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Prove your virtualization skills with VCP6-DCV certification

The first step to becoming a qualified administrator is to pursue certification. The VMware Certified Associate - Data Center Virtualization exam is a good place to start.

As an IT professional who wants to make a career in virtualization, it's a good idea to get one or more VMware...

certificates, as they have proven market value. Consider this article an introduction on how to get certified for VMware vSphere 6.

To understand VMware certification, you should know VMware experts can be certified on multiple products, and there are also multiple levels of certification. The most common VMware certificate is in the Data Center Virtualization track. VMware's entry-level certification is VMware Certified Associate 6 - Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV), an exam that was launched in early 2015.

Prepping for VCP6-DCV certification

When considering different certification tracks, keep in mind the VMware Certified Associate exam will not sufficiently prove your skills for the role of software-defined data center administrator. Most employers are looking for VCP6-DCV certification, as this certification both proves the candidate's vSphere administrative abilities, as well as their knowledge of when products should be deployed. To obtain this certificate, the candidate has to take two exams and attend a course.

The first of these exams is the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam, which measures the candidate's level of knowledge about vSphere and related products. The second exam is the VCP6-DCV exam, which assesses the candidate's knowledge of in-depth vSphere topics.

In order to achieve a VCP6-DCV certification, you must take at least one course at a VMware Authorized Training Center. You cannot register for the exam without taking a course. The most popular course among candidates, vSphere: Install, Configure and Manage, covers all of the basics a candidate needs to know. This course covers the majority of the material on the vSphere 6 Foundations Exam and parts of the VCP6-DCV exam as well.

The fact that the VCP6-DCV exam only requires just one official VMware course likely comes as good news to candidates with a limited budget, as official VMware courses are rather expensive.

However, if you are interested in further increasing your chances of passing the VCP6-DCV exam, I'd recommend taking an additional class. The vSphere: Optimize and Scale course is a good choice, as it explores more advanced vSphere-related topics. If this option is not financially feasible, companies such as Safari Books Online offer reliable -- though not official -- alternative material in the form of e-books and online video courses. 

Notice there is no one-to-one correlation between the contents of the course and the contents of the exam. This is because VMware is testing your understanding of vSphere 6, not your memorization skills. Both of the required VCP6-DCV exams feature multiple-choice questions. Since VMware VCP exams are not performance-based, candidates are not required to create an actual configuration.

New certifications in the works

VMware is currently in the process of developing two new Data Center Virtualization certifications for those interested in showing their expertise beyond VCP6-DCV certification. Once you've passed the VCP6-DCV exam, the next step is to become an Implementation Expert with a VCIX6-DCV certification. If you're interested in pursuing certification even further, become a Design Expert by earning VCDX6-DCV certification, set to be the highest level of VMware certification possible. At the moment, little is known about these upcoming certifications, but more details should be released in the near future.

Explore other tracks

VMware is no longer focused solely on data center virtualization. The company also sells products for cloud management, desktop virtualization and network virtualization. For each of these specific products, VMware offers a VCP6 certification. That means there are currently four available VCP tracks. The first, which we've already covered, is the Data Center Virtualization track, which measures candidates' knowledge of VMware vSphere 6 environments. The Cloud Management and Automation track focuses on candidates' skills related to VMware vRealize environments. The Desktop and Mobility track assesses candidates' understanding of VMware Horizon with View environments. Finally, the Network Virtualization track tests candidates on their knowledge of VMware NSX environments.

As is the case for the Data Center Virtualization track, VMware is also developing more advanced tests for its other tracks. Soon, customers will be able to become an Implementation Expert and a Design Expert for all of the four tracks.

Next Steps

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A closer look at VMware's NSX certification track

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