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  1. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #1

    Default VCP as first cert

    I will preface this thread by first saying this: I have an email into the HR at a data center near me that has posted a few jobs requiring extensive VMware knowledge. I seen these adds up, contacted them and told them (not verbatim) "Hey I don't have the education, skill or certifications yet but what should I do to get started?"

    I didn't expect a response, but I was pleasantly surprised when they responded.... They told me that there are no openings for lower positions like helpdesk, but there will be "several new (growth) positions created in early 2014".

    I shot back a email asking what the minimum skill set desired would be, and if VCP would be a good start or if the positions would be in a different skill set completely.

    With that email into them, I thought I would see what TE thinks of having just a VCP? I will have the A+ in a few weeks. Depending on what their response is, I may go straight into the VCP prep. I will be taking the required course this winter as an elective in the BS program I am in.


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  3. VCDX in 2017 Essendon's Avatar
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    #2
    At my previous employer, our senior virtualization guy only had the VCP. But, he had a lot of experience to more than make up for the lack of certs. So yeah there are people out there with just the VCP. Having said this, I would still suggest you begin working towards the VCP. It's not an entry level cert by any means, and you may find it quite difficult, but it sure is an interesting cert to work towards. Coming off the A+, you may find the learning curve a bit steep but there are a zillion threads on here to help you through. If you already have a set date to take the course, I dont see an issue with working for the cert too. Good luck!
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    #3
    The VCP is certainly a tough nut to crack, but it could definitely be a 'first cert' if you are willing to put in the time and effort to get it. The test is focused on vSphere, so as long as you have a very good understanding of how that works, it can be obtained. Parts of it focus on networking, specifically standard and distributed switches, so understanding networking fundamentals will certainly help (ie: VLANs, IPv4, ports, TCP/UDP, etc.). So you may want to go for the Network+ in the interim - not necessarily for the cert, but primarily for the knowledge. You should also have a good grasp on hardware to help with the CPU/Memory/etc. components.

    One big issue you may face, even if/when you get the VCP, is having practical experience in real world environments. While this applies to all areas of IT, it's especially important with VMware. It's one thing to have the book knowledge, it's another thing to be able to manage and implement enterprise or even SMB level vSphere environments. There is a lot to know that even the test doesn't cover to be successful in that regard. So let's say in a year or so you apply for a virtualization job and have your VCP. An employer is going to be very reluctant to bring you on board if you have zero experience outside of a lab.

    In my case, I've had a limited amount of real-world exposure thus far, but studied very hard and just passed the exam today (woohoo!). Most of my production exposure thus far has been simple management/maintenance tasks, but I am about to begin designing and building a new customer's setup from scratch. And now that I have my certification, I'll have more opportunities to be the 'virtualization guy' for my present employer, which in turn will give me more experience - an invaluable asset.

    Point being - if you really want to get a job that deals with virtualization, I would recommend finding a company that does it in some fashion. Even if you don't get to do it for your day-to-day responsibilities, you will likely be able to assist in some capacity if you ask. And that will allow you to show future employers that you can.

    Also, remember that no class, especially the ICM class, is going to fully prepare you to sit for the exam. It requires a tremendous amount of self-study and experience (lab or otherwise).
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  5. Senior Member tprice5's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by phonic View Post
    The VCP is certainly a tough nut to crack, but it could definitely be a 'first cert' if you are willing to put in the time and effort to get it. The test is focused on vSphere, so as long as you have a very good understanding of how that works, it can be obtained. Parts of it focus on networking, specifically standard and distributed switches, so understanding networking fundamentals will certainly help (ie: VLANs, IPv4, ports, TCP/UDP, etc.). So you may want to go for the Network+ in the interim - not necessarily for the cert, but primarily for the knowledge. You should also have a good grasp on hardware to help with the CPU/Memory/etc. components. One big issue you may face, even if/when you get the VCP, is having practical experience in real world environments. While this applies to all areas of IT, it's especially important with VMware. It's one thing to have the book knowledge, it's another thing to be able to manage and implement enterprise or even SMB level vSphere environments. There is a lot to know that even the test doesn't cover to be successful in that regard. So let's say in a year or so you apply for a virtualization job and have your VCP. An employer is going to be very reluctant to bring you on board if you have zero experience outside of a lab.In my case, I've had a limited amount of real-world exposure thus far, but studied very hard and just passed the exam today (woohoo!). Most of my production exposure thus far has been simple management/maintenance tasks, but I am about to begin designing and building a new customer's setup from scratch. And now that I have my certification, I'll have more opportunities to be the 'virtualization guy' for my present employer, which in turn will give me more experience - an invaluable asset. Point being - if you really want to get a job that deals with virtualization, I would recommend finding a company that does it in some fashion. Even if you don't get to do it for your day-to-day responsibilities, you will likely be able to assist in some capacity if you ask. And that will allow you to show future employers that you can. Also, remember that no class, especially the ICM class, is going to fully prepare you to sit for the exam. It requires a tremendous amount of self-study and experience (lab or otherwise).
    Congrats on the pass and great answer.
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  6. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #5
    Nothing wrong with getting VCP as your first cert. But to be a successful virtualization engineer you'll need to have sound understanding of networking, storage and guest OS as well.
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  7. kj0
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    #6
    perhaps look at some of the Hands on Labs. They are great for getting straight in and having a play with also learning at the same time.


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  8. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dave330i View Post
    Nothing wrong with getting VCP as your first cert. But to be a successful virtualization engineer you'll need to have sound understanding of networking, storage and guest OS as well.
    No email yet from that companies HR, so Ill keep asking questions

    If I were to push VCP to the back burner, what would be most beneficial to someone working towards working in a virtualized data center? I would think networking (CCNA) since everything coming in/out would be hitting several networks before it gets there.

    @everyone who gave info, thank you a ton! Where I work now has 2 ESXi servers, but they are the most reliable machines we have and they are running low level services that have not crashed since I have been here.

    The idea with working towards VCP is that if/when they post those "growth" jobs I will be able to land an interview and have some knowledge in the VMware world even if I don't have the VCP at that point. My soft skills are my best quality, I need to work on my technical skills. I don't anticipate the growth positions to be ones that require much hands on VM work. The area I live in/the are the DC is in is light on tech people as I have found out. Employers are often more willing to train the right people than in other parts of the state/country.


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  9. Not IT n00b dave330i's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by --chris-- View Post
    If I were to push VCP to the back burner, what would be most beneficial to someone working towards working in a virtualized data center? I would think networking (CCNA) since everything coming in/out would be hitting several networks before it gets there.
    CCNA works well. I'm not sure if N+ covers enough material to be worth while.
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  10. Self-Described Huguenot blargoe's Avatar
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    #9
    You have to have a foundation in servers and some familiarity with networking and storage to be successful as a VMware admin. Having just a VCP is fine, but you need to have some experience as systems admin or the learning curve will be steep.
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  11. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #10
    Thank you. I am awaiting the response from the HR staff before making a decision, plus I have another 2-3 weeks of study before I pass the 802.


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  12. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by kj0 View Post
    perhaps look at some of the Hands on Labs. They are great for getting straight in and having a play with also learning at the same time.


    http://hol.vmware.com
    Forgot to thank you, this link deserves its own quote!


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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by dave330i View Post
    Nothing wrong with getting VCP as your first cert. But to be a successful virtualization engineer you'll need to have sound understanding of networking, storage and guest OS as well.
    Yeah I was going to say this... VCP sort of assumes that you have a base level knowledge of a lot of technology.
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  14. Senior Member --chris--'s Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Nutsacjac View Post
    Yeah I was going to say this... VCP sort of assumes that you have a base level knowledge of a lot of technology.
    I heard back from the HR with that company, they said that VCP will not be required or even necessary for the "growth positions" but couldn't hurt.

    Ill take that to mean that the positions will be entry level, entry level skills and that they will hope to find 1-2 people worth keeping around.


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