Is AWS Certification Worth It ?

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Let me tell you now the answer to the question “Is AWS Certification Worth It.” The answer is obviously YES!

As large amounts of data are shifted from physical storage to the cloud every day, the demand for cloud providers and usage of their services has seen tremendous growth. By just moving to cloud storage from physical storage, organizations are saving tons of money. The rise in the cloud computing domain has seen a rise in the demand for certified cloud professionals in the IT industry.

Cloud computing is one of the hottest domains in the market today, and AWS is the leader of this domain. Having a certification of AWS just makes your career better in a lot many ways. But there are plenty of certifications offered by AWS and people often get confused to decide which one to get certified in. In this article, I will talk about all the AWS certifications and then you can decide which certification is well-suited for you.

What is AWS and AWS Certification?

AWS or Amazon Web Services is the most popular cloud service provider. It offers plenty of services for computing, stage, networking, etc. It dominates the cloud domain and often is the first option when the organization is choosing a cloud provider. 

Being a leader in the cloud computing domain, AWS offers multiple certifications that are very highly recognized in the industry. AWS currently offers 12 different certifications (1 foundational, 3 associate, 2 professional and 6 speciality) and they open career opportunities for multiple job roles. 

Let me tell you about different AWS certifications and how they are going to help you in your career. If we talk about AWS certification, there are various role-based learning paths in AWS certification.

  • Cloud Practitioner: This learning path is built for individuals who want to learn the fundamentals of the AWS cloud platform. Whether you are in a developer/admin /architect role, you can still start with this learning path.
  • Architect: This learning path is designed for solutions architects, solution design engineers who are responsible for designing applications and systems on AWS.  This one is the most popular path in AWS certifications compared to other paths.
  • Developer: This one is designed for software developers who want to learn about AWS services to develop and maintain AWS-based applications.
  • Operations: This learning path is designed for SysOps Administrators, System Administrators and those in DevOps role. You can how to create an automated and repeatable deployment of applications, networks and systems on the AWS platform. 

And each certification in a specialty domain is role-based in itself for a particular domain (networking, security, machine learning, database, data analytics and Alexa skill builder).

AWS Certifications that are right for you 

In this section, I will be talking about the foundational, associate and professional certification. Depending on your interest in architect, admin, or developer roles, you can choose any one of the AWS certifications to get started.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner (Foundational)

This is the most basic and fundamental certification offered by AWS. Whether you want to get into an admin, developer or architect role, it is recommended to do this cloud practitioner certification first to demonstrate basic experience on the AWS cloud platform and its services. You should have at least 6 months of experience on the AWS cloud platform before going for this certification.

AWS Certified Solution Architect  (Associate)

The certification is designed for individuals who perform a solutions architect role and have at least one or more years of hands-on experience in designing highly available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant and scalable distributed systems on the AWS Platform. 

To qualify for this certification, you will need to have hands-on experience on various AWS services such as compute, network, storage and database. Also, you should have experience with AWS services used for deployment and management and the ability to specify the requirements for building AWS applications. You should also have knowledge of recommended best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS Platform.

AWS Certified Sysops Administrator (Associate)

This certification is designed for system administrators in a system operations role with at least one year of experience in deployment, management and operations on AWS. 

To qualify for this certification, you need to have a clear understanding of the AWS tenets, architecting for the cloud, hands-on experience with AWS CLI and SDKs or the API tools knowledge of network technologies as they relate to the AWS platform. You also need to have a good understanding of security concepts with hands-on experience in implementing security controls and compliance requirements.

The ideal candidate should have a good understanding of visualization technologies, monitoring and auditing systems, knowledge of networking concepts such as DNS, TCP and firewalls and the ability to translate architectural requirements. 

AWS Certified solutions Developer (Associate)

This certification is designed for individuals who perform a development role in their organization and have one or more years of experience in developing and maintaining an AWS based application.

To qualify for this certification, you will need to have in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language (python, java, C#, etc.), a clear understanding of core AWS Services and basic AWS architecture best Practices. The ideal candidate should be able to use the AWS service APIs, AWS CLI and SDKs to write the applications. Also, it requires proficiency in developing, deploying and debugging cloud-based applications using the AWS platform. 

AWS Certified Solution Architect ( Professional )

This certification is designed for individuals who perform a solutions architect role with two or more years of hands-on experience in managing and operating systems on AWS. 

The candidate should be able to evaluate cloud application requirements and make architectural recommendations for implementation, deployment and provisioning of applications on the AWS platform. Also, the candidate should be familiar with the AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates, AWS billing console and the AWS management console. 

The ideal candidate should be able to provide best practices guidance on the architectural design across multiple applications and projects of the enterprise. He/Shae should know how to migrate complex multi-tier applications on the AWS platform, design and deploy enterprise-wide scalable operations on AWS and implement cost control strategies.

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional)

This certification is designed for individuals who perform a DevOps engineer role with two or more years of experience in provisioning, operating and managing AWS environments. The candidate should know how to implement and manage the CICD pipeline on the AWS platform using AWS services. He/She should possess knowledge of necessary tools required to design, manage and maintain automated operational processes.

To qualify for this certification, you need to have good enough experience in building highly automated infrastructures and administering operating systems. You should be aware of modern methodologies and processes being used in development and operation teams.

Specialty AWS Certifications

Apart from the above core 6 certifications, there are 6 other certifications that come under the specialty category of AWS certifications. These 6 certifications are on Advanced Networking, Security, Machine Learning, Alexa Skill Builder, Data Analytics and Database. These certifications are very domain specific. So, depending on your job experience related to any of these domains, you can opt for the specialty AWS certification.

Benefits of AWS Certification 

  • The best part of these certifications is that you can learn them at your own pace. You can select any on-demand training that’s relevant to your roles, solution area and level of expertise and finish the particular examination, take your own time and do it at your own pace.
  • You will be trained by an AWS expert if you take AWS training for a particular certification. It helps in building technical skills from an accredited instructor through in-person or virtual courses. 
  • You can pick your learning path and build your cloud skills in advance towards the AWS certification.
  • You can also validate your AWS cloud skills and enhance your credibility with industry-recognized credentials.
  • All the AWS certifications will help you earn a salary of more than 100K $ per year, and they will enhance the chances of getting selected for the cloud domain job role.

What learning resources should use?

Building your skills to prepare for the AWS certifications is not very tough and costly. There are plenty of courses on the Udemy platform that help you in preparing for these AWS Certifications. Here is a list of the most popular courses with high ratings that will help you prepare for your AWS certification with ease.

Check out more courses on Udemy for AWS certifications.

Final Thoughts  

AWS certifications provide some of the most in-demand skills and are validated by one of the most recognizable entities, cloud computing. Depending on your career goal and interest, you can decide which certification to go for. First, you need to decide whether you want to get into a developer, admin or an architect role, then you can choose an AWS certification according to your experience. So, go ahead, and get AWS certified for a better career in the cloud computing domain.

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