VMware bumps certification exam prices, one by $2700

Top-level VCDX now costs $3,995 and vAdmins aren't impressed

Updated VMware's bumped up the price of its certification exams, with the price of the MBA-grade VCDX certification more than tripling.

The cost of sitting for the VMware Certified Associate has risen from US$120 to $150. A VMware Certified Professional will now cost you $250, up from $225 and the VMware Certified Advanced Professional exam now costs $450, up from $400.

Nothing terrifying there. But the price of the VCDX program, which candidates tell The Register requires an effort akin to a rapid VMware-centric MBA, has gone from $1,200 to $3,995.

Karl Childs, a senior program manager at VMware education, says Virtzilla says it hasn't bumped the price of those exams for over three years, save for adjustments due to exchange rates with the US Dollar. He goes on to assert that “The change brings us in line with market rates, and allows us to continue improving the program and the exam development process, and bring you new benefits such as digital badging and increased capabilities within VMware Certification Manager.”

He then goes on to say that “We recognize that the increase for the VCDX program is not insignificant” and says the massive price hike “enables us to strengthen the program, bringing it, and the VCDX Community, more recognition among key industry influencers.”

Fewer than 250 people are listed in VMware's VCDX directory and they already have plenty of recognition: the certification is very hard to secure because the final test involves being grilled by a panel of three existing VCDXs who pick apart candidates' design for an especially-complex VMware-based infrastructure. VCDXs are looked up to in the VMware community and beyond: Nutanix once made a point of hiring lots of them in its early days.

But the price rise for VCDX hasn't gone down well.

VCDX number 133, René van den Bedem, opines that “Unfortunately for most candidates, this means the VCDX journey will now be an employer sponsored process.”

And there's more than a few Tweets like this jangling around today, too.

Other posts point out that lots of people fail their first attempt at VCDX, or that when you add the precursor certifications required to attain the top-level cert you'll be up for more than $9,000.

There's a little relief for all, as the new prices kick in on April 1st, 2017. If you buy vouchers for an exam before then, you'll pay the old price. VCDX candidates ready to face their defence by mid-year will be able to keep the old price.

Childs' post also says that the prices listed “are for developed countries. Alternate pricing is available for developing countries.” VMware's got form in such nations: in 2013 it told us of a scheme to offer training on smartphones and then let candidates congregate in larger cities for exams. ®

Updated to add

VMware's made a small change to the offers mentioned above. VCDX candidates who apply in March or June, for a defense in May or August, will still pay the original price of $300 (application fee) and $900 (defense fee).

If you're thinking about going for the VCDX, get your skates on: VMware says you must submit your application by April 1st.

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