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Trends in IT Certification: Virtualization

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Virtualization technology is all the rage, with no indication of slowing down. This article examines current trends in the virtualization certification space. You’ll learn about salary potential, training opportunities, and job searching tips, and examine the most popular programs and individual certs.
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The number of virtual technology implementations have skyrocketed in recent years. VMware virtual machines and Microsoft Hyper-V servers are cropping up all over, as are Citrix XenServers and XenDesktops. These solutions are a mainstay for many enterprises, and are gaining traction in small environments as each new virtual platform becomes less expensive and easier to use. Big or small, companies are quick to realize the many benefits of virtualization—such as green IT, cost savings, and the competitive advantages inherent in a scalable infrastructure.

What began as a great environment for development and testing has become a complement or replacement for physical servers and desktops. Virtualization is here to stay, and is quickly pushing traditional client/server/workstation setups aside.

Let’s take a look at trends in the virtualization certification space, such as salary potential, training opportunities, job searching tips, and, finally, a look at the most popular programs and certifications.

Salary

According to job and salary sites like Indeed.com and Dice.com, salaries for careers in virtualization continue to grow. The average salary for virtualization experts in 2009 was just under $85,000. Today, a virtualization certification should put you near or firmly into a low six-figure salary, making it one of the highest wages in IT. An operations administrator makes $86,000 to $106,000, depending on location; virtual storage engineers often command over $125,000. (A quick search of Indeed.com showed the highest paying virtual storage engineer position starting at $161,000.) It’s clear that specializing in virtualization can be a good career choice, salary-wise.

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