Top-Paying Cloud Certifications for 2020

Category: Google Cloud Platform Posted:Oct 12, 2020 By: Serena Josh

So you have chosen to go after a career in cloud infrastructure and development. Or you’re leaning that way. It’s a major choice, however not the just one you’ll have to make. The cloud is a vast room, and deciding which discipline, certification, and cloud platform or platforms to pursue can have a big impact on your future career opportunities.

No stress!

Eyes on the prize

Let’s cut the chase. Which cloud certification offers the most bang for the buck? And how much you can earn as a cloud-certified IT pro?

According to the 2020 Global Knowledge report, the top-paying cloud certifications for the year are (drumroll, please):.

  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect– $175,761.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect— Partner– $149,446.
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner– $131,465.
  • Microsoft Certified : Azure Principles– $126,653.
  • Microsoft Certified : Azure Manager Affiliate– $125,993.

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect took the top position of all IT certs (once more), followed by the AWS Certified Solutions Architect– Associate. The most likely job role for those with these certs is “cloud architect,”  and 75% of cloud architects have made one of them; 28% have both. The AWS Solutions Architect — Associate was on the checklist last year but climbed up a couple of spots to the number 2 ranking overall for 2020.

Naturally, cloud and cybersecurity are both the areas of financial investment for organizations, so it’s no shocker that the top IT certs often tend to be around those areas. IT pros with these abilities continue to be in high demand and tend to attract the largest incomes in the sector.

Cloud architects particularly enjoy the higher annual pay, with ZipRecruiter reporting an average income nationwide at greater than $153,000 and varying from $89,000 to as high as $210,000.

Global Knowledge reports that the average cloud computing expert in the UNITED STATE pulls in $160,000, creating:

” … IT decision-makers are battling to certified professionals for cloud job openings. They remain in such need, the average cloud computing professional in the U.S. makes over $160,000 a year …”.

Have a look at the complete report for the top 15 paying IT certifications, which also include certification around security, networking, and project management.

How do those certs and also incomes contrast to 2019?

To see how things have changed, these were the leading cloud certifications (and the standard reported salary) for 2019:

  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect— $139,529.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect– Affiliate– $132,840.
  • AWS Certified Programmer– Partner– $130,369.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Server Infrastructure *– $121,288.

Microsoft muddies the waters

You may have discovered that the asterisk next to Microsoft Certified Solutions Specialist: Server Infrastructure in 2019 listings. This is because Microsoft did some rejiggering of its certifications. Long tale short, the MCSE: SI was replaced with multiple distinctive certifications more tied to role and workload, including three cloud-focused Azure certifications:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Manager, Associate.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Programmer Partner.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert.
  • You can see the Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator, Associate made the list this year, joined by the Azure Fundamentals cert.

Money isn’t everything

It may appear sensible to just select the certification with the guarantee of the highest possible average pay. But there are various other factors to take into consideration.

As an example, AWS is the clear market leader amongst public cloud platform providers, with 80% of global business running apps or experimenting with them on Amazon’s cloud, according to Statista. Microsoft is second with 67% market infiltration and Google is 3rd with 41%.

A cloud platform’s greater market share doesn’t necessarily indicate a higher spend for the professionals that work with it. In fact, experience on a smaller-but-growing platform can be lucrative. Google Cloud Platform, for instance, does not have the marketplace infiltration of AWS or Azure, however, its top certification yields the highest average income for cloud experts for the second year straight.

That’s not to state you should disregard market share! A platform’s adoption and popularity can help you assess the health of the job market in your location. On that front, AWS offers as close to a guarantee of employment as you can find, while Azure is a solid 2nd. Of course, cloud skills remain in such high demand that opportunity is available, whichever platform you select to specialize in.

Your circumstance may also point you towards a specific certification track. Possibly your present career would benefit from going deeper into a certain technique or expanding into a different cloud platform. Possibly your employer’s roadmap asks for a particular collection of abilities that certification can position you to meet. It’s constantly wise to seek advice from coaches, recruiters, and peers about which path to choose. Online communities— such as LinkedIn groups, cloud-related subreddits, or our own discussion forums– can also give important insights from a wider field of specialists.

Also, keep in mind– it’s not like you’re limited to the initial cloud certification you select. Getting certified within and across cloud platform isn’t just a possibility, it’s likely to be a need as you progress in your cloud computing career. Some 64% of cloud professionals were cross-certified as of in 2015, the number is just growing, according to Global Knowledge.


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