For Data Center virtualization, we will have VCA_DV, for Cloud, VCA-Cloud and lastly for EUC, VCA-WM (a new term Workforce Mobility, which I think might replace the current name DT).
For a start, VMware has a promotion code for a 50% discount stated here. The advantage of having an Associate certification, allows professional to have a easy head start without any prerequisites to take their first step towards VMware certification. The cost of the exam is roughly about USD130 (SGD160 for me). From now to end of the year 2013, when you book the associate exam, you will automatically receive 50% discount.
Some may not require to attend a course due to their scope of work but a recognition of their understanding of the technology. With this, not only one does not have to spend on a course like VCP-DV requirement, but able to decide later if they really want to pursue the particular track of specialty later on (though VCP-DV is a foundation which need to be completed).
You can view the respective blueprints from the certification site choosing the respective certification.
Hope to see more VMware certified
Here is some of the screenshot you will see:
After approval of the associate exam, you will them available in your Pearsonvue account.
The associate exams are online via your browser so you will see the typical exam page running off your computer.
On passing you will see this familiar screen. (Forgot to take the failed screen)
Update 29th Aug
Apparently some have take the associate exams and shared that this is a web based exam and no visit to the test center is required.
Update 7th Sept
Added in the experience and screenshots.
26th Sept 2013
Someone asked in the comments whether the questions are the same on retaking. Even retaking the exam, you will still get brand new questions. You might have some repeats but those are real minimal. Anyhow you are still doing on your own computer so there is no way you cannot browse the training while doing at the same time.
1st Dec 2013
I have received comments and email on the VCA for dumbs and answer. This is a exam to test your fundamental knowledge of VMware virtualization, mobility and cloud. If you cannot pass, watch the video carefully. There will be no dumbs or even answer that someone would make such an effort since your effort is to watch the video!