5 Best Kubernetes Certification: Why Should You Get a Kubernetes Certification
Before Kubernetes and Docker programs got released, developers used to create applications that would only work on a single operating system. As a result, organizations have to develop the same applications from scratch for different systems. Not only this consumes a lot of time and resources but is also a painstaking process. But ever since Docker and Kubernetes came into the picture, managing and monitoring applications has become simple and easy.
Kubernetes helps developers in automating deployment, scaling, and operations of application containers across a wide range of clusters of hosts. Thus, containerization and cloud development has become easier with Kubernetes.
In the IT development framework Kubernetes is one of the most used platforms out there. Therefore, having a professional Kubernetes certification will help you with the required experience and knowledge you need to create containerized applications. T In this post, we will talk about the five best Kubernetes certifications that you can get online. Also, we will discuss various reasons for getting a Kubernetes certification.
If you are interested in concurrent technologies and containerizing applications, you should take a professional Kubernetes course. Taking the course will not only boost your knowledge but will also help you land numerous job opportunities. Let’s have a look at the different aspects of Kubernetes and containerizing applications.
What is Kubernetes?
Designed by Google, Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that developers use to automate, deploy and scale containerized applications. Kubernetes provides various features to the app developers, such as scheduling and running Kubernetes clusters.
Since you can easily operate your application development process with Kubernetes and Docker containers, you should use them in both physical and virtual machines. Here are the most important things that Kubernetes help us to take hold of:
- Kubernetes helps to orchestrate containers that come with multiple hosts to reduce the time it takes to scale and containerize applications manually.
- Utilize hardware capabilities
- Kubernetes automatically operates and controls the updation of applications
- It helps boost the storage that is needed to run applications
- Scaling containerized applications
- Manage services in a way that ensures that your applications are running smoothly
These benefits are the main reasons why many people invest time in learning and studying about Kubernetes. If anything, Kubernetes makes scaling and conternezing applications easier than ever.
What Is the Kubernetes Certification?
Kubernetes certification is the primary step for learning and using Kubernetes to manage and operate applications. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation is such a company that aims to build sustainable ecosystems for Cloud Native software so that the community of Kubernetes users grow and become larger. If there are enough people with the knowledge of Kubernetes and containerizing applications, more companies and industries can take advantage of the service to grow their businesses. A certification will help the administrators to prove their credibility and establish value in their industry.
No doubt, one can learn and grow without enrolling in a Kubernetes certification program. However, having a certificate will make it easy for you to prove your skills and knowledge in the field. You can display your Kubernetes certificate to organizations and let them know that you can take responsibility as a Kubernetes administrator. A Kubernetes certification program will provide you with the appropriate knowledge and skills you require to sustain in the field as a professional.
In the upcoming section, you will learn how a Kubernetes certification can help you land great job opportunities.
What are the Career Opportunities in Kubernetes Certification?
Having knowledge and experience in Kubernetes will grant you various career opportunities that may include the following job roles:
- DevOps Engineer
- Systems Engineer
- Cloud Engineer
- Senior Java Architect
- Site Reliability Engineer
- Software Escalation Engineer
- Senior Python Developer
If you want to gain more knowledge and grow as a software developer, then learning Kubernetes will do you a great favor. However, before you search for the best Kubernetes certificates, you need to know about the various types of Kubernetes certificates available out there.
Kubernetes Certification: Which One Do You Prefer: Developer or Administrator?
There are two types of Kubernetes certifications: Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) and Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). Both of these certifications have different difficulty levels. Now, depending on the knowledge and expertise you already have you need to choose the program that suits your requirement.
For example, if you are a novice developer in the containerizing applications world, you can pursue the CKAD program. It will give you insights regarding how to create a well-developed application in the Kubernetes cluster. On the other hand, if you have already passed the developing process and have more knowledge than a beginner, you can go with the CKA program. Both of the programs come with information and instructions to help developers manage, operate, and scale applications on the containers.
No matter what certification program (CKAD or CKA) you choose once you complete all the modules and assessments available along with the course you will have to go through a final online test. Once you pass the exam, you will get your certificate as a Kubernetes professional.
Now, depending on which certification program you complete you will be either a developer or an administrator. Here are more details on the professions that you may pursue after completion of your Kubernetes certification program.
- Developer: The developer focuses on building and managing applications using Kubernetes. You should focus more on the CKAD program if you wish to work as a DevOps engineer or want a job in the web application development field.
- Administrator: A Kubernetes administrator focuses on creating and managing the environment where the applications work. The job includes managing security and functions of the containerized application or software programs.
There is another certification in Kubernetes that you can take if you have completed both developer and administrator courses. It’s called Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) and you can pursue this certificate program only if you have already got the CKA certification. We will discuss this in the upcoming sections.
Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
The CKAD certification is for those who want to build and manage applications that work on the Kubernetes network. This certificate focuses more on Pod design, deployment and services, and other skills that you will need to build and manage Kubernetes applications. The course will help you practice the entire aspects of managing and building Kubernetes apps. The CKAD certification test includes the following:
- 13% – Core concepts
- 18% – Configuration
- 10% – multi-container pods
- 18% – Observability
- 20% – Pod design
- 13% – Services & networking
- 8% – State persistence
Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
To pursue this course, you will have to get some basic knowledge that is covered in the CKAD certification program. So, this certificate is for individuals who have basic knowledge of Kubernetes and aren’t beginners. The certification primarily focuses on creating and managing the Kubernetes clusters. You will also learn how to install and upgrade Kubernetes and manage networking, services, storage, etc., as an administrator. The CKA test includes the following:
- 8% – Application lifecycle management
- 12% – Installation, configuration & validation
- 19% – Core concepts
- 11% – Networking
- 5% – Scheduling
- 12% – Security
- 11% – Cluster maintenance
- 5% – Logging/monitoring
- 7% – Storage
- 10% – Troubleshooting
Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
After getting your CKA, you can get a CKS real quick. This certification mainly concentrates on the security of your environment. The CKS program will help you learn how to secure the cluster and the application code running inside the cluster. . Therefore, since you already have enough knowledge regarding Kubernetes cluster and containerizing applications, learning the security features will add measurable value to your portfolio.
What are the Benefits of Kubernetes Certification?
Though Kubernetes certifications are a little difficult, they are completely worth your time and effort. Having a Kubernetes certificate makes your resume more professional and proves your expertise in the field. So, if you wish to pursue a career in the application development arena, Kubernetes certification will help you do that.
Stand out in the crowd
A Kubernetes certificate makes your resume look professional and helps you stand out from the competition. Since many companies hire only certified professional Kubernetes developers, your certificate will help you prove your expertise.
To Achieve Personal Growth
Pursuing the course will let you learn in depth about Kubernetes clusters and docker containers. Once you pass the Kubernetes certification exam, you can confidently pull off containerizing application development projects single handedly.
Helps You Become a Kubernetes Expert
Kubernetes is the best certificate to build a successful career in the cloud native software development project. Whatever your aim is to be in the software development department, may it be an administrator, application developer, or a security specialist, Kubernetes certificate allows you to achieve that.
Helps You Expand Your Knowledge
After becoming a certified Kubernetes professional, you will gain a lot of knowledge regarding a variety of SaaS applications and 12-factor app principles. Kubernetes certification can help you understand application development better.
How to Prepare for the Kubernetes Certification Exams?
To prepare yourself for the Kubernetes certification program, you have to get familiar with the Linux Command Line, in the first place. Additionally, you need to have information regarding how to create and manage system services.
Consider checking out additional online courses such as “Introduction to Kubernetes” available in The Linux Foundation. Learning the basic concepts will help you to get hold of the key concepts of the Kubernetes.
Have a look at what the preparation procedure contain for the Kubernetes certification:
- Learn what is Kubernetes and how the clusters work
- Install a cluster from scratch and use the components together to build the project
- Understand how to use the cluster and how they work
- Learn about the actual steps and examples of creating a cluster
- Get familiar with kubectl and how it works while containerizing applications. Learn how to parse Kubernetes with different types of commands
- Practice as much as you can because without gaining experience in deploying applications, you won’t feel confident enough to participate in the exam.
Top 3 Kubernetes Certifications Programs
There are several certification programs available online that will get you a Kubernetes certificate but taking a prominent and professional program is important for you. You can pursue many certification courses at CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation). They offer 4 Kubernetes certifications; 2 for organizations leveraging Kubernetes and 2 for professionals.
Have a look at these top Kubernetes certifications programs that you can consider:
1. Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
Duration – Flexible
Level – Beginner
Valid for – 3 years
The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification will give credibility to your career and will attract recruiters from top IT companies. Not only the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program will boost your skills and knowledge but also makes you comfortable with any native cloud application project. Here are the concepts of application development that you can avail by acquiring the certificate:
- Installation, Configuration & Management
- Cluster Maintenance
- Application Lifecycle Management
- Storage and Troubleshooting
- Networking, Scheduling & Security
- Core Concepts
- Logging & Monitoring
The certification is valid for three years. Have a look at the other important details regarding the certification program below.
- Name – Certified Kubernetes Administrator exam
- Code – N/A
- Duration – 3 hours
- Language(s) – English, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish
- Passing Percentage – 74%
- Prerequisites – None
- Price – $300
- Questions Type – Performance-based tasks using the command line
- Total Questions – N/A
2. Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
Duration – Flexible
Level – Intermediate/Expert
Valid for – 3 years
The Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification can help you grow your career in the native cloud development field. . It will help you learn how to build, design, configure and expose cloud applications in the Kubernetes environment. Listed below are the expertise one requires in order to avail the Kubernetes certifications.
- Performing code implementation in Go, Java, Node.js, and/or Python
- Knowledge of cloud-native applications and architectures
- The use of OCI-Compliant Container Runtime
If you are willing to join the certification program, you will require the concepts listed above. But prior concepts related to container runtimes and microservices architecture is not mandatory unless you are looking for a CKAD certification as well. After getting a certification of Kubernetes Application Developer, you will be familiar with the following ideas of Kubernetes:
- Core Concepts of Kubernetes Clusters and Containerized Applications
- Gain Observability over Containerized applications
- Use of Multi-Container Pods
- How to Design Pod
- Services & Networking
- Configuration of the Containerized apps
- State Persistence of the device based on which you are developing your applications
Have a look at the Kubernetes Certification Exam information hosted by the Linux Foundation.
Name – Kubernetes Certified Application Developer exam
Code – N/A
Duration – 2 hours
Language(s) – English, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish
Passing Percentage – 66%
Prerequisites – None
Price – $300 (with one free retake)
Questions Type – Performance-based tasks using the command line
Total Questions – N/A
3. Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
The Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) program verifies that the Kubernetes expert has all the knowledge and skills needed to create a successful Kubernetes application and its suitable environment. To take the CKS test, you will need the CKA certification. Have a look at the basic details of the Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) below.
Prerequisites for CKS Certification:
- The practitioner or student must have a CKA certification
- The professional should have knowledge about securing container-based applications and the Kubernetes platform
- One should also know how to deploy Kubernetes applications. In short, the professional should not be a beginner in the Kubernetes field if he wants to take the CKS test.
About This Certification
The Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist certification is a performance-based certification exam that will test your knowledge of Kubernetes and cloud security management. The candidates who are willing to take this exam should have passed out on Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) and recent CKS exam results if taken any. After obtaining the CKS certificate, the candidates will be demonstrated as engineers who possess the ability to secure container-based applications and know everything about Kubernetes and its applications already.
Kubernetes Certification Programs for Organizations/Vendors
One of the main reasons why Kubernetes certification is needed is because many popular companies verify your expertise through the certificate in order to believe that you can manage their cloud-based projects. Such organizations and software vendors will be required to submit their conformance testing results for getting a Kubernetes certification. After submitting the results, they will go through the CNCF scrutiny process to check if the applicant is eligible for the certificate.
Getting a Software Conformance certification will help an organization to ensure that the Kubernetes vendor is compatible with the required APIs. Organizations can also freely choose among the vendors. The software conformance certification process has the four main steps:
- Step 1: Preparing your product for the certification
- Step 2: Run the test of the certification with Sonobuoy
- Step 3: Prepare a PR and submit the results to the Conformance repo in GitHub and fill out the terms and conditions form
- Step 4: They will review your product and release the results soon. You will have to wait for the product certification till then.
Kubernetes Certified Service Provider certification is only for the enterprises that develop Kubernetes applications regularly. Such enterprises will get many benefits from the Kubernetes Certified Service Provider as it supports the activities related to Kubernetes. The certificate allows the organisations to offer following services:
- Professional services
If any organization offers the above listed services, that organization should get a Kubernetes Certified Service Provider certificate.
Here are the requirements for enrolling in this Kubernetes certification:
- The organization needs to be a member of the CNCF community
- Need to have a business model that offers services to enterprise end-users also place engineers at customer site
- The organization must have more than two CKA engineers
Here are the benefits of getting the KCSP program certification:
- Improved brand awareness
- Recognition in the community as an expert in creating a Kubernetes supported environment
- The certificate will help you get featured on the following sites:
Have a look at the different steps of the KCSP certification process:
Step 1: Fill out the KCSP form
Step 2: You will have to submit the recent (three years) Certified Kubernetes Administration (CKA) certifications of your minimum of 3 employees
Step 3: Submit the certificates through the KCSP form or send an email to email@example.com
Step 4: Wait for them to complete the review process and then wait for the results
There is a newly updated CKA course on ACG that you can try to get on with your Kubernetes Certification achievement. If you want to avail these certifications, you can go to the online platforms such as Cloud Guru, Pluralsight Skills, Udemy, Coursera, etc. All of these platforms offer various Kubernetes certification courses that we have mentioned in this article. Moreover, if getting certified is not your aim, you can explore non-certification Kubernetes courses, or free courses like EKS Basics and GKE Basics.