Amazon Web Services (AWS) is undoubtedly among the top cloud platforms in the world. It has a collection of several cloud computing services that have opened up several career prospects in the field of cloud computing. It also offers certifications that can enhance your career opportunities. But, before you get an AWS certification, there are a few things that you should know about:
What are the different levels of AWS certification?
AWS certifications are available in the following four levels:
- Foundational – There is only one foundation-level certification, AWS Cloud Practitioner that, according to Amazon, requires six months of AWS cloud and industry knowledge.
- Associate – There are three associate-level certifications offered by AWS – Developer, Architect, and Operations. As per Amazon, this level of certification requires one year of experience implementing solutions and solving problems using the AWS cloud.
- Professional – Amazon offers two professional certifications for the role of DevOps and Architect. This requires two years of experience operating, troubleshooting, and designing solutions using the AWS cloud.
- Specialty – These certifications cover a specific area such as data analytics, machine learning, and Alexa.
Amazon’s certification paths are exhaustive. Specialty certifications, on the other hand, are like mini-courses through which you can learn the Amazon way of doing specific things like machine learning. The associate and professional level certifications are just steps that will eventually lead to an in-depth knowledge of the AWS approach to Architecture and DevOps. Amazon has also provided a lot of documentation to help you understand the certifications better.
How can you get an AWS certification?
If you plan to become AWS-certified, the first thing that you have to do is register for the AWS certification account.
For the foundational Cloud Practitioner certification, you will need at least six months of experience with the AWS cloud. You will also have to complete a 90-minutes long multiple-choice quiz.
For the Associate level certification, you need at least one year of experience implementing solutions and solving problems using the AWS cloud and have to pass the two-hour-long multiple-choice quiz.
The professional-level certification requires two years of experience operating designing, and troubleshooting solutions using the AWS platform and passing the three-hour multiple-choice quiz.
What is the cost of these certifications?
The cost of the certification depends on the level you are going for. It is important to note that the money you are paying is not for Amazon, but for taking the test. The cost of the AWS Cloud Practitioner is $100. You can take a practice test for only $20. The Developer, SysOps Administrator, and Solutions Architect certifications cost $150 each for the final exam. The practice tests for these are also available at $20 each. The cost of the professional certifications, DevOps Engineer and Solutions Architect, is $300 each. The cost of practice tests for these is $40. The specialty certifications cost $300 as well. You can get practice tests at only $40.
Can you take the exam without completing a course?
Yes, but it won’t be easy. Also, AWS recommends one or more years of hands-on experience before giving the AWS certification exam. For example, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam is for professionals who have been working in a solutions architect role and have more than a year of hands-on experience in designing cost-efficient, available, scalable, and fault-tolerant distributed systems on the AWS platform. There are similar requirements for each certification and specialty. But, Amazon won’t be checking your work history. Also, you can download the practice materials for the certification. To take the exam, all you have to do is just register yourself.
Why should you get the AWS certification?
If you are working in an organization that uses AWS, getting a certification will be a benefit to you. It is important to note that when you are applying for jobs, your interview will be focusing on how skilled you are. But, an AWS certification will definitely get you ahead of your competition.
There are a lot of job roles that require AWS skills. In the coming years, the demand for these roles is only going to increase. So, if you are interested in networking, software development, and cloud architecture, making yourself familiar with AWS basics will serve you well. And, if you possess the right certification, it will give you an edge over your peers, especially if you are in the run for a specialized position like Big Data. It is best that you receive training from an accredited institution to ensure that you have proper training. Here are some reasons why the decision will be worth it:
- Once you have selected the on-demand training relevant to your role, level of expertise, and solution area, you can learn at any pace.
- You will receive training from an AWS expert. Having an accredited instructor teach you through virtual or in-person courses will help build your technical skills.
- You can select your learning path, build your skills, and then advance towards the desired AWS certification.
- The certification will give you an industry-recognized credential that will enhance your credibility and validate your AWS cloud skills.
What are the job prospects after the AWS certification?
AWS is one of the most popular cloud providers which makes AWS training and certification an in-demand program. According to PayScale, the average income of an AWS-certified Solutions Architect professional is $113,879. Most of these certifications will help you earn more than $100,000 per year. Recruiters want professionals with specific solutions such as designing on AWS, egress, and ingress of data to and from AWS, selecting the right AWS services for the platform, identifying cost-control measures, and estimating AWS costs for the organization.
The global demand for cloud computing jobs is increasing every year. Every business vertical has started to use cloud computing solutions and is in need of certified cloud professionals. So, this is the best time to commit to AWS and register for AWS training and certification.