Top 5 Free Kubernetes Certifications

Top 5 Free Kubernetes Certifications

Learning new skills is essential to advancing your career.


7 min read

Today, Kubernetes is the most adopted open-source platform to orchestrate containers. Research proves IT teams are thinking about Kubernetes as a new platform for new responsibilities every day. Beyond evidence of improved deployment, resources management and cost savings, Kubernetes is used today in so many ways that it is sometimes hard to follow the new trends.

The increase in the adoption of Kubernetes comes partly from the community and all the resources that it provides every day to easily understand the concept and the management. Training, courses, certifications, no matter your title or your background, there will be a resource online to help you implement a new concept, having a big overview of what is possible and, inherently, growing your skills. Interestingly, higher salaries also are associated with knowledge of Kubernetes.

The purpose of this post is to share 5 free self-paced certifications that everyone interested in the Kubernetes ecosystem should know.

Rancher Operator: Level 1 by Rancher Academy

Rancher Labs announced in May 2020 the launch of an online certification program through the Rancher Academy, today known as Suse Academy since the acquisition of Rancher by Suse.

This class is perfect for every beginner operator to quickly get a basic understanding of Docker and Kubernetes principles. This course introduces all the basic concepts of Kubernetes, from the creation of a simple container to the orchestration of multiple clusters with Rancher.

This self-paced course includes video introductions, theory work, demonstrations, hands-on labs, quizzes, and a final exam. It is designed to be completed in 5 weeks, with increasing detail and difficulty over each session. As it is a self-paced certification, it is up to you to define the number of hours allocated per learning session.

The certification demonstrates the knowledge and competence of the learners with basic Kubernetes concepts and the management of a cluster with Rancher.

Click on the following link to create your account and start the certification: Rancher Operator Level 1.


Certified Calico Operator: Level 1 by Tigera

Anyone who is familiar with Kubernetes knows the importance of network management. Kubernetes is designed to be infrastructure-agnostic, leaving many intentional gaps to be filled by external tools developed by the community or vendors. Networking is one of the major gaps and probably the most controversial subject. Kubernetes provides the Container Network Interface (CNI) to manage networking, but the actual implementation of the CNI plugin is dependent on the CNI provider.

Calico is a famous CNI on the open-source market. Developed by Tigera, it aims to be a Kubernetes networking and security solution for containers, virtual machines, and native host-based workloads. Calico provides highly scalable, high-performance and resource-efficient Kubernetes networking and security that works across multi-cloud and hybrid environments.

Like Rancher Labs, Tigera provides a lot of content to increase the adoption of their networking solution on Kubernetes. One year ago, they offered to the community a certification named Calico Operator: Level 1.

This free and self-paced course arms network operators with the needed knowledge to understand how Kubernetes networking works, how to configure and manage a Calico network, and how to secure a cluster following best practices.

The certification demonstrates the knowledge and competence of the learners with basic Calico concepts and network management to give you the confidence you need to run critical workloads in production.

Click on the following link to create your account and start the certification: Certified Calico Operator: Level 1.


Essential for Istio by

Anyone who is familiar with networking on Kubernetes has probably already heard or read something on a service mesh tool. A service mesh aims to solve challenges in operating microservices applications by managing networking and providing insight and control into the behavior of distributed applications. Basically, a service mesh is a configurable, low‑latency infrastructure layer designed to abstract application networking. A service mesh ensures that communication among containerized applications is fast, reliable, and secure.

Istio is probably the most popular open-source service mesh tool developed on top of Kubernetes. Istio provides critical capabilities including service discovery, load balancing, encryption, observability, traceability, authentication and authorization, and support for the circuit breaker pattern. On paper, it seems to be the perfect tool, but it has a bottleneck; this tool can be a nightmare to manage.

Fortunately, some great companies have decided to share content on Istio to make it easier to understand., for example, has recently released a certification to learn more about how Istio works and how to operationalize it in production.

The essentials for Istio certification provides an introduction to every learner that would be interested in the implementation of basic routing, observability, and security concepts with Istio.

The certification demonstrates the knowledge and competence of the learners with basic Istio concepts and management to operate a containerized environment.

Click on the following link to create your account and start the certification: Essential for Istio.


Observe Kubernetes with Sumo Logic

As mentioned in a previous blog post, observability is a vital component of our architecture to manage a system properly, determine if it is working correctly, and decide what needs to be fixed, changed, or improved.

Starting a project from scratch or even refactoring a current architecture can sometimes be complicated, and that’s why relying on platforms that excel in this area can be a good approach.

Sumo Logic is a famous observability platform that relies on open-source tools to manage the three pillars of observability: metrics, logs and traces. The collection of the Kubernetes data is done by multiple agents: FluentBit. FluentD, Prometheus exporters and Falco. A great stack that requires a deep understanding of each piece to get a good observability of the workload on the Kubernetes cluster.

Fortunately, Sumo Logic has developed great courses to share their knowledge in this domain. Obviously, the main goal is to present their product, but the courses are still relevant to anyone interested to get an introduction to the observability concepts and how to extract insight from multiple data sources like logs, metrics and traces on a Kubernetes cluster.

The certification demonstrates the knowledge and competence of the learners with the Sumo Logic platform, but it also introduces all the observability concepts and some fundamental knowledge on famous open-source tools like FluentD, Falco, Prometheus, etc.

Click on the following link to create your account and start the certification: Sumo Logic Certifications.


Chaos Engineering Practitioner by Gremlin

In a world that is constantly moving with the rise of micro-services and distributed cloud architectures, the management of infrastructure has grown increasingly complex. It is more important than ever to identify, or even predict, failures that can cause costly outages for companies.

Chaos Engineering is an approach to identify failures before they become outages. Proactively testing how a system responds under circumstances to identify and fix failures before they happen becomes a new requirement for many companies.

Chaos Engineering aims to compare what you think will happen to what actually happens. The basic concept is to literally break things on purpose to learn how to build more resilient systems.

Gremlin’s Chaos Engineering platform is a great product to start your journey in the Chaos Engineering world. Recently, they released a certification dedicated to the Chaos Engineering approach. This certification makes it easy for anybody interested in reliability to become a Chaos Engineering practitioner, no matter what your title and background are.

The certification is based on hands-on practice with the Gremlin Platform, on-demand training materials and live-streamed prep sessions, to prepare for, pass the Chaos Engineering Practitioner exam and get certified.

The certification demonstrates the knowledge and competence of the learners with an introduction to the Chaos Engineering and how to implement it to democratize this “new” concept.

Click on the following link to create your account and start the certification: Gremlin Chaos Engineering Practitioner certification.



This is just five examples of certifications that every person interested in the Kubernetes can easily take and pass. Obviously, there is more training available, so feel free to share your favorite certification in the comments and don’t forget to share your achievements! It is important to be proud of the time you spend learning new skills.

For more information on the certifications mentioned in this article:

About the authors

Hicham Bouissoumer  - Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) - DevOps

Nicolas Giron - Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) - DevOps