CompTIA is expanding on its existing cloud certification program launched two years ago with a new Cloud+ designation. The association, which offers a growing number of vendor-agnostic certification exams to its members, collaborated with ITpreneurs two years ago on the CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam.

The new CompTIA Cloud+ certification is aimed at IT professionals with 24 to 36 months of work experience in networking, storage or data center administration. Although not required, CompTIA recommends professionals interested in gaining the credential to have CompTIA Network+ and/or CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA certifications before pursuing the new credential.

For IT professionals, no matter whether they are employed within an SMB or enterprise or are building out their skills as an IT solutions provider employee, these kinds of certifications can provide them with credentials to prove they know what they claim to know. They can also identify weak areas that need some additional focus. But more importantly for the solution providers and cloud providers, Cloud+ could act as a differentiator to end customers looking for qualified partners to build out their cloud infrastructure and services.

The exam topics include:

  • Cloud concepts and models (12 percent of the exam)
  • Virtualization (19 percent)
  • Infrastructure (21 percent)
  • Resource management (13 percent)
  • Security (16 percent)
  • Systems management (11 percent)
  • Business continuity in the cloud (8 percent)

According to CompTIA's Fourth Annual Trends in Cloud Computing study, 90 percent of companies indicated they are using some form of cloud computing. At the same time, the number of cloud-related job postings grew by 30 percent in 2012. And industry data suggests 1.7 million cloud-related jobs went unfilled last year.

"CompTIA Cloud+ was developed by the industry to address this shortage, providing IT professionals with a credential that validates their ability to efficiently and securely implement and maintain cloud technologies," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president of skills certification at CompTIA, in a prepared statement.