There's always a lot of debate over the merits of IT certifications. Many people think that certifications by and large are a money-making scheme cooked up by vendors. And yet, it's almost impossible to be considered a viable job candidate by the human resources department for almost any IT position unless you have the appropriate certifications.
And when you couple that with the fact that people skilled in virtualization and cloud computing will probably enjoy higher salaries than most of their counterparts, it makes a new virtualization and cloud computing training and certification program from EMC difficult to ignore.
All you have to do these days to see the demand for virtualization skills is visit any IT job site. Most of the postings are looking for people with demonstrated virtualization skills, most notably VMware. And given all the interest in cloud computing, it stands to reason that demand for people with cloud computing skills are going to soar in 2011.
The good news is that the EMC training is open to all, so even if you're out of work you can sign up for training. The better news is that rather than having one set of certifications, EMC is recognizing the fact that there are different classes of virtualization and cloud computing skill sets. These skill sets include a cloud architect certification for virtualization, a cloud architect certification for IT-as-a-service and a data center architect certification.
According to Tom Clancy, EMC vice president of education services, EMC is trying to expand the base of cloud computing and virtualization experts because customers are telling EMC that the inability to find people with these skills is limiting the rate at which they can adopt these technologies.
In fact, the inability to effectively manage virtualization is leading to a state of "virtualization stall" in which the rate of adoption of virtual servers inside an enterprise starts to slow at around 30 to 50 percent of the servers installed.
Clancy says the training that EMC is making available is identical to the training it provides its partners and internal employees, and that the coursework is not designed to simply turn out graduates with a degree. Instead, EMC intends to rigorously certify that all the IT professionals moving through the program truly are virtualization and cloud computing experts.
Obviously, EMC has a particular view of the world when it comes to these technologies. But from the perspective of IT professionals trying to make sure their skills stay relevant in an increasingly global marketplace for IT services, programs that provide much-needed training in these critical areas should be greeted warmly instead of with the cynicism that usually gets attached to any vendor certification program.