I have people ask me all the time where to start to get certified in VMware. VMware is one of the few certs that you need to take a class to get certified at the professional level.
VMware Certified Associate (VCA)
If you are unable to take the VCP ICM (Install Configure & Manage) class, VMware does offer the VCA (VMware Certified Associate) certification. VMware Certified Associate (VCA) is an entry-level certification for VMware’s products. VMware Certified Associate exams do not cover technical skills, but instead requires candidates to demonstrate an understanding of basic virtualization technology and how to apply that knowledge to VMware products. There are four separate versions of the certification:
Here is a good video that provides a good overview of the VCA certification. Each track has a free online fundamentals course that helps you prepare for the exam.
Also, make sure you study the exam blue print for each track. It is the best study resource for the exam.
Once you feel you are ready to take the exams you need to request authorization before taking the exam. Just go to each tracks page (links above) and click on the “Request Exam Authorization”. Once completed you can go to the Pearson Vue website and schedule the exam.
One nice thing about the VCA exam is that it can be taken anywhere online. You do not have to go to a Pearson Vue test center to take the exam.
VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
If you feel you want to take the Professional level exams, there is a requirement to take a class. If we take a look at the VCP-Cloud for example, it shows that you have to take a “Install Configure & Manage” class before becoming a VCP-Cloud. All of the other tracks have the same requirement, but some of the other tracks have a “Fast Track or Troubleshooting” class that could be taken instead of the “Install Configure or Manage”
There are many options to take these classes : Classroom, Live Online & On Demand. You can schedule them directly through VMware or you can go to a training provider like Global Knowledge or New Horizons Learning Centers. These are good options, but are the most expensive and usually the main reason why people don’t have the VCP certification.
There is another option that a lot of people don’t know about and is much cheaper. Just like the Cisco Academy, VMware has the “IT Academy” program. Schools and colleges offer VMware classes that will qualify you to achieve the VCP certification. Here is a list of schools that are in the VMware IT academy program. Sometimes IT Academy classes are almost half the cost of the commercial offerings. I took my ICM class at an IT Academy. It took a little longer to complete the class than the commercial offerings, but in the end the result is the same.
Just like the VCA exams, once you are ready to take the VCP exam you have to go to each tracks page and click on the “Request Exam Authorization”. Once completed you can go to the Pearson Vue website and schedule the exam.
There is all type of study material for each tracks VCP exam, but the best thing to study is to study is the exam blue print.
All of this information and more can be found on the VMware Certification page.
This should be enough information to get you started with achieving a VMware certification.