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Top 11 AWS Certifications That Will Catapult Your Career to New Heights

In the current global landscape, cloud computing has become indispensable for most business operations, with Amazon Web Services (AWS) establishing itself at the forefront.

AWS provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments on a metered, pay-as-you-go basis. Getting AWS certifications is essential to validate your skills and knowledge in using AWS services. 

This blog will guide you through everything you need to know about AWS training and certification, from its importance to the details of each certification level and how to start preparing for your exams.

Table of Contents

AWS Cloud Certification – Overview

The AWS cloud certification is a level of Amazon Web Services cloud expertise that an IT professional obtains after passing one or more exams provided by Amazon. AWS offers various certifications catering to different levels of expertise – foundational, associate, professional, and speciality. These certifications validate an individual’s AWS cloud knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Key Benefits of Obtaining AWS Cloud Security Certification

AWS training and certification is crucial for several reasons:

  • Industry Recognition: Being AWS certified demonstrates that you have the skills and knowledge to work with AWS services and solutions.
  • Skill Enhancement: Preparing for the certification exams helps you better understand AWS services and enhances your skills.
  • Competitive Edge: AWS certification sets you apart from others in the job market and helps you stand out to employers.
  • Professional Growth: AWS certification can lead to better job opportunities, promotions, and a salary increase.

Top AWS Certifications

Below is an overview of the top AWS certifications, their recommended knowledge, and exam overview:

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner- Foundational

This AWS cloud practitioner certification is for individuals who wish to gain a basic idea of AWS cloud.

Topics Covered

  1. The concepts of AWS Cloud
  2. The value proposition of AWS Cloud
  3. The main services of AWS 
  4. AWS Cloud security and compliance
  5. AWS Cloud billing, account management, and pricing models

Recommended Knowledge

  1. A fundamental concept of IT services
  2. The AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course or equivalent experience

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 90 minutes

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

This AWS-certified solutions architect associate programme is for individuals who want to demonstrate the ability to architect and deploy secure and solid applications on Amazon Web Services technologies.

Topics Covered

  1. The designing of resilient architectures
  2. Performant architectures definition
  3. Specifying the secure applications & the architectures
  4. Designing cost-optimised architectures

Recommended Knowledge

  1. One year of practical experience designing fault-tolerant, cost-efficient, scalable distributed systems on Amazon Web Services.

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 130 minutes

3. AWS Certified Developer – Associate

This is for individuals who want to demonstrate the ability to develop and maintain applications on AWS.

Topics Covered

  1. The deployment and management of AWS applications
  2. Security in Amazon Web Services
  3. The development of AWS applications

Recommended Knowledge

  1. One year of firsthand experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application
  2. Proficiency in at least one high-level programming language

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 130 minutes

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4. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

This AWS SysOps certification is for individuals who want to demonstrate the ability to provide, operate, and manage distributed applications on AWS.

Topics Covered

  1. Monitoring, logging, and remediation
  2. Business continuity and reliability
  3. Provisioning, deployment, and automation
  4. Networking and Content Delivery

Recommended Knowledge

  1. One year of practical experience operating AWS-based applications

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 130 minutes

5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

This is for individuals who want to design and deploy highly available, dynamically scalable, fault-tolerant, and reliable applications on AWS.

Topics Covered

  1. Design for organisational complexity
  2. Design for new solutions
  3. Migration planning
  4. Cost control
  5. Continuous improvement for existing solutions

Recommended Knowledge

  1. Two years of practical experience in creating and effective implementation of cloud architecture on AWS
  2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 180 minutes

6. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

Often known as the best AWS certification for DevOps engineers, this is for individuals who want to demonstrate the ability to provision, operate, and manage applications on AWS.

Topics Covered

  1. SDLC automation
  2. Configuration management and infrastructure as code
  3. Monitoring and logging
  4. Policies and standards automation
  5. Incident and event response

Recommended Knowledge

  1. Two years of practical experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments
  2. Experience in developing code in at least one advanced programming language
  3. AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS SysOps Certification – Associate 

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 180 minutes

7. AWS Certified Security – Specialty

This AWS security certification is for those who want to demonstrate the ability to secure the AWS platform.

Topics Covered

  1. Incident response
  2. Logging and monitoring
  3. Infrastructure security
  4. Identity and access management
  5. Data protection

Recommended Knowledge

  1. Two years of experience securing AWS workloads
  2. AWS security best practices

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 170 minutes

8. AWS Certified Big Data – Speciality

This is for individuals who want to demonstrate the ability to design and implement AWS services to derive value from data.

Topics Covered

  1. Collection
  2. Storage
  3. Processing
  4. Analysis
  5. Visualisation
  6. Data security

Recommended Knowledge

  1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or a current Associate-level certification
  2. Minimum five years of practical experience in a data analytics field

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 170 minutes

9. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Speciality

This is for individuals who want to design and implement AWS and hybrid network architectures at scale.

Topics Covered

  1. Design and implement hybrid IT network architectures
  2. Design and implement Amazon Web Service networks
  3. Automate AWS tasks
  4. Configure network integration with application services
  5. Design and implement for security and compliance

Recommended Knowledge

  1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or a current Associate-level certification
  2. Advanced networking architectures and interconnectivity options

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 170 minutes

10. AWS Certified Machine Learning – Speciality

This is for individuals who want to design, apply, and maintain machine learning (ML) solutions for given business problems.

Topics Covered

  1. Data Engineering
  2. Exploratory data analysis
  3. Modelling
  4. Machine learning implementation and operations

Recommended Knowledge

  1. One to two years of practical experience on the AWS Cloud surrounding developing, architecting, or running deep learning workloads
  2. The ability to describe the intuition behind basic Machine Learning algorithms

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 170 minutes

11. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder -Speciality

This is for individuals who want to demonstrate the ability to build, test, and publish Amazon Alexa skills.

Topics Covered

  1. Voice design best practices
  2. Alexa Developer Console
  3. Alexa skill architecture
  4. Alexa Skills Kit (ASK)
  5. Test, validate, and troubleshoot

Recommended Knowledge

  1. At least 6 months of experience building Alexa skills hands-on
  2. Proficiency in a programming language

Overview of Examination

  • Type: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Time: 170 minutes

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Certification Level Topics Covered Recommended Knowledge Exam Overview
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner Foundational AWS Cloud Concepts, Security, Pricing Basic understanding of IT services Multiple choice, 90 minutes
AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Designing resilient, performant, secure and cost-optimised architectures One year of hands-on experience with AWS Multiple choice, 130 minutes
AWS Certified Developer Associate AWS application deployment, security, development, management One year of hands-on experience developing on AWS Multiple choice, 130 minutes
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate Monitoring, logging, deployment, security, networking One year of hands-on experience operating AWS applications Multiple choice, 130 minutes
AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Complex designs, migration, cost control, continuous improvement Two years of hands-on experience, plus Associate certification Multiple choice, 180 minutes
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional SDLC automation, monitoring, logging, incident response Two years of hands-on experience, plus Associate certification in Developer or SysOps Multiple choice, 180 minutes
AWS Certified Security Specialty Incident response, logging, monitoring, infrastructure security, IAM, data protection Two years of hands-on experience securing AWS workloads Multiple choice, 170 minutes
AWS Certified Big Data Specialty Collection, storage, processing, analysis, visualisation, data security Five years in data analytics, plus a foundational or Associate certification Multiple choice, 170 minutes
AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty Hybrid IT architectures, AWS networks, automation, security Advanced networking experience, plus a foundational or Associate certification Multiple choice, 170 minutes
AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty Data engineering, exploratory data analysis, modelling, ML implementation One to two years in ML, deep learning on AWS Multiple choice, 170 minutes
AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty Voice design, Alexa Developer Console, skill architecture, ASK, testing Six months of hands-on experience building Alexa skills Multiple choice, 170 minutes

Selecting the Most Suitable AWS Certification for Your Career

The best AWS certification depends on your career goals, current skills, and experience level. The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a great foundational certification if you are just starting. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate is the best if you are a developer. For operations roles, AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate is suitable. For those with experience in designing and deploying applications, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate or Professional are the best choice.

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A Guide to Becoming AWS Certified

To become AWS certified, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose the certification that aligns with your career goals and experience.
  2. Prepare for the exam by taking online courses, reading whitepapers, and getting hands-on experience.
  3. Schedule and take the exam.
  4. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your certification.

Tips for Starting Your AWS Certification Training

  • Understand the AWS Certification Path: Start by understanding the AWS certification path and select the certification that aligns with your career goals and experience level. 
  • Online Courses and Training: Enroll in online courses and training that provide a structured approach to learning. AWS offers various resources, including digital training, classroom training, and exam readiness workshops. Don’t forget to take a look at the AWS certification cost.
  • Hands-on Practice: Practice is essential for passing the AWS exams. AWS provides a free tier, which you can use for hands-on practice. There are also practice exams available for each certification.
  • Study Guides and Whitepapers: AWS provides official study guides and whitepapers that cover all the topics you need to know for the exam.
  • Practice Exams: Before taking the actual exam, it is recommended to take practice exams. These exams mimic the actual exam environment and help you assess your readiness.

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Conclusion

AWS certifications are a great way to validate your AWS cloud knowledge, skills, and abilities. They are recognised globally and can lead to better job opportunities, promotions, and salary increases. AWS offers various certifications catering to different levels of expertise. To prepare for AWS certification, it is recommended to take online courses and training, get hands-on practice, read study guides and whitepapers, and take practice exams.

Does AWS certification pay well?

Yes, AWS certification pays well. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is one of the highest-paying certifications in the IT industry, giving you a higher ROI than the AWS cloud practitioner certification cost.

Which is the best AWS certification for developers?

For freshers, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the best certification as it is foundational and provides an understanding of the AWS cloud.

Which AWS certification is most in demand?

The AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification is the most in demand as it validates the ability to architect and deploy secure applications on AWS technologies.

Which role in AWS is best?

The role in AWS that is best for you depends on your career goals, current skills, and experience level. The AWS Certified Developer – Associate is suitable if you are a developer. For operations roles, AWS SysOps certification for Associates is suitable. For those with experience in designing and deploying applications, the AWS Solutions Architect Associate or Professional are suitable.

What is the AWS cloud architect certification?

The AWS cloud architect certification, officially known as AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, is designed for individuals who perform a solutions architect role. This certification validates an individual's ability to define a solution using architectural design principles based on customer requirements.

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