CompTIA’s new Cloud Essentials+ certification

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In April CompTIA announced its decision to update the current Cloud Essentials certification exam that was launched in October of 2011.(1) Available cloud computing statistics reveal the exponential growth of the industry since that initial release.

According to industry experts, total cloud business revenue — estimated at $24.65 billion in 2010 — has already surpassed the $100 billion mark and could reach $150 billion by the end of 2020. (2) According to IDC, by the end of 2020, 67 percent of enterprise infrastructure will be cloud-based.(3)

This growth, coupled with the rapid technological advances in cloud computing, certainly justifies the decision to update the certification exam. The table below provides a comparison of the domains identified in the current exam objectives with the draft exam objectives for the new beta exam.

Linthicum 7-2-2019 Figure 1

The new exam is undergoing beta testing that will conclude on July 12 — if you’re interest in taking the exam before the beta period is over, act soon. The new exam has an anticipated release date of November 2019. Information about the current beta exam is provided below:

After eight years, CompTIA has finally overhauled its introductory Cloud Essentials+ certification.

In early June I took the beta exam. As expected, there were no “performance-based” questions on the exam. My recollection is there were around 110 questions, exceeding the 70 questions identified above.

This is likely the consequence of CompTIA wanting to test a larger initial pool of questions. My study efforts were limited to going through the exam objectives, utilizing a two-column “worksheet”(6) that I developed and noting where I thought my knowledge was limited on items identified in the exam objectives. Using Google, I simply do a search of the item and gain a better understanding of what I could expect on the exam.

I thought the questions were well written, and utilizing time management techniques I had plenty of time to complete all the questions. With beta results on hold until the estimated November release date of the new Cloud Essentials+, time will tell whether I was adequately prepared for the exam.




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Steve Linthicum


Steve Linthicum taught cybersecurity courses for decades as a professor at the college and university level, and currently works with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office in a workforce development role. He holds an array of IT and cybersecurity industry certifications.

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