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Citrix Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

Citrix Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

Citrix is a cloud-computing company that offers solutions for mobility, desktop virtualization, cloud networking, cloud platforms, collaboration and data sharing that enable users to work securely from anywhere on a variety of devices. The company's products fall into five main categories: secure digital workspace, app virtualization and VDI, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), file sync and sharing, and networking. Popular Citrix products include XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, NetScaler and ShareFile. More than 400,000 organizations and more than 100 million users run Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop products globally.

Citrix Systems started in 1989 and is headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Today, the company offers a number of professional certifications that are recognized globally.

Citrix certifications are solutions-based to reflect the needs of organizations and IT professionals. The three main Citrix certification topic areas are Desktop Virtualization, Networking and Enterprise Mobility Management. Citrix also offers credentials for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing. Last, but not least, Citrix Cloud certifications were introduced in 2018. 

Within the virtualization, networking and mobility certification topic areas, Citrix credentials are available at associate, professional and expert levels. These levels reflect the skills, knowledge and experience required of professionals who earn such Citrix certifications. Associate-level exams typically cost $200, whereas professional- and expert-level exams cost $300.

Here’s a summary of current certifications available from Citrix:

  • Citrix Certified Associate – Virtualization (CCA-V)
  • Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)
  • Citrix Certified Expert – Virtualization (CCE-V)
  • Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N)
  • Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N)
  • Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN Certified (CC-SDWAN)
  • Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility (CCP-M)
  • Citrix ShareFile Certified (CC-SHAREFILE)
  • XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud Certified (CC-XAD-CC)
  • XenApp and XenDesktop Service Integration with Microsoft Azure Certified (CC-XAD-MA)

The Citrix Certified Associate – Virtualization (CCA-V) certification is for operators and administrators proficient in installing, configuring, managing, maintaining, monitoring and troubleshooting XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 solutions. There are no prereqs, but you must pass exam 1Y0-203 to earn this certification.

The Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Administration exam (1Y0-203) covers 14 topics including an architectural overview, installation, provisioning, access, configuring, securing, monitoring, troubleshooting and more in a XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 environment.

The Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V) certification is for engineers and consultants who manage and support complex  XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 provisioning environments and solutions. To earn the CCP-V certification, you must have attained CCA-V certification and pass exam 1Y0-311.

The Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR Advanced Administrator exam (1Y0-311) covers 14 topics including advanced architecture, Virtual Desktop Agents (VDA), HDX and multimedia, provisioning (infrastructure, services, integrating and supporting), layering, vDisk streaming and more.

The Citrix Certified Expert – Virtualization (CCE-V) certification is geared toward solution designers who may be architects, engineers or consultants, and who assess and design comprehensive XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 or XenDesktop 7.6 solutions. To earn the CCE-V certification you must have already earned the CCA-V and CCP-V certifications and pass either of the 1Y0-402 or 1Y0-401 exams.

The Designing Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 Solutions Exam (1Y0-401) is divided into six sections, which cover designing and documenting infrastructure and security infrastructure, designing integrated virtualization solutions, analyzing existing environments, conducting planning and risk assessments, and assessing existing environments. The Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Assessment, Design and Advanced Configurations exam (1Y0-402) covers 11 topics including design methodology, disaster recovery, high availability, access and security, store and resource design and more. 

 

Required Exams

Citrix Certified Associate – Virtualization (CCA-V)

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Administration (1Y0-203)

Citrix Certified Professional – Virtualization (CCP-V)

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR Advanced Administrator (1Y0-311)

Citrix Certified Expert – Virtualization (CCE-V)

Designing Citrix XenDesktop 7.6 Solutions (1Y0-401)

OR

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.15 Assessment, Design and Advanced Configurations  (1Y0-402)

Citrix's Virtualization certifications build upon one another. Once you earn the Citrix Certified Associate (CCA-V) certification (exam 1Y0-203), you can take the Citrix Certified Professional (CCP-V) exam (1Y0-311). Once you've passed that exam, you can take either Citrix Certified Expert (CCE-V) exam: (1Y0-401) or (1Y0-402).

These Virtualization certifications are valid for three years from the date you obtain them. If a new exam is released during this time, you must pass the latest exam for your level before the previous exam’s expiration date to maintain certification currency.

If you're a network or systems administrator who is an expert in app and desktop virtualization, and you want to expand your expertise to include NetScaler Gateway 12 for data, app and desktop solutions, the Citrix Certified Associate - Networking (CCA-N) certification is for you. Training is for administrators who have limited or no previous NetScaler experience.

You must pass either the Citrix NetScaler 12 Essentials and Unified Gateway (1Y0-230) or Citrix NetScaler 12 Essentials and Traffic Management (1Y0-240) exam to earn the credential. Exam 1Y0-230 targets basic networking, Unified Gateway (including configuration), integration, managing client connections, load balancing, NetScaler platforms, AppExpert Expressions and policies, SSL offload, authentication and security. Exam 1Y0-240 covers basic networking, NetScaler platforms, high availability, load balancing, SSL offing, security, troubleshooting, default policies, URL transformation, switching, optimization and load balancing for global servers.   

The Citrix Certified Professional - Networking (CCP-N) certification is aimed toward network engineers and people with some networking experience who implement, manage and optimize Citrix NetScaler Application Firewall in Citrix NetScalrer 12 environments, manage and optimize NetScaler application traffic, and manage NetScaler environments using NetScaler Management and Analytics System (NMAS).

The five-day training Citrix NetScaler 12.x Advanced Topics – Security, Management and Optimization  (CNS-320) will help you do just that. It's for individuals with some understanding of NetScaler Essentials, traffic management and Unified Gateway.

In addition to earning the CCA-N, you must pass the Citrix NetScaler Advanced Topics – Security, Management and Optimization (1Y0-304) exam to achieve the CCP-N certification. The exam targets firewalls, expressions, attacks, optimization (tuning and front-end), caching, monitoring and troubleshooting, monitoring and managing NetScaler configurations, instances and weblogging.  

The newest addition to the Citrix cert portfolio is the Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN (CC-SDWAN), which is for professionals who configure the technology and improve its performance and reliability.

To prepare for the credential, Citrix offers a four-module NetScaler SD-WAN hands-on workshop training course. Candidates must pass an exam at the end of each module with a score of 80 percent or higher. The modules are SD-WAN Overview, SD-WAN Architecture, SD-WAN Quality of Service, and SD-WAN Deployment Modes and Configuration. Additional modules that focus on SD-WAN 9.0, 9.1 and 9.2 features are included in the training. Citrix awards the certification only after passing all modules.

 

Required Exams

Citrix Certified Associate – Networking (CCA-N)

Citrix NetScaler 12 Essentials and Unified Gateway (1Y0-230)

OR

Citrix NetScaler 12 Essentials and Traffic Management (1Y0-240)

Citrix Certified Professional – Networking (CCP-N)

Citrix NetScaler Advanced Topics – Security, Management and Optimization (1Y0-304)

Citrix NetScaler SD-WAN Certified (CC-SDWAN)

Four exams at the end of each NetScaler SD-WAN training module

Candidates interested in a Citrix networking career should first obtain the CCA-N credential. From there, candidates will move to the CCP-N (which takes the CCA-N as a prerequisite). Candidates interested in pursuing a career path in NetScaler SD-WAN should pursue the CC-SDWAN credential. All networking credentials are valid for three years, after which you must recertify by passing the then-current exam or attending an instructor-led training course.

Mobility is a relatively new certification category for Citrix. Of the three possible credential levels, only the professional certification is currently live. (Associate and expert certifications for mobility are still in development.) The Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility (CCP-M) certification is aimed at mobile designers and developers. Such professionals must be familiar with designing, installing, configuring and managing a Citrix XenMobile Enterprise solution, including mobile device management, mobile application management and secure productivity.

To obtain the CCP-M certification you must pass exam Designing, Deploying, and Managing Citrix XenMobile 10 Enterprise Solutions (1Y0-371) exam. The exam covers four areas: designing, installing, configuring and managing components of solutions using XenMobile 10 Enterprise.

 

Required Exams

Citrix Certified Professional – Mobility (CCP-M)

Designing, Deploying and Managing Citrix XenMobile 10 Enterprise Solutions (1Y0-371)

 

The Citrix ShareFile Certified (CC-SHAREFILE) credential targets Enterprise File Sync and Sharing (EFSS) solution professionals who manage corporate data sharing, access, synchronization and security using Citrix ShareFile solutions.  

To earn the CC-SHAREFILE designation, candidates must complete the ShareFile Foundations training course and pass each module exam with a score of 80 percent or higher. The ShareFile Foundations course contains six modules: Getting Started with ShareFile, Management and Administration, Securing a ShareFile Deployment, Exploring the End User Experience, Supporting a ShareFile Deployment, and ShareFile Deployment Demos.

  Required Exams

Citrix ShareFile Certified (CC-SHAREFILE)

Six exams at the end of each ShareFile Foundations module

Introduced in 2018, the Citrix Cloud Services certifications are the newest addition to the Citrix certification portfolio. Citrix offers two Citrix Cloud Services credentials: the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud Certified (CC-XAD-CC) and XenApp and XenDesktop Service Integration with Microsoft Azure Certified (CC-XAD-MA).

The Citrix Cloud Certified (CC-XAD-CC) credential targets professionals who use XenApp and XenDesktop Service to deliver apps and desktops using the Citrix Cloud platform. To earn the CC-XAD-CC, candidates must take one of the following training courses: Moving to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure (CXD-252) or Moving to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud (CXD-250).

The XenApp and XenDesktop Service Integration with Microsoft Azure Certified credential is focused on professionals who integrate and deliver XenApp and XenDesktop Service desktop and apps to Microsoft Azure. To earn the designation, candidates must take either the Moving to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure (CXD-252) or the Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Microsoft Azure (CXD-251) training course.  

Exam release dates have not yet been announced but interested candidates may earn the credentials by taking the associated recommended training course.

  Required Exams

XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud Certified (CC-XAD-CC)

Attend one of the following training courses:

Moving to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure (CXD-252)

OR

Moving to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud (CXD-250

XenApp and XenDesktop Service Integration with Microsoft Azure Certified (CC-XAD-MA)

Attend one of the following training courses:

Moving to the XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Citrix Cloud and Microsoft Azure (CXD-252)

OR

Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop Service on Microsoft Azure (CXD-251)

 

Citrix careers tend to concentrate on their respective certification focus areas, namely, virtualization, networking and mobility. While Citrix professionals may be found in a variety of roles, they are most often known for their contributions as designers, architects, engineers and system administrators. You’ll also find Citrix certified professionals employed across all industry sectors.

A simple search on SimplyHired.com (a popular job search board) found the following:

  • An Illinois-based collection company seeks a CCP-V desktop engineering professional  
  • A Kentucky computer company is searching for a Citrix systems engineer for cloud services  
  • A North Carolina IT provider seeks a senior Citrix engineer  

We also found a plethora of employers seeking engineering pros, including Citrix engineers for desktop services, data center, systems, solutions, managed services, virtualization, operations, converged infrastructure and VDI. Other common roles include managers, analysts, operators, infrastructure specialists, architects (cloud solutions, infrastructure and virtualization architects) and mobile designers.

Citrix offers a variety of online resources to help you achieve your desired certification. Start by reviewing the site for each certification. You'll find helpful links to exam prep guides, as well as instructor-led training locations, virtual instructor-led courses and eLearning through Citrix Education. While not required, training is highly recommended. Also, check out Citrix's education blogs for up-to-date information on exam developments.

The most valuable resources for the exams are Citrix exam prep guides. They contain sample questions, percentage weightings of major domains covered in each exam, objectives, extra resources and more.

Ed Tittel

Ed is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who has worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written for numerous publications, including Tom's IT Pro, and is the author of more than 140 computing books on information security, web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.