In this digital world where we are entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, cloud computing is one of the most popular emerging technologies. A report by International Data Corporation or IDC points out that the public cloud spending by companies worldwide will increase from 229 billion dollars in 2019 to a whopping 500 billion dollars in 2023. When companies are moving to the cloud platform, their top choices are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Is becoming an AWS-certified professional ultimately the best certification path in the current cloud landscape? Indeed, achieving an AWS certification will position you ahead of your peers and leads to better career prospects. Whether you have just heard about AWS certification or trying to decide which certification to pursue based on your career interests, you have landed on the right article. You will become familiar with the top AWS certifications and learn how to make the right choice among them.
What is AWS?
Amazon Web Services or AWS is a leading cloud computing platform that incorporates Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. It provides a broad set of global cloud-based products with pay-as-you-go pricing, on-demand, and available in seconds. Among over 200 fully-functional services offered by AWS, storage, compute, analytics, databases, mobile, networking, IoT, developer tools, security, and management tools are used widely.
Hundreds of thousands of businesses operating in over 190 countries across the world luxuriate in the highly reliable, secure, scalable, and cost-effective infrastructure platform offered by AWS. Right from 2006 when AWS began offering IT infrastructure services to businesses as web services, it has witnessed immense growth and holds over 30% of the entire cloud services market. No wonder, renowned firms like SAP, Tata Motors, Novartis, Pfizer, Unilever, Walt Disney, General Electric, and Hitachi are using AWS services to quickly respond to changing business requirements.
AWS gives individuals a chance to validate their technical skills and cloud expertise by offering various AWS certifications. These are divided into four categories – foundational, associate, professional, and specialty certifications. You will find that each of these certifications is role-based, making it easier for you to pick the right one based on your career interests.
Here is the full list of certifications that AWS offers:
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
- AWS Certified Developer Associate
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty
- AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty
- AWS Certified Security Specialty
- AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty
- AWS Certified Database Specialty
Which AWS Certification Should I Pursue?
By going through the above list of certifications, you might start wondering which certification is the best according to your career goals. First off, if you are new to AWS and want to gain a complete overview of the platform and the services offered by AWS, then you must take the Foundational certification – AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. However, this is not a prerequisite for any other certification. All AWS certifications are associated with an exam that you need to pass in order to achieve the specific designation.
Next, when you have at least 6 months to one year of experience in AWS, then you can move on to any associate-level certification. You get three options to explore at this level – solutions architect, developer role, and system administrator role. For example, if you have a knack for coding and want to write and deploy cloud-based applications, then AWS Certified Developer Associate certification is best suited for you. Similarly, you can check the description of other certifications and decide on an appropriate option.
Finally, you can pursue the professional level certifications when you have gained two or more years of experience designing, operating, and troubleshooting solutions using the AWS cloud. If you have selected the Solutions Architect Associate certification in the beginning, the obvious choice now would be to go for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional credential. On the other hand, there is one option of upgradation for both developers and system administrators, i.e., AWS Certified DevOps Engineer.
If you think the solutions architect, developer, and system administrator roles are not the job roles you want to pursue, then you should check out Specialty certifications. These certifications align with job roles like machine learning engineer, data analyst, network administrator, database administrator, or a security professional. Here, it is important to note that AWS offers a number of resources to help you prepare for any of these certifications. There are training courses, tutorials, and AWS whitepapers that you can refer to and start your preparation.
Cloud computing marketing is expanding with every passing minute, and businesses do not want to get left behind by ignoring it. AWS is one of the must-have skills when it comes to any cloud computing job role. So, it’s time to explore your options and add a highly-recognized AWS credential to your resume.