Recently, there have been a lot of changes to the IT credentials provided by popular vendors, and this has made many professionals unsure of what to expect next. For instance, Amazon removed all exam prerequisites, and Microsoft also retired some of its brand new certificates. Not so long ago, Cisco also carried out a total overhaul on its certification program. All these have brought questions to the mind of the individuals, especially those planning to take one or two certification tests in the near future. Hence, it is important to keep up to date.
The changes are not limited to only these vendors as VMware has also recently announced a major change in its recertification policy. Now, you can choose when to recertify your VCP because the vendor has removed the mandatory recertification prerequisite. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons for these changes and their implications for the specialists pursuing this certification path. First of all, let’s understand what the VCP credential is all about.
Overview of VMware VCP Certification
There are numerous credentials offered by this vendor to validate the experience of the professionals on VMware technologies. VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is a certification program that confirms the individuals’ skills and knowledge to use, troubleshoot, and maintain VMware vSphere. Due to the fact that VMware is the core player in the field of virtualization, this credential has become a highly valuable one in the IT industry. According to the report from PayScale, a VCP certified professional can earn an average salary of $88,000 per annum.
Prior to the change, there is a two-year recertification policy on the VCP credential, and it is designed to ensure that the certified specialists possess up-to-date knowledge and maintain their skills. No doubt, this policy is ideal for all IT certificates. For instance, a lot of Cisco and CompTIA certifications expire after a period of three years. Interestingly, VMware announced earlier this year that it will make some changes to its VCP recertification policy. What is the change? The vendor has removed the compulsory 2-year renewal prerequisite. This means your VCP will not expire if you don’t upgrade to an advanced or more recent certificate.
Main Reasons for This Change
There are quite a number of reasons why the change is appropriate. On the one hand, renewal was not always necessary in some cases. For instance, there are many companies that put upgrading of their virtualization infrastructure on hold for a long time. With this, there is absolutely no reason why their IT professionals should upgrade their credentials. The previous recertification process requires that the specialists retake the vSphere Foundations exam, in addition to any other relevant elective test, bi-yearly. Considering the time required for preparing for the exams, the two-year timeline becomes cumbersome for a lot of students. However, without this requirement, the individuals can choose when to update their VMware certificate based on their availability.
Consequences of Recertification Process Removal for Current VCP Certified Professionals
The removal took effect in February 2019. These changes have been made to officially reflect in CertManager, as well as the transcript of the candidates from April. This means many certifications that have expired before will appear active now. This generally minimizes the need to initiate the process from the scratch, and the candidates can choose when to upgrade or recertify. In case your VCP certificate has already expired, you can progress with an update path rather than starting over like a new student. If you have the expired VCP credential, it is likely to appear active now when you check your transcript.
Some versions of certificates will continue to be inactive, and you will be required to start the process from the very beginning. No doubt, this might be a bit exasperating, especially for an individual who has already gone through the expired certification path. The good news is that all hope is not lost. If you have already done the expired program within the past six months, VMware is offering you one-year premium license to the VMware Learning Zone, which is free. Combining the VMware training with the VMware Learning Zone will significantly enhance your preparation for the VCP exams.
Upgrading to VMware VCP Certification
In addition to the changes made to the recertification process, there is also an extension to the ability of the certification holders to upgrade their credential. The candidates can now upgrade any of the three most recent certificates in any given track. For instance, you can upgrade VCP5-DCV, VCP6-DCV, or VCP6.5-DVC to the new VCP-DCV 2019 certification. Prior to this change, only two most recent credentials could be upgraded.
The implication of this is that the applicants have the opportunity to upgrade without starting all over again. It is important to note that the extension is only applicable to the same VCP certification track. If you want to upgrade to another path, you have to do this within two versions of the current one, as it was in the previous policy. If you don’t meet this prerequisite, you have to start the new track from the scratch.
The Bottom Line
The core reason for changes in policy is to make the certification process simpler for the candidates. It started in 2018 when the vendor announced changes to the VMware certificate naming conventions to simplify the certification identification. Now, the recruiters can easily track the level of experience and authority of their employees.
Without the recertification prerequisites for VCP, the applicants and the employers can decide when the advanced credential is needed. This will definitely make the VMware certificates more popular among the professionals since they are in high demand and have no expiration date. It is not surprising that many other certification providers will tow this strip.