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Got cloud skills? Now you can get certified by the OpenStack Foundation

Data science may have dominated recent discussions about IT skills in chronically short supply, but it's not the only area facing a shortage. Cloud computing is another big one, and on Monday the OpenStack Foundation launched a new program it hopes will help.

The group's new Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) exam is designed to give cloud professionals a way to prove their worth while also helping employers identify qualified candidates. Originally announced in October at OpenStack Summit Tokyo, the performance-based exam can now be delivered virtually anywhere in the world through the OpenStack Foundation's training marketplace. It is the foundation's first professional certification offering.

“Cloud computing has challenged companies to re-skill engineers and redefine culture and processes,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation.

OpenStack was among the 10 top-paying tech skills identified by IT careers site Dice earlier this year, earning qualified professionals an average yearly salary of US$138,579.

The number of OpenStack job listings doubled in 2015, according to jobs site Indeed.com.

A Certified OpenStack Administrator typically has at least six months of OpenStack experience as well as the skills required to operate and manage an OpenStack cloud, the foundation said.

Representatives from dozens of training companies around the world -- some of which offer their own certification programs -- helped to define the exam's requirements. Some will bundle the COA exam with their training programs.

The exam will be available on a limited basis at this week's OpenStack Summit in Austin, Texas, as well. Intensive training courses will be offered free of charge to registered participants by sponsors including Cloud Foundry, Mirantis, Rackspace, Red Hat, Solinea and SUSE.

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