There are several Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications to choose from. In this guide, we will discuss the best AWS certifications for your career advancement.
What is an AWS Certification?
An AWS certification validates your technical skills and cloud expertise. The AWS Training and Certification platform offers a multitude of certifications to choose from, including AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Professional, AWS Certified DevOps Engineer—Professional, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, and AWS Certified Machine Learning—Specialty.
AWS offers four types of certifications, depending on your professional field and level of expertise: Professional, Associate, Foundational, and Specialty. All you have to do is select a certification, schedule an examination, and prepare for it.
Is an AWS Certification Worth It?
An AWS role-based certification validates your expertise in a specific technical area and helps you quickly gain valuable technical skills. AWS is one of the best certification providers for information technology (IT) professionals. In fact, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the most sought-after certification today.
One way to demonstrate your proficiency in a field of interest is by earning an AWS certification. Moreover, human resource (HR) professionals are more likely to hire a candidate who has a valid IT certification. Fortunately, AWS offers flexible and convenient options for taking a certification exam, along with a vast range of programs, resources and expert insights to help you prepare for it.
Which AWS Certification Should You Get?
At the time of writing, AWS offers 11 role-based certifications. Opt for a certification course based on your technical expertise, relevant experience, and what you want to achieve further down the line.
For example, if you have up to six months of fundamental AWS Cloud and industry expertise, opt for the foundational AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification to get started. AWS offers three associate-level certifications, which require one or more years of experience; two professional-level certifications, which require two or more years of experience; and five specialty domain certifications.
Also read: Best DevOps Certifications to Have Now
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification helps validate foundational AWS knowledge and cloud fluency. The certification helps organizations identify professionals with pivotal knowledge related to carrying out cloud initiatives.
- The certification is foundational level.
- Before taking the exam, AWS recommends you have at least six months of AWS Cloud exposure; grassroots understanding of AWS IT services and their uses; and command of core AWS services and security concepts, pricing models and use cases.
- The exam takes 90 minutes to complete and features 65 multiple choice or multiple response questions.
- Delivery methods include online proctored exam, testing center, and Pearson VUE and PSI (same for every certification).
- The examination is offered in 10 languages, including English, German, Simplified Chinese, and French.
- You can benefit from the exam guide, sample questions, training built by AWS experts and AWS technical documentation to prepare, free of cost.
Potential jobs: Associate Solutions Architect, Cloud Architect, Cloud Engineer, Enterprise Cloud Jr. Architect, and Software Developer.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Professional
The AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Professional certification helps authenticate the capability to evaluate, deploy, and design applications on AWS within diverse, complicated environments. The certification exam helps HR managers identify professionals with integral skills for implementing cloud initiatives.
- We recommend obtaining the AWS Certified Solutions Architect—Associate certification first.
- The certification exam is professional level.
- The certification exam is meant for IT professionals with at least two years of hands-on experience deploying and designing cloud architecture on AWS.
- Basic requirements include the ability to design a hybrid architecture using AWS technologies like AWS Direct Connect and VPN, make architectural recommendations, and evaluate cloud application requirements. Candidates should also possess a familiarity with various templates, Windows and Linux environments, and a scripting language.
- The exam requires you to answer 75 multiple choice or multiple response questions within 180 minutes (three hours).
- The exam is available in nine languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish (Latin America), and Simplified Chinese.
- Free exam preparation resources include an exam guide, sample questions, practice questions, a digital training session, a webinar, and AWS whitepapers.
Potential jobs: AWS Architect, Technical Trainer, Enterprise Solutions Architect, Cloud Engineer, Systems Development Engineer, and Technology Architecture—Consultant.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer—Professional
The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer—Professional certification examination helps candidates demonstrate the ability to automate the deployment and testing of AWS applications and infrastructure. This credential helps HR professionals find candidates with technical skills for implementing cloud initiatives.
- We recommend taking the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator—Associate (Operations) and/or AWS Certified Developer—Associate (Developer) certification exam first.
- The certification examination is professional level.
- To successfully pass this examination, you should have a minimum of two years of relevant experience in managing, operating, and provisioning AWS environments.
- Recommended skills include the ability to manage and implement methodologies and continuous delivery systems on AWS; automate and implement compliance validation, governance processes, and security controls; and deploy and define logging systems, monitoring, and metrics on AWS.
- You must answer 75 multiple choice or multiple selection questions within the given time frame of 180 minutes (three hours).
- The examination can be taken in four languages—English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.
- To prepare for your exam, you can utilize free resources like sample questions, an examination guide, a practice question set, digital training sessions, and three AWS whitepapers.
Potential jobs: DevOps Engineer, Solutions Architect, Systems Development Engineer, DevOps Developer, Sr. Systems Development Engineer, Software Engineer—DevSecOps, Docker Engineer, DevSecOps Engineer, and DevSecOps CI/CD Engineer.
AWS Certified Machine Learning—Specialty
The AWS Certified Machine Learning—Specialty examination tests for knowledge of deploying, tuning, training, and building machine learning (ML) models on AWS. The certification helps organizations identify and develop candidates that exhibit relevant skills.
- The certification is specialty level.
- This exam is ideal for you if you have over one year of experience in a data science or development role and have developed, built, and run ML/deep learning workloads in the AWS Cloud.
- You should have the capability to follow operational best practices, deployment, and model-training and express the intuition behind simple ML algorithms.
- The examination consists of 65 multiple choice or multiple response questions, which must be answered within 180 minutes (three hours).
- The examination is offered in English, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
- Free study materials include a specialty webinar, specialty digital training sessions, two AWS whitepapers, an examination guide, practice questions, and sample questions.
Potential jobs: Enterprise Architect, Systems Development Engineer, Data Architect, Sr. Data Architect, Enterprise Cloud Jr. Architect, AI ML Engineer, Machine Learning Architect, and Sr. Cloud Computing Specialist.
Also read: Top 10 In-Demand IT Certifications 2021
AWS Certified Security—Specialty
The AWS Certified Security—Specialty certification course proves expertise in securing workloads and data in the AWS Cloud. The certification examination helps organizations identify and nurture IT professionals that possess relevant prowess.
- The certification course is specialty level.
- The course is ideal for IT security professionals with at least two years of relevant experience in securing AWS workloads.
- It is recommended that you have working knowledge of security operations and risks, AWS security services and their features, the AWS shared responsibility model and its use, AWS data protection mechanisms, and specialized data classifications.
- The exam lasts 170 minutes and includes 65 multiple choice or multiple selection questions.
- Languages offered include English, German, Italian, French, Korean, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.
- AWS offers several free materials to prepare for the examination, including an exam guide, a set of practice questions, sample questions, specialty digital training sessions, and nine AWS whitepapers.
Potential jobs: Security Engineer, Principal Associate—Security Testing, AWS Solution Architect, Enterprise Architect, Consultant—AWS Application Security and Principal Security Consultant.
Choosing AWS Certifications
To advance in your career, you should be inclined towards personal development. There are a variety of top-notch certification providers on the market today, of which the AWS Training and Certification platform is one of the most respected and sought-after by HR managers.
Explore AWS’s role-based certifications today, schedule an exam, and prepare for it.
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