Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?

More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can master. Even if you choose to focus on two of the biggest cloud platform providers, meaning Azure vs. AWS, it’s not going to be an easy choice.

In this article, we’ll help you determine which certification path provides a brighter future for career progression. When you’re ready to start certification training, Cloud Academy has an extensive library of certification learning paths. Each learning path includes video-based courses, quizzes, cert prep exams, and plenty of hands-on labs to give you actual experience working on the cloud platform.

Azure vs. AWS: Cloud Academy Certification Learning Paths

Now let’s get right into the Azure vs. AWS certification details with this guide.

Azure vs. AWS: Why should I get certified?

If you’re an expert on cloud technologies, you can just walk into an interview, nail it, and get a job. However, if you’re starting out with the cloud tech, you may need proof of expertise to land that interview in the first place.

How can you prove you’re a good candidate to your prospective employer? Conveniently enough, the most popular platforms offer certifications that most often show that you’re good enough. Here are three main benefits of getting certified: 

Learn as you study

Setting the certification as a goal is a great way to push yourself to study harder. If you’re at a loss about where would you start with learning cloud technology, start with the certification requirement. It gives you a clear roadmap to the basics, so you’ll know what you’re doing every step of the way.

Also, it will be easy to find all the materials you need to study online. Cloud Academy has courses on both Azure and AWS as well as plenty of additional material. Follow the blog in addition to a certification course, and you’ll get simple explanations of complex subjects, such as AWS regions and availability zones. 

The certification may also serve as a motivator for you. If you’re having trouble committing to your personal projects, a booked certification exam will be a great motivation to study harder.

Get hands-on skills

Since even the basic certifications in both Azure and AWS require you to solve problems, you need some hands-on skills before you start the exam. You can learn to implement cloud technology with your own project or make it easier for yourself and start with baby steps.

Lab challenges help you get used to implementing cloud solutions and push you further in understanding what you’re doing.

Open new opportunities

Ultimately, a certificate in either Azure or AWS is a way of getting a higher paying position. Whether you’re looking to switch careers or to get a raise on your current job, having a certificate that proves your skills is a must-have perk.

Azure vs. AWS: Which certification is harder to obtain?

If you were to start studying hard for a certification, it would chip away at your time with family and friends. Since you’re making a sacrifice, you need to know what path will take you to your goals faster.

Both Azure and AWS can be hard if you’re trying to learn the platform without having a clue about what you’re doing, or it can be very easy if you’re sufficiently guided. However, many IT professionals claim AWS is much easier to learn and to get certified in.

For starters, AWS has software development kits (SDKs) for plenty of popular programming languages and follows the new trends to modify those SDKs. Until 2019, Azure only supported C++ and C# applications. Now the SDKs for Java, Python, and JavaScript have been around for a year, but many developers claim C languages still have slightly better support.

AWS also goes out of its way to make learning a breeze. It has three times as many materials on the platform as Azure (123 e-learning items for AWS Cloud Practitioner learning path vs 78 total for all Azure paths). AWS also has a free version you can use forever to polish cloud skills.

Azure vs. AWS: Which cloud service is more popular?

In terms of popularity, there’s no debate. AWS wins hands down. Even though Azure does have about a third of the market, AWS leads by more than 10%.

Azure vs. AWS: Application workloads


As this graph shows, over 41% of applications and services use AWS instead of any other cloud service. AWS’s clients include both huge companies like NASA and small ones like Ivory Research. Jack de Sullen, the co-founder of Ivory Research, shared his perspective as an employer:

“When we were choosing the cloud service, there wasn’t even a question. AWS is the most widespread platform today, so we won’t have any compatibility or support issues, ever. This is why we went for Amazon.”

Now, AWS may be in the lead, but this doesn’t mean Azure is worthless for getting a job. It does have a third of the market which means it is widely used. Don’t neglect it just yet.

Azure vs. AWS: Which do employers prefer?

The biggest factor in whether you want to get an Azure vs. AWS certification is the job you want to get. You need to find an employer or employers you want to work for and look up what certifications they require. If your dream job requires Azure, forget about market trends, and start learning Azure.

If you are worried about what the majority wants, here are the facts. Indeed has over 16,000 positions that you’d qualify for with an Azure certification. The number for AWS positions is much higher at 29,000 positions.

Plenty of jobs treat certifications from either Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud Platform as a plus. However, there are dozens of jobs that only want to see an AWS certificate. For instance, this McAfee job listing doesn’t need Azure or Google Cloud Platform.

Job description

Source: McAfee/Indeed

Azure vs. AWS: Which certification should I choose?

Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you want to get certified in a cloud technology that is the most popular today, go for AWS. It’s ahead of any other cloud service provider in terms of market share and will probably continue to top the charts. Most employers will be glad to talk to you if you have an AWS certification but aren’t certified in Azure.

Does your dream job require an Azure certification? Do you have all the necessary requirements except proficiency in Azure? Then getting certified in this technology is a safe bet and you can stop worrying whether you should drop your passion and go for the more popular technology.

Don’t forget that even though AWS is the leading technology right now. But Azure does have a third of the market, so it’s a great option as well. A whole 16,000 positions on Indeed will welcome an Azure certification holder. Most of those will be open to a person with an AWS certification as well, but if you want to study Azure, it can land you a job.

AWS may be leading Azure in terms of the availability of free learning materials, but it can be helped. Cloud Academy has a huge number of courses on both AWS and Azure, so you can cross that problem off your list.

The single biggest factor that will determine whether you can or can’t get a certain job is not just the certification you have. It’s the hands-on knowledge that you end up with if you study for the certificate well enough.

Whatever certificate you choose to pursue, make sure it comes with knowledge and practice.

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