AWS Certifications to Fast-track Your Career

AWS certifications are one of the most demanded certifications in the IT market today and it is expected to rise exponentially in the coming years. This AWS Certification blog will talk about benefits of AWS certified, career paths and Job opportunities, along with best recommendations on how you can prepare for AWS exams.

AWS Certifications to Fast-track Your Career
11th Nov, 2019
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Being the most mature cloud provider in the cloud industry, AWS has also set a benchmark for its certifications. AWS, with its role-based certifications and exams, stands out for its rigor and thoroughness in evaluating Cloud Computing skills. In this AWS Certification blog, we will discuss some of the most asked questions about AWS certifications such as, ‘How do I get an AWS certification?’How long does it take to become AWS certified?’How much does it cost to get AWS certified?’Why is AWS certification important?’, and more. This blog will also provide a detailed understanding of all the AWS certifications and exams, along with the exam prerequisites, curriculum, and pattern.

Check out this insightful video on AWS Certifications for Beginners:

Following is the list of all topics that are discussed in this blog:

Without any further delays, let’s get started!

Why AWS Certification is important?

As mentioned before, AWS certification exams are known for thoroughly evaluating the most in-demand cloud skills. Thus, being AWS certified shows that you acquire the most industry-centric cloud competencies that are validated by the world leader in the Cloud Computing domain.

Not just that, according to Gartner, Amazon’s cloud is 10 times bigger than its next 14 competitors, combined. This clearly indicates that more and more organizations are opting for AWS, which means more career opportunities coming your way if you are AWS certified.

Let us list the benefits of AWS Certification through the following table:

CriteriaWith AWS CertificationWithout AWS Certification
Benchmark for organizationsYESNO
Validated in-depth knowledgeYESNO
SalaryEXCELLENTAVERAGE
AcceptanceGLOBALLIMITED

How do I become AWS certified?

Although there are no set-in-concrete steps, the following are the most strategically defined steps you can follow to become AWS certified:

  • Get enrolled in an AWS certification training class such as the one mentioned at the end of this blog
  • Thoroughly go through the study and exam guides. You can look up for the same on the Internet. If you have enrolled for training classes, you will be most likely provided with the study and exam guides
  • Ensure that you are well updated on AWS whitepapers
  • Explore and use AWS cloud platform
  • Schedule the exam once your training classes are completed

How long does it take to become AWS certified?

The answer to this question varies from person to person and depends on how much AWS experience one has. If a candidate is entirely new to the Cloud Computing domain and has a general IT experience, the maximum it can take is up to 90–100 hours of dedicated preparation to clear AWS certification exams. How candidates plan to divide and go through these 90 hours of learning is totally up to them.

Role-based AWS certification

AWS offers, in total, 11 certifications as of now. These certifications are categorized on the basis of industry-based core job roles in the cloud domain, namely:

  • Cloud Architect
  • Cloud Developer
  • DevOps Engineer

AWS offers various exams that one must clear to earn these role-based certifications. Some of these exams are mandatory and some are not. Every exam is designed for some particular role and certification. All the role-based certifications and their respective exams are categorized on the basis of the difficulty level as shown below:

  • Foundational: Foundational exams are not mandatory, but highly recommended. These exams are designed to test the basic Cloud Computing skills.
  • Associate: It’s mandatory to clear the associate-level exams in order to move on to the next level.
  • Professional: Professional-level exams endorse one’s skills in the cloud domain but at a much advanced level
  • Specialty: Speciality exams are usually designed to test the skills that are needed for a specific technology that includes Big Data, Security, and Networking. Specialty exams are also optional.

Watch this AWS Solution Architect Certification video:


The certifications that fall under the above-mentioned categories are as shown below:

Foundational Level:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Associate Levels:

  • AWS Certified Developer
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Professional Levels:

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Speciality:

  • AWS Certified Big Data
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking
  • AWS Certified Security
  • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning

Following image also shows the AWS role-based certifications associated with the above-mentioned categories of difficulty levels to explain the AWS certification path.

AWS Certification roadmap

Moving forward, let us now explore every certification and its associated exam in detail.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the entry-level certification for AWS. It is designed to validate the overall understanding of AWS Cloud and Cloud Computing in general.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for this exam: Six months of general AWS Cloud experience is recommended
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice questions
  • Duration of the exam: 90 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$100

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Basic knowledge of the AWS architecture
  • Value that AWS brings to organizations
  • Important AWS services and their uses
  • AWS security model and compliance
  • AWS deployment and operations

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

This AWS Certification is designed for candidates who have some experience in building and deploying applications in AWS Cloud. To earn this certification, candidates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to design, manage, and deploy applications.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for this exam: It’s recommended for the candidate to have at least one-year experience in deploying distributed systems using AWS Cloud Services.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice questions
  • Duration of the exam: 130 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$150

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Understanding of network technologies and how they work in AWS
  • Understanding of how AWS-based applications work and how client interfaces connect to the AWS platform
  • Building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform
  • Deploying hybrid systems—those with an on-premises data center and AWS components
  • Designing highly available and scalable systems (requires familiarity with AWS infrastructure and concepts), implementation and deployment in AWS, AWS-related data security practices, disaster recovery techniques, and troubleshooting

Check out this Intellipaat AWS SysOps Administrator Training video:

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

This certification validates the candidate’s ability to develop and maintain applications on the AWS platform. The candidate must know basic coding. This certification also validates the candidate’s understanding of AWS SDK, and how to use it to interact with AWS services.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam: AWS requires that the candidate has at least one year of experience in maintaining applications in the AWS Cloud.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • Duration of the exam: 130 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$150

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Basic architecture of AWS and important services
  • Application design, deployment, and maintenance
  • Important AWS services such as AWS database, workflow, etc.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

This certification will qualify you to become a System Administrator interacting with AWS Cloud. This certification validates the ability to deploy, manage, and operate system resources in AWS Cloud. Candidates must have a sound understanding of how to manage systems for fault tolerance and high availability.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam: Experience in AWS best practices for deployments and project life cycle management
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice questions
  • Duration of the exam: 130 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$150

Curriculum of the exam:

  • How to deploy AWS platform applications?
  • Data transfer between a data center and AWS
  • Choosing the right AWS for a specific organization
  • How to provision, manage, and secure AWS systems

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

Since this is a professional-level certification, you need a lot of expertise in order to clear this compared to the associate-level certification exam. This certification validates the ability of the candidate to acquire high degree of technical skills and experience in designing AWS-based applications. The candidate is also expected to be able to make architectural recommendations for implementing and deploying applications on AWS.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
    • You need to have cleared AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate to take up this professional-level exam
    • Hands-on experience in the design and deployment of AWS Cloud architecture
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • AWS application architecting best practices
  • Organizational needs and how to select the right AWS service
  • Migrating from complex systems onto AWS
  • Understanding what cost optimization strategies are for AWS

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

This is a professional-level certification for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer. This certification is all about provisioning, operating, and managing applications on the AWS platform. This certification validates a sound knowledge of the process of automation and the DevOps stage of continuous delivery which is one of the cornerstones of the DevOps implementation in any organization.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • You should already be an AWS Certified Developer or a SysOps Administrator, and along with that you should be able to effortlessly manage and provision the AWS application.
    • You need to understand how the agile methodology of software development works, and how it became the foundation for the modern application development.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • What is continuous delivery and its importance?
  • Detailed implementation of the continuous delivery process
  • AWS system setup, monitor, and log process
  • AWS highly scalable and available application implementation
  • Automation tools design and implementation

AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty

This is a Big Data specialty certification that will validate your knowledge in the domain of Data Analytics and your ability to design and architect Big Data solutions with the help of AWS Services. This certification is your testimony to extract valuable insights form Big Data all with the help of AWS Services.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • It is recommended that the candidate holds the status as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or any of the above-mentioned AWS Certified Associate.
    • It is also recommended to have five years of experience in Data Analytics and have a functional knowledge of AWS Big Data.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Deploying AWS core Big Data services
  • AWS data analysis tool automation
  • How to design and maintain Big Data solutions?
  • What are the Big Data security best practices?
  • Understanding AWS tools such as Athena and Kinesis

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

This certification validates skills in the domain of complex networking. A candidate possessing this certification is expected to be in charge of the networking and architecting of the AWS solutions at scale. To clear this certification, you should have a background in networking in AWS.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • It is recommended that the candidate holds the status as an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or any of the above-mentioned AWS Certified Associate.
    • It is recommended to have five years of experience managing networks and a sound understanding of networking concepts and best practices as they relate to the AWS platform.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • How to design, develop, and deploy AWS cloud solutions?
  • Deploy AWS core services based on the best practices
  • Network deployment automation tasks on AWS
  • Designing and implementing compliance and security
  • How to optimize and troubleshoot the network?

AWS Certified Security – Specialty

This certification validates your knowledge in the domain of security with regard to security aspects such as data encryption, protection, how to secure the infrastructure, responding to security threats, managing of identity and access, and how to monitor and log AWS services among other skills.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites for the exam:
    • At least two years of hands-on experience securing AWS workloads
    • A minimum of five years of IT security experience in designing and implementing security solutions
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Securing your data with the right AWS service
  • Encryption deployment using the right data protection
  • Analysing security issues through logging and monitoring

AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty

This certification validates your technical expertise in creating, testing, and deploying Amazon Alexa skills. Candidates possessing this certification are expected to be proficient in a programming language.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
    • It is recommended to have at least six months of hands-on experience building Alexa skills using the Alexa Skills Kit.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Learning about the value of voice
  • User experience design
  • Following AWS and Alexa best practices for security
  • Working on and exploring Alexa Developer Console

AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

This certification validates a candidate’s ability to create, implement, and maintain Machine Learning solutions for a range of business problems. Candidates possessing this certification are expected to deliver Machine Learning solutions that are also integratable with AWS platform.

Exam details:

  • Prerequisites of the exam:
    • It is recommended that the candidate has one to two years of experience using ML and/or Deep Learning on AWS Cloud.
  • Format of the exam: Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • Duration of the exam: 170 minutes
  • Registration Cost: US$300

Curriculum of the exam:

  • Identifying and choosing the best ML approach for a given business problem
  • Identifying the relevant AWS solutions to create and deploy the ML solution
  • Designing and implementing scalable, cost-optimized, reliable, and secure ML solutions

Intellipaat is offering an industry-designed training in Amazon Web Services that have been curated to help you excel in your career. Through this training, you will work on hands-on projects and case studies, solve quizzes, and work on assignments. You will be able to check your progress after each module, and if you have any doubts you can get in touch with the support team who will be available 24/7 to resolve your queries. All Intellipaat trainers in AWS have over a decade of experience working in the AWS domain in top companies and have handled top projects in this domain. This means that you will get real practical knowledge, alongside the theoretical concepts.

The recommended AWS Certification Training

Intellipaat’s AWS Certification training comes with high-quality videos, along with the online instructor-led training, to help you completely grasp the topics and become a master of the AWS domain. You will have lifetime access to the AWS training. In addition, as and when the course gets an upgrade, you will have access to the upgraded version free of cost for lifetime.

Check the industry-designed Intellipaat AWS Certification Training and excel in your career now!

 

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