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Top 10 Solutions Architect Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications available for solutions architects, including information on their requirements, benefits and value.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are an important tool for Solutions Architects to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, and expertise in the job market. They provide a way for individuals to prove their competence in specific areas of technology and show that they have the necessary qualifications to be successful in a Solutions Architect role. Certifications provide employers with a quick and easy way to assess the technical skills of potential candidates and also allow Solutions Architects to stand out from the competition. Certifications can also help individuals stay current on new technologies as well as gain recognition in the industry.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the top certifications for Solutions Architects and discuss how they can help to further a Solutions Architect's career.

What are Solutions Architect Certifications?

Solutions Architect Certification is an industry-recognized credential that verifies a professional’s knowledge and experience in designing, building, and managing complex technology architectures. Solutions Architects are responsible for designing and implementing enterprise architecture solutions that meet the needs of their organization. These architects must understand the business requirements of their organization as well as the technical aspects of developing a solution to meet those needs.

The Solutions Architect Certification provides professionals with the skills needed to successfully design, build, and manage complex architectures. These skills include understanding cloud architecture, database design, system security, data integration, software development life cycles, and more. This certification also helps professionals stay up-to-date on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and DevOps.

The certification can help IT professionals advance their careers by demonstrating their expertise in this field to potential employers or clients. It can also provide an edge over competitors when applying for jobs or contracts. The certification is widely recognized by major organizations such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Furthermore, it can provide individuals with the confidence they need to take on new challenges in their career path and continue to develop their skillset.

Pro Tip: Before attempting to obtain a solutions architect certification, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the technology stack and the cloud platform you are working with. Additionally, take advantage of online resources such as practice tests and tutorials to help prepare for the certification exam.

Related: What does a Solutions Architect do?

Top 10 Solutions Architect Certifications

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

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is a certification program that validates an individual’s ability to design and deploy applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The certification exam tests an individual’s knowledge of AWS services, such as EC2, S3, VPC, IAM, CloudFormation, and more. It also covers topics such as best practices for designing cloud architectures and cost optimization strategies.

It typically takes around two months to prepare for the exam. To get started, individuals should become familiar with the AWS platform by reading official documentation and taking practice exams. Additionally, they should take advantage of online courses and tutorials offered by AWS or third-party providers.

To register for the exam, individuals must create an account on the AWS Training & Certification website and pay a fee of $150 USD. Once registered, they can schedule their exam at a nearby testing center or take it online from home via Pearson VUE's OnVUE platform.

The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that must be answered within 80 minutes; passing requires a score of 720 points out of 1,000 possible points. Those who pass receive an email from AWS confirming their success and providing access to digital badges that can be shared on social media platforms or embedded in resumes/CVs.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional is a certification program offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that validates the technical skills and knowledge of individuals in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification is designed for those who have advanced experience with designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.

It typically takes around 6-12 months to prepare for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam, depending on your prior knowledge and experience. To get certified, you must pass two exams: the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam and the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam.

The cost of taking the two exams is $300 each, totaling $600. However, there are discounts available if you purchase both exams together or if you are a student or member of certain organizations. Additionally, some employers may cover all or part of the cost of taking these exams.

3. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure

Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure is a certification that demonstrates an individual’s ability to design, implement, deploy and manage cloud-based solutions. This certification validates a person's knowledge of the Microsoft Azure platform, including infrastructure, networking, virtualization, identity management, storage and data management.

It typically takes around six months to prepare for the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure exam. To get certified, individuals must pass one or more exams from a list of available options. The cost of each exam varies depending on the country in which it is taken; however, most exams cost between $100-$200 USD.

To become certified as an MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure expert, individuals must first complete a course of study that covers topics such as Windows Server 2016 Administration; Virtualization with Hyper-V; Networking with Windows Server 2016; Security with Windows Server 2016; Identity Management with Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS); Storage Solutions with Windows Server 2016; Data Protection with Windows Server 2016; Azure Fundamentals; Implementing Azure Compute Solutions; Implementing Azure Storage Solutions; Implementing Azure Networking Solutions; Implementing Azure App Services Solutions; Implementing Azure Database Solutions and Managing Azure Resources. After completing the necessary courses, individuals must then pass one or more exams from the list of available options to become certified.

The cost of obtaining the MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification will vary depending on how many exams are required to be taken in order to gain certification. Generally speaking, most people can expect to pay anywhere from $500-$2000 USD in total for all associated costs including exam fees and course materials.

4. Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect

Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect is a certification program designed to help professionals demonstrate their expertise in designing, developing, and managing solutions on Google Cloud Platform. This certification is for individuals who have the technical skills and expertise to design, develop, and manage robust, secure, scalable, highly available, and dynamic solutions to drive business objectives.

The Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect exam consists of multiple choice questions which cover topics such as architecture design principles; cloud infrastructure design; security management; data analysis; application development; and operations. The exam takes approximately two hours to complete.

To become a Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect you must pass the Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect Exam (GCP-CPA). To take the exam you must have at least three years of experience in designing and managing solutions on Google Cloud Platform. You should also be familiar with GCP services such as Compute Engine, App Engine, BigQuery, Storage & Databases etc.

The cost of taking the exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $100-$200 USD.

5. VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV)

The VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of IT professionals who deploy, manage, and troubleshoot VMware vSphere 6 environments. It is an industry-recognized credential that demonstrates proficiency in virtualization technologies.

To earn the VCP6-DCV certification, candidates must pass two exams: the VMware Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Exam (VCP6-DCV) and the VMware Certified Associate 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCA6-DCV). The VCP6-DCV exam is a multiple choice exam that tests knowledge of vSphere 6 features and functionality, while the VCA6-DCV exam tests basic understanding of vSphere concepts.

It typically takes around 4 to 8 weeks to complete all requirements for the VCP6-DCV certification. Candidates must first attend a qualifying training course from an authorized VMware Education Provider or have equivalent experience with vSphere 6. After completing training or gaining equivalent experience, candidates must then pass both exams within two years of each other.

The cost for the VCP6-DCV certification varies depending on the training provider but typically ranges from $3,000 - $4,000 USD. This cost includes tuition fees for both exams as well as any additional materials needed to prepare for them.

6. Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA)

Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) is a certification offered by Cisco Systems that validates an individual’s knowledge and skills in designing basic network infrastructure. The CCDA certification is designed to provide individuals with the necessary skills to design routed and switched networks, including LAN, WAN, and wireless access.

In order to obtain the CCDA certification, candidates must pass the 200-310 DESGN exam. This exam covers topics such as network design fundamentals, enterprise campus networks, data center networks, security services, and remote access solutions. The exam takes approximately 2 hours and consists of 65-75 multiple choice questions.

The cost of the CCDA exam varies depending on the country in which you are taking it. Generally speaking, it costs around $250 USD for most countries.

In order to prepare for the exam, Cisco recommends that candidates have at least one year of experience in designing medium-sized networks using Cisco products. Additionally, they should have a good understanding of routing protocols such as OSPF and EIGRP as well as switching technologies such as VLANs and STP. It is also recommended that candidates attend one of Cisco’s authorized training courses prior to taking the exam.

7. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Certification

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Certification is an industry-recognized certification that validates a professional’s knowledge and skills in designing, deploying, and managing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure solutions. This certification demonstrates that the individual has the skills necessary to design and implement secure and reliable cloud solutions using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure products.

It typically takes between two to three months to complete the required training and pass the associated exams. The first step is to register for an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Account which provides access to resources needed for training. After registering, professionals must complete a set of courses offered by Oracle University or an authorized training partner. These courses cover topics such as cloud computing fundamentals, virtualization, networking, storage, security, database administration, and more. Upon completion of the courses, individuals can take the associated exams which are administered by Pearson VUE.

The cost of this certification varies depending on whether you choose self-study or instructor-led training. Self-study options range from free online tutorials to paid online courses ranging from $200-$500 USD per course. Instructor-led training typically ranges from $1,000-$2,000 USD per course depending on location and duration of the course. Additionally, there are exam fees associated with each exam ranging from $150-$400 USD per exam depending on location and currency exchange rates at the time of purchase.

Overall, obtaining an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Certification is a great way to demonstrate your expertise in cloud computing as well as validate your skills in designing secure and reliable cloud solutions using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure products.

8. Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA)

Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA) is a certification program offered by Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. The RHCA certification is designed to recognize and validate the skills of experienced system administrators and engineers who have demonstrated a deep understanding of Red Hat technologies and are capable of designing, deploying, managing, and troubleshooting complex IT infrastructures.

The RHCA certification requires candidates to demonstrate their technical knowledge and experience in various areas such as Linux administration, virtualization, storage management, networking, automation, security, cloud computing, DevOps practices and more. Candidates must pass a series of exams in order to become certified.

It typically takes between 6-12 months to complete the requirements for the RHCA certification depending on an individual's experience level. To get started with the certifications process candidates must first register for an exam at Red Hat's website or contact their local training partner.

The cost for each exam varies depending on the type of exam taken but can range from $400-$800 per exam.

9. IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Cloud Computing Architecture V1

IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Cloud Computing Architecture V1 is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have the skills and knowledge to design, implement, and manage cloud computing solutions. The certification is intended for IT professionals who are responsible for designing and implementing cloud computing architectures.

To get the IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Cloud Computing Architecture V1 certification, you must pass two exams: C1000-039: IBM Cloud Computing Architecture V1 and C1000-040: IBM Cloud Computing Architecture V2. The exams are available through Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. The cost of each exam varies depending on your location but typically ranges from $200-$250 USD per exam.

The time required to complete the exams can vary depending on your experience level and preparation. Generally speaking, it takes approximately 8-10 hours to study for each exam, plus additional time to take the exam itself.

Overall, achieving the IBM Certified Solution Advisor – Cloud Computing Architecture V1 certification requires a significant investment in both time and money. However, this investment can pay off with increased job opportunities, higher salaries, and greater recognition in the industry.

10. Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N)

Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N) is a certification program designed to validate the skills and knowledge of networking professionals who design, implement, and support Citrix solutions. The certification is based on the latest version of Citrix NetScaler products and technologies.

The CCP-N certification requires candidates to pass an exam that covers topics such as architecture, installation, configuration, management, troubleshooting and maintenance of Citrix NetScaler products. Candidates must also have experience with network protocols such as TCP/IP, HTTP/HTTPS, SSL/TLS and DNS.

It typically takes around 6 months to prepare for the CCP-N exam. Candidates should have a good understanding of networking concepts and be familiar with the NetScaler product line before taking the exam. In addition to studying for the exam, candidates should also gain hands-on experience with NetScaler products by attending training courses or working in a lab environment.

To get certified as a CCP-N, candidates must register for an exam at Pearson VUE testing centers and then pass the exam with a score of 70% or higher. The cost of the exam varies depending on location but typically ranges from $200 - $300 USD.

Do You Really Need a Solutions Architect Certificate?

Whether or not you need a Solutions Architect certificate depends on what kind of job you are looking for and your current level of experience. If you are an entry-level IT professional, it might be beneficial to pursue a Solutions Architect certificate as it could bring more value to your resume and give employers the impression that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to do the job. However, if you already have extensive experience in IT architecture and have been working in the field for years, then having a Solutions Architect certificate may not be necessary.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not pursuing a Solutions Architect certificate will be worth your time and money. It can certainly help open doors for those who are just starting out in their career, but if you already have a wealth of experience under your belt, then there may be other ways to demonstrate your skill set without having to go through the process of obtaining a certification.

Related: Solutions Architect Resume Examples

FAQs About Solutions Architect Certifications

Q1. What is a Solutions Architect Certification?

A1. A Solutions Architect Certification is a professional certification for those working in the field of designing, developing and implementing IT solutions for an organization. This certification provides an overview of the skills needed to design and deploy solutions for an organization’s IT infrastructure, and ensures that professionals have the necessary knowledge and expertise to be successful in their role as Solutions Architects.

Q2. What are the benefits of achieving a Solutions Architect Certification?

A2. Benefits include increased job opportunities, improved salary potential, better customer service, enhanced technical knowledge and expertise, greater career advancement opportunities, improved credibility among peers and employers, and recognition by industry leaders as a certified Solutions Architect.

Q3. What qualifications do I need to become a certified Solutions Architect?

A3. To become a certified Solutions Architect you must have relevant experience in designing or deploying IT solutions or hold an appropriate degree in computer science or related fields such as software engineering or information systems management. You may also need to complete additional accredited training courses depending on your chosen certification program.

Q4. How long does it take to get certified as a Solutions Architect?

A4. The time required to achieve your certification can vary depending on your specific experience level, the type of certification you are pursuing, and how much time you are able to dedicate to studying for the exam(s). Generally speaking though it can take anywhere from 6 months up to 2 years depending on which route you choose to pursue your certification goals.

Q5. Is there any support available when studying for my Solutions Architect Certification?

A5. Yes! There are many resources available online such as practice tests and study guides that can help you prepare for the exams associated with obtaining your certifications as well as forums where you can ask questions of fellow professionals who have been through similar experiences before you. Additionally there may be local meetups or bootcamps that provide additional support while studying too!