Best Virtualization

Credit: ShutterstockThese virtualization certifications are in demand in 2017. Find the most valuable certification for your career path on Tom's IT Pro.

In today's competitive IT job market, virtualization is a must-have technology skill set, fueled by the exploding popularity of virtualization and cloud computing. IT pros can get started in this red-hot technology space with these five best virtualization certifications for 2017.

In both up and down economic times over the last several years, IT job opportunities related to virtualization have remained an unadulterated hot spot on the job market. As we looked at top IT jobs, top IT pay and top IT certification surveys for the last five years, in fact, we saw at least one virtualization entry in every single one of them. That makes it nearly unanimous that virtualization is a good set of skills and knowledge for any IT professional who works with systems, networks, or IT infrastructure and/or architecture to pursue and possess.

Virtualization is a technology space where the platform rules. This explains why the top certifications originate from vendors who offer their own specific virtualization platforms and tools. These leading companies include VMware, Citrix, Red Hat, Cisco and Microsoft. Though there are other virtualization players in this niche, they don't really compete with these large and well-established companies.

It's not hard to understand why professionals want to specialize in virtualization technologies from a salary perspective. According to SimplyHired, the average salary for virtualization engineer jobs is $108, 600, with the lower end at $80, 500 and the high at $146, 500. Glassdoor reports a salary range from about $69, 000 for entry-level engineers to almost $160, 000 for senior-level positions.

Before you dive into the featured certifications, please take a look at the job search results below. They indicate how frequently these certs appear in actual job postings, at least as a snapshot in time.

Job Board Search Results

Cert Total CCP-V 35 37 29
Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Design Specialist 34
30 17
118 Cisco Data Center Unified Computing Support Specialist 41
141 MCSE: Private Cloud 159 176
130 543
RHCVA 10 11 4
VCP5-DCV* 44
48 20
VCP6-DCV 13 13
1 48

* Our pick for VMware certs is the VCP6-DCV. As you can see, version 5 cert is still going strong, but it will eventually be replaced. The rest of this article provides details on our featured certifications, in no particular order.

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