Which Cloud Certification Should You Pursue: AWS, Google, or Azure?

  • Any cloud certification, irrespective of the platform is a huge plus.
  • Based on certain factors, for instance, your current career path, a cloud certification in one platform might prove more beneficial than a certification in the other available platforms.
  • Current trends indicate that in the future, the most successful cloud professionals will be those who certify in multiple platforms.

On the surface, AWS seems to be winning the public cloud race with a market share of 33%. In contrast, Microsoft Azure, AWS’s closest rival, has a market share of 16% while Google Cloud, the other significant contender, has a market share of 8%.

That is according to a 2019 Q2 report by the Synergy Group. With such numbers, it would be easy for one to believe that AWS certifications are, by extension, the most valuable. A logical conclusion, but it might not be necessarily true.

Market share scratches the surface of the considerations that should go into deciding which cloud certification suits you best. Below are four key considerations you should always keep in mind.

1. The Market Demand for AWS Certification Vs. Google Cloud Certification Vs. Azure Certification

Back in December of last year, the job website Indeed released a report that analyzed employers’ interest in cloud computing skills. The report noted that within the past three years, the interest in cloud computing skills rose by 33%.

Moreover, although a lot of job seekers were interested in cloud computing positions, the employer demand was still higher than the number of qualified candidates. That makes it clear that irrespective of which certification you pursue—AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud—the market demand and opportunities are in plenty.

However, going back to the report, Indeed notes that job listings requiring Google Cloud skills increased by 66%—far more than Azure at 16% and AWS at 6%. That shows the market demand for a Google Cloud Certification is significantly higher than the other two.

These statistics are supported by the recent 2019 Q2 earnings call released by Google. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, announced that Google Cloud has an annual revenue run rate of $8 billion, up from $4 billion in 2018.

Such a significant jump indicates a healthy and growing use of the platform by businesses. In turn, this growth is driving and will continue to drive up demand for certified Google Cloud practitioners.

Also, keep in mind that AWS has been around for a while. In contrast, Azure and Google Cloud made their debut in the market just a few years ago. Consequently, certified professionals in Azure and Google Cloud are fewer, and by extension, the demand is higher.

Certified Cloud professionals are the highest paid in the IT industry.

2. Top-paying Cloud Certifications

A recent Global Knowledge Report listed the highest-paying cloud certifications for 2019. These certifications are:

  • Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect – $139, 529
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate) – $132,840
  • AWS Certified Developer (Associate) – $130, 369
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Server Infrastructure – $121, 288

In terms of salary, Google Cloud certifications are ahead of the pack. However, Azure and AWS are not that far back.

Keep in mind that according to the same report, cloud computing certifications enjoy the highest salary compared to all the other IT disciplines. Therefore, whichever platform you choose, you will still be among the highest-paid professionals in the IT field.

3. Your Employer’s Preference

This consideration is specifically for those who are already working for a company, business, or enterprise that is thinking of migrating to the cloud. It wouldn’t be of much help if you got a certification in Azure, but the company you work for ends up choosing AWS or Google Cloud.

Therefore, it is important first to find out your employer’s road map and which platform they might be leaning towards and then get certified in that platform. That will open up opportunities for you to move up the career ladder in your IT profession.

Moreover, you will probably get a significant salary bump.

Climbing up the career ladder with cloud certifications.

4. Your Current Career Path

For those already in the IT industry, where you are in your career might determine which certification path you choose. Let’s assume you are a cybersecurity expert or consultant. Your career might benefit greatly from an AWS certification track that ends up with a specialization in Security. Why AWS specifically?

The reason the AWS certification track might be better than the rest is that AWS holds the biggest market share. That translates to more clients who might need to consult on security in the cloud.

Another example to consider is an individual working as a cloud practitioner (professional or associate) with Azure. With the recently bolstered Anthos from Google Cloud Services, which facilitates working with multiple cloud environments, it might help to certify in Google Cloud as well.

That way, if you come across a client using multiple cloud environments (for example, Azure and Google Cloud) it will be easy to leverage Anthos to navigate the two cloud environments.

Final Word

Ultimately, remember that just because you have chosen one path does not mean you have to stick to it. Being certified in multiple platforms is a plus, and according to Global Knowledge, as of last year (2018), 64% of cloud professionals were certified in multiple platforms.

Moreover, in the future, having multiple certifications might be a requirement for cloud professionals as the industry grows.

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M.W. Muiru is a freelance writer specializing in IT content for B2B and B2C IT service providers. For business inquiries and to see the kind of content she enjoys writing, find her on Medium https://medium.com/@M.W.Muiru, on Twitter @M.W.Muiru and on LinkedIn @www.linkedin.com/in/martha-muiru-b4139413a

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