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Which AWS Certification Is Right For Me?

ByDave Stopher

Jun 17, 2020

You would have probably heard of cloud computing and how it is taking over the technology landscape. Data is being generated at an unprecedented rate and traditional ways of storing it have become obsolete today. The only viable option companies get is migrating their data to the cloud. Now the first name that appears when anyone starts searching for a cloud service provider is AWS or Amazon Web Services. It is a leader in the public cloud infrastructure market and accounts for a significant share of over 30%, surpassing most of its competitors like Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud.

AWS is basically a leading cloud platform that offers more than 175 fully-featured services to help companies move their existing systems to the cloud and build whatever they want. The services offered by AWS are based on varying technologies like compute, storage, databases, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT). Over the years, AWS has become the most preferred cloud service provider by enterprises and startups alike. This has also given rise to the demand for AWS certified professionals, specifically those who take up AWS online training

This article gives you an overview of AWS certifications and some of the popular credentials that can help you get started with AWS.

AWS Certifications

Achieving an AWS certification is a great way to showcase your knowledge and enhance your credibility. The certification comes with digital badges that one can highlight in his professional networking profile. Moreover, it lets professionals gain access to the AWS Certified LinkedIn Community where they can connect with peers and share their knowledge.

All of the certifications offered by AWS basically fall under four categories, namely:

  • Foundational
  • Associate 
  • Professional
  • Specialty 


There is one certification in this category – AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.


You can opt for three certifications at this level:

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


Two certifications are part of this category:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional


You can select from a total of six certifications under this category:

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty

All of these certifications are highly regarded in the companies adopting AWS and utilizing cloud computing to the fullest. Looking at the number of certifications, are you confused about where to begin? Then you are among the many professionals who are planning to get AWS certified but unsure of which certification is best for them. So, here we have discussed some of the certifications that have minimum qualification requirements and you can consider pursuing them.

Which Certification Should You Begin With?

We have already described how the AWS certifications are categorized. Now selecting the one that is suitable for you becomes easy when you decide which job role you are aiming for. Basically you have options related to cloud practitioner, architect, developer, operations, and DevOps. 

After you decide the role, you can opt for these certifications.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Professionals who wish to get an overall understanding of the AWS Cloud can consider achieving this certification. Not compulsorily, but this certification is recommended before you target any associate level or Specialty certification. It requires you to have minimal experience of six months with the AWS Cloud in any role related to managerial, technical, sales, or financial areas. This certification establishes your understanding of the AWS shared responsibility model, AWS cloud security best practices, AWS Cloud costs, billing practices, and the core services of AWS.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

If you are targeting an Architect role, then this certification is the best to start with. It requires you to have at least one year of experience in designing cost-effective, scalable, and fault-resistant distributed systems on AWS. This certification demonstrates your skills in deploying secure applications on AWS, using architectural design principles to define a solution, and providing implementation guidance throughout the project lifecycle. 

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

Developers would find this certification suitable to begin their career in AWS. It is recommended to have at least one year of experience developing AWS-based applications before applying for this certification. The credential basically verifies your expertise in using core AWS services, basic AWS architecture best practices, developing cloud-based AWS applications, deploying as well as debugging them. Professionals also need to have strong programming knowledge to apply for this certification.  

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification is ideal for professionals working in the operations field. A minimum of one year of experience is desirable in deployment, management, and operations on AWS to apply for this certification. Some of the skills that you’ll be tested on include implementing the flow of data to and from AWS, selecting suitable AWS service based on given requirements, and migrating on-premises workloads to AWS.    

AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

Formerly known as AWS Certified Big Data Specialty, this certification is a valuable credential for professionals interested in the field of data analytics. While it is not recommended for beginners, it can be taken up by experienced professionals who have at least 5 years of experience in data analytics along with 2 years of experience working with AWS. On achieving this certification, professionals become capable of defining AWS data analytics services and how they fit in the lifecycle of gathering, storing, processing, and visualizing data. 

Getting AWS certified is one of the wise decisions you could make for your career growth. If you have clear career goals, then choosing an AWS certification and qualifying for it isn’t tough. So, start your AWS journey and pave your way towards a rewarding career.