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Amazon Web Services is a cloud platform which is easily the most talked about cloud platform. Amazon Web Services or AWS as we know it, also offers plenty of career opportunities. To make career opportunities easy in the domain, AWS offers many certifications. If you too have questions about what AWS certification means, this article will come very close to answering those questions. Following pointers will be covered in this AWS Certification article:

  1. What is Amazon Web Services?
  2. AWS Careers
  3. Types of AWS Certifications

You can also upskill AWS or other cloud services like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), etc., with our PGP Cloud Computing Course. The course will teach you a more structured and hands-on experience with cloud technologies, including issues such as migration, deployment, integration, platform choice, architecture, and TCO.

Now, let’s get started with the AWS Certification article with the introduction to Amazon Web Services.

What is Amazon Web Services?

As mentioned in the introduction, Amazon Web Services is a leading cloud service provider in the public cloud domain. To define it in simple words, it is an Amazon Cloud Service provider which provides on-demand Cloud Computing Services like:

  • Compute Services
  • Storage Services
  • Database Services
  • Network Services
  • Security Services
  • Analytics Services
  • Monitoring Services
  • Messaging Services

These services can be accessed using the internet from anywhere across the globe. AWS manages these services and resources that are configured so that consumers are saved from the headache of managing these resources.

It offers pay-as-you-go model or metered usage when it comes to pricing. That means you pay only for the resources consumed and only for the time duration we consume these for. Similar to how we consume electricity. We use appliances that consume electricity. At the end of the month we pay for the units of electricity we consumed. We do not maintain or monitor supply of electricity to our homes, the electricity board does it for us.

AWS is analogous to this electricity board. Here we consume on demand computing and other resources and pay Amazon Web Services for the resources we have consumed.

AWS services global in 245+ locations and offer 250 plus services. It is a feature packed service provider with features like,

  • Scalability
  • Availability
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Flexibility
  • Elasticity, etc

So this was about AWS, let us now go ahead and understand Amazon Web Services from a career perspective and see what are the features that make it stand out.

Amazon Web Services Careers

When it comes to careers Amazon Web Services is easily one of the highest in demand skills and its future paints a very bright picture too. Let us try and support this claim with some numbers. Here are some numbers about cloud computing first.

We all know LinkedIn as a very popular professional community website where people interact for professional reasons. LinkedIn also does a survey every year which helps study and understand current job trends and skill demands.

LinkedIn’s recent statistic stated that Cloud Computing is the second most sort after hard skills in the world job market.

LinkedIn Stats - AWS Certifications - Great Learning

Image Source (LinkedIn)

The point to note here is it comes to second only to Block chain and is considered more in demand compared to Analytical Reasoning, AI etc. When you talk of in demand market skills AWS and Azure make it to the top 10 most sort after skills that the employees are looking for in the employees. A survey also stated that there are more job postings for AWS cross the globe then the number of people applying for these jobs.

I hope this has spiked your interest in the thinking about a career or certification in AWS. If not, let us have a look at some numbers concerning Cloud Salaries.

ZipRecruiter states that an Average Cloud professional makes 110-120K US dollars a year. The salary can go as high as 250K dollars depending on the skills an individual has.

In India people can start with salaries that range around 6-7 lakhs Rupees per annum and can go way higher with experience and relevant skills. So I believe these numbers are enough for us to get started with the certification part.

Amazon Web Services Certification

Now with AWS offering 250 plus services means there are many things one can do on cloud and that in turn, which makes them unsure if they should opt for a career on the cloud. Also, not knowing what path to follow. On Cloud, you may have opportunities as:

  • Software Architect
  • Software Administrator
  • Software Developer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Machine Learning Professional
  • Network Engineer
  • Big Data Engineer
  • Application Developer

And a lot more. To simplify your conundrum, AWS classifies its certifications into role-based certifications, making it easy for you to choose, following are the role-based certifications introduced by Amazon Web Services.

So these 12 AWS certifications are classified as the role-based AWS certifications and speciality AWS certifications. Following are the role-based certifications AWS offers:

  1. Foundational
    • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  2. Associate
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
    • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
    • AWS Certified Developer
  3. Professional
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
    • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer

Following are the speciality certifications AWS offers:

  1. AWS Certified Advanced Networking
  2. AWS Certified Big Data
  3. AWS Certified Security
  4. AWS Certified Machine Learning
  5. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder

Let us understand these certifications one by one. First, I will begin with role-based AWS certifications.

Role-based AWS Certifications

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner – Foundational

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam is designed for candidates to demonstrate an overall understanding of the AWS Cloud, irrespective of other technical roles offered AWS certifications.

Prerequisites

Below are prerequisites that recommend some knowledge and experience before appearing for the exam:

  • Reckons candidates to have at least six months of experience with the AWS Cloud in any of the following roles:
    • Technical
    • Managerial
    • Sales
    • Purchasing
    • Finance
  • Recommends candidates to have basic knowledge of IT services and their applications in the AWS Cloud Platform.

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 90 minutes
Cost: 100 USD; 20 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Have a detailed understanding of the AWS Cloud and its global infrastructure
  • Specify the architectural principles and value proposition of the AWS Cloud
  • Specify essential services on the AWS platform and some everyday use cases of the platform
  • Define basic security, compliance, and the shared security model of the AWS platform
  • Account management like billing and pricing models
  • Describe the sources of documentation or technical assistance
  • Identify the core characteristics of Deployment and Operations in the AWS Cloud

Once you clear the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam, your next step would be to head into the Associate level and apply for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam. Or, if you wish to go for Operations, apply for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator exam. And for a Developer role, apply for the AWS Certified Developer exam.

Let us now go ahead and discuss the AWS Certified Solutions Architect role at the Associate level.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

These are the people who are responsible for designing cloud applications. Just like an architect designs buildings, a cloud or AWS Certified Architect creates application blueprints.

Prerequisites

Below are prerequisites that recommend some knowledge and experience before appearing for the exam.

It reckons candidates to have at least one year of experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • Have a detailed understanding of platform (AWS) services
  • Ability to plan development and migration of applications
  • Ability to apply cost optimisation of the project
  • Ability to convey all the details to the stakeholders and developers like technical requirements to an AWS-based application
  • Ability to architect, understand the deployment of scalable, fault-tolerant applications
  • Hands-on experience with networking, storage, and database AWS services
  • Reckoning best procedures to build secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 130 minutes
Cost: 150 USD; 20 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Proficiency in how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS platforms
  • Illustrating a solution with the help of architectural design principles predicated on customer requirements
  • Identifying best practices to the organisation by guiding the implementation process throughout the life cycle of the project

Once you clear the AWS Solutions Architect exam, your next step would be to apply for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam at the Professional level.

3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

Prerequisites

It reckons candidates to have at least two years of experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • All the abilities covered by the AWS Certified Solutions Architect at the Associate level.
  • Knowledge of AWS CLI, AWS APIs, AWS CloudFormation templates, AWS Billing Console, and AWS Management Console
  • Five pillars of AWS Well-Architected Framework
  • In-hand skills of a scripting language with Windows and Linux environments
  • Familiarity with Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment processes

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 180 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Proficiency in designing and deploying dynamically scalable, highly available, fault-tolerant, and reliable applications on AWS platforms
  • Choosing the relevant AWS services in designing and deploying an application meeting the provided requirements
  • Relocating complex, multi-tier applications based on requirements
  • Proficiency in designing and deploying enterprise-wide scalable operations on AWS platforms
  • Ability to apply cost optimisation strategies of the project

4. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

As a SysOps Administrator, you are responsible for maintaining the applications like deployment, management, and operations that have been built on AWS cloud or migrated to AWS Cloud.

Prerequisites

It reckons candidates to have at least one year of experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • Deployment, management, and operations on AWS
  • Experience as a System or Software Administrator
  • In-depth knowledge of Networking fundamentals like DNS, TCP/IP, and firewalls
  • Knowledge of AWS Monitoring Services
  • Understanding of architecting the AWS Cloud
  • In-hand skills with the AWS CLI and SDKs/API tools
  • Hands-on experience with the implementation of security controls and compliance requirements
  • Knowledge of visualization technology
  • knowledge of translating architectural requirements

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 130 minutes
Cost: 150 USD; 20 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Proficiency in deploying, managing, and operate scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems on AWS
  • Implementation and control of the data flow to-and-fro AWS
  • Choosing the relevant AWS services predicated on compute, data, or security requirements
  • Ability to apply cost optimisation strategies of AWS services
  • Knowledge of Application Migration in AWS

5. AWS Certified Developer – Associate

Once you design an application, it needs to be developed. AWS Developers are responsible for building these AWS-based applications.

Prerequisites

It reckons candidates to have at least one year of experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • Understand Software Development Lifecycle
  • In-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language
  • Knowledge of core AWS services, its uses, and the best practices of AWS architecture
  • Ability to develop, deploy, and debug cloud-based applications using AWS
  • Understanding the usage of AWS service APIs, AWS CLI, and SDKs for writing applications
  • Identifying the essential features of AWS services and knowledge of the AWS shared responsibility model
  • Implementing the CI/CD pipeline for deploying AWS applications
  • Understanding the cloud-native applications to write the code
  • Writing codes using AWS best practices (for example, using IAM roles in the code rather than using the secret and access keys)
  • Capable of maintaining authority, management, and debugging code modules on AWS
  • Expertise in writing code for serverless applications
  • Knowledge of containers to use in the development process

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 130 minutes
Cost: 150 USD; 20 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Illustrate the knowledge of core AWS services, its uses, and the best practices of AWS architecture
  • Expertise in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS

Post clearing the exams for AWS SysOps Administrator and AWS Developer certifications at the Associate level; you will gain some knowledge on the understanding of DevOps. Your next step would be to apply for the AWS DevOps Engineer exam at the Professional level.

6. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

In this role, you are responsible for provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments. The exam expects a DevOps Engineer to implement Continuous Delivery (CD) systems and automation of processes.

Prerequisites

It reckons candidates to have at least two years of experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • Proficiency in provisioning, operating, and managing applications in various AWS environments
  • Expertise to develop code in at least one of the high-level programming languages
  • Expertise to build highly automated infrastructures and administering operating systems
  • Understanding the processes and methodologies of modern development and operations

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 180 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Ability to implement and manage continuous delivery systems and methodologies on AWS platforms
  • Ability to implement and automate security controls, governance processes, and compliance validation
  • Proficiency in describing and deploying monitoring, metrics, and logging systems on AWS
  • Proficiency in implementing highly available, scalable, and self-healing systems on AWS platforms
  • Capable of designing, managing, and maintaining tools for the automation of operational processes

With this, we have discussed all the role-based AWS certifications from beginner’s level to professional.

Let us now go ahead and understand some speciality certifications that AWS has to offer to us.

Speciality AWS Certifications

1. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Speciality

In this role, you are responsible for performing complex networking tasks on AWS platforms.

Prerequisites

It reckons candidates to have experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • Reckons candidates to hold an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. Otherwise, to have certifications at the Associate level in any of the following roles:
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
    • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
    • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • Thorough knowledge of AWS networking concepts and technologies at the Professional/Advanced level
  • Recommends at least five years of experience in architecting and implementing network solutions
  • Knowledge of advanced networking architectures and interconnectivity options (for example, IP VPN and MPLS/VPLS)
  • Knowledge of the OSI model in networking
  • Proficiency in developing and implementing automation scripts and tools
  • Understanding of CIDR and subnetting (IPv4 and IPv6)
  • Understanding of generic solutions for network security features, which include WAF, IDS, IPS, DDoS protection, and Economic Denial of Service/Sustainability (EDoS)

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 170 minutes
Cost: 300 USD

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Proficiency in how to design, develop, and deploy cloud-based solutions using AWS
  • Based on the best practices of AWS architecture, implementing the core AWS services
  • Developing skills to design and maintain the network architecture for all services of AWS
  • Usage of supporting tools for automating AWS networking tasks

2. AWS Certified Security – Speciality

In this role, you are responsible for securing AWS workloads. Some topics include protection, encryption, risk management, etc.

Prerequisites

It reckons candidates to have experience with the AWS Cloud in the following roles:

  • A minimum of two years of hands-on experience with securing AWS workloads
  • At least five years of experience in IT Security like designing and implementing security solutions

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 170 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Develop skills on specialised data classifications and data protection mechanisms in AWS
  • Understand the data encryption methods and the security of Internet protocols in AWS
  • Hands-on experience with AWS security services and features
  • Ability to optimise costs, security, and deployment complexity based on application requirements
  • Security operations and risk management

3. AWS Certified Machine Learning – Speciality

In this role, you are responsible for designing, implementing, deploying, and maintaining Machine Learning (ML) solutions for various business problems. The certification exam is designed for people performing development roles or data science roles.

Prerequisites

  • At least 1-2 years of experience in development, architecture, or implementation of ML/Deep Learning workloads on the AWS Cloud
  • Capable of explaining your views behind the basic ML algorithms
  • Hyperparameter Optimisation, ML, and Deep Learning frameworks
  • The best practices of model-training, deployment, and operations

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 180 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Choosing the relevant ML approach for a specific business problem and justifying why this approach would be appropriate
  • Choosing relevant AWS services for the implementation of ML solutions
  • You will be able to gain skills in designing and implementing scalable, cost-optimized, reliable, and secure solutions of ML\

4. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Speciality

In this role, you are responsible for building, testing, and deploying Amazon Alexa skills.

Prerequisites

  • Recommends you to have at least six months of hands-on experience in building Alexa skills using the guidance of Alexa Skill Kit, which also includes the knowledge of skills to integrate services from the AWS Cloud
  • Expertise in at least one programming language
  • Reckons that you have published an Alexa skill

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 170 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Describing the value of voice
  • Designing the user experience (UX) and the architecture to build the skill
  • Learning the best practices of AWS and Alexa security for the skill
  • You will able to develop, test, validate, and troubleshoot the skills
  • Managing the process of skill-publishing and the Alexa Developer Console

5. AWS Certified Data Analytics – Speciality

In this role, you are responsible for designing, building, securing, and maintaining analytics solutions on AWS, which are efficient and cost-effective. The exam will also test your ability to deliver insights from data.

Prerequisites

  • Recommends you to have a minimum of 5 years of experience with the technologies of data analytics
  • A minimum of 2 years of hands-on experience working with AWS
  • Proficiency and experience with designing, building, securing, and maintaining analytics solutions using AWS services

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 180 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Working with the services of AWS data analytics and learn how the services integrate with each other
  • Description of how the services of AWS data analytics in the life cycle of data, which includes the collection, storage, processing, and visualisation of data

6. AWS Certified Database – Speciality

In this role, you are responsible for designing, suggesting, and maintaining the appropriate AWS database solution for a use case. The exam tests your proficiency in the database services of AWS and stimulating the usage of database technology to enhance your organisation’s business transformation.

Prerequisites

  • Recommends you to have a minimum of five years of hands-on experience with database technologies
  • A minimum of 2 years of hands-on experience working with AWS
  • Proficiency and experience working with on-premises
  • Proficiency and experience with relational and non-relational databases which are based on the AWS Cloud

Exam Details

Format: Multiple choice questions with multiple answers
Examination Centre: An allocated test centre or online proctored exam
Time Duration: 180 minutes
Cost: 300 USD; 40 USD for Practice Exam

Abilities Covered by the Certification

  • Explaining the essential features of AWS database services and differentiating between the features
  • Studying the analysis of requirements to recommend and design relevant database solutions using AWS services

This pretty much sums up the certifications offered by Amazon Web Services. We hope you liked this article on AWS Certifications. If you have any questions related to AWS Certifications or AWS and Cloud Computing in general, then feel free to put those in the comment section below, and our team will revert to you at the earliest. Happy Learning!

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