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Are AWS certifications important? How many are available and how much do they cost to obtain?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosts and services many of the properties you see online, from the smallest websites to the largest streaming portals. If you’re ever interrupted, the impact on the web overall is catastrophic.

If you’re doing something web-based, in other words, it’s important to know the services and tools available through AWS (and also get familiar with Microsoft’s Azure, which is also rapidly gaining market share). But do you really need to get a certification (or two) if you want to get a job that uses AWS? That is a very good question.

For this AWS certification tutorial, we’ll tell you how to get one, how much it costs, and whether the process really is worth your time.

Does AWS have an official certification?

The short answer is yes. AWS certifications fall into a handful of categories:

Foundational: This certification represents “six months of fundamental AWS Cloud and industry knowledge,” in Amazon’s words.

Associated: “One year of experience solving problems and implementing solutions using the AWS cloud, “according to Amazon. There are three Associate subcategories: Architect, Operations, and Developer.

Professional: “Two years of comprehensive experience in designing, operating, and troubleshooting AWS Cloud” (Amazon, again). As you will see in the chart below, professional certifications fall into two categories: Architect and DevOps. In other words, get ready to know everything about databases in an AWS context.

Specialty: These AWS certifications cover specific areas such as Alexa, machine learning, and data analytics.

This is how certifications are broken down into those categories:

In summary, Amazon’s certification path is comprehensive. Specialty certifications are more like mini-courses to learning Amazon’s way of doing very specific things (like machine learning mentioned above), while Associate and Professional are a ladder that eventually leads to full knowledge of the AWS approach to DevOps .

Fortunately, Amazon also offers quite a bit of documentation on its exams. Which brings us to …

How do I get AWS certified?

You first need to sign up for an AWS certification account.

The core Cloud Practitioner certification requires “six months of basic AWS Cloud and industry knowledge” and the successful completion of a 90-minute multiple-choice questionnaire.

Each of the AWS Associate certifications (Solution Architect, SysOps Administrator and Developer) requires “one year of experience solving problems and implementing solutions using the AWS cloud,” and then passing a two-hour multiple-choice questionnaire.

At the next level, Professional Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer certifications require each of the above two years of “comprehensive experience in designing, operating, and troubleshooting using the AWS cloud,” followed by a multiple-choice questionnaire. three hours.

How much does it cost to obtain these certifications?

This largely depends on the certification you want to obtain! Also note that, technically, you are not paying Amazon for certification; You are paying to take the exam.

The AWS Cloud Practitioner exam costs $ 100; You can also get practice tests for $ 20 each.

The Solutions Architect, SysOps Administrator and Developer certifications cost the same: $ 150 for the final exam and $ 20 for practice tests.

Amazon Professional Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer certifications cost $ 300 for the exam and $ 40 for the practice tests.

Each of the AWS majors costs $ 300 and $ 40 for the practice tests.

Can I take an AWS exam without a course?

The short answer is yes. “But for an AWS specialty or certification, it’s not that easy.

Amazon suggests that you accumulate the indicated amount of experience before continuing with your AWS certifications. For example, from the AWS Certified Solutions Architect description:

“The associated exam is intended for individuals who serve in a solution architect role and have one or more years of hands-on experience in designing available, cost-effective, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.”

Each specialty and certification has a similar language. But Amazon also doesn’t check your work history, and you can download practice materials for each level of certification and each specialty. To take the exams, you simply have to register (and pay, of course).

Is it worth it to get an AWS certification?

If you’re even dedicating part of your career to working with AWS, getting certified doesn’t hurt. Keep in mind that when you apply for a job, your interview (and associated tests) will inevitably focus on how well you really know the necessary skills; for example, if they ask you how to programmatically manage AWS EC2 with Node.js, they better know what they want

Here is a breakdown of the top occupations that often require AWS skills (based on Burning Glass data); As you can see, the number of jobs that require these skills is likely to increase in the coming years. If you are interested in cloud architecture, software development, and networking, then at least some familiarity with AWS basics will certainly do.

However, having the right certifications can give you a proverbial advantage when competing for jobs, especially if you’re applying for a highly specialized position, like working with Alexa.