A Complete Guide To VMware Certified Professional (VCP)

When you’re talking about virtualisation technologies and trends, VMware is undoubtedly the leading player in the industry. The demand for professionals equipped to leverage VMware services and products is high and rising in the market. A VMware credential validates a certified professional and their claims regarding their skills and expertise in using virtualisation technologies. 

If you are preparing to earn a VMware VCP certification, this is the right place to start. You will find all you need to know about VMware certifications, virtualisation, what you should study to prepare for the exam and how you can get started. 

Levels of VMware Certification:

At one point, VCP was the sole certification VMware provided. Today, it is just one part of the overall VMware certification matrix. It includes four specialisation tracks and certification levels. Take a look at the areas you can specialise in.

1. Data Center Virtualization (DCV):

To earn this certification, candidates must demonstrate the relevant skills for designing, installing, configuring and managing a VMware vSphere environment. You need to attend a compulsory training course and also clear the VCP-DCV qualifying exam.

2. Network Virtualization (NV):

To go along this certification path, candidates must display skills for designing, installing, configuring and managing VMware NSX environments. This certification track needs hands-on vSphere and NSX experience along with any related technologies. Candidates need to attend a compulsory training course and clear the VCP-DV qualifying exam.

3. Cloud Management and Automation (CMA):

To earn a CMA certification, candidates must demonstrate the relevant skills for installing, configuring and optimising private, public and hybrid cloud platforms using the VMware vRealize Suite. You must have hands-on vSphere and vRealize experience as well as any related technologies. You need to attend a compulsory training course and clear the VCP-CMA qualifying exam.

4. Desktop and Mobility (DTM):

To earn a DTM certification, candidates must display skills required for installing, configuring and maintaining virtual applications and desktops using the VMware Horizon Suite. You must have hands-on vSphere and Horizon experience along with any related technologies. You need to attend a compulsory training course and clear the VCP-DTM qualifying exam.

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The four certification levels come with differing levels of difficulty and varying requirements. Here’s what they look like:

VCA (VMware Certified Associate) - Entry-level virtualisation and cloud certification:

The VCA credential is made for professionals demonstrating an aptitude for correct VMware technology implementation. To get a VCA certification, you need to clear a VCA qualifying exam. This exam tests your working understanding of VMware systems and products instead of your technical skills. You don’t need to take a training course for this certification, although it is highly recommended. The VCA certification is a non-proctored exam. 

VCP (VMware Certified Professional) - Mid-level cloud and virtualisation certification:

Besides the standard VCP certification path, there are four VCP tracks -

  • VCP-DCV

  • VCP-NV

  • VCP-CMA

  • VCP-DTM

The standard VCP track is a non-proctored exam while the specialised ones are all proctored. 

Also Read: Top VMware Interview Questions and Answers

VCAP (VMware Certified Advanced Professional) - Upper mid-level cloud certification:

Before qualifying for a VCAP certification, candidates need to earn a VCP certification. VCAP exams are divided into two types -

  • VCAP Deployment

  • VCAP Design

Candidates who manage to clear both exams in a track are awarded the VCIX certification. VMware recommends that you attend a training course before attempting the VCAP exam.

VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert) - The highest level of VMware cloud certification:

A VCDX certification verifies a candidate’s understanding of enterprise-level VMware implementation and product design. There are four tracks of VCDX certifications -

  • VCDX-DCV

  • VCDX-NV

  • VCDX-DTM

  • VCDX-CMA

A VCDX credential has several prerequisite certifications that a candidate must hold, which includes the VCP and VCIX credentials. Once you have earned these credentials, you have to submit a virtualised infrastructure design plan. If your design gets accepted, you must then present it before a VCDX-certified panel of professionals and justify your design.

Preparing for the VCP Qualifying Exam:

A VMware Certified Professional (VCP) exam is made up of 85 total questions and one pre-exam survey made up of eight more questions. As a candidate, you get 90 minutes to answer all the questions. The VCP qualifying certification exam is rated on a scale of 100 to 500. You must score at least 300 to clear the exam. The VCP exam also has a waiting period of seven days in case you don’t clear the exam and wish to retake a proctored exam. For non-proctored exams, this waiting period is not there. 

A VCP exam costs $225 per attempt. However, there are additional costs involved for supplementary study materials and training courses. VMware provides exam preparation packages for the standard vSphere Foundation exam and for every specialised track. These exam e-learning packages are made up of comprehensive exam content reviews with experienced VMware instructors.

Besides preparing through VMware-sponsored resources like VMware Learning Zone and the Community, you must also take a look at the official format of the certification exam. It helps to complete practice exams online, join a VCP study group and create a lab environment for testing unfamiliar tools and configurations.

You can use the official website of Pearson VUE to review exam options, locate testing centres and register for your VCP exam.

Also Read: What Is vSphere? An Introduction to VMware’s Virtualization Platform

Benefits of Becoming a VMware Certified Professional:

There are several benefits of a VCP certification. This includes access to VMware official transcripts, usage rights over VCP certification logos and beta exam and class invitations. You also get a digital badge from VMware, VMware Press discounts and admissions to VMware events at discounted rates. 

VCDX certifications provide additional benefits like a vExpert community membership, chances to give product engineers specific feedback, support for press releases as well as a VDCX bio feature. 

A VCP certification helps improve the career prospects of certified candidates. Most organisations using VMware virtualisation solutions expect administrators and technicians to have official certifications. A certification is a recognised way to validate an employee’s skills and prove them to clients. Most IT professionals with a VMware certification take up roles like IT managers, system engineers and system administrators.

A VCP certification is also a way to higher salary and payment opportunities. Back in 2017, VCP-certified system administrators earned between $49,000 - $95,000. Meanwhile, IT managers earned between $55,000 and $120,000 per annum.

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Armin Vans
Archer Charles has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.

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