Introduction to AWS Certifications

AWS certification

In this article I am going to write about the various AWS certifications and suitable certifications for your profile. Most of the organizations are migrating their applications to the cloud environment, which rises the demand for cloud engineers.
The advantage of cloud is that you can minimize the cost and time for maintenance by 1/10 of your actual numbers. The market leaders in cloud computing is Amazon, Microsoft and Google. However, Amazon has surpassed everyone by moving ahead with lot of innovation in the cloud computing market.
If you are planning to learn cloud computing, then Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the clear winner. There is growing demand for the AWS certified engineers.

AWS Certifications

AWS has five certifications and three beta certifications. These certifications are classified as Associate, Professional and Specialty certifications. Associate certifications are entry level or junior certifications, Professional certifications are considered as advanced or expert level certifications. Whereas Specialty certifications (these certifications are recently launched by Amazon) are focus on specific knowledge areas like Big Data, Security, etc. within AWS environment.

Here is the list of certification offered by Amazon:

Associate Certifications

• Solutions Architect Associate
• Developer Associate
• SysOps Administrator

Associate Professional Certifications

• Solutions Architect Professional
• Developer Engineer Professional

Specialty Certifications

• Advanced Networking Specialty
• Security Specialty
• Big Data Specialty

Why should I pass AWS Certifications?

Here are some of the reasons why AWS certified employees can get more salary:
• It is obvious that cloud computing is becoming very hot and now most of the enterprise applications moved to cloud. So, every company has dire need of cloud engineers. AWS is the leader in cloud computing.
• In the recent announcement, Amazon has mandated that every AWS technology partner has to demonstrate their capability by adding certified engineers to their companies. It explicitly shows that just having the certification itself may attract the employers to hire you.
• There is a huge demand for the AWS developers, but there is not enough skilled resources in the market. That is a huge gap that has to be filled. It is apparent that AWS certified developers will be paid well by the companies.

Which is the suitable exam for you?

Note that all the associate exams have no prerequisite. So, anyone can write the exams. But, professional and specialty exams have the prerequisite of associate level exams. It is mandatory for you to start with the associate level exams.
• If you are looking for just the knowledge on AWS and learning all the concepts in AWS, then Solutions Architect Associate exam is the one which you have to start the preparation. This exam covers all the topics in AWS and mainly focus on the knowledge level and not focused on the coding part. If you are a developer and want to get the knowledge on coding part, then you would start with Developer Associate exam.
• Solutions Architect Associate and Developer Associate exams have more than 50% of objectives overlap. Solutions Architect is the lower level and Developer exam is the higher level with respect to the coverage of topics.
• SysOps Administrator is the toughest exam in the associate level. This exam would test your knowledge on deployment and real time implementation for all the services. You can try this exam if you have good experience with AWS otherwise it would be difficult for you to pass the exam without hands on experience.
• All the professional level exams are tough and you should have good experience to pass the exam. There is no other short cut to get through because most of the questions asked in the exams are real time scenario based. Solutions Architect Professional exam has the prerequisite of Solutions Architect Associate exam. DevOps Engineer Professional exam has the prerequisite of either Developer Associate or SysOps Administrator Associate exam.

What is the cost?

• All the associate level exams cost $150
• All the professional level exams cost $300
The cost is same across the countries. There is no distinction mentioned in the AWS website.

Associate Exam Information

It seems to be there is no fixed guideline for the number of questions and duration set for the exam. Amazon keeps changing the number of questions, duration and passing score. As of now, the following are the most likely you will get in the exam.
• Number of Questions : 60 Multiple Choice Questions
• Duration : 80 Minutes
• Passing Score : 65%

 Professional Exam Information

Here is the exam summary for the professional level exams.
• Number of Questions : 80 Multiple Choice Questions
• Duration : 170 Minutes
• Passing Score : 65%

How to register for the AWS certification exam?

Amazon has tied up with for conducting the exams. You can directly register for any of the AWS certification exam using the above link and schedule the exam. This facility is available in all the countries across the world.

Additional Resources for preparing for AWS Certifications
Amazon Certification Preparation Guide
How to prepare for Solutions Architect Associate certification exam?
Practice Questions for AWS Certifications


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