With our launch of the new VMware Certified Professional 6.5 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6.5-DCV), I have been asked the question: “Which should I earn: the VCP6 or VCP6.5?” Since this is the first time we’ve had a .5 certification release, it’s a fair question. Regardless of whether you’re a new VCP candidate or recertifying, which one makes the most sense to earn?
To help answer the question, I am going to ask you a few questions. Your answers may help guide the right choice for you:
Which version of vSphere is your organization using?
This might seem obvious, but depending on your role, it is important that you have the skills required to manage the vSphere implementation that is in place. If you’re running vSphere 6, it makes sense to show your skills on vSphere 6.
But if you help with the planning, design, implementation, and/or migration to a new version, and your company has plans to migrate to vSphere 6.5, then it makes sense to look ahead and train and test on the vSphere 6.5 solutions.
When do you think you will be taking your next exam?
If you regularly take certification exams, you may want to follow the natural progression between versions and start with VCP6 and then move to VCP6.5 later on. That way you’ll have both certification versions. If two years or more go by between taking VCP exams, you may want to start with VCP6.5, which will have a longer “shelf life” from today.
Are you required to be certified as a VMware partner?
Sometimes compliance requirements dictate that you hold the most current certification. If you work for an organization where your certification helps maintain partner status, you may want to earn the VCP6.5 so it counts for a longer time (simply by the fact it’s a newer certification.)
Do you like to have all versions of a certification?
Certifications show your expertise and how current that expertise is. If you want to show how relevant your expertise is by earning both versions, start with VCP6 and then upgrade to VCP6.5 – it’s a shorter path to both certifications that way.
Ultimately, of course, it is up to you. Both certifications are unique and both are good for two years. Whichever your choice is, I wish you the best of luck on your certification journey.