Technical exams can help to validate your knowledge, progress your career or be taken to meet company policies.
However, taking exams can be costly. This is especially true when you have to renew them every 2-3 years and you are self-funded.
As of April 1st 2017 the following costs apply:
- VCA – VMware Certified Associate: $125
- VCP – VMware Certified Professional: $250
- VCAP – VMware Certified Advanced Professional: $450
- VCDX – VMware Certified Design Expert: $3995
So how can we reduce the cost of taking VMware exams?
VMUG Advantage (Save 20% on all VMware VCA, VCP and VCAP exams)
Take a look at VMUG Advantage. If you sign up, you are charged $200 for a membership however you get the following advantages:
- 20% off VCA, VCP and VCAP exams – Unlimited number of uses
- 20-35% off official VMware training courses
- 1 year licenses for most VMware products to include:
- vCenter Server Standard
- vSphere ESXi Enterprise Plus with Operations Management
- vCloud Suite Standard
- vRealize Operations
- vRealize Log insight
- vRealize Operations for Horizon
- Horizon Advanced
- Workstation Pro
- Fusion Pro
- NSX Enterprise
- vRealize Network Insight
- vRealize Automation Enterprise
- $100 off VMworld registration which can be stacked on top of VCP and other discounts
So if in 1 year you take a VCP and a VCAP exam and have the VMUG advantage subscription, then you are looking at:
- VMUG Advantage cost: $180
- VCP saving: $50
- VCAP saving: $90
- Total cost: $180 – $50 – $90 = $40
$40 for a license to run most of VMware products in your lab and to save on training and future exams is a real bargain!
If you take a single course, then the subscription pays for itself just on the savings of one of the official courses!
Why not ask your company to fund the VMUG advantage subscription? Check this “Convince your boss” email template provided by the VMUG team https://www.vmug.com/Portals/0/Justification_Email_92817.docx
A valid VCP will save you money
If you already have a valid, non-expired VCP in any track, then you do not need to take an official VMware course in order to become a VCP in another track. According to VMware’s website, you don’t even need to take the foundations exam. Just pass the VCP exam in another track and you’ll be officially certified
Don’t let your VCP expire!
If you let your VCP expire, then it cannot be used as a pre-requisite for other exams/tracks. An expired VCP is essentially worthless in these circumstances
To take a VCP in another track or even a VCAP in the same track, you will have to:
- Take an official VCP course (again)
- Pass the foundations exam (again)
- Pass the VCP exam (again)
This will run into $1000’s. My personal advice is to pay the $250 every 2 years and pass a VCP so that you don’t lose the benefits. You’ll learn something and keep current too!
VMware BETA exams are what VMware use to test an exam before it goes live. Sometimes you can register to the BETA exams at a huge discount off the normal price. If you pass the BETA, then you will get the pass for the real exam once it launches. There are a couple of drawbacks, however:
- The exams take a while to mark, results are not automatically generated
- BETA exams might have bad questions
- They might not have enough time
If you can manage to get over the drawbacks in favour of a cheaper exam, then keep an eye on the BETA Exam blogs here: https://blogs.vmware.com/education/tag/beta-exam
So there we have it; some tips, discount code and money-saving reasons to never let your VCP expire!
Take a look at all VMware Certification options on their newly refreshed certification page here: https://www.vmware.com/education-services/certification.html