5 Things You Need to Know About AWS Certification
AWS Is The Leading Name In Cloud Computing
As the market leader in the cloud computing space, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become a part of many company workspaces since its introduction in 2006. Whether it is a hybrid deployment, or a full shift away from onsite servers and data centers, cloud computing has become a core part, and competency of many enterprises.
With 64% of enterprises and 68% of SMBs running applications through AWS in some capacity, continuous expansion to new parts of the world, and a constant stream of new services, it’s clear that the platform is here to stay for a while.
This means that for IT professionals, learning how the platform works and attaining certifications will ensure that you are up-to-date with cloud computing demands, as well as developing an in-demand service. Meanwhile for business owners and those seeking IT services, knowing that their MSP and IT technicians have the credentials and skills to properly utilize, deploy, and manage applications on AWS ensures that they are in the right hands when addressing their needs on the platform.
Whether you are seeking certification, or just looking to understand AWS a bit better, this helpful list should provide some insight regarding AWS Certification.
How Many Certifications Are There?
To date, AWS has eleven certifications to attain that are spread across several learning paths. These certifications are designed to ensure solid understanding and competency in the many roles and specialties involved in the AWS Cloud experience. These role-based certifications allow for individuals and teams to pursue their own goals, and take only the tests they wish to complete to attain the certifications needed to meet their specific needs. These specific certifications are as follows:
- Cloud Practitioner: A foundational certification intended for people who have a fundamental understanding of AWS services and features independent of the specific technical roles covered by other certifications.
- Solutions Architect: An associate certification centered around testing the individual’s knowledge about how to build and deploy systems in the AWS cloud, and solve could-based problems with strict parameters.
- SysOps Administrator: An associate certification centered around testing the focused expertise of AWS’ system administration tools, and best-use practices for various service requirements.
- Developer: An associate exam that is centered around individuals who have an understanding of the core of AWS, as well as the ability to demonstrate the ability to develop, deploy, and debug cloud-based applications through AWS.
- Solutions Architect Professional: A test for those with multiple years of hands-on experience managing AWS systems, and can make decisions on how to implement and deploy applications on an architectural level.
- DevOps Engineer Professional: This test is for those with experience managing, operating, and provisioning applications on the AWS platform. Expertise in continuous delivery (CD) and automation processes are a must when approaching this exam.
- Machine Learning: A specialty certification geared toward those who focus on development and data science tasks, specifically those centered around the creation and implementation of machine learning solutions.
- Alexa Skill Builder: A specialty certification for those that focus on creating and deploying skills for Amazon Alexa. An expertise in the ability to develop and test via Amazon Alexa Skill Kit is needed, as well as proficiency in a programming language.
- Security: A specialty certification for those who are focused on security roles. The exam is centered around security fundamentals, following best practices, and building deep knowledge to ensure knowledge on AWS security topics is valid and properly executed.
- Advanced Networking: A specialty certification designed to test a user’s proficiency with complex networking and hybrid IT on AWS at scale. Possessing a background in network architecture and network solution implementation are useful for this exam.
- Big Data: A specialty certification for those specializing in designing and architecting big data solutions on AWS. The exam tests whether or not the individual using Amazon Web Services can extract value from data.
How Long Does It Take to Get Certified?
Each certification test has their own timeline based on the length of the exam. However, Amazon has provided recommended timeframes for each level of certification. While these are not mandatory timelines, it is recommended that those who are new to AWS study and familiarize themselves appropriately rather than rush to take an exam they are not prepared for.
- For Practitioner certification, six months of fundamental use is recommended
- For any of the Associate certifications, one year of experience is recommended
- For Professional certification, two years is recommended
- For Specialty it varies by the exam.
How Do You Learn AWS?
Amazon has their own methods of training. They offer free digital training courses, live classes with accredited AWS instructors that utilize a mixture of learning methods, and personalized, on-site training to give individual, hands-on training. There are also a variety of websites that offer extensive training in AWS, with many having their own quizzes and tests to make sure preparations for the official AWS exams are thorough.
How Long Does Certification Last?
AWS certifications last for 3 years, after which a re-certification exam will have to be taken to ensure certified individuals are still up to date and knowledgeable about the services available. As Amazon continuously updates tools and implements new ones, it is necessary for these re-certifications to be done to ensure that certified individuals are keeping up with the changing environment of AWS.
Why is AWS Certification Important?
As AWS is the most commonly used form of cloud computing for both SMBs and enterprises, certifications are important to have for many reasons. AWS has proven that it is not only going to grow, but that its services are becoming more useful to businesses of all sizes.
- For IT professionals, it shows a competence in a service that is in-demand and sought after, with hands-on experience and knowledge of best practices. This means a more competitive skill set, and a shared understanding of the platform, its terminology, and expertise when handling cloud projects. The more certifications you have, the more you have to offer.
- Similarly, for those seeking IT support, or to work with an MSP, AWS certification shows that their IT specialists are keeping up to date with current cloud computing trends, and that they are going to be able to efficiently execute and deploy applications and other services available on AWS.
Ensuring You’re Prepared For the Future of Cloud Computing
With a solid grip on the cloud computing industry already and its services only expanding, AWS is not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. With more businesses adopting its use every day, the demand for experienced IT specialists is only going to grow. Learning and taking the exams to become certified in any of AWS’ numerous services can provide a valuable arrow in the quiver of any IT skill set.