One of the biggest challenges faced by corporations today when it comes to cloud adoption is the lack of cloud expertise. There is a clear shortage of professionals certified with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
As far as AWS certifications are concerned, there is always a certain debate surrounding them. It is argued that certifications are not always the best measure of competence. Regardless, there is still a huge demand for certifications. AWS is the dominant cloud player with a 49 percent increase in growth rate, hence AWS courses are preferred by professionals as compared to other cloud certifications. There is a definite reason for that. AWS certification helps you reach new heights in your career with improved pay and job opportunities.
Currently, Amazon Web Services is used in more than 190 countries by over 100,000 customers. Since its launch in 2004, AWS has helped businesses replace high infrastructure cost with low variable expenses. It allows businesses to quickly access thousands of virtual servers through the cloud in a matter of minutes. It saves them from the expense of planning and getting IT infrastructure like servers in advance.
AWS continues to be popular even till the present date. Companies are using it and reaping benefits from it. From a professional’s point of view, AWS certification is one of the must-have certifications in the industry.
What is AWS?
Amazon started offering web services, also known as cloud computing, in the form of IT infrastructure services for public use in 2004. AWS provides a scalable, highly reliable and low-cost cloud platform. Thousands of businesses all across the world have adopted it. The widespread locations ensure a robust and secure system. The range of featured services of AWS include:
- Amazon EC2 – Elastic virtual servers in the cloud
- Amazon Aurora – High-performance managed relational database
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) – Scalable Storage in the cloud
- Amazon DynamoDB – Managed NoSQL database
- AWS Lambda – Running code without depending on servers
- Oracle, MariaDB, and SQL Server
- Amazon RDS – Managed relational database service for MySQL, PostgreSQL
- Amazon VPC – Isolated cloud resources
- Amazon SageMaker – Building, training, and deploying machine learning models at scale
- Amazon Lightsail – Launching and managing virtual private servers
The present scenario is such that major workloads have shifted to the public cloud. Hence, nowadays, cloud computing is no longer something that is simply beneficial to have. It has become a core competency in companies. Such a shift in technology means new sets of skills are in demand for designing, deploying and managing cloud computing applications.
Being a market leader and most experienced provider of cloud computing, AWS has set standards in the industry that even its competitors follow. Presently, 11 certifications are being offered by AWS covering foundational and specialty topics in cloud computing.
Why do businesses need Amazon cloud computing?
Amazon Web Services offer a secure and durable technology platform. The data centres of Amazon have multiple layers of operational and physical security, which ensures the integrity and safety of data. Regular audits are also conducted by AWS for ensuring infrastructural security. It implements the best security practices, providing documentation for the deployment of security features.
- Cost-effective:AWS is priced in a manner that it doesn’t have any upfront expense or long-term commitments. The pricing is low, to begin with, and you pay as you continue to use it. The lower prices mean that the customers can benefit from cost savings. Your consumption of computing power or storage is based on your requirement. There is no minimum expenditure or upfront investment to worry about.
- Open and flexible: AWS allows you to choose the development platform or programming model that benefits your business the most. You have the option to choose the services you want to use and also select how you use them. Such flexibility allows you to focus on innovation instead of infrastructure. You can use architectures, programming languages, databases and operating systems you are familiar with.
- Elastic and Scalable: The global cloud infrastructure of AWS allows you to innovate and experiment with ease. Depending on the demand, it is possible to scale down or scale-up. You can add or remove resources to adjust to the demands and be more effective in managing costs. This ability to scale computing resources with ease is called elasticity.
Why is having the right AWS certification so valuable?
If you are an AWS certified professional, it showcases that you have some of the most in-demand skills of the industry. Not only that, your skills have been validated by the most well-known entity in cloud computing. Within enterprises, certification shows an understanding of the platform shared by everyone. It also provides a certain level of expertise that helps in speeding things up and saving time for cloud-based projects.
Is AWS certification worth it?
Nowadays, multi-cloud strategies are adopted by enterprises. However, that doesn’t mean AWS certification is any less worth it. In fact, it is quite the opposite. AWS remains to be leading provider of public cloud computing, with a huge majority of SMBs and enterprises running its applications. AWS is the dominant cloud player with 33 percent share of the market and a 49 percent increase in growth rate. Consistent performance over the years, the introduction of a range of new services and continuous expansion to different locations indicate that it is here to stay. So, presently, AWS certification is definitely worth it!
What makes AWS certifications stand out is the thoroughness and rigor in the evaluation of skills of a candidate. The emphasis is mainly on best practices and hands-on experience.
Even if you are working with AWS, certification preparation will help you have a clear understanding of the key concepts and improve your knowledge. If AWS is new to you, the certification will provide you with the foundational skills and knowledge required to work with AWS services in the future. For companies looking to hire new professionals, AWS certification is a validation of a candidate being familiar and knowledgeable about the best practices in cloud architecture, security, and management.
For enterprises, the core course material of AWS certification also forms a valuable component of the internal training program of the company itself. The IT scenario continues to be more customized with growth in the requirement of new skills. This has resulted in more and more companies providing certification programs of their own. A lot of these companies combine vendor certification training paths with internal training materials for coming up with certification tracks that suit the needs of their business.
How Long does the Certification Take?
On an approximate basis, preparing for AWS certification requires a time investment of 80 hours for studying. This takes around 2 months to complete, with a full-time job and other commitments. For someone who is completely new to AWS, approximately 120 hours or preparation is recommended over the course of 3 months. It is always advisable, to begin with, the fundamentals and then continues with the learning path.
What are the Certifications Provided by AWS?
Presently, 11 certifications are offered by AWS, which includes a foundational certification, 2 professional-level certifications, 3 speciality certifications, and 3 associate-level certifications. The following core certifications are provided:
- AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
- AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty
- AWS Certified Security– Specialty
- AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
- AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty
Why Would you Need to be AWS certified?
Professionals often struggle with this decision, depending on the industry they work in. A common confusion is regarding whether the hands-on experience would be enough or is there a need to go through an education program for receiving formal training. Education programs cost money and take up a considerable amount of time, so it is natural to consider whether getting certified would be worth it or not.
It always recommended evaluating the requirement for advanced training in a specific field you might be interested in. Getting certified is always advisable if you are serious about your career in cloud computing and IT. In particular, an AWS certification will help you stay ahead of the competition. You will not just be able to get a job, but also get a job that pays high. You can consider it as an investment you should make for your future.
AWS Certification Benefits
There are some great advantages associated with getting AWS certification. If you are considering getting certified, you should have knowledge about some of the major benefits.
- The high demand for AWS experts:Amazon is in control of a major share of the market when it comes to cloud computing. Their biggest competitor is Microsoft, yet they have three times higher market share. Not only that, AWS has an immense yearly growth, which is an indication that it will continue to dominate the cloud computing market in the future as well. As such, it is quite obvious that the demand for AWS experts is high as well
- The likeliness of higher pay: Undergoing training for AWS certification can help increase the income of average professionals by 25.9%
- A demonstration of commitment: It takes a considerable amount of time, effort as well as commitment for receiving AWS certification. Such commitment to the professional is always impressive, particularly to the employers. If you are looking for a job or want some change in your career, certifications provide you with a competitive edge over others. It is a well-known fact that employers usually favor candidates who have industry certifications
- Relatively easier to earn:Regardless of what certification you want, getting certified always takes a lot of hard work. However, AWS certifications are not quite as time-consuming and difficult as other similar certifications. You might have a lot going on right now, but it is definitely worth to make some compromise for AWS certifications. It will help you achieve your ambitions and help you progress in the technology field you are interested in.
Tips for the Certification Process
The following expert tips are helpful for those looking to prepare for AWS certification:
- Commitment is the key:Your efforts for getting AWS certified cannot be half-hearted. You need to be ready to dedicate considerable time and effort to learn and understand everything offered by AWS. As a part of your preparation, you can take practice exams to test your progress. You can even read AWS blogs or avail online video courses. The only way to earn certification is thorough preparation
- Utilize the available resources: There are numerous resources available that you can use to your advantage. You just need to choose the ones that you find to be most preferable and valuable. Technical bootcamps can be a great resource, in which AWS experts offer hands-on learning. Reading the official AWS blogs will help you stay updated on the new products, features, concepts, and best practices
- Problem-solving the right way: Learning to solve AWS problems requires an understanding of the practical scenario. The solving process takes into consideration factors like cost, performance and global reach for finding the correct answer. As with all technical problems, multiple solutions are available, depending on the resources and tools you have available. There are many alternatives offered by AWS, but you need to know what is being asked in the exam question and what is the right way of solving the question
- Take your time:Since AWS certifications offer better opportunities and an increase in income, anyone can be tempted to rush into the preparation process of the certification. However, it won’t do much good. It is a huge commitment, so you need to be ready to give it some time as a part of your professional life.
All said and done, earning AWS certification is a wise move for all professionals associated with the IT industry. However, getting certified will require you to be committed, so you need to choose the right time for undertaking the training. At the end of it all, you will definitely benefit from the AWS certification and all the time and effort you put would be completely worth it!