The 5 Easiest Cloud Certifications for Beginners

Neal Davis
6 min readNov 20, 2023

In today’s digital era, cloud computing is undeniably one of the most sought-after skills in the tech industry. With companies rapidly moving their infrastructure and services to the cloud, there’s a growing demand for professionals who possess cloud expertise. But with numerous certifications available, which are the best and easiest cloud certifications for beginners?

Why Should Someone Get Cloud Certified?

Embarking on a certification journey has several benefits:

  1. Professional Credibility: Certifications bolster your professional reputation by authenticating your skills in a designated area.
  2. Career Advancement: Employers often prioritize certified individuals for promotions and key roles.
  3. Enhanced Earning Potential: Certified professionals generally out-earn their peers.
  4. Stay Relevant: Preparing for a certification ensures you’re abreast with current trends in cloud computing.

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

What is it?
Amazon’s foundational certification, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, offers a comprehensive understanding of AWS cloud’s core elements.

Target Audience:

This certification is aimed both at technical and non-technical workers so it’s fine if you don’t actually get hands-on with the cloud but simply need to know what it is.

What you need to know:

  • AWS Cloud concepts: Grasp the basics of cloud architecture and best practices.
  • Security and compliance in the AWS Cloud: Understand the features and services available for ensuring your infrastructure and applications are properly secured.
  • Core AWS services: Dive into services like EC2 (virtual servers), S3 (storage), and IAM (identity management).
  • Economics of the AWS Cloud: Understand AWS’s diverse pricing models, such as on-demand, reserved instances, and spot pricing.

Prerequisites: None.

Cost: $100 USD.

How to get started and train:
Check out our training bundle (including a video course, practice test course, and cheat sheets) for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Certification — everything you need to successfully pass this foundational exam.

2. Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

What is it?
The Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals certification is an entry-level certification offered by Microsoft to validate an individual’s basic knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided with Microsoft Azure.

This certification is part of Microsoft’s broader suite of Azure certifications and is often taken by individuals who are just starting out in the cloud domain or those wanting to demonstrate foundational knowledge of Azure cloud services.

Target Audience:

This certification is aimed at individuals who want to demonstrate a foundational level understanding of cloud services and how they are offered by Microsoft Azure. It is suitable for both technical and non-technical candidates.

What you need to know:

  1. Cloud Concepts: Understand the differences between Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Recognize the benefits of cloud computing.
  2. Core Azure Services: Familiarize yourself with Azure’s core services, including computing solutions (e.g., VMs), storage options, and networking components.
  3. Security, Privacy, Compliance, and Trust: Grasp the basics of Azure’s security features, such as Azure Active Directory and Azure’s compliance offerings.
  4. Azure Pricing and Support: Understand how Azure pricing works, the factors that can affect costs, and the different support options available.

Prerequisites: None.

Cost: $99 USD.

How to get started and train:
Utilize Microsoft’s free learning paths and modules. Also, check out our Challenge Labs for hands-on learning and validation of your skills — with over 600 labs for Microsoft and Microsoft Azure.

3. Google Associate Cloud Engineer

What is it?
The Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification is an entry-level certification offered by Google Cloud to validate an individual’s basic capability to deploy applications, monitor operations, and manage enterprise solutions using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) products and services.

Target Audience:

This certification is geared towards individuals who are relatively new to GCP but have some hands-on experience with Google Cloud products and services.

What you need to know:

  1. Setting up a cloud solution environment: This includes tasks like setting up cloud projects and accounts, managing billing configuration, and setting up work environments.
  2. Deploying and implementing a cloud solution: Topics covered include deploying applications, ensuring successful operation of a cloud solution, and configuring storage and databases.
  3. Ensuring successful operation of a cloud solution: This encompasses monitoring, logging, and application performance monitoring.
  4. Configuring access and security: Understand user authentication, access control, and how to define and manage encryption keys.

Prerequisites: Basic understanding of GCP services is beneficial but not mandatory.

Cost: $125.

How to get started and train:
Leverage the official documentation from Google Cloud and hands-on labs provided by Qwiklabs.

4. HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate

What is it?
The Terraform Associate Certification, officially known as the “HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate,” is an entry-level certification offered by HashiCorp. It is designed to validate a practitioner’s knowledge and skills pertaining to open-source HashiCorp Terraform, a widely used tool for infrastructure as code (IaC). Terraform allows users to define and provision data center infrastructure using declarative configuration files.

Target Audience:

This certification is geared towards those in roles like DevOps, system administration, and infrastructure management who have experience using Terraform to manage infrastructure.

What you need to know:

  1. Understand Infrastructure as Code (IaC) Concepts: Grasp the foundational concepts of IaC and how Terraform fits into this paradigm.
  2. Terraform Basics: Understand Terraform’s purpose, its workflow, and essential elements like Terraform Cloud and Terraform Enterprise.
  3. Interact with Terraform Modules: Recognize module benefits and use them to organize configuration.
  4. Navigate Terraform Workflow: Familiarize yourself with the core Terraform commands and understand the lifecycle of a Terraform run.
  5. Implement and Maintain State: Understand how Terraform handles state management and the importance of remote backends.
  6. Read, Generate, and Modify Configuration: Dive deep into Terraform’s configuration language and its uses.

Prerequisites: Familiarity with the command line and basic cloud concepts.

Cost: $70.

How to get started and train:
HashiCorp provides an in-depth study guide and learning resources tailored for this certification.

5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate

What is it?
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect — Associate certification is one of the most sought-after certifications offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). This certification is aimed at individuals who perform a solutions architect role and have experience designing distributed systems on AWS. It validates the knowledge to architect and deploy secure and robust applications using AWS technologies. This is a bit harder for absolute beginners to cloud but many of our students are successful in passing this exam despite not having this experience.

What you need to know:

  1. Design Resilient Architectures: Understand how to create architectures that can recover from failures, including multi-tier and decoupled architectures.
  2. Design High-Performing Architectures: Grasp AWS services for compute, storage, and database solutions to ensure high performance.
  3. Design Secure Applications and Architectures: Familiarize with AWS security services, data protection mechanisms, and control practices.
  4. Design Cost-Optimized Architectures: Understand how to design cost-effective architectural solutions using AWS.

Prerequisites: Some hands-on experience with AWS services is recommended but is not strictly essential

Cost: $150.

How to get started and train:
Join our Cloud Mastery Bootcamp to best prepare for this certification with hands-on projects and direct access to instructors. If you prefer self-study, use our on-demand AWS Certified Solutions Architect training bundle with over 20 hours of video-based training, 500 practice questions and training notes.

Conclusion

Embarking on your cloud journey might seem daunting, but with the right certification, you can lay a robust foundation. The certifications mentioned above can be achieved by beginners and will significantly bolster your cloud proficiency and career advancement.

Ready to Take Your Tech Career to the Next Level?

At Digital Cloud Training, we’re dedicated to your success. Our courses offer up-to-date content, equipping you with the expertise to stand out in the competitive tech job market.

Our On-Demand Training allows you to learn at your own pace, fitting seamlessly into your schedule. Dive into the world of cloud computing whenever and wherever suits you best.

Our Challenge Labs provide practical, real-world scenarios where you can apply your newfound knowledge without the risk of unexpected cloud costs. Gain hands-on experience and sharpen your skills.

For those seeking an immersive experience, our Cloud Mastery Bootcamp delivers live, job-ready training. Led by industry experts, this accelerated program can get you certified faster than you thought possible.

It’s time to propel your tech career forward. Join us at Digital Cloud Training and unlock your full potential in the world of cloud computing.

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Neal Davis

Founder of Digital Cloud Training, IT instructor and Cloud Solutions Architect with 20+ year of IT industry experience. Passionate about empowering his students