AWS Certifications Study Guide, part 2: AWS Certification Paths

In the part one of our AWS Certifications Study Guide, we learned about why AWS is so important in the cloud industry, and why its certifications can be a major bonus for any cloud professional. Now it’s time to delve deeper into the structure and organization of the AWS Certification program, in order to better understand how it works. There are several choices available, so it’s good to have a clear understanding of the options in order to choose the AWS certification path that best fits your needs.

AWS Certification Paths
AWS Certification Paths

AWS Certification paths

AWS provides three certification paths, with certifications at the Associate and Professional level. Each certification is targeted at a specific profile: Solutions Architects, Developers, and SysOps Administrators. Let’s take a brief look at each:

  • The AWS Solutions Architect Certification – Associate certification is aimed at individuals who are experienced in designing complex infrastructures and systems on the AWS platform. Some of the skills you will be asked to demonstrate concern the planning of highly available and fault-tolerant systems, migration of existing architectures to AWS, estimating costs, and implementing cost control mechanisms. This is probably one of the most common certifications available, and the first certification made available by AWS.
  • The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification focuses on the technical expertise required to develop and maintain applications on the AWS platform. You will be challenged with quizzes about how to use the AWS SDKs to interact with AWS services and how to achieve the best performance and high code-level security. This path is focused on a smaller set of services than the Solutions Architect certification, but at a deeper level.
  • The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification is the only certification that is fully geared toward system administrators. The focus here is on management, deployment, orchestration, and in general operations on AWS services. This exam shares some topics in common with the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate path, but from an operative point of view.

Associate and Professional Levels

Two professional level exams are now available: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional.
AWS Certifications
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional is the pinnacle of all of the AWS certifications. This certification requires a high degree of technical skill and experience designing AWS-based applications. You will be required to know which AWS services are best suited to the needs of your applications and how to migrate complex application systems over to AWS. Finally, you will need to know how to implement cost control strategies.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional is all about provisioning, operating, and managing applications on the AWS platform. This exam focuses heavily on continuous delivery (CD) and automation of processes. You will be expected to know: Continuous delivery basics and how to implement CD systems, how to set up monitoring and logging systems on AWS, and how to design and manage tools that enable the automation of production operations.
Both professional level exams require that you be certified at the Associate level for that exam. We will go into greater detail for each certification in upcoming sections of this guide.

AWS Certification Paths: How to get certified

Testing locations. AWS certification exams are administered in authorized testing centers managed by Kryterion. There are about 800 testing locations around the world, so chances are that you will find one that is reasonably close to where you are located.
Cost. Associate level certification exams cost $150, and Professional level exams cost $300.
Language. All exams are available in English, with limited availability in other languages for some exams.
Test questions. AWS provides a few sample questions on each certification page, but these are just a general indication of the types of questions you may encounter; they are not necessarily representative of the actual exam questions. This is where our AWS Certification Learning Paths can help you. Our dedicated learning paths for each of the five AWS certifications include video courses, quizzes, and hands-on labs, with content crafted by AWS experts and designed to closely match the material and questions on the AWS certification exams.

Up next: In part 3, we’ll show you how to prepare for AWS certification exams.

Avatar

Written by

Cloud Academy Team

Related Posts

Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 22, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: July 2019

July has been a very exciting month for us at Cloud Academy. On July 10, we officially joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider (read the announcement). Over the coming weeks, you will see additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+ certification courses and 1500+ ins...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Academy
  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— July 18, 2019

AWS Fundamentals: Understanding Compute, Storage, Database, Networking & Security

If you are just starting out on your journey toward mastering AWS cloud computing, then your first stop should be to understand the AWS fundamentals. This will enable you to get a solid foundation to then expand your knowledge across the entire AWS service catalog.   It can be both d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Compute
  • Database
  • fundamentals
  • networking
  • Security
  • Storage
Avatar
Adam Hawkins
— July 17, 2019

How to Become a DevOps Engineer

The DevOps Handbook introduces DevOps as a framework for improving the process for converting a business hypothesis into a technology-enabled service that delivers value to the customer. This process is called the value stream. Accelerate finds that applying DevOps principles of flow, f...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • DevOps
  • DevOps Foundation Certification
  • Engineer
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— July 2, 2019

AWS Machine Learning Services

The speed at which machine learning (ML) is evolving within the cloud industry is exponentially growing, and public cloud providers such as AWS are releasing more and more services and feature updates to run in parallel with the trend and demand of this technology within organizations t...

Read more
  • Amazon Machine Learning
  • AWS
  • AWS re:Invent
  • Machine Learning
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 27, 2019

AWS Control Tower & VPC Traffic Mirroring

AWS re:Inforce 2019 is a two-day conference for security, identity, and compliance learning and community building. This year's keynote, presented by AWS Vice President and CIO, Stephen Schmidt, announced the general availability of AWS Control Tower and the new VPC Traffic Mirroring fe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • re:Inforce 2019
  • traffic mirroring
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 20, 2019

Working with AWS Networking & Amazon VPC

Being able to architect your own isolated segment of AWS is a simple process using VPCs; understanding how to architect its related networking components and connectivity architecture is key to making it a powerful service. Many services within Amazon Web Services (AWS) require you t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 19, 2019

AWS Compute Fundamentals Update

AWS is renowned for the rate at which it reinvents, revolutionizes, and meets customer demands and expectations through its continuous cycle of feature and service updates. With hundreds of updates a month, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the changes made available.   Here ...

Read more
  • AWS
Jeff Hyatt
Jeff Hyatt
— June 18, 2019

10 Steps for an Effective Reserved Instances Strategy

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers three different ways to pay for EC2 Instances: On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. This article will focus on effective strategies for purchasing Reserved Instances. While most of the major cloud platforms offer pre-pay and reservation dis...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 18, 2019

AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 11 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Avatar
John Chell
— June 13, 2019

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some clear benefits: Increases marketability to employers Provides solid credentials in a growing industry (with projected growth of as much as 70 percent in five years) Market anal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
— June 11, 2019

Moving Data to S3 with Apache NiFi

Moving data to the cloud is one of the cornerstones of any cloud migration. Apache NiFi is an open source tool that enables you to easily move and process data using a graphical user interface (GUI).  In this blog post, we will examine a simple way to move data to the cloud using NiFi c...

Read more
  • AWS
  • S3
Avatar
Chandan Patra
— June 11, 2019

Amazon DynamoDB: 10 Things You Should Know

Amazon DynamoDB is a managed NoSQL service with strong consistency and predictable performance that shields users from the complexities of manual setup. Whether or not you've actually used a NoSQL data store yourself, it's probably a good idea to make sure you fully understand the key ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • DynamoDB