Which AWS Certification Should You Get?

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Blog

Getting an AWS certification illustrates that you have some of the most highly sought-after skills in the cloud computing space. With a plethora of options, it can be difficult to decide which AWS certification you should get. In this post, we’ll explore which AWS certification you should get based on your role and the experience you have.

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AWS career paths and related certifications

Based on your role or the role you’re applying for, here are the AWS certifications best-suited for your needs and experience.

1. AWS Cloud Practitioner

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The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the most fundamental AWS certification. Certified Cloud Practitioners have a basic knowledge of different AWS services but don’t have technical responsibilities.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner badge.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

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The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is considered the entry-level certification for the AWS cloud fresher. It’s intended for people who need a critical understanding of AWS but don’t need the same kind of in-depth training as someone in a technical role. To be eligible to take the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • At least 6 months of experience working in AWS Cloud in any role, including sales, financial purchase, or technical
  • Basic knowledge of IT services and solutions and their uses in the AWS platform

The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

  • Explaining and defining AWS Cloud and its global infrastructure, principles of AWS Cloud architecture, and basic characteristics of operation and deployment of AWS cloud services
  • Understanding of the AWS Cloud value proposition
  • Knowledge of AWS services, common use cases, and basic security aspects of the AWS platform
  • The ability to define pricing models and account management

2. AWS Solutions Architect

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AWS Solutions Architects design and deploy scalable, secure, and cost-effective applications for AWS. They understand AWS management and deployment services and are able to identify the technical requirements for AWS-based applications.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Certification

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This certification is intended for AWS professionals with experience designing and deploying applications on AWS at the Associate level. To be eligible to take the AWS Certification Solutions Architect (Associate) certification exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • 1+ years of experience designing and deploying AWS applications
  • Ability to identify requirements for designing and deploying AWS applications
  • Skilled in at least one programming language
  • Understanding of hybrid system deployment with AWS components
  • Ability to identify and define best practices for AWS application development

The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

  • Designing and deploying secure, scalable, and cost-effective applications on the AWS platform
  • The ability to move an existing application on the AWS platform
  • Explaining best practices for implementing AWS architecture
  • Identifying the appropriate AWS service for architecture requirements
  • Submitting and retrieving data to and from the AWS platform

    AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional Certification

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    The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional certification is for Solutions Architects with advanced technical experience and skills in designing AWS-based applications. To be eligible to take the AWS Certification Solutions Architect (Professional) certification exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • 2+ years of experience designing and deploying AWS cloud architecture
    • Ability to identify and analyze cloud requirements for creating AWS applications
    • In-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language
    • Expert-level knowledge of designing, deploying, and maintaining applications on the AWS platform

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Designing and deploying reliable, scalable, cost-effective, and robust applications on the AWS platform
    • The ability to move an existing multi-tier and complex application on the AWS platform
    • Creating and deploying scalable operations over enterprise
    • Identifying and explaining the best practices for implementing AWS architecture
    • The ability to estimate AWS costs

    3. AWS Developer

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    AWS Developers are responsible for configuring, maintaining, and updating the cloud infrastructure of web applications. They understand core AWS services and can apply security and scalability best practices.

    AWS Certified Developer - Associate certification badge.

    AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification

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    This certificate is for AWS developers with significant experience designing, creating, and deploying cloud applications on AWS. To be eligible to take the AWS Certified Developer (Associate) certification exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • 1+ years of experience designing and maintaining AWS applications
    • Understanding of AWS services, their uses, and best practices
    • In-depth knowledge of at least one high-level language for programming
    • Highly skilled in designing, developing, and deploying cloud-based applications on the AWS platform
    • Ability to develop and maintain applications built for Amazon S3, SWS, SNS, SQS, DynamoDB, CloudFormation, and Beanstalk

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Developing reliable, scalable, cost-effective, robust cloud solutions using AWS
    • Explaining the appropriate AWS services for the solution to be created on AWS
    • Authorizing AWS SDKs to connect the application with AWS services
    • Implementing code-level security for developed AWS applications, as well as code development to optimize the AWS service performance

    AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification

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    This certification is for AWS professionals in a DevOps role who have considerable experience implementing and managing systems on AWS. To be eligible to take the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional) certification exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • 2+ years experience operating and managing applications in AWS
    • Considerable experience with code development in at least one high-level programming language
    • A deep understanding of testing and automation with programming and scripting languages
    • Knowledge of other development processes, like Agile

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Implementing and managing continuous delivery systems on AWS
    • Understanding and implementing the automation of governance processes, security controls, and compliance validations
    • The ability to build scalable, available, and robust systems on AWS platform
    • Automation of processes with designing, maintenance, and management tools
    • Identifying and implementing metrics, monitoring, and logging systems on AWS platform

    4. AWS Administrator

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    AWS administrators are responsible for operating, deploying, and managing cloud-based production systems on the AWS platform. They also typically maintain their company’s AWS infrastructure, deliver scalability and stability, ensure data security, and deploy automation on the AWS platform.

    AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification

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    This certificate is for AWS Administrators with significant experience operating, deploying, and managing applications and systems on AWS. To be eligible to take the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate certification exam, you must meet one of the following criteria:

    • 1+ years of experience in operations and management of AWS-based applications
    • Ability to guide AWS deployment and operations
    • Knowledge of how to operate and maintain AWS-based systems
    • Ability to identify and define AWS best practices throughout the entire lifecycle of a project
    • Highly skilled at identifying an issue and defining a solution for AWS-based applications

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Developing and managing scalable, available, reliable, and secure systems on AWS platform
    • The ability to migrate existing applications on AWS
    • Identifying best use for operational AWS practices
    • Submitting and retrieving data to and from AWS platform
    • Identifying and implementing the appropriate AWS services based on data, computation, and security requirements

    AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification

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    This certificate is for AWS professionals who currently work in a DevOps role, either as administrator or developer. They have significant experience implementing, operating, deploying, and managing applications and systems on the AWS platform.

    There technically are no prerequisites for this certification, however, we recommend that AWS Developers first pass the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam and that AWS Admins pass the AWS SysOps Administrator exam before going for this certification. The key concepts you should know for this exam are similar to those of the Associate certification, just on a more advanced level.

    5. AWS Security Specialist

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    AWS Security Specialists oversee the security of AWS applications and ensure the security of the data. They have a strong understanding of data protection mechanisms and AWS security services.

    AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification

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    This certificate is for AWS professionals performing encryption and security of data on AWS-based applications and systems. To be eligible to take this exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • At least 5 years of experience in IT security
    • Experience working on the design and implementation of security solutions
    • 2+ years of experience securing AWS workloads
    • Experience with security controls for AWS workloads

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Addressing security risks and operations by making decisions that factor security, cost, and deployment complexity
    • Implementing data encryption methods, secure internet protocols, and data protection mechanisms
    • Implementing AWS security services and features to create a secure production environment

    6. AWS Networking Engineer

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    AWS Networking Experts design scalable and secure network infrastructure on AWS. They have advanced knowledge of network security, hybrid IT environments, network integration with AWS services, and network troubleshooting.

    AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty certification

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    This certificate is for AWS professionals who perform analysis of complicated networking tasks on AWS-based applications and have advanced technical expertise in designing and implementing hybrid environments. To be eligible to take this exam, you must meet at least one of the following criteria: 

    • At least 5 years of experience in creating and implementing network solutions
    • Advanced knowledge of AWS networking technologies 

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Designing, developing, and deploying cloud-based applications and systems on AWS platform
    • Designing and maintaining of network architecture for AWS services
    • Implementing AWS solutions using best practices of AWS architecture
    • Automating and analyzing AWS networking tasks

    7. AWS Machine Learning

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    AWS Machine Learning Experts typically include development or data science roles. An AWS Machine Learning expert is able to design, implement, deploy, and maintain machine learning solutions.

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    AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty certification

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    This certificate is for IT professionals whose careers center around data engineering or data science. This certification is also fitting for AWS professionals involved in designing, implementing, deploying, and maintaining machine learning solutions. To be eligible to take this exam, you must meet one of the following criteria:

    • 1-2 years of experience in development, architecture, or running of machine learning workloads on AWS
    • Experience performing basic hyperparameter optimization
    • Expert-level understanding of machine learning and deep learning frameworks
    • Ability to comply with model training, deployment, and operational best practices

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Identifying appropriate machine learning approaches for specific problems
    • Designing and implementing machine learning solutions with scalability, reliability, cost-effectiveness, and security.
    • Identifying appropriate AWS services for implementing machine learning solutions

    8. AWS Data Analyst

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    AWS Data Analysts design the appropriate data analytics mechanisms for different cloud infrastructures to generate valuable insights from massive volumes of data.

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    AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty certification

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    This certificate is an industry-recognized specialty certification that does not require any prerequisites. However, we do recommend that you have:

    • At least 5 years of practical experience and a deep understanding of common data analytics technologies
    • At least 2 years of experience in the AWS platform
    • Experience in working with AWS services for development, security, design, and maintenance of analytics solutions

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Defining AWS data analytics services
    • Understanding the different approaches to integration between AWS data analytics services
    • The ability to explain the relationship between AWS data analytics services and the data life cycle stages of collection, storage, processing, and visualization

    9. AWS Database Administrator

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    AWS database administrators are responsible for managing and operating databases that are used by applications to store and analyze data.

    AWS Database – Specialty certification

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    This certificate tests your expertise in AWS database services and skills in increasing the speed of database technology. It’s a standalone exam, so you don’t have to qualify for another exam to take this certification. While there are no prerequisites for this certification, we do think you’ll have a better chance of passing if you have:

    • At least 5 years of experience with database technologies
    • At least 2 years of practical experience working with the AWS platform
    • Experience working with relational and NoSQL databases

    The key concepts you should be familiar with for this certification include:

    • Understanding the difference between the key features of each AWS database service
    • Ability to analyze the needs and requirements for recommending and designing database solutions using AWS services

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