I don’t follow VMware certifications so I didn’t know that they even announced the new Associate level certifications last month. I recently just found out about it and decided to give it a whirl, since it’s free – for limited time only. This new certification level doesn’t really change how the prerequisites of the upper level certifications like how Cisco designed theirs. If you are familiar with Cisco certifications, then you know that the Associate level certifications are prerequisites for majority of the Professional level certifications.
The certification will cost you $120 if you take it after the promo period. VUE and VMware are offering all Associate level certifications for free, with exception of VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization (VCA-NV), until September 30th. If you take it after September 30th, then it’s $60 since VUE seems to offer their promo until the end of the year. Don’t quote me on that though.
If you schedule it right now online then it’ll cost you $60, but again since VMware has a promo so you can enter the coupon code to make it free. The code you need to enter is VCA501. If you happen to try to schedule online, you may get an error after going through the motions of registering for the exam. It seems like VUE has been having this issue for quite some time now since I’ve seen postings online that people are getting the same error as I did. While you can certainly try it out, I suggest that you don’t waste your time doing so and just give VUE a call. It should be less than five minutes to schedule via phone unless there’s a long hold time.
VCA-DCV is really a sales certification rather than a technical certification in my opinion. It didn’t really ask any technical questions at all, if my memory serves me right. It just validates that you know the features well enough to answer questions of clients that are interested in VMware’s virtualization software products.
The certification doesn’t really have a prerequisite, which is a relief for people wanting a VMware certification since VCP still has the class requirement. This is most likely VMware’s response to the outcry of a lot of IT professionals. While it’s a good attempt to appease the IT professionals, in my opinion, VMware failed. This certification is worthless in my opinion. I will definitely not even put this on my resume unless it magically made a reputation that everyone has to have it. I did, however, put it on my about page and LinkedIn just for the heck of it.
How to pass VCA-DCV exam?
At the time of this writing, I only needed to take the free VMware Data Center Fundamentals class offered by VMware and was able to pass the VCA-DCV exam. However, I have to say that I have personal experience with VMware ESXi (since 3.5) and the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, and Manage [V5] class I took also helped me to pass the exam.
The VMware Data Center Fundamentals class is a self-paced and is approximately 2.5 hours long. It is a pretty short class so one could take this at one sitting. The exam might have changed by now so I suggest that one should buy the VCA-DCV Official Cert Guide: VMware Certified Associate – Data Center Virtualization book and also take the free self-paced class from VMware, especially for people who do not have experience with VMware vSphere.
If you are looking for a VMware certification to add on your resume, this is not it. Don’t waste your money on it. The $120 is better spent on a VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, and Manage class that you can take from a community college instead of paying for the pricey 5-day classes offered by training partners, like Global Knowledge. I took mine from Ohlone College for less than $100. However, that pricing is limited to California residents and non-CA residents have to pay over $300 to take the class, if I am not mistaken. One of the forum members on the site that I frequently go to found a lowest cost that can be taken from the comfort of your home that doesn’t require residency to a particular state. It’s from Stanly Community College and I believe it will set you back less than $300. Yes, these colleges are authorized VMware IT Academy as you can see from
this list. The list no longer includes the schools that offer the VMware IT Academy program. Check the VMware IT Academy site to search for schools near your area.
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