Certifications can be a great way to enhance a career. They will not make you an expert but can give direction and confidence to practice more. Certifications can provide a great foundation for your professional knowledge base. Cloud technology is causing major change in the IT landscape. More organizations are adopting cloud services and integrating them into their IT infrastructure. Storing data, transferring and processing data in the cloud requires skills and knowledge. The Cyber Job Mentor recommends these 5 certs as a start to gaining the knowledge and skill necessary.
The AWS Certified Security – Specialty
validates an understanding of security operations and risk as it pertains to
AWS cloud. It also provides understanding about encryption and ways to implement
in AWS. This certification is recommended for cyber job professionals that have
chosen AWS as their cloud platform of choice. Also, with AWS you can create a
free account for a limited time period to practice necessary skills. This is
considered a specialty exam and there are no prerequisites. The exam cost
$300.00. Amazon suggest at least 2 years of hands on experience securing AWS
and implementing security controls, but it is not a requirement to study for
and take the test. Learn more at the AWS certification web site https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certified-security-specialty/.
The CCSP – Certified Cloud Security
Professional is brought to you by experts at (ISC)². The same organization that
provides the CISSP exam. The CCSP does have an experience requirement, but it is
possible to take exam without require experience. There are also ways to substitute
the required experience with other certifications or credentials. The cost for
the exam is $599.00. This certification is highly recommended for IT
professionals who already have earned a CISSP or SSCP certification.
The Professional Cloud Security Engineer is
provided by Google. Google markets this exam as perfect for IT professionals
regardless of platform used. This exam covers configuring access within a cloud
solution environment, configuring network security, ensuring data protection, managing
operations within a cloud solution environment, ensuring compliance. There are
no prerequisites for this exam. This certification is recommended because
Google provides hands-on practice and a Coursera course located here https://www.coursera.org/specializations/security-google-cloud-platform.
The exam cost $200.00. You can learn more about the exam here https://cloud.google.com/certification/cloud-security-engineer.
The Cloud Security Alliance or CSA provides
the Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge or CCSK. The CCSK exam is a vendor
neutral exam. The CSA recommends
training courses to familiarize yourself with the exam material. This exam covers
the topics discussed in the CSA Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus
in Cloud Computing v4.0 The exam cost is $395.00. There are no prerequisites
for the exam. It is a great exam to get a broad range of cloud security knowledge.
You can learn more at https://ccsk.cloudsecurityalliance.org/en/about.
Use the certifications as a guide to study. As
an IT professional your budget may not be able to stretch to pay for a
certification at this time. That limitation does not mean you cannot study for
a certification. Choose your direction. Set your goal. Make sure you work
towards your goal each and every day. Build your knowledge.
Developing a career in technology can be a challenge. The
Cyber Job Mentor understands this and attempts to mentor and guide future and
present IT professionals. Cloud technology is transforming the IT environment
at a rapid pace. There will be opportunities for IT professionals to fill roles
that currently exist or will exist. I have provided a list of entry level or
beginner level cloud certs to get you started. There are more certs, and these
may not be a good fit for everyone. Look for the certifications and training
that aligns best with your career goals and learning style. The certs chosen are
good for folks without a technical background. These were also chosen for IT
professionals whose experience is not currently focused on the cloud and its technology
The Cloud+ certification is a great place
for beginners to start gaining cloud skills and knowledge. The CompTIA web site
says that 2 to 3 years of experience is recommended, but considering that there
are no prerequisites, it is deemed good for beginners. As of the date of this
posting the exam costs $319.00 and is valid for three years. You can learn more
at Comptia’s website. https://certification.comptia.org/certifications/cloud
Amazon is a leader in cloud services. Being
able to pass the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
should give you basic skills in
understanding AWS architectural principles, basic security, and basic infrastructure.
This exam does not require any previous experience and Amazon provides many of
the resources needed to study for free and you can sign up for a free account to
practice. Best part is that the exam is $100.00. You can learn more here on the AWS
certification website https://aws.amazon.com/certification/certified-cloud-practitioner/.
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud service. It was
launched February 1, 2010. The market share is growing day by day. The Azure exam
is less technical than some others and is geared more towards non-technical
professionals but it is still recommended as a beginner level cert. This exam does not require any previous
experience and Microsoft Azure provides many of the resources needed to study
for free and you can sign up for a free account to practice. The exam cost is $99.00.
You can learn more at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-az-900.aspx.
Studying for IT certifications can be a great way to start a career in IT. New IT certs can also be a way to enhance an existing career or change careers. They will not make you an expert but can give direction and confidence to practice more. Certifications can provide a great foundational knowledge base. There are many books and materials that can be used. There are many different styles of teaching and learning. It can be daunting sorting through all the options. Find the solution that aligns with your schedule, budget, and learning style. The Cyber Job Mentor has provided a list of sources that may help you study for your next IT certification.
James Messer provides some awesome content that is always relevant for CompTIA trifecta. He has videos that cover all the of the objectives for A+, Net+, and Sec+ exams. He offers all of these amazing videos for free and provides monthly study sessions. The videos are available on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/professormesser and on his website at https://www.professormesser.com/. He also sells notes for the videos which are a great value.
Cybrary.it is incredible. This site offers labs, videos, practice, and more. It is wrapped in a very attractive package perfect for aspiring IT professionals. They have an ios and android app so you can learn on the go. Not all of the content available is free but it is worth the investment. https://www.cybrary.it
Lynda.com is a great subscription based service that has a deep learning library covering a myriad of topics. The IT related videos are high quality from experts in their respective subject matter disciplines. It is not free but highly recommended. https://www.lynda.com/
Pluralsight has training for many IT certificates. There are hands on learning opportunities and practice test. This site is recommended for both new comers to technology field, seasoned professionals who need to brush up, and folks who are just curios and want to learn something new. https://www.pluralsight.com
Finally the last recommendation is Udemy. Udemy courses are varied and you should be able to find and instructor that meshes with your learning style. The courses typically are reasonably priced and can be viewed in their handy app. https://www.udemy.com