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VMware Re-Certification: Talking $$$

In my recent post about VMware’s addition of expiration to their certifications I received a great comment from Jay Moore. The primary comment being:

“It may come down to $$$ for some people. As a VCP5, I can take the VCP-DT exam for free, but cannot take the VCP-Cloud for free. I could sit the VCP555 by March 10th 2015, but I know I can’t personally afford to go to the class for VCP-Cloud. So, for my money, taking the VCP-DT would be a horizontal cert that would keep me current and only cost the amount of the exam.”

[Note 2014-03-12]:  I have not seen any information thus far indicating a course is required to laterally take any of the other VCP certifications once you’ve received one of them.  Course requirements still exist for obtaining your first VCP certification.  If I see something different I’ll update the post accordingly.

Here are a few thoughts on this:

After completing my VCAPs my wife put me on a certification sabbatical that inadvertently lasted almost 2 years. I certainly do not dismiss the cost element that can be associated with maintaining certifications as cost and preparation both played into my decision to hold off on updates. However, I find that providing a time limit, and no longer requiring additional coursework if you don’t update within 2-3 months of release, makes maintaining your certification easier in several ways. The focus here being financial.

  1. You can upgrade at your pace since not all organizations adopt the newest version quickly. Financial aspect to this as well since budget cycles fluctuate.
  2. You can shop around for a discount on the certification cost. VMUG Advantage, for example, often offers discounts (sometimes free) VCP exam coupons.
  3. You can entirely shift gears based on your career development. You may move to a desktop based role and the other VCP options are appropriate. On the other hand you may find your skills growing considerably in 12-18 months leading you to feel compelled to tackle an advanced certification. In this scenario the exam cost may be completely justified.

Based on the tweets I read throughout the day I get the impression that the majority do not see this as a financial move by VMware. It appears the general consensus is that VMware is NOT making boatloads of money on the certification program. Additionally since they are removing the What’s New course requirement to renew it appears that pressure is not on the training revenue directly either.

We may never have the specifics on the shift, but regardless I’m not going to be able to go on another 2 year sabbatical without consequences. I’m frugal so I’ll hold out for a deal. I’m past due updating my VCAP-DCD anyways. Thanks for reading and thanks to Jay for his comment.

5 thoughts on “VMware Re-Certification: Talking $$$

  • Dropping the $1500 What’s New, but replacing it with $4000 ICM if you wait >24months. “free” time extended from 6-mo to 24 month but penalty increased $2500

  • Certifications always lose value over time. Normal. However they added a “second coat” on it with the “expire”. Would we rather prefer “retired”? Any changes to the rules are not welcomed when they “restrict” something. I don’t think we would complain to get paid when you pass an exam… -:)

  • Fair enough. Here’s the rub though. Statistically speaking I’d bet that those who value their certifications, VMware or others, and feel that it has direct value to their job/career are not likely to let it expire regardless of policy. It’s impossible to say at this point how many people would really be affected by this change.

    I can certainly empathize with the dislike of the change. I’m overall indifferent because I know I’m likely to keep at least one of my certs active until the point that they no longer provide additional value to me professionally.

    This appears, like many things, to be designed for the masses without considerable focus on perceived corner cases. Don’t think of it as a penalty and more as a barrier to re-entry. It clearly incentivizes a VMware certified professional to stay current which I’m confident is the entire point.

    Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

  • I think the fatal flaw in the new plan is the reality that they rip it away from you if you let it expire. I think the savvy professional who has made a conscious decision to let their VCP certification expire will also be savvy enough to include VCP4, VCP5, etc on their resume to demonstrate that they’ve held that skill. When asked why they are not current that should be a straightforward conversation.
    Perhaps our feedback should be that VMware treat it less like an annulment and formally adopt a “retired” status or allow people to legitimately state that they obtained the certification on a specific product version. After all, it’s not like our obtaining their certification never happened just because we let it expire.
    Thanks for the comment. Always a pleasure hearing your thoughts.

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