Today CompTIA releases CompTIA Cloud+, a new high-stakes certification exam for IT professionals working in environments that increasingly use cloud computing and virtualization technologies. The exam is ideal for those with at least two to three years of work experience in IT networking, network storage or data center administration—specialties that have seen rapid change due to cloud’s wide adoption as a competitive IT solution.
Earning the CompTIA Cloud+ certification shows that an IT professional:
- Understands cloud terminology and methodologies
- Can implement, maintain, and deliver cloud infrastructures when applicable
- Can understand aspects of IT security and use industry best practices related to cloud and virtualization
The 100-question, 90-minute CompTIA Cloud+ certification exam is now available in English, priced at $222 for CompTIA members and $261 for non-members. A Japanese version is scheduled to be available in early 2014. CompTIA Approved Quality Content (CAQC) courseware is now available as well, including the CompTIA Cloud+ Study Guide from McGraw-Hill.
Cloud+ for Skill Expansion
The CompTIA Cloud+ certification debuts amid growing market demand for cloud solutions and skills. CompTIA's 4th Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study, released in August, found that 90% of end user companies use some form of cloud computing—up from 80% in last year’s survey. In addition, companies report that the percentage of their infrastructure and applications now comprised by cloud systems has grown year-over-year.
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For IT channel firms, cloud revenues are growing faster when compared to existing products, the CompTIA survey found. Cloud sales generated 50% or more revenues for four out of 10 IT channel firms during the prior 12 months, while roughly a quarter of IT channel firms expect cloud revenues to grow by 15% or more during the next 12 months. (Slightly more than half expected modest cloud revenue growth.)
The need to build cloud skills touches IT channel firms and end-users alike. The 2013 IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Study recently found seven out of 10 IT leaders report that the IT/networking function has had to “rapidly expand its skill set/knowledge in order to keep up with cloud computing developments.”
Channel firms must offer adequate capacity and skills to meet demand or risk losing business and opportunities. The CompTIA cloud computing survey found that four in 10 channel firms experienced cases where customer demand outstripped their capacity to deliver, while two in 10 lost a deal because a customer desired a cloud solution they did not offer.
“CompTIA Cloud+ establishes a vendor-neutral industry exam that validates the core cloud concepts and skills that IT professionals and employers critically need in this rapidly evolving market,” said Bryan Kainrath, CompTIA vice president of certification operations.
Cloud+ exam objectives focus on cloud concepts and models (12%), virtualization (19%), infrastructure (21%), resource management (13%), security (16%), systems management (11%) and business continuity in the cloud (8%).
Cloud+ for Continuing Education
The Cloud+ credential is a key next step in the certification path of IT professionals who hold the CompTIA Network+, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Server+ and CompTIA Storage+ credentials.
In addition, earning the Cloud+ counts towards a portion of the required continuing education units (CEUs) required to keep other CompTIA certifications current.
“Much of Cloud+ content is in a category apart from other CompTIA certifications,” said Carol Balkcom, CompTIA director of product management. “But 25 percent of Cloud+ can be used for continuing education units for the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+ or CompTIA Security+ certifications. That increases to 30 percent for CompTIA Storage+.”
CompTIA’s partners worldwide are “primed and ready to deliver Cloud+,” reported John McGlinchey, CompTIA senior vice president, global business development. “Cloud+ will ensure that successful candidates have the knowledge and skills required to design, implement and maintain technologies and infrastructures to an ever-growing global cloud solutions market.”