CNCF Cloud Native Certifications are for IT professionals focused on Kubernetes and cloud-native skills, including working knowledge of projects (storage, networks, GitOps, service mesh) and understanding the principles of cloud-native security.
- Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA)
- Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD)
- Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS)
- Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA)
- Kubernetes and Cloud Security Associate (KCSA)
- Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA)
- Istio Certified Associate (ICA)
- Cilium Certified Associate (CCA)
- Certified Argo Project Associate (CAPA)
Certified Kubernetes Administrator
The Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) program is spearheaded by CNCF in partnership with The Linux Foundation. This certification is designed for professionals looking to demonstrate their hands-on Kubernetes skills.
CKA is a performance-based exam where candidates interact with the command line to solve real-world challenges, not just multiple-choice questions. Earning this certification validates your ability to administer Kubernetes clusters, an increasingly valuable skill set as Kubernetes adoption skyrockets.
Certified Kubernetes Application Developer
The Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification targets those looking to deepen their Kubernetes application development skills. Recognized as one of the fastest-growing open-source projects, Kubernetes’ increasing use underscores CNCF’s commitment to expanding a knowledgeable application developer community.
Passing the CKAD exam proves you can design, build, and manage cloud-native applications on Kubernetes. The certification focuses on practical skills tested in a hands-on, command-line environment. It assumes familiarity with container runtimes and microservices. This is key for developers aiming for swift credibility and value in a Kubernetes-focused job market.
Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist
The Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist (CKS) certification is designed for those specializing in Kubernetes security. Given Kubernetes’ rapid adoption, CNCF aims to cultivate a pool of security specialists knowledgeable in the technology, facilitating better security measures across organizations.
The CKS exam is performance-based and requires a current CKA certification for eligibility. It covers an extensive range of best practices for securing container-based applications and Kubernetes platforms. The certification, valid for two years, provides security specialists an avenue to quickly establish their market credibility while aiding companies in hiring competent teams.
Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate
The Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) certification serves as an entry-level credential focusing on Kubernetes and the broader cloud native ecosystem. It’s designed for those aiming to advance to professional roles by demonstrating foundational Kubernetes skills and knowledge. Ideal for students or professionals eyeing careers in cloud native technologies, it lays the groundwork for further CNCF certifications like CKA, CKAD, and CKS.
The exam is online and multiple-choice, covering various domains from Kubernetes fundamentals to cloud-native architecture and security. A KCNA certification verifies your understanding of basic kubectl commands, Kubernetes architecture, and the principles behind cloud-native technologies, setting the stage for further specialization.
Kubernetes and Cloud Security Associate
The Kubernetes and Cloud Security Associate (KCSA) certification acts as a stepping stone for those looking to specialize in cloud native security technologies. Tailored for candidates keen on progressing to professional roles, it focuses on foundational security skills within the cloud native ecosystem.
This exam validates your aptitude for evaluating Kubernetes cluster security configurations and compliance. It measures your skills in hardening controls, monitoring security aspects, and aiding in the identification and assessment of risks and vulnerabilities. It’s an ideal certification for those interested in bolstering their cloud native security acumen.
Prometheus Certified Associate
The Prometheus Certified Associate (PCA) certification is aimed at engineers and application developers with a focus on observability and monitoring, offering foundational knowledge in using Prometheus. It’s particularly useful for those who have other Kubernetes certifications like KCNA, CKA, or CKAD, or have undergone Prometheus-specific or Cloud Engineer training.
Through the PCA, candidates prove their understanding of key observability concepts, including data monitoring, metrics, alerts, and dashboards, using Prometheus. It confirms the capability to leverage observability data for troubleshooting and enhancing system performance, making it a valuable credential for those interested in monitoring cloud-native applications and infrastructure.
Istio Certified Associate
The Istio Certified Associate (ICA) is a pre-professional certification designed for engineers, CI/CD practitioners, or anyone with special interests in Istio. A certified ICA will confirm their foundational knowledge of Istio principles, terminology, and best practices and demonstrate their ability to set up Istio.
The ICA demonstrates a candidate’s solid understanding of Istio principles, terminology, and best practices for setting up Istio. This exam is an online, proctored, performance-based, and multiple-choice exam.
Cilium Certified Associate
The Cilium Certified Associate (CCA) is an entry-level certification designed for platform or cloud engineers interested in networking, security, and observability. Those who have achieved Linux Foundation Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate (KCNA) certification, Certified Kubernetes Administrator (CKA) certification, or Certified Kubernetes Application Developer (CKAD) certification are ideal candidates.
IT professionals with Kubernetes and cloud-native skills are expected to be in high demand for at least another decade. Those who earn their CCA certification will stand out to employers.
A certified CCA will confirm foundational knowledge for connecting, securing, and observing Kubernetes clusters using Cilium.
Certified Argo Project Associate
The Certified Argo Project Associate (CAPA) is an associate-level certification designed for engineers, data scientists, and others interested in demonstrating their understanding of the Argo Project ecosystem.
Those who earn the CAPA certification will demonstrate to current and prospective employers they can navigate the Argo Project ecosystem, including when and why to use each tool, understanding the fundamentals around each toolset, explaining when to use which tool and why, and integrating each tool with other tools.
CAPA will demonstrate a candidate’s solid understanding of the Argo Project ecosystem, terminology, and best practices for each tool and how it relates to common DevOps, GitOps, Platform Engineering, and related practices.