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On Becoming a VMware Certified Instructor (VCI)

By  Dec 16, 2008

Topics: Certification

In today's post I will teach you how you can become a VMware Certified Instructor (VCI), should you possess the aptitude and desire to do so.

I have written on VMware certification on the past here at the good ol' InformIT Certification Reference Guide:

The subject of IT technical training is near and dear to my heart because I myself have worked as a technical trainer either full or part time for the past 12 years. Our question to consider today is: exactly how can you become qualified to teach official VMware curricula to prospective VMware certification candidates?

Well, the first thing you will find out is that Google is, strangely enough, NOT our friend in this search enterprise. VMware is ridiculously closed-mouthed in documenting their requirements for their VMware Certified Instructor (VCI) program.

In point of fact, there is no VCI home page to be found anywhere on the ol' Internets. None whatsoever.

The best explanatory link I could find was this wonderful post from Dave Davis from VirtualizationAdmin.com. In the post, Dave inquired to VMware, asking them what it takes to become a VCI.

I will reprint VMware's response to Mr. Davis, having provided proper attribution to his Web site:

Hi David,
We do not have an open VCI policy, meaning that not just anyone interested who qualifies can become one. Instead, all authorized VCIs are selected by VMware (or one of our authorized partners) and then, once qualified, they must be willing to work at least half-time as a contractor for VMware or one of VMware’s authorized training partners. Here is the process a VCI candidate must complete:

We first do a technical screening to ensure that the individual has the requisite teaching and technical skills for us to invest in as a contractor. Then he/she must audit two Virtual Infrastructure courses (we waive the course fees, but the candidate pays for his/her own travel expenses to take the course). Then the candidate must pass the VCP exam with an 85% or higher. The candidate will also have to take time to become familiar with our remote access lab equipment, which is used in our classes, and then successfully co-teach a course with one of our senior instructors (we cover his travel expenses and pay half the contractor daily rate for a co-teach). Then the candidate would be able to teach solo. We typically pay $800/course day and cover travel expenses. We expect our instructors to teach at least two courses (weeks) per month in order to remain current and sharp.

If you are still interested, please let me know so that I may forward your information on to the appropriate contact.


Education Coordinator - Certification
VMware, Inc.
Certification Hotline: 1-866-377-4710, option 4
Email: certification@vmware.com

If you log into the VMware Communities site (a must-read for those who are interested in VMware certification) and perform a site search on VCI, you can learn some more detail on this subject.

Let's summarize what we know so far about the process to become a VCI:

  • You have to pass the VCP exam at a higher level than a regular Joe or Jane (85 percent instead of 70 percent)
  • You must make a direct inquiry to VMware, expressing your interest in applying for the VCI program
  • You must shell out some significant $$$ to prove your instructional skills to VMware
  • You must teach essentially full-time as a contractor for VMware

I'll tell you, folks: in my humble or not-so-humble opinion, VMware's VCI process STINKS. From my perspective, it represents a method for corralling their own stable of private contractors.

If you know anything about how the vast majority of other technology vendors work (Microsoft, Novell, Cisco, etc.), trainer requirements, while usually on the strict side, do not require that you essentially become a freakin' employee of the vendor. That is patently ridiculous.

Friends, if any of you have more information on this program, please feel free to share in the comments portion of this post. Alternatively, I'd be interested in receiving your e-mail at timothy.warner@pearson.com. Thanks.

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