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Comparison of CKA vs CKAD: Which Kubernetes Certification is Right for You?

2 min read

DevOps certifications offer a structured way to verify skills, promote continuous learning, and establish a common knowledge of key practices and tools in DevOps settings.

Kubernetes certifications are worldwide standards of container orchestration skills, indicating to employers that you have both the know-how and the experience to manage complex containerized environments. That’s why obtaining a Kubernetes certification is beneficial for your professional development.

The two most sought-after Kubernetes certifications are CKA (Certified Kubernetes Administrator) and CKAD (Certified Kubernetes Application Developer). In this article, we will compare and contrast the two certifications: CKA and CKAD. We will explain what each certification covers, what the prerequisites and exam format are, who should take them, and what the benefits of becoming certified are.


CKA: Certified Kubernetes Administrator



The CKA (Certified Kubernetes Administrator) certification is designed for Kubernetes administrators, cloud administrators, IT professionals, and others. The certification exam evaluates a candidate’s competence in Kubernetes administrative tasks, such as cluster installation and management, Kubernetes upgrade and maintenance, and networking, storage, and service administration.

The Linux Foundation provides the Kubernetes Fundamentals LFS258 course to help candidates acquire the necessary knowledge to succeed in the CKA exams.

The exam lasts for two hours and consists of 15-20 questions, each worth a different percentage of the total score. You need to score at least 74% to pass the exam.

Some tips and resources for preparing for the CKA exam are:



CKAD: Certified Kubernetes Application Developer



The CKAD certification is intended for Kubernetes developers who want to demonstrate their ability to design, build, configure, and expose cloud-native applications for Kubernetes. The CKAD exam is a practical, hands-on exam that requires you to perform various tasks on a live Kubernetes cluster. The exam lasts for two hours and consists of 15-20 questions, each worth a different percentage of the total score. You need to score at least 66% to pass the exam.

Some tips and resources for preparing for the CKAD exam are:



Comparison and Contrast


CKA CKAD
Certified Kubernetes Administrator Certified Kubernetes Application Developer
Focuses on cluster administration tasks such as installation, configuration, maintenance, troubleshooting, and security Focuses on application development tasks such as designing, building, deploying, and debugging Kubernetes applications
Requires more theoretical knowledge of Kubernetes concepts, components, and architecture Requires more practical skills of using Kubernetes tools, commands, and APIs
Exam duration: 2 hours Exam duration: 2 hours
Number of questions: 24 Number of questions: 19
Passing score: 74% Passing score: 66%
Exam cost: $300+ (includes one free retake) Exam cost: $300+ (includes one free retake)
Recommended experience: 6-12 months of hands-on experience managing Kubernetes clusters Recommended experience: 6-12 months of hands-on experience developing Kubernetes applications

Conclusion


In this article, we have compared and contrasted the two Kubernetes certifications offered by CNCF: CKA and CKAD. We have seen that each certification has a different focus, scope, and target audience, depending on the role and responsibilities of the Kubernetes professional. If you want to focus on Kubernetes administration and show your competence in administrative tasks, CKA is the perfect option for you. This certification can be very beneficial for cloud administrators, IT professionals, and Kubernetes administrators. Conversely, CKAD is designed for those who want to master developing and deploying cloud-native microservice applications on Kubernetes.

The best certification for you depends on your particular career goals and interests in the Kubernetes ecosystem. Evaluate your skills, interests, and career goals to choose the best option and improve your Kubernetes expertise.

To choose the best certification for your goals and career path, you should consider your current level of experience and expertise in Kubernetes, your desired role and responsibilities in Kubernetes projects, your preferred learning style and pace, and your budget and availability for exam preparation and registration.

Further Reading

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Abraham Dahunsi Web Developer 🌐 | Technical Writer ✍️| DevOps Enthusiast👨‍💻 | Python🐍 |

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