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3 Best Kubernetes Certifications in 2024 to Land Your Dream Job

Best Kubernetes Certifications in 2024 to Help Land Your Dream Job in the Cloud

This article lists the best Kubernetes certifications to help you land your dream job in the cloud. Whether that position is a Kubernetes Administrator, DevOps Engineer, Cloud Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer, or any other related position, these certifications will give you a leg up on the competition.

Why Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is vital for its role in automating the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, fostering agility and efficiency. Its importance lies in simplifying complex container orchestration tasks, enhancing scalability, and promoting portability across diverse environments.

The popularity of Kubernetes is surging as businesses across the globe recognize its efficiency, flexibility, and facilitation of cloud-native development. The widespread adoption of Kubernetes is mainly driven by its role in streamlining operations, supporting microservices architectures, and providing a standardized, open-source solution for managing containerized workloads.

Kubernetes is now, and always will be, a cornerstone of modern application development and deployment.

Is Kubernetes Certification Worth It?

Acquiring Kubernetes certification is absolutely worth it! If you’re looking to break into the DevOps space from another tech domain, Kubernetes certification can work wonders.

Among all of the different tech jobs on the market, the highest average salary goes to cloud related positions. This list mainly consists of DevOps Engineers, Site Reliability Engineers, and Cloud Engineers.

Do you know what all of these high paying cloud related career paths have in common? Containerization.

Do you know what the most widely-used container orchestration platform is? Kubernetes.

When Is Kubernetes Certification Not Worth It?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but it’s common knowledge in the tech community that cloud positions are often not entry-level positions.

With that said, landing an entry-level cloud position with no previous tech experience is extremely difficult. Kubernetes certifications alone may not help in this case.

There are many reasons as to why this is commonly known. It’s mainly because containerization and container orchestration are just small pieces of the vast world of cloud technology. There are hundreds of topics for one to be proficient in before they can be successful in a cloud position. Some examples are having proficiency in Linux, bash scripting, and computer networking.

However, if you have tech experience by either completing practical projects or working in a professional setting and are now looking for the next step in your career, Kubernetes certification can work wonders.

3 Best Kubernetes Certifications in 2024

All of these Kubernetes certifications are extremely useful when taking your tech career to the next level. It’s important to choose the right one for you and your goals.

1. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification is the most popular Kubernetes certification and for good reason. The CKA certification is the most in-demand certification by employers hiring for a cloud position that works with Kubernetes. This certification is offered by The Cloud Native Computing Foundation with The Linux Foundation which are two of the most widely-known and trusted entities in the entire tech community.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator Certification

The CKA certification lets employers know that you have the skills, knowledge, and competency to perform the responsibilities of a Kubernetes administrator. The average salary of a Kubernetes Administrator in the US is roughly $124,000. Let that sink in.

The beauty of the CKA certification is that it adds enormous value to your resume whether you’re an existing tech professional or a fresh college graduate. This is mainly due to the nature of the exam. Most cloud certifications are multiple-choice whereas the CKA certification offers a hand-on exam.

Completing this hands-on exam proves to employers that you know how to solve practical Kubernetes tasks. Having this ability proves that you have an understanding of key Kubernetes concepts such as networking, logging and monitoring, security, storage, maintenance and troubleshooting, and a few others.

The Certified Kubernetes Administrator certification exam covers the following Domains & Competencies:

  • Storage (10%)
  • Troubleshooting (30%)
  • Workloads & Scheduling (15%)
  • Cluster Architecture, Installation & Configuration (25%)
  • Services & Networking (20%)

The CKA certification exam allows you 2 hours for completion and you need a passing score of 66% for the exam.

Not sure where to start? Here are two free courses provided by The Linux foundation that will help you prepare for this certification.

If you’re already familiar with Kubernetes and looking for a project to bolster your practical experience, you can check out some ideas here:

2. Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA)

The Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) is another extremely popular, in-demand Kubernetes certification offered by The CNCF and The Linux Foundation. The KCNA certification is geared towards individuals who may not feel ready to tackle other Kubernetes certifications yet, such as the CKA, and helps prepare them with the knowledge to do so.

Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate Certification

The KCNA is a “pre-professional” certification designed for individuals interested in advancing to the professional level of Kubernetes and cloud native applications. This certification lets employers know that you have a solid understanding of Kubernetes foundational knowledge and skills.

While less than the CKA, the KCNA still adds a lot of value to your resume if you’re looking to transition into cloud related position. Most individuals who acquire the KCNA certification often get the CKA certification shortly after. Speaking from experience, I have witnessed 5 colleagues of mine transition from a service desk position to a DevOps position with the KCNA and CKA certifications in the span of 6 months.

Even though the KCNA certification exam is multiple-choice and not a practical hands-on exam like the CKA certification, it’s been proven to help catapult those looking to transition into the cloud. The KCNA certification provides solid foundation for you to build on and leverage when leveling up your career in or to the cloud. For this reason, I have the KCNA certification listed as number 2.

The Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate certification exam covers the following Domains & Competencies:

  • Kubernetes Fundamentals (46%)
  • Container Orchestration (22%)
  • Cloud Native Architecture (16%)
  • Cloud Native Observability (8%)
  • Cloud Native Application Delivery (8%)

The KCNA certification exam allows you 90 minutes for completion and you need a passing score of 75% for the exam.

Not sure where to start? Here are two free courses provided by The Linux foundation that will help you prepare for this certification.

3. Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) is arguably the best Kubernetes certification available when it comes to landing high salary cloud positions. The skills proven with CKAD certification are heavily desired in the job market today.

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer Certification

The CKAD certification is for DevOps engineers, cloud engineers, and other tech professionals already responsible for building, deploying, and configuring cloud native applications with Kubernetes. It’s important to note that just because you’re not already working with Kubernetes in a professional setting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t acquire the CKAD certification. Practical experience in a home lab is more than sufficient.

The CKAD certification is more geared towards individuals with programming experience eager to prove their knowledge in cloud native microservices application development and deployment. It’s entirely possible to transition from a developer position to a cloud engineer position, for example, but it’s not easy. This is primarily where the CKAD certification shines.

The CKAD certification exam is another practical hands-on exam just like the CKA certification exam. With the CKAD certification, employers know that you can design, build, configure, and expose cloud native applications for Kubernetes, which are all extremely desirable skills. Additionally, the CKAD certification showcases the abilities to define application resources and use core primitives to build, monitor, and troubleshoot scalable applications and tools in Kubernetes.

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer certification exam covers the following Domains & Competencies:

  • Application Design and Build (20%)
  • Application Deployment (20%)
  • Application Observability and Maintenance (15%)
  • Application Environment, Configuration and Security (25%)
  • Services and Networking (20%)

The CKAD certification exam allows you 2 hours for completion and you need a passing score of 66% for the exam.

Not sure where to start? Here are two free courses provided by The Linux foundation that will help you prepare for this certification.

Wrapping Up

In this article we covered 3 of the best Kubernetes certifications in 2024 to help you land your dream job in the cloud. While all of these Kubernetes certifications prove to be beneficial, it’s important to note that they aren’t always required. Practical work experience, whether that’s in a professional setting or in your home lab, will almost always be more helpful than certifications when trying to land and ace interviews for a dream job in the cloud.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope this article helped! If you have any questions or suggestions, please add them in the comments section below.

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