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The Complete Guide to VMware VCP Certification

Are you looking to get started with VMware certification?  Look no further than this handy guide.  As someone who has been through the complete VMware certification path, I want to help everyone understand how to gain VMware certifications such as the VMware VCP Certification.

What is the VMware VCP Certification?

First and foremost, the term VMware VCP certification is a bit redundant, but it is one that is commonly used.  VCP stands for VMware Certified Professional, so we have covered both VMware and Certification with the term VMware VCP Certification.  You may also hear it referred to as VMware VCP or VCP.

Currently, this is the first certification on the VMware certification path.  The VMware certification path has four main  VMware certification tracks:

  • Data Center Virtualization (DCV)
  • Network Virtualization (NV)
  • Desktop and Mobility (DT)
  • Cloud Management and Automation (CMA)

These four tracks are complete in the sense that they run the whole VMware certification path, as seen here:

VMware certification guide vcp vcap vcdx

Be sure to take a look at the Simple Guide to VMware Certification which explains how to complete the complete VMware certification path!  This will guide you beyond the VMware VCP certification!

VMware is constantly introducing new products and new certifications, such as the VCP Digital Workspace also known as VCP-DW.

What is Required to Gain the VMware VCP Certification?

As you can see in the diagram above, there are a few things required to gain the VMware VCP certification.

  1. Take a VMware Authorized Training Class
  2. Take and pass the VMware vSphere Foundations Exam
  3. Take and pass the VMware Certified Professional Exam in your favored VMware certification track.

It is important to note that the VMware Authorized Training Class must match the VMware certification track you are following.  However, after you have a valid VCP in one track, you can take the VCP test for other tracks without taking an additional training course.

You can read more about the VMware training options available for the VMware VCP-DCV track in this guide.

VMware Certification Tip: Start with the certification track you find the most interesting, even if you plan on gaining your VMware VCP certification in multiple tracks.  It will make the first VCP easy and give you confidence to continue on!

Do I Really Have to Take a VMware Authorized Training Class?

Yes, there is no getting around this requirement.  If you are new to VMware vSphere, it is a great way to get some hands on experience and learn some of the theory of virtualization.  Each class has a lab component which is great, since you can break someone else’s lab!

If you are experienced with VMware vSphere, as I was when I took the training class, you may be frustrated by this requirement.  If you do have VMware vSphere experience, remember, the eligible training classes for VCP certification go way beyond the basics, so you can still find a class that will provide you with value, that go way beyond the installation of VMware vSphere.

For a closer look at the options available for VCP-DCV that meet this requirement, be sure to take a look at this detailed guide to VCP-DCV training options.

The good news is that once you have your first VCP, you can gain additional VCP certifications without the training class requirement.  You simply need to take the VCP exam for your desired track.

Mastering VMware vSphere Foundations for VCP

Since there is so much common material between the available VMware VCP certification tracks, VMware created the VMware vSphere Foundations exam to cover it all.  This allows VMware to keep the specialized VMware VCP tests shorter, but does require another test.

The VMware vSphere Foundations test costs $125 USD, and the number of questions varies slightly based on what version you take.

When it comes to VMware certification tests, the document you must pay the closest attention to is something VMware likes to call Exam Guide.  This is the document which tells you exactly what to study.  You can find the vSphere 6.7 Foundations Exam Guide here.

Your VMware VCP Certification Test

After you have passed your vSphere foundations exam, you are ready to take your VMware VCP certification test.  After this final step, you will officially be VMware VCP certified.

The VMware VCP test itself costs $250 USD, and the length and number of questions depends on what version you take, which brings me to my next point.

VMware VCP Certification Versions

In 2019, VMware made some sweeping changes to their VCP certification program.  In my opinion they were good ones.  One thing VMware had done a number of years ago is introduced the requirement that you must take and pass a VMware certification every two years to keep your VCP active.  You could do this by taking another VMware VCP exam, or taking a more advanced VMware certification exam.

Personally, I was not a fan of this every two year requirement, and had been in the process of dreading which exam to take to keep my certifications active when they made the change.  For me, it had felt a bit forced, and I was heading down the path of just taking another VCP-DCV exam because it would be easy to pass to meet their certification requirements, not because I would actually learn anything and grow.

Now, VMware certifications come with a year appended on them, the year in which you obtained them.  For example, if you gained your VMware VCP certification in Data Center Virtualization this year, you would have the VCP-DCV 2019 certification.  The theory behind this is the addition of the year will show how current VMware practitioners are with their certifications.

VMware VCP 2019 Certifications

Now, since the VMware certification website can be a bit much to navigate if you ware just getting started, here are the links for the exam information for each of the VMware VCP 2019 certifications.  These links also include the Exam Guide for each test, which is a great place to start.

First, the four complete VMware certification paths:

  • VCP-DCV 2019 VMware Certified Professional – Data Center Virtualization 2019
  • VCP-NV 2019 VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization 2019
  • VCP-DTM 2019 VMware Certifed Professional – Desktop and Mobility 2019
  • VCP-CMA 2019 VMware Certified Professional – Cloud Management and Automation 2019

And finally, one of the newest VMware VCP certifications available:

  • VCP-DW 2019 VMware Certified Professional – Digital Workspace 2019

Getting Started With Your VMware VCP Certification

The best way to get started with your VMware VCP certification journey is to start by browsing the browse the VMware authorized training classes for your chosen VMware certification track, and pick the one you would like to take.  If it takes you a while to get to it do not worry, you can still study for your VCP certification in the meantime.

Make sure to download the exam guide for the vSphere foundations test, as well as the VMware VCP exam you plan on taking.

Here are some VMware Certification Path specific VCP resources I have also put together:

While I have provided some VMware VCP certification links in this article, the Official VMware Certification site is also a fantastic resource.  Good luck getting your VMware VCP certification!