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Holding a VMware virtualization certification has been one of the more lucrative differentiators lately, paying a premium over many over vendors’ skills offerings, according to David Foote, co-founder, CEO and Chief Research Officer of  Foote Partners LLC (

His firm tracks the pay and bonuses for more than 200 IT certifications, collected from nearly 100,000 IT workers in more than 2,000 North American employers. This data is updated on a weekly basis, and over the last six months, both of VMware’s certifications have been paying off.

Foote tells Channel Insider that VMware Certified Professional (VCP) is paying a premium of between 5 and 9 percent, while the elite VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification is paying a 7 to 11 percent  premium. The average bonus pay across the 211 certifcations the company tracks is 7.45 percent.

“Right now the VCP is pretty much paying the average of what certifications is worth, and VCDX is well above average,” Foote tells Channel Insider.

Over 50,000 individuals hold the VCP certification, but only 50 hold the VCDX certification, among VMware’s more than 170,000 customers and 25,000 partners, according to VMware. So the virtualization giant is looking to bridge the skills gap with a new certification, VMware Certified Advanced Professional.

VCAP, which will be available initially in two versions, is intended to differentiate and acknowledge those professionals that have continued to grow and develop beyond the VCP certification, while also serving as a stepping stone to the VCDX level.

“We expect that the addition of VCAP certification will increase the skills of thousands of IT professionals, providing advanced knowledge to strategically implement and manage virtualization solutions to derive maximum value for their company or customers,” said Enis Konuk, vice president of worldwide technical services at VMware. “The addition of VCAP to our certification program comes at a critical time as many companies need advanced skills to consider how to evolve their datacenters to be more cost and energy efficient – all the while maximizing productivity.”

With the exam due out on July 12, VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Administration (VCAP-DCA) is directed toward those who are capable of working with large and/or more complex virtualized environments and can demonstrate technical leadership with VMware vSphere technologies, and are capable of using automation tools, planning and designing virtualized solutions and administering all VMware vSphere Enterprise components.

VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacenter Design (VCAP-DCD), is directed toward individuals who can demonstrate their skills in designing VMware solutions in a multi-site, large enterprise environment and have shown a deep understanding both of VMware core components and their relation to storage and networking, and also of datacenter design methodologies.

Candidates will also have shown knowledge of applications and physical infrastructure, as well as their relationship to the virtual infrastructure. Registration for the VCAP-DCD exam opens in August.

To help VCP holders prepare for the VCAP exams, VMware has designed several new courses, including: for VCAP-DCA, VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting [V4], and VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance [V4]; and for VCAP-DCD, VMware vSphere: Design Workshop [V4]. VCP recipients interested in taking either or both of the VCAP exams may sign up to receive a notice when registrations open by visiting