Vendor-Neutral or Vendor-Specific Certs? Here’s How to Choose.

With dozens of certifications available for the Cloud, it can be difficult for people to know where to start. Many platforms like AWS offer their own vendor-specific courses, such as AWS Certified Security Specialty. These qualifications prove that successful applicants have the relevant skills to maintain and secure data systems on the platform.

Vendor-neutral organizations, such as (ISC)², offer certifications like the CCSP to establish a professional’s skills that could apply to a variety of platforms. While either path can be beneficial, people newer to the field often have to select which one to do first.


  • Pros: More applicable to different platforms, which is good for people still settling on a specific career path

  • Cons: May not offer the kind of in-depth knowledge needed to do higher-level work on certain platforms


  • Pros: Establishes deeper understanding of an individual platform, and may meet more requirements for jobs in that niche

  • Cons: May narrow your focus and available jobs, especially if the technology becomes obsolete

As a general rule, technology professionals are not limited to a particular path once they begin. Most people find that it is best to get certifications in both categories, especially in the first few years. They can decide later on if they want to maintain a particular certification as it applies to their career path.