Cloud computing is one of the technologies that has seen significant growth in the last decade. The rise of cloud computing has mainly been due to the many advantages it has over using on-premise servers. Each passing day, more businesses are shifting from on-premise computing and data storage and taking all this load to the cloud.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading player in the cloud computing space, with the number of active users now over 1 million and a market share of 31%. The rise in the number of AWS users means more businesses need people skilled in cloud computing to help them configure and manage their cloud infrastructure.
AWS currently has certification courses that one has to take in order to learn the technical aspects of how their cloud infrastructure works, deploying apps and operating systems, and the various configurations that users may need. AWS offers several certifications that you can get based on the cloud skill set you need to get.
- Cloud Practitioner: This certification is for people who intend to prove that they have a general understanding of AWS cloud. It is also the first certification that you will need to gets started with.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: This certification is given to individuals who are able to demonstrate knowledge in designing, managing, and distributing applications on AWS.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional: This certification is for IT professionals that can demonstrate that they can deploy and manage complex AWS applications. Having an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification and two years of experience is a prerequisite before getting this certification.
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: It is given to IT professionals that can demonstrate code-level knowledge regarding AWS application design, development, and maintenance.
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer — Professional: To get this certification, students must demonstrate knowledge about Continuous Development (CD), automation of AWS processes, and implementing them into AWS architectures. Having the associate-level AWS Certified Developer certification and at least two years of experience is a prerequisite
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: This certification is given to individuals who can prove knowledge of deployment and management of AWS architecture and services apps.
- AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty: To get this certification, one must prove technical skills and experience regarding big data architecture design, implementation, and automation using AWS tools and best practices. Getting certifications requires having an associate-level certification, five years of analytics experience, and a background in AWS architecture design and big data tools.
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking — Specialty: This certification is given to individuals that can prove advanced networking knowledge and skills for all AWS tools and services.
- AWS Certified Security — Specialty: Given to individuals that can prove skill in securing AWS workloads and requires having two years of experience doing this.
- AWS Certified Machine Learning — Specialty: It is given to individuals that are able to demonstrate technical knowledge in machine learning with AWS tools and services.
- AWS Certified Alexa Skill Building — Specialty: This certification is given to individuals that are able to prove knowledge in building, testing, and publishing apps that integrate with Amazon Alexa.
Now that you know the different AWS certifications you can get, let’s discuss why you will need any or several of these certifications.
1. More chances of getting a good IT job
If you have any of the above certifications, you will have more chances of getting a job that involves cloud computing aspects. IT managers and technicians in companies need to have cloud computing skills because most businesses today mainly use cloud infrastructure or on-premise alongside cloud infrastructure.
Not so many IT professionals have AWS certifications, so getting yourself a couple of AWS certifications will enhance your chances of getting a good IT job. While choosing which certifications to do, always choose those that are within your field or a field that you intend to join in the near future.
2. Cloud computing is the future
According to Statista, the cloud computing market size is expected to be over $482 Billion by the end of 2022. These stats clearly show where the world is heading. If you are a professional or student in any tech-related industry, having AWS will be an advantage because the cloud skills you will have obtained will be very vital in almost all industries.
Even if you intend to build a tech-related business, in one way or another, you will likely apply your cloud computing skills somewhere along the way. So, instead of hiring a professional, you can do most of the tasks that involve cloud computing, especially when you don’t have enough resources to hire a cloud professional with AWS certifications.
3. AWS is still the biggest IaaS platform
Yes, Azure and Google Computer Cloud have gained popularity in recent years, but AWS is still ahead of them by a significant margin. So, an AWS certification will have more value than certifications from other Infrastructure as a Service providers in the foreseeable future.
It is also easier to learn how the infrastructure of the other platforms works if you already have skills and know about AWS tools and services. So, even if things change in the future and AWS is no longer the market leader, it will be easier for you to get certifications from other platforms because you already have a good cloud computing foundation.
4. It will enhance your value in the organization
If you already have a tech-related job, having AWS cloud computing knowledge will Increase the value you offer to your employer. So, instead of hiring a cloud computing professional or consultant to do basic cloud-related tasks, they will use you to handle them.
And, of course, if you are offering more value to your organization than what most IT professionals provide, your employer will most likely reward you for that. So, if you are looking for a skill that will help boost your value in an organization, getting one of the AWS certifications is a good place to start from.
5. Expand your general knowledge about technology
Even if you are not looking at getting an IT-related job or freelance gig, doing an AWS certification course will help you acquire future-proof knowledge that you will likely apply somewhere in your career. If your goal is to expand knowledge, you can simply choose an AWS course that interests you the most.
Besides getting knowledge, having the AWS certification course will add more value to your CV. Having this certification on your CV will open up a lot of opportunities later in your career. As we have earlier shared, cloud computing is the future, and having the skill in managing any cloud infrastructure platform will make you valuable many more years from today.
6. Shows commitment to your profession
Acquiring knowledge is a clear indicator that you are dedicated to your profession. When your employer is looking for someone to elevate in the organization, you will stand a chance of being that person because of the commitment you exhibited when you chose to further expand your knowledge by acquiring an AWS certification.
If you are in business or running an IT consultancy firm, you will find it easier to get clients when you have certifications that prove your expertise in the industry. You will also be likely to get more cloud-related projects if clients know that you have AWS certifications.
7. AWS certifications are in high demand
If you do a google search for the most popular and in-demand IT certifications, you will often find three or four AWS certifications appearing among the top 10. The most popular ones include AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, associate-level and professional level AWS Solutions Architect. Getting any of these three certifications will make you more valuable in the job market than your colleagues who don’t have them.
It is also important to note that the demand for these certifications will continue to rise since more businesses and professionals will continue shifting from on-premise computing to cloud computing.
8. Course material is readily available
Since AWS is the most popular cloud infrastructure provider, making it way too easy to get its learning materials compared to other platforms. Besides the material AWS provides on its platform, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will help you get started with any of the AWS certification courses we have shared earlier.
And if you want to acquire more in-depth knowledge, there are several courses you can buy from e-learning platforms like Udemy and Coursera. Most of these courses are all available for less than $10, which is way too low compared to the value you will get. However, before choosing which course to take, it is always necessary to look through the seller reviews to see what the previous buyers of the course have to say about it.
There are so many “fake AWS gurus” who will want to convince you to take their courses just for the sake of getting your money. So, make due diligence before deciding which course to take.
9. Cloud computing jobs are highly paying
The annual salary of a cloud engineer in the USA is $118178, making it one of the most paying professional jobs in the country. Cloud engineers are paid this much because of the value they offer to their organizations that largely depend on cloud computing to run most of their applications and storing data.
If you consider earning more from your IT or software development profession, acquiring one more AWS certification is one of the most reliable ways you can achieve that today. According to this report, over 85% percent of respondents testified getting an increase in income after they got one on more cloud-related certifications.
How to get AWS certifications
Now that you know why it is essential to get one or more AWS certifications as a developer or IT professional let’s briefly discuss the procedures for obtaining these certifications.
Step #1: Enroll for an AWS course.
After choosing which AWS course to take, the next step is enrolling for any of these courses on an e-learning platform like Udemy, Skillshare, or Coursera. Yes, there are free courses on YouTube, but these usually don’t have everything you need to know to pass the certification exam.
Step #2: Review the exam guide
Before you get started with the course, it is always best to review an exam guide so that you focus on the core aspects that AWS examines.
Step #3: Do as much practice as you can
Being ready for any of the AWS certification exams will require at least 80 to 120 hours of learning and practice. So, you need to create enough time to practice if you want to pass the exams.
Step #4: Schedule the exam
Once you are confident about your knowledge regarding the exam you have been preparing for, you can go ahead and schedule the AWS exam.
As discussed in this article, cloud computing is one of the fastest-growing fields in technology. Having one of the AWS certifications we have shared will give you an advantage in the industry, both as a professional or business owner. The good news is getting these certifications is not that expensive. The most important resource you will put in is your time and focus.
Since there are several AWS certifications, you need to be careful before choosing which ones to get. For starters, you will need the AWS Cloud practitioner certification before getting any of the other certifications. This certification will introduce to AWS, so you need it before going for the other ones.
It would also be best to choose a certification that is in line with your current profession. For instance, if you are a developer, it will be much easier and more beneficial to go for the associate and professional level AWS Certified Developer certification. Those into networking should go for the AWS Certified Advanced Networking. Choosing a certification in your field will make it easier to learn and apply the skills you acquired during the course.