V14: Building HPE Hybrid IT Solutions
  • Exam HPE2-T34: Implementing HPE Hybrid IT Solutions

The exams are administered by Pearson VUE and cost $150 USD each. The exams are 90 minutes long and contain 60 questions each. You must score at least 70% on each exam to pass.

It typically takes 4-6 weeks to prepare for the exams after which you can take them. Once you have passed both exams, you will receive your certification from Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Do You Really Need a Cloud Architect Certificate?

A cloud architect certificate may help you stand out from the crowd, but it's not a requirement for success in the cloud architecture field. It's important to remember that many job roles and responsibilities are specific to certain organizations, so potential employers will likely be more interested in your experience, knowledge, and skills than any certification you may possess.

Having a cloud architect certificate can certainly give you an edge when applying for a job in this field. It shows potential employers that you have taken the time to learn about cloud architecture best practices and technologies, and that you understand the basics of designing and deploying cloud solutions. A certification can also provide tangible evidence of your dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in cloud computing.

That said, having a certificate won’t guarantee success as a cloud architect. You still need to have a good understanding of the fundamentals of software engineering, networking, virtualization, security protocols, and other related topics in order to be successful in this field. Additionally, hands-on experience is essential; even if you have a certificate proving your theoretical knowledge of cloud architecture concepts, potential employers want to know that you can apply that knowledge in practice.

In summary, while having a cloud architect certificate can give you an advantage over other applicants who don't possess one, ultimately it's not necessary for success in this field. To ensure long-term career growth as a cloud architect, it's important that you continue to stay up-to-date with industry trends and hone your technical skills through both formal education and practical experience.

Related: Cloud Architect Resume Examples

FAQs About Cloud Architect Certifications

1. What is a Cloud Architect Certification?

Answer: A Cloud Architect Certification is a professional certification that demonstrates an individual’s knowledge and proficiency in designing, building, and managing cloud-based systems.

2. How do I become certified as a Cloud Architect?

Answer: To become certified as a Cloud Architect, you must pass one or more exams administered by an accredited certifying body such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. You can also complete specialized training courses offered by various vendors to help prepare for the exams.

3. What are the benefits of being certified as a Cloud Architect?

Answer: Being certified as a Cloud Architect gives you credibility within the industry and provides employers with assurance that you have the necessary skills and experience to design, build, and manage cloud-based systems. It also demonstrates your commitment to staying up-to-date on the latest cloud technologies and best practices.

4. Are there prerequisites for obtaining a Cloud Architect Certification?

Answer: Yes, each certifying body has its own set of prerequisites which may include having specific experience or educational background in IT or related fields, passing certain exams, and/or completing training courses related to cloud computing.

5. How long does it take to get certified as a Cloud Architect?

Answer: The amount of time it takes to obtain certification varies depending on your prior experience and how quickly you can complete the required courses and exams. Generally speaking, it takes several months to prepare for the exams and gain the necessary knowledge required for certification.