Before we move ahead into the details of AWS certifications and ‘how to prepare for AWS Certification exam,’ let me throw in some numbers. AWS offers you the 6-digit salary that everyone dreams of. The AWS Solutions Architect salary in India is on an average (base pay) around ₹668,531/year; whereas, an entry-level AWS Solutions Architect can get around ₹420,000/year and a mid-level Solutions Architect can get up to ₹669,000/year. On the other hand, as experience increases, the salary can get still higher up to ₹1,640,000/year and there is no upper limit to this.
The largest cloud infrastructure market share is held by Amazon because of its various lucrative capabilities, including easy-to-use, secure, reliable, speedy, and agile properties.
If you are thinking about what AWS certification is all about, then read on!
AWS certification approves your cloud skills to help you bring out and show the in-demand skills you learned so that enterprises build innovative and dedicated teams who can come up with new ideas for better practices using AWS.
Evidently, AWS provides a diverse range of certification exams starting from foundational level to associate-level to specialty level.
In this blog, we’ll explore what the available AWS certifications are, and we will get the answer to the question, which AWS certification should you choose?
Types of AWS Certifications: Find Out Which is Right For You?
There are four types of AWS certifications:
To learn more about various AWS certifications, watch the following video:
AWS Foundational Certifications
This certification is for you if you are new to Cloud Computing. In order to grab this certification, you need to understand the cloud fundamentals, called cloud foundational concepts, and also have a clear understanding of how AWS services work, but you won’t be implementing any hands-on at this level.
AWS Associate-level Certifications
AWS Associate-level Certifications are best recommended for those who have hands-on working experience with AWS services. Any of these certifications can be considered a stepping stone to your cloud career journey. The associate-level exams are meant for a person with experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.
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AWS Professional-level Certifications:
These certifications are designed for those who have passed or mastered the AWS Associate-level Certification and are wanting to move up the ladder.
AWS Specialty Certifications:
These certifications are designed for those who possess high experience and skills in specific areas and, now, are wishing to climb up the ladder by validating their experience.
These certifications unfold AWS core layers and come up with four focused paths, namely, Big Data, Machine Learning, Security, and Networking.
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Which AWS Certification is the best?
There are a total of eleven certifications offered by AWS: One foundational certification, three associate-level certifications, two professional-level certifications, and five specialty certifications.
Foundational AWS Certification:
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
Associate AWS Certification:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect
- AWS Certified Developer
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
Professional AWS Certification:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
Specialty AWS Certification:
Now, let me provide a detailed explanation of each of the above-mentioned certifications. I know, there are a lot of certifications available, but you need not worry, as I said all of them will be explained in detail.
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
As an AWS Cloud Practitioner, you should have advanced knowledge of AWS architectural principles and various concepts, including pricing, security, services, and support. You should know the AWS platform’s key services and their use cases. You should have an overall understanding of the AWS cloud.
Learn about the salary of AWS Cloud Practitioner in our detailed blog on AWS Cloud Practitioner Salary.
AWS Solutions Architect
If you aim to become a Solutions Architect, then as a Solutions Architect you must easily be able to create the whole application architecture using AWS services and additionally provide effective solutions to the problems related to client infrastructure.
The work of a Solutions Architect varies from company to company. If it is a company working on mobile applications, then the Solutions Architect must be capable of building and migrating mobile applications on AWS and providing solutions related to various infrastructure issues. As a Solutions Architect, you would be required to scale up the infrastructure when the application is down, balance the load by setting up a load balancer to distribute the client requests among a number of servers, and also to maintain the performance regardless of the increasing or decreasing demands.
Associate- and Professional-level AWS Certified Solutions Architect learning paths are given below:
AWS SysOps Administrator
SysOps Administrators manage, deploy, and operate systems that run on the AWS platform. Their presence is required throughout the life cycle of a project. AWS SysOps Admins should also be able to optimize the costs associated with handling these responsibilities.
Learn about important aspects of AWS SysOps Administration in this blog on AWS Sysops Certification.
Following is the career path for the Associate- and Professional-level AWS Certified SysOps Admin:
AWS Cloud Developer
For software developers who want to set up, maintain, and evolve the cloud infrastructure of web applications, and launch their applications on the AWS platform, this is the path for them! And for this, one is required to have some knowledge and experience of AWS services and its working, along with the basic software development experience.
Below is the AWS Cloud Developer learning path:
AWS DevOps Engineer
Generally speaking, DevOps Engineers develop software to make sure that the infrastructure code is agile and compliant. They also work with public cloud security and release management automation. They must be able to scale resources, deploy an ELK stack into production with the help of Docker and Chef, and stabilize the company’s internal network infrastructure.
Read our guide on the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam to help you clear the exam on the first attempt!
Below is the AWS DevOps Engineer learning path:
Finally, coming to a specialist career in AWS!
- AWS Big Data Specialist: One must have hands-on experience and theoretical knowledge of Data Analytics and Big Data tools and should know how to effectively use those tools. One must also know how to perform huge data analyses with hands-on experience of at least 2 years on the AWS platform. Also, you can read our blog on AWS Big Data certification if you are looking to become a certified AWS Big Data Specialist.
Below is the AWS Big Data Specialist learning path:
- AWS Advanced Networking Specialist: An aspiring AWS Advanced Networking Specialist must have advanced knowledge of networking concepts and should be able to provide generic solutions for network security issues, namely, WAF, IDS, IPS, DDoS protection, and Economic Denial of Service/Sustainability (EDoS). One has to have networking knowledge that can be clubbed together with AWS infrastructure.
Below is the AWS Advanced Networking Specialist learning path:
- AWS Security Specialist: Here, the responsibilities include increasing privacy and controlling network accessibility, while building a network firewall into Amazon VPC which will let you control access to your applications and instances by creating a private network.
Below is the AWS Security Specialist learning path:
AWS Certification Exam: What to Expect?
In all AWS Certification exams, you’ll get the same format, in which all the questions will be scenario-based and you have to choose the most optimal option.
You’ll be shown one question at a time, and you’ll get an option to ‘Mark for later.’ Once you go through all the questions, you’ll be displayed with the collection of all the questions you have answered. The option(s) selected for each question will be shown. If you choose ‘Mark for later’ for any question, it’ll be shown with an asterisk to it. This sign will help you keep yourself in check to revisit the question later.
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Now, you must be curious about various questions like, how much do AWS Certifications cost? Which AWS Certification is the best, and what is the format of the AWS Certification exams? So, let us look at the below table to get an answer to all of these questions!
How to prepare for the AWS Certification exam?
With the humongous amount of content available on the Internet, it is overwhelming to choose a couple of resources and go ahead with them, as the confusion transform into space in our minds captured by the fear of ‘what if this was not the right resource?’ You need not worry; we understand this, and thus we have narrowed down the options for you. This will answer the question, ‘how to prepare for the AWS Certification exam?’ Here we have listed down some of the best options:
- AWS blogs
- AWS official documentation
- Amazon Web Services official whitepapers
- AWS tutorials
- Instructor-led AWS training (paid)
If you are appearing for any of the AWS Certifications, you can take the help of this generic and the most splendid guideline on clearing AWS Certifications:
- Learn Cloud Computing fundamentals
- By checking out YouTube videos on ‘AWS Tutorial for Beginners,’ you’ll find quite good ones
- Read AWS documentations
- If you want hands-on practice for implementing the concepts you learned to get more deep insights, then enroll yourself in an end-to-end online instructor-led AWS course that covers all the fundamentals with industry-based assignments.
As Warren Buffet said: “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.”
Since AWS certifications are not free and as you’d have got the answer to the question of ‘how much does an AWS certification cost?’ above in this blog, so, if you have studied-well to a point where your concepts are clear and feel like you are ready for the exam, then go ahead and take the exam! Do not overthink about the cost as it would be a lifelong investment that would help you get a lucrative job in AWS.
Now, let’s come to the question, ‘Which AWS Certification is the best?’
In terms of the difficulty level, the answer to this question may differ based on whom you ask as the deciding factor depends on one’s experience and knowledge level. Usually, the Specialty AWS Certifications are considered the most difficult among all. After these Specialty AWS Certifications, the AWS CSA Professional-level exam is the second most difficult of them all, and the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional-level exam ranks third in the list.
If you have cleared the Associate-level AWS Certification exam, then the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional (AWS CSAP) is the next step up the ladder.
In no case, the Professional-level exams can be taken lightly as for these exams the difficulty level is higher and it is more competitive than Associate-level exams. In addition to that, you are expected to have advanced-level knowledge of the AWS services and the platform. Moreover, you have a lot of questions to answer within 170 minutes! psychic
Finally, the best answer to the question would be – the choice is yours. Considering all the facts mentioned in this blog so far, you can analyze yourself and go ahead with one of them! Good luck!
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Top 5 Tips and Tricks on How to Pass AWS Certification Exams
Have you decided to get AWS Certified? If yes, did you line up the ideas to get there? Studying for AWS Certification exams may or may not be easy, and it will need lots of effort. It is suggested to focus on the process of getting to the destination instead of pondering on the rewards that the certifications will bring. Even the AWS Associate-level Certification exams are tough, and if you go unprepared, then there are good chances that you won’t perform well as you expected.
The strategy that suits you the best and works for you may or may not work for others and this is also true the other way around. However, here are a couple of guidelines and tips that we’ve put together to aid you to design your own plan.
- Join an AWS community
- Self-study daily
- Set daily study goals
- Set short- and long-term milestones to assess your progress
- Build an AWS project
Intellipaat provides just the right AWS courses for you to get all the requirements that you require to become proficient in this field. Our alumni who successfully earned the AWS certificates are currently employed in top MNCs like Amazon, HP, Capgemini, IBM, and the list goes on. Therefore, by enrolling in our AWS Certification training, you would get the best learning practices such as how to approach scenario-based questions and execute real-world projects. Thus, within a prescribed time, you will be able to cover the entire course curriculum and get certified!
If you have any questions about AWS Certification, please clarify those with the AWS-certified Experts in our AWS Community!