Each of the 5 AWS certifications come with salaries in excess of $100,000 – Forbes
Over the last one year or so, I’ve met a lot of people who have varying degrees of ambiguity around AWS certifications and which certification to choose for their specific nature of work or towards their career goals. This blog aims to demystify these ambiguities and provide clarity on what each AWS certification entails. For starters, let’s understand what AWS is and what certifications it provides:
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the popular cloud platform, houses a collection of cloud computing services, that have opened up hot career prospects in the world of cloud computing. AWS has more than 70 services, spanning a wide range, including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools and Internet of things. AWS also offers cloud certifications that assert your ability to operate on the cloud. There are five different certifications and each of them open the floodgates to enhanced career opportunities. Depending on your interest and career goals, you can choose to engage yourself in any of the two certification tracks prescribed by AWS. Let me now break them down for you, one by one.
AWS suite of certifications
AWS certifications are aligned to two broad streams – Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer. The Solutions Architect stream is well defined; you should first bag the Solutions Architect – Associate certification followed by the Solutions Architect – Professional certification. But if you choose to certify yourself as an AWS DevOps Engineer, you have to either clear the Developer – Associate certification or the System Operations (SysOps) Administrator – Associate certifications. Of course, you should choose based on your current job or the stream of specialization you aspire for.
Alternatively, AWS allows you to containerize its suite of certifications into three blocks – Solutions Architect,Developer and SysOps. While Solutions Architect is an independent stream in itself, a Developer and/or SysOps Associate certification can lead you to a DevOps Engineer certification.
I have good news for you. The associate certifications of Solutions Architect and Developer share 50% content between them. So if you prepare for one, you’ve pretty much prepared half of the other as well. While most people I’ve met feel that Developer is the easiest to crack, Solutions Architect makes you a master of almost all of AWS’ services and helps you understand all key concepts. SysOps, on the other hand, is an ideal starting point if you are currently working as an infrastructure/system admin and/or are managing VMs, storage or networking in your current job.
AWS Certification Job Prospects
According to Forbes, AWS Certified Solution Architect – Associate is the number 1 certification program of 2016. In its global survey of top 15 certifications in 2016, Solutions Architect, with a median salary of $125,871, is the highest paying certification. Additionally, all of AWS’ certifications will help you earn salaries in excess of $100,000. Specific Solution Architect skills that recruiters look for include designing on AWS, selecting the appropriate AWS services for your business, ingress and egress of data to and from the AWS, estimating AWS costs and identifying cost-control measures for your organization.
Globally, there are more than 380,000 cloud computing jobs in the IT industry itself. With cloud computing pervading into almost every business vertical, the need for qualified and certified cloud professionals is ever-growing. AWS is currently leading the pack with most companies having invested in or planning to invest in AWS tools and services. This is a clear sign that good times are in store for you if you commit yourself to AWS.
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Which AWS Certification should you choose?
Depending on your interest, career goal and experience, you can decide which certification to go for. It is important to note that the Associate-level certifications do not require to have any prior AWS experience. However, experts believe around 1 year of experience with any of the AWS tools will be a great help in cracking the exams faster. The three Professional exams mandate 2 or more years of hands-on experience on AWS, but Amazon takes your word for it and does not require you to furnish any proof of experience. Let me now explain what you will achieve with each of these certifications:
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Edureka tips and recommendations for AWS Certification
Now, here’s that part of the blog where I provide you a cheat sheet to ace your AWS certification. While each AWS certification has a different level of complexity, there are certain common tips that can help you become battle-ready.
- Do remember that you need to pay a fees of $150 to enroll for the Associate exams and $300 to enroll for the Professional exams.
- Questions are usually in multiple choice format with the pass percentage changing with every exam, based on statistical analysis by Amazon.
- An average Associate-level exam lasts for about 80 minutes with around 60 minutes, with a pass percentage of 60%.
- For effective practice prior to taking the exam, we recommend you sign up with Amazon and activate the AWS Free Tier, which includes 750 hours of both Linux and Windows instances with 30 GB of EBS storage each month for one year for new AWS customers.
- Utilize this space and time to get hands-on experience on AWS tools and operations. This is the most important aspect of the certifications, and the easiest ways to understand core concepts.
- Additionally, you can check out the Exam Blueprint mentioned in the AWS website for detailed information on specific exam modules.
I hope I’ve been able to help you de-clutter your head about AWS certifications. If you have attempted any of these exams in the recent past, I need to hear from you! Place your comments below and let’s connect.