What Is Aws Certification? Which Aws Certification Is Best for You?

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Last updated on
11th Mar, 2021
28th Aug, 2019
What Is Aws Certification? Which Aws Certification Is Best for You?

What is AWS Certification?

Amazon Web Services continues to dominate the cloud services platform. Companies of all sizes use AWS, such as Airbnb, McDonald’s, Netflix, etc. With all these companies signing up to the cloud, there is no denying that the need for skilled professionals is at an all time high. But the truth is that there is a huge skill gap and there are not enough people to satisfy the demand. Companies therefore are ready to pay huge salaries to expert professionals. So, if career growth is a priority for you, then this is the best time to get AWS certified. AWS certifications test your knowledge and skills related to the AWS services.

How to get AWS Certified?

How to get AWS Certified?

Getting an AWS certification is not easy. These are tough exams that are made to separate the experts of cloud computing from the crowd. If you want to be one of the masters, here is a simple path you need to follow:

1. Select your certification path

The first step is to select the path you will be taking to get AWS certified. Start with an easy certification or go with the one that is relevant to your current job profile. This will give you a better understanding of how you should prepare for the exam. For example, if you are an architect, you must go for architect route and not the DevOps route. However, if you are a newbie in AWS, and you want to start your career in cloud computing, it is recommended to first go for the Developer exam followed by Solutions Architect.

2. Create your preparation strategy

Once you have decided the path you will be taking, it’s time to start developing a strategy that will help you prepare for this exam. Research online to gather the resources that will help you ace this certification exam. First, take a practice exam to know where you stand. This will help in identifying the strengths and weaknesses and you will know on which topics you need to focus more. Once you have figured that out, reach out to tons of resources available online. You can try training courses, video tutorials, white papers, user groups and user guides. Get as much knowledge as you can through the AWS hands-on labs experience. This will help you know if you can implement your knowledge or not.

3. Start studying

Now that you have developed the strategy, start studying according to it. Make study time a part of your daily routine. It might not be easy for professionals who have a family and a full-time job as their studying time is limited. So, it is important for you to study whenever and wherever you can. Swap out your music with an AWS video. Instead of reading the newspaper in the morning, read an AWS article. A little bit here and a bit there will help you cover the topics.

Benefits of AWS
Benefits of AWS

Amazon Web Services is a secure and durable cloud computing platform that ensures the integrity and safety of your data. There are several physical and operational security layers in the services and data centers of Amazon. AWS is also known for conducting regular audits for maintaining its infrastructural security. Here are some other benefits that AWS offers that makes it one of the most recognized cloud platforms in the world:

1. It is cost-effective

There are no upfront expenses or long term commitments regarding payment. It offers affordable, pay-as-you-go pricing that helps customers get the benefits of building and managing global infrastructure without worrying about huge bills. Since you are paying only for the computing and power that you are using, there is no unnecessary expenditure. 

If you try to predict the resource requirements, there are three things that can happen. Your allocated resources exactly meet the requirements of the customer. This is very rare. The other two scenarios include allocation of fewer resources that can impact the performance and customer satisfaction or allocation of extra resources that might not be able to provide maximum Return of Investment (ROI). To achieve the correct balance, you need the flexibility of the cloud. Also with AWS, you can scale up, scale down or terminate your relationship. You will also get the benefits of getting access to all the new resources.

2. Flexibility and Openness

AWS lets you select the development platform and programming model that will be beneficial for your enterprise. You can select one or more services that you might want and also how you want to utilise them. This helps you focus on innovation instead of infrastructure. You have the freedom to select the tools you are comfortable working with. This has removed the need of IT personnel learning new skills and has also improved time and productivity. You can even migrate the legacy apps easily to the cloud. You will be able to utilize the capabilities of the cloud without rewriting the app. Prototyping an app or hosting a production solution is much easier in AWS.

3. Elasticity and Scalability

With AWS’s global cloud infrastructure, iteration, experimentation and innovation are easy and quick. You don’t have to wait for hardware. Instead, you can just use new apps. Depending on your requirement and customer demand, you can scale up or down. For projects with variable consumption rates and short lifetimes, you don’t have to provision resources upfront. This reduces wastage. With AWS, you can scale resources upwards or downwards with little to no friction. Resources are allotted through APIs. This has removed the need to buy hardware, set it up and maintain it. AWS services are especially useful jobs that are repeated at regular intervals or are mission critical.

4. Increased speed and agility

With the AWS platform, new IT resources are just a few clicks away. So, you don’t have to wait for those resources to be available to you. You can start working on them within a few minutes of their release. This has increased agility for the organization as now you don’t have to waste time and money in experimenting and developing. Also, since you don’t have to focus on buying, stacking and powering servers, you will be able to work on satisfying your customer’s demands. In short, you will be working on your business, not the infrastructure.

5. Secure and Reliable

Amazon provides a secure environment for you to deploy your applications. The end-to-end approach used by the AWS allows it to harden your infrastructure and secure it. And the best part is that you are getting this security at a lower cost than in your on-premises environment. Since all your data and application is stored in AWS data centers, it helps in providing security and protecting your privacy. No matter how large your data is, the AWS infrastructure will keep it safe. It is because of this high security standard that so many users rely on the services offered by the AWS.

AWS Certification Eligibility

So, are you looking to get AWS certified and not sure where to start? To ease your worries, we have listed all the AWS certifications here along with their eligibility requirements:

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a foundational course for absolute beginners. This will introduce you to the basic principles of AWS, the essential features, services and use cases of AWS. For the exam, you will be required to answer questions regarding the compliance and security model and how support, billing, and pricing works. Also, you must have knowledge of how services and resources are deployed in the AWS cloud. For this certification exam, it is recommended that you have at least 6 months of working experience with the AWS. This experience can be technical as well as non-technical.

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

If you want to demonstrate your skills of building and deploying systems and applications in the cloud, you should go for Solutions Architect Associate certification. The exam will cover cloud-based solutions used for deployment and the best architectural practices. You must have a deep understanding of configuring, deploying, and managing computation, networking, database, and storage services in the cloud. Apart from this, knowledge of compliance and security policies is also must. For this exam, at least one year of working experience in designing scalable distributed systems using the AWS platform is recommended.

3. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

This certification exam not only covers the building and deployment of distributed systems and applications in the AWS but also how you can deploy these with high availability and fault tolerance. To get certified, you must also demonstrate skills in migrating multi-tier applications on the AWS cloud and using the AWS resources for building enterprise-scale cloud solutions. To be eligible for this certification, you must have an AWS Solutions Architect – Associate certification. Also, it is recommended that you have at least two years of experience using the AWS services for designing and deploying scalable distributed systems based on best practices and design requirements.

4. AWS Certified Developer – Associate

AWS Developer Associate certification exam is for demonstrating your expertise in developing native applications of the AWS cloud. For this, you need to have an understanding of the AWS SDK and how you can use it for interacting and optimizing AWS services that you have built into the system or the application. Having this certificate means that you have an understanding of code-level security including encryption strategies and creating credential. To take this certification exam, it is recommended that you have more than a year of working experience in developing and maintaining applications on the AWS platform. You must have a functional understanding of the core principles, services, and best practices related to the services available on the AWS platform. Also, you must have hands-on experience working with tools like AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon DynamoDB, and AWS CloudFormation.

5. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

This certification is all about testing your knowledge of managing distributed systems and applications deployed in the AWS cloud. This includes the provision of the application to its operational management. The exam will cover questions on automation of best practices, continuous delivery, and continuous integration. Working knowledge of logging and monitoring practices pertaining to the AWS platform is essential. To be eligible for this course, it is recommended that you must be an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate or AWS Certified Developer – Associate. Also, two or more years of experience in delivering and managing applications deployed on the AWS cloud and in best practices of automation like scripting is recommended.

6. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

This SysOps Administrator Associate certification demonstrates and validates your knowledge in operating, managing, and deploying AWS-based systems. You must have a thorough understanding of how you can manage systems for high availability and fault tolerance. Also, you must have the ability to match resource implementation to requirements and be accountable for operational needs like cost control and security. Prerequisites for this certification include at least 1 year of working experience in managing applications native to the AWS cloud, in gathering requirements, and using the best practices of AWS for deploying and managing projects.

7. AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty

This specialty certification will demonstrate your skills in using different services offered by AWS to help in the analysis of big data. The exam will have questions related to the tools that are used for automating the data analysis process. To be eligible for this certification exam, it is recommended that you must have an AWS Cloud Practitioner certification or any one of the Associate level certifications. Also, it is recommended that you have at least 5 years of experience working in data analytics and have knowledge of AWS Big data that includes ingestions, storing, processing, and visualizing data. 

8. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

This exam is for professionals who are into complex networking. This includes networking scalable AWS systems. This will test your skills of managing network architecture for any service available on the AWS platform and automating a set of networking tasks. The prerequisites for this course include being an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or having any one of the Associate-level certifications. Also, AWS recommends that you have five years of working experience in managing networks and have an understanding of concepts and best practices used in networking on the AWS platform.

9. AWS Certified Security – Specialty

This certification tests your skills of securing the AWS platform using advanced methods. Most of the candidates taking this exam are seasoned IT security experts who want to validate their knowledge of data encryption and protection for AWS and their skills of using the AWS tools for achieving this security. Basically, you must be able to protect the production environment of the AWS. To be eligible for this course, you must have either an AWS Cloud Practitioner or any other Associate certification. Also, at least 5 years of IT security experience designing and implementing security solutions is recommended.

10. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Speciality

This certification exam tests your ability to create, deploy, and test Amazon Alexa. You must have an understanding of concepts like the value of voice, creating, testing, and validating Alexa skills, user experience design, Alexa developer console, and best practices for securing Alexa and AWS. The prerequisites for taking this certification exam are at least six months of working experience with Alexa skills kit. You must also be proficient in at least one programming language and should have published an Alexa skill.

11. AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

This certification exam validates your skills to create, implement, and maintain your organization’s machine learning solutions. To prepare for this exam, you must know how to choose the right approach for machine learning solution, identify the right AWS solution, how to create and deploy your ML solution, and how to design and implement ML solutions that are secure, reliable, scalable, and cost-optimized. For this certification, you must have one to two years of experience working on machine learning and deep learning concepts on the AWS cloud. Also, you must have a background in data science and development.

Value of AWS certification

AWS is one of the few technologies used by IT professionals across the globe working in organizations of different functions and sizes. For validating the skills of such professionals and acknowledging them, AWS certifications were created. These certifications help in recruitment of skilled and knowledgeable professionals.

When it comes to determining the value of any certification, it depends on the benefits of getting certified in terms of promotion or salary and the reach of the certification. In both the aspects, AWS certification stands out. Once you are AWS certified, you will be able to get a job anywhere regardless of where you learned AWS. Also, you will get a significant hike in your salary. With an annual salary of 125,000 USD, AWS Solutions Architect – Associate certification is among the top three highest paying certifications in the world.

AWS has become an integral part of the IT sector and so has the AWS certification. Without the certificate, you won’t be able to grow after a certain point. The reason why AWS certifications are so popular among recruiters and candidates alike, is that the certifications are always up-to-date. So, getting certified will demonstrate that you are on par with the latest developments in the tech world thus making you the right candidate for promotions. 

Best AWS Certification

As more and more companies are signing up to use the AWS services, organizations are actively looking for professionals skilled in AWS. There are not enough qualified people working in the cloud services. This is a major challenge faced by organizations who are gearing up for cloud adoption. AWS certified professionals are hence in high demand. Getting an AWS certification right now will help give your career a tremendous boost. It is almost a necessity today for staying ahead in the competition. Whether you are a web developer, a big data analyst, and AI developer, a database administrator or a system administrator, with AWS certification, your life will be so much easier. 

When it comes to salary, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is the third highest paying certification in the world. In the US, a solutions architect holding an AWS certification can get an income of about $125,000 per year. However, this mostly depends on the experience and the organization. However, selecting the best certification depends on your current role and your future goals. If you want to get started with AWS, the best certification for you is AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.

Various AWS Exam cost

1. For Associate-level courses:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Rs. 10710

  • AWS Certified Developer – Rs. 10710

  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Rs. 10710

2. For Professional-level courses:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Rs. 24120

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Rs. 24120

3. For Specialty-level courses:

  • AWS Certified Security – Rs. 24120

  • AWS Certified Big Data – Rs. 24120

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Rs. 24120

  • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Rs. 24120

  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Rs. 24120

4. For Foundational-level course

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner – Rs. 7140

Note: All costs are as applicable in August 2019

AWS Certification salary

AWS Certification salary

Although the salary for any job depends on the experience of the candidate and the enterprise offering the job, the average annual salary of the AWS certifications is mentioned below:

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: $130,883
  2. AWS Certified Developer – Associate: $130,272
  3. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: $130,610
  4. AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional: $148,456
  5. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: $137,724
  6. AWS Certified Big Data -  Specialty: $130,000

How to Add AWS Certification to LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become a great way to make connections and look for jobs and it is important that you keep your profile updated. When you pass your AWS certification exam, you should add it to your LinkedIn profile. For this, you will need your certification URL. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Log in to your AWS Training and Certification portal.
  2. Click on the Digital Badge option.
  3. To view and share your badges, you need to enter an email-address that will act as the identity of your badge when you share it. For this, go to the Badging Settings, select Enable, and add your email address.
  4. Now, under the Active Badges select the badge you want to share and click on the URL icon Share this badge and copy the URL address.
  5. Just share this URL address whenever you want to show your certificate’s information. Your AWS Digital Badge also shows the number of times the certificate was viewed.

Top AWS Certifications list

Here is a list of all the AWS certifications categorized according to their levels:

1. For Foundational-level course

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

2. For Associate-level courses:

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

3. For Professional-level courses:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer

4. For Specialty-level courses:

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

Top Companies that use AWS
Top Companies that use AWS

AWS has become one of the most renowned cloud platforms in the world. There are many major organizations that are using the AWS services for their applications. The top 10 Amazon AWS customers according to the monthly spending on EC2 are:

  1. Netflix
  2. Twitch
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Facebook
  5. Turner Broadcasting
  6. BBC
  7. Baidu
  8. ESPN
  9. Adobe
  10. Twitter

If you are just getting started in the field of cloud computing, having an AWS certification will help catch the attention of employers. AWS is a major player in cloud computing, and holding an AWS certification will increase your demand and open new doors of opportunities. Just know which certification is best for you and follow the learning path.


Joydip Kumar

Solution Architect

Joydip is passionate about building cloud-based applications and has been providing solutions to various multinational clients. Being a java programmer and an AWS certified cloud architect, he loves to design, develop, and integrate solutions. Amidst his busy work schedule, Joydip loves to spend time on writing blogs and contributing to the opensource community.