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Which Kubernetes Certification Path Should I Take?

Looking to get certified as a Kubernetes developer, administrator, or security specialist? See how to pick the right K8s certification path. Learn More!

Jun 08, 2023 • 5 Minute Read

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  • Learning & Development
  • kubernetes
  • Security

In mid-November, The Linux Foundation released a new Kubernetes certification, bringing the total number of available Kubernetes certifications up to three. Since the Kubernetes certification space is growing, I thought it might be helpful to provide a quick blueprint of the available Kubernetes certification paths to give you an idea of where you might want to go if you are interested in getting certified with Kubernetes.

It’s also a good opportunity to talk about where ACG content stands when it comes to Kubernetes certifications, and drop some hints about what you can expect in the future!

Certified Kubernetes Administrator vs Developer

The Kubernetes certification space currently contains two paths: a developer path and an administrator path. 

  • The developer path focuses on building and managing applications for Kubernetes. If you are or wish to be a developer, deployment specialist, or DevOps engineer in the world of Kubernetes, you may want to focus on the developer path.
  • The administrator path, on the other hand, focuses on building and managing the Kubernetes environment itself. If you’re interested in more of an operations or security-focused role, you may want to look into the administrator path.

Kubernetes Developer Training Path

Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)

One of the available Kubernetes certifications is the Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD). This certification is geared toward those who will be building and managing applications that will run on Kubernetes. In this certification, there's little focus on managing the Kubernetes environment itself. You’ll learn to master skills such as Pod design, the use of Deployments and Services, and other skills you’ll need in order to design and manage your Kubernetes applications.

The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) course on ACG will help you prepare for the CKAD exam. It has lots of labs and a lab-based practice exam to help you practice for the CKAD exam, which is also entirely hands-on.

Kubernetes Administrator Training Path

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)

The other Kubernetes certification path is focused on more of an administrator role. The first certification in this path is the Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA). You’ll need to know the basics of some of the topics covered by the CKAD, but this certification’s primary focus is building and managing the Kubernetes cluster itself. You’ll learn how to install and upgrade Kubernetes, as well as how to manage networking, storage, Services, etc. from an administrative perspective.

Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) training

A Cloud Guru’s new Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) course was just released, with all-new content that reflects the recent changes made to the CKA exam on September 1, 2020. If you’re interested in getting your CKA certification, check it out!

Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)

Once you have earned your CKA, you can go on to the recently released Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS). This certification focuses on the many facets of securing your Kubernetes environment, from securing the cluster itself to securing the application code running in your cluster. 

Security is an important topic in the IT industry today, and it will only grow more important in the years to come. If you’re interested in demonstrating your knowledge of security in the world of Kubernetes, this is a great certification to look into.

Since this certification just released, we don’t have a course for it yet at ACG, but we’re working on it! Perhaps you can expect a new CKS course to release in the coming months… In the meantime, we have some top-notch Kubernetes security content to help you get ready.

Kubernetes Security Training and Resources

  • Automating Kubernetes Security — In this free on-demand webinar, we cover what Pod Security Policies are, how they work, and what it looks like to implement them in a real Kubernetes cluster.
kubernetes security advanced concepts training

Get Kubernetes Certified!

With the release of the newly updated CKA course on ACG, now’s the perfect time to get started on your Kubernetes certification journey. 

A Cloud Guru has Kubernetes certification courses to help you along your way. Learn the complete basics of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), from using containers to running them at scale with Kubernetes. And even if you aren’t interested in getting certified, we have plenty of non-certification Kubernetes courses too — including some currently free courses, like EKS Basics and GKE Basics. Good luck, gurus. And keep learning!

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