Today, VMware introduced three new certifications that will be available for testing immediately. The VMware Certified Technical Associate (VCTA) certifications are associate-level certifications that will be aimed at operators that manage and operate VMware environments.
The VMware Certification website defines the certification as:
This entry-level technical certification is for anyone new to the industry or advancing their careers who perform operational tasks typically delegated by administrators of virtualized environments
There are thousands of operators working in the tech industry Managed Service Provider (MSP) space who carry out L0-L1 tasks on large VMware estates for their customers. This certification will help them achieve credentials that can certify their skills on an associate-level and showcase their skills to customers.
VCTAs will fill in for the basic-level certification in the chain of Associate < Professional < Advanced Professional (Specialist level as I call it) < Expert
An example for DCV looks like this:
The exams are currently available in three technology tracks:
- VMware Certified Technical Associate – Data Center Virtualization 2020
- VMware Certified Technical Associate – Network Virtualization 2020
- VMware Certified Technical Associate – Security 2020
The VMware certification website states that the CMA and the DW tracks will soon see an exam announcements on the VCTA level. That will cover all the major tracks except the app modernization one which only has the VCP – Spring certification so far.
I have tried to cover some basic questions on this topic that are not completely covered in the new VCTA FAQ. This is based only on what I know and what I have read, if you have more info, please feel free to let me know in the comments section.
Why was this introduced? (my opinion)
Aligning with the standard certification levels that are followed by the Technology companies in the industry, could be a reason for this introduction. Also, with the introduction of 5 franchise platforms – Multi-Cloud, App modernization, Virtual Cloud Network, Digital Workspace, and Intrinsic Security, it is more imminent for VMware to have associate level certs in each of these priorities.
This is not the first time that VMware has introduced associate-level certifications. There was the VCA line that existed a few years ago and were even provided at no cost to everyone who was interested – this campaign ran for a couple of months and for some reason the certifications didn’t stay around for more than one version. Just last year when VMware introduced VMware Certified Associates – Digital Business Transformation (VCA-DBT), I was a part of the team that authored the exam. This certification continues to exist and covers VMware Cloud Foundation and Cross-Cloud Architecture solutions including vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and the vRealize Suite.
We have also had a vSphere Foundations exam for a while now. vSphere Foundations filled this gap and served as a pre-requisite for any new candidate who intended to pursue VMware certifications further onto Professional and Advanced Professional levels. However it is focused on providing the knowledge of VMware vSphere technology to associates who are working to get their first VCP badge. This leads to the next question…
Will vSphere Foundations requirement for VCP go away?
I’m not sure if anyone has noticed this but VCP DCV 2020 does not need one to write vSphere Foundations as a pre-requisite anymore. The only exams that need vSphere foundations exam to be completed prior to taking them are: VCP-CMA 2020 & VCP-DW 2020.
That’s what it looks like today and I’m not sure if that will change moving forward.
Will VCTA be a pre-requisite for one to take up a VCP exam?
No. This is also confirmed on the VCTA FAQ. These certifications will be independent of VCP and one does not need them as a prereq to take up VCP exams.
Will I need to go through an authorized training to sit for the VCTA certification?
No. There are recommended and free self-paced VMware trainings that will either be available free through VMware Learning Zone (VLZ) or through the VMware Authorized partners. They are just “Recommended” and not Mandatory to obtain a VCTA certification.
Rest of the questions about the time duration for the exam and cost etc are all covered on the VCTA official certification page – https://www.vmware.com/education-services/certification/vcta-security.html
I hope this blog post has provided you some insight into these newly introduced certifications. As always, if you have any feedback or comments, please drop them in the comments section.