VMware server virtualization certifications guide

Many IT pros seek VMware server virtualization certifications to advance their careers. But not every job requires VMware certifications, so obtaining one may not be worth it.

Having the right VMware server virtualization certifications can provide new career opportunities and higher salaries. And, with the proper preparations, you can also limit the time and money you’ll waste from chasing unnecessary VMware certifications.

VMware offers four server virtualization certifications:

  • The VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is the entry-level certification. Many vSphere-related jobs require a VCP certification, including consultants, IT administrators, technical sales reps and support personnel.
  • The VMware Certified Advanced Professional-Data Center Administrator (VCAP-DCA) demonstrates advanced vSphere administration and support skills for complex infrastructures. The VCP certification is a prerequisite for the VCAP-DCA.
  • The VMware Certified Advanced Professional-Data Center Design (VCAP-DCD) demonstrates the ability to completely architect a vSphere infrastructure, including its storage, networking and security components. Applicants must hold the VCP certification before taking the VCAP-DCD exam.
  • The VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) is the ultimate vSphere certification. Before being considered, you must obtain the VCAP-DCD and VCAP-DCA server virtualization certifications. You must also submit a design and implementation plan for a real or fictitious vSphere infrastructure, and then defend it in front of a panel of experts.

Some argue that VMware server virtualization certifications are well worth the investment, signaling to employers that a candidate has an understanding of vSphere. In fact, some employers won’t consider candidates without specific  VMware certifications.

But others contend that VMware certifications are misleading, showing only the ability to take tests. They argue that virtualization experience is what matters.

Whether you like it or not, VMware server virtualization certifications are necessary for certain jobs, and not having the right ones may limit your options. As such, assessing your career goals and doing the proper research will take the guesswork out of which VMware server virtualization certifications you need. This guide provides detailed information about each VMware certification and what factors you should consider.

Factors to consider  | VMware server virtualization certifications


Not every virtualization-related job needs a VMware certification, so it may not be worth the investment. But they could come in handy, down the road. Before deciding whether a VMware server virtualization certification is right for you, check out the following resources.

Virtualization certifications FAQ
At first, determining which virtualization certifications to shoot for can be overwhelming and there’s a lot to consider. For a brief introduction, read our virtualization certification FAQ, which touches on pay raises and ways to sharpen your virtualization skills.

Should I get certified for virtualization?
The importance of virtualization certifications generates mixed feelings among IT professionals. Ultimately, VMware server virtualization certifications dont guarantee a high paying job. Many IT managers value virtualization experience, so junior IT admins may want to hold off on upper-level certifications.

IT certifications for the well-rounded virtualization admin
A virtual infrastructure incorporates many aspects of a data center, including networking, storage and applications. Well-rounded virtualization admins must understand howvirtualization affects these areas. As such, it’s worth considering other IT-related certifications.   


Each VMware certification has different requirements. Some involve just passing a written test, others require classes. For a closer look at the specifics and what each VMware server virtualization certification signifies, review the following resources.

Navigating VMware certifications: VCP, VCDX, VCAP
The VCP exam dates back to the days of ESX 1.5. Since then, the number of VCPs has ballooned to more than 66,000. In response, VMware certifications now include the VCAP and VCDX levels to further distinguish standout virtualization experts.

Which VMware certifications are right for you?
When evaluating VMware certifications, consider your line of work and future goals. Some certifications are better suited for different careers. And, if you want to stand out from the VCP crowd, you could shoot for a more advanced certification.


Dig Deeper on VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX)

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