Which AWS certification is right for you and your career? Find out in this comprehensive guide from the cloud experts.

Amazon Web Services certifications are among the hottest – if not the hottest IT certifications right now – and are poised to become even more significant in the future.

AWS has established an overwhelming lead in the public cloud market. Even with the hurried ramping-up of several tough competitors such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Engine, and Rackspace, AWS is far and away the preminent public cloud platform today, with a dazzling array of proprietary services that continues to grow.

There are two key reasons as to why AWS certifications are hot in the job market in the current cloud-oriented job market:

  1. There’s a dire need for skilled cloud engineers, developers, and architects – and the current shortage of experts is expected to continue into the foreseeable future.
  2. AWS certifications stand out for their thoroughness, rigor, consistency, and appropriateness for critical cloud engineering positions.

AWS places equal emphasis on a sound conceptual knowledge of its entire platform, as well as on a hands-on experience with the AWS infrastructure and its many unique and complex components and services.

When a prospective employer sees your AWS certification, they know you are qualified. With the ubiquity of AWS and its domination of the public cloud market, that’s truly a big deal when it comes to getting hired. 

Why bother with an AWS certification? Here’s why it matters.

Simply put, an AWS certification shows you have the skills and the knowledge to design, deploy, or manage applications on Amazon Web Services. If you’re AWS-certified, it tells potential employers that you’ve what it takes to build and manage AWS solutions for them.

While getting certified is a sure door opener for you when seeking a new job, there’s another great reason for wanting to get AWS-certified. When you go through the training and learning involved in passing the rigorous exams, you gain an extraordinary amount of knowledge. If you’re already working with AWS, the test preparation process helps you strengthen your knowledge by clarifying key concepts. If you’re new to AWS, of course, you’ll learn what AWS is all about, and learn how to work competently with it.

The Five AWS Certification Types Currently Available

AWS offers five certifications at the present time. You can take one or more of these certification exams, depending on your technical background and aptitude, and the particular track you want to follow. Here’s the list of certifications:

So, there are three basic ground level Associate exams, and two advanced level certifications categorized as Professional certifications. The certification exams at the associate level don’t require a prior certification. The Professional-level exams require you to have passed an Associate-level certification exam. While even an Associate certification will mark you as a capable and experienced AWS professional, the Professional level exams mark you as an expert in the area, and employers highly valuable job candidates who have attained it.

Now that you know the various certifications and their levels, let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements for taking the exams.

Candidate Eligibility for AWS Certification Exams

Each of the five AWS certification exams may have different eligibility requirements, including prior AWS certifications at a lower level. Associate exams don’t require any prior AWS certifications.

The two Professional exams expect you have two or more years of hands-on experience. Does Amazon actually verify and ensure that you have the recommended level of experience with AWS? No, Amazon doesn’t insist on any proof that you’ve actual experience. However, the exams reflect the depth and range of knowledge that’s typically gained by working hands-on with AWS services

What You Should Expect to See on the Exam

In order to fare well on the AWS certification exams, it’s critical that first understand their structure. This process includes learning the content domains, question formats, and importantly, the breakdown of the questions across the content domains.

  • Question format: The cert exams follow the standard multiple-choice format and last for about an hour and a half, with a passing score of 65%. So, in case you were worried about being perfect to pass the exam, relax! You can get just two-thirds of the questions correct and get certified!
  • Content domain: One thing you ought to really understand about all the AWS exams is that they’re quite comprehensive. For example, if you take the SysOps Administrator Certification exam, you’ll find that the test really does a great job of covering just about all the expected areas if systems and operations, such as deployments, migrations of applications, and the emigration of on-premise applications to AWS.
  • Question area breakdown: AWS gives you a breakdown of the exam in terms of different areas of knowledge

A Quick Tour of the Five AWS Certification Exams

Let’s take a quick spin around the 5 certifications exams (more exams are in development). Hopefully, you’ll find one or more areas that match your interest and training, and that’ll be the area in which you want to get AWS certified. For example, someone with a background in systems administration and networking is a natural fit for getting certified as a SysOps Administrator. By the way, several professionals certify in multiple areas, in order to broaden their horizons as well as to put themselves in a position to qualify for a position in multiple areas.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam is designed for those with some experience in designing distributed applications. The exam expects you to not only be experienced in designing the applications, but also know how to do it on the AWS platform.

In order to do well on this exam, you must:

  • Know network technologies, especially how they work in AWS
  • Know how AWS-based applications work, and how client interfaces, connect to the AWS platform
  • Understand how to build secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform
  • Be able to deploy hybrid systems – those that have some on-premise data center as well as AWS components

The exam domains include the design of highly available and scalable systems, (requires familiarity with AWS infrastructure and concepts), implementation and deployment in AWS, AWS related data security practices, disaster recovery techniques, and troubleshooting.

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

The AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam is all about developing and maintaining AWS-based applications. You really must know how to write actual code that uses AWS provided software to access AWS applications from within your custom business applications. Here’s what this certification exam looks for:

  • Understanding of the basic AWS architecture, and the core AWS services that make AWS standout among all the cloud vendors
  • Hands-on experience designing, developing, deploying, and maintaining applications
  • Working knowledge of applications that utilize key AWS services such as AWS databases, notifications, and workflow services, as well as its storage, and change management services.

AWS Certified Sysops Administrator – Associate

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate exam is the only certification fully geared towards system administrators. Therefore, passing this exam requires you to have technical expertise and conceptual knowledge of the operational aspects of the AWS platform. If you’re currently one, or have previously worked as a Linux or Windows administrator, you have a leg up on the competition, so to speak.

Deployment and operations are the essence of this exam. Thus, you’ll be expected to have a thorough understanding of the following:

  • Deploying applications to the AWS platform
  • Sending and receiving data between data centers and AWS
  • Selecting the appropriate AWS services to meet an organization’s needs

Provisioning systems, managing and securing them are the key requirements of a system administrator’s job, so you’ll need to understand how to do all those tasks in an AWS environment. While traditional system administration skills do carry over to AWS operations, there are many unique concepts and proprietary AWS products that you need to work with to succeed as an AWS systems administrator. AWS based systems are usually mission critical to an organization, so it’s good if you’ve some type of hands-on experience, even if it be in a tangential fashion (say by working intensively in lab environments) as an AWS systems administrator,  before jumping in to take your SysOps certification test.

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

The DevOps Engineer certification is all about provisioning, operating, and managing applications on the AWS platform. This exam focuses heavily on continuous delivery (CD) and automation of processes, two fundamental concepts of the DevOps movement. This certification test expects you to know:

  • The basics of modern CD methodologies
  • Implement CD systems
  • Setup monitoring and logging systems on AWS
  • Know how to implement highly available and scalable systems on the AWS platform
  • Know how to design and manage tools that enable the automation of production operations

You must have either the AWS Certified Developer or the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator certification in hand before you can attempt the DevOps Engineer certification exam. Amazon expects you to have a couple of years of experience in provisioning and managing AWS-based applications, as well as a firm understanding of modern application development such as the agile development methodology.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

The Certified Solutions Architect Professional certification requires a high degree of technical skill and experience designing AWS-based applications. You must know which of AWS’s array of services are best suited to the needs of your applications. You must also be able to migrate complex application systems over to AWS. Finally, the certification expects you to know how to implement cost control strategies.

The Solutions Architect – Professional is the pinnacle of all the AWS certifications. You must first take the Associate level exam before you can sit for this certification exam.

A professional AWS architect is somebody who can evaluate an organization’s requirements and make architectural recommendations for implementing and deploying the organization’s’ applications on AWS. He or she should be aware of the best practices for architecting the designing of applications on the AWS platform.

How to Prep for AWS Certification Exams

While there are a few people can just jump in and pass the AWS certification exams, most of us would do well by preparing for them ahead of time. To pass the exams on your first try, you must have some type of plan to navigate the test successfully. Cloud Academy can help you get the preparation you need to pass on the first try. 

Should you prep by yourself or get help?

As you go through the exam requirements, you’ll find out that taking an AWS exam is not as simple as cramming material from a book, or even from AWS’s own documentation. In order to be successful, you should know what to do in different scenarios. This means you should have some hands-on practice with many AWS technologies.

If you’re working with AWS already in some capacity, it certainly helps. However, most folks don’t have the opportunity to work hands-on with AWS technology. Not to worry, however! You can learn all the concepts and how to implement them, by working in a lab environment provided by an organization that specializes in AWS certifications.

The labs are really not that much different from real life AWS environments – so you get to learn the concepts in a realistic environment, working with the same commands and the same forms (screens for entering commands) as real life AWS professional do. You can get a free AWS account and try to learn everything yourself, but that path is going to be quite arduous, since you’ve to overcome all the tricky parts by yourself, with no one to hold your hands, and lead you out of the minefields you’re bound to encounter during “self-learning.”

Why Practice Exams are Crucial for Your Success

Learning the contents of the exam is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition to doing well on the exams. In order to do well, you must practice as many exams as possible. The practice exams will help only if their content and structure mimics the actual exam you’ll be taking. It’s a good idea, therefore to look for an established, successful organization that’s an expert in AWS exams, so you can work on a large number of realistic practice exams. Cloud Academy offers expert-designed self-test quizzes to help you get ready for the questions you’ll find on the actual exams

Good practice exams do two important things for you: they make sure you learn the contents over which you’re expected to show a mastery.

What Amazon Offers

Amazon offers an exam workshop as well as an available AWS Certification Exam Guide for each of the five certification exams. The guides outline the AWS and general IT concepts you’re expected to be conversant with for reach of the exams. Going through the guides will give you a very good idea about what each test covers and which areas you need to focus on during your test preparation. AWS whitepapers are a good source of information when you’re preparing for the certification exam.


AWS certifications never go out of style! AWS is an extremely dynamic platform, and it constantly comes up with new services, new features, and updated best practices. In order to keep you current and thereby enhance the value of our shared earned AWS certification, AWS offers a process called recertification that allows you to demonstrate your continued expertise and awareness of the new features and services.

For AWS training that helps you pass on the first try (and save a bunch of money), check out Cloud Academy today. We offer different membership tiers to give you the ability to pick and choose the prep tools you need. Let’s get started! 

  • Tausif Shaikh

    I am using the free 750 hours however i do not have any experience in AWS however i love cloud so can u suggest me what certification should i do first please

  • Diego Tiziani

    If I were you, I’d start from the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification. We have a specific learning path you can follow to get ready for the exam –> https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/. We also had an amazing webinar during which one of our AWS Trainers gave tips and tricks on how to pass the AWS exam: https://cloudacademy.com/webinars/preparing-aws-solutions-architect-associate-exam-11/.

    • Alex

      For someone who has managed to get all 5 ceritifcations at one sitting each but no prior IT experience, my hurdle now is getting a job. Any advice please.

  • Sanmay Mishra

    Hi I followed your notes to successfully pass the AWS Solution Architect Exam. I was planning to take the Sysops exam. I also took the sample questions on AWS site and felt that my preparation for Solution Architect was sufficient to excel on the practice Sysops exam. Would you concur or have anything different to share?

    • Congratulations on passing SA Assoc! I highly recommend doing the Sys Ops Associate learning path before sitting the Sys OPs Associate exam. The labs and courses in that learning path will help you build your knowledge and experience for the Sys Ops domain, and Eric provides some good tips for preparing for the exam in the content

  • Danish Abbas

    I am a storage Administrator and having a basic knowledge of other infrastructure domains as well ( like a networking , OS ) , could you please tell me which one from the above certification is related to my field and from where should I start learning .

    P.S. – I am very weak in programming and development .

  • Madhavi

    I am a linux System administrator. could you please let me know which certification i should do it .. which will be helpfull in my future..

    • I would aim for the Sys Ops Associate. if you are using the console everyday already. If you don’t feel comfortable with the console just yet, I’d start with the Developer Associate. Make sure you do the labs, they are a fantastic place to build your confidence!

  • Aradhana

    I am a sr. Java Developer with 10+ yrs of experience. Can you suggest me whether Developer or solution architect certification will be benifical for my carreer.

    • Developer, but consider the Solution Architect as well as it shows your knowledge / understanding of cloud concepts. Hoping you’ve started exploring CodeStar / Lambda / Step Functions cheers AL

  • Sachin

    I am an IT manager working on implementing various IT projects for my organisation at a business level not at a technical level. Previous to this i worked as a SAP functional consultant. I do not have any technical background neither in software development nor in networking. I want to switch my career to cloud computing and for that I am taking a training course in AWS solution architect. Is it a right decision and what I have to keep in mind to make it successful transition?

    • Hi Sachin I think SA Associate is a very good place to start. That will give provide you with a good grounding on the concepts of high availability, fault tolerance and scalability, which are fundamental concepts any cloud professional needs to understand. There are many opportunities in non technical roles where this knowledge will help in your transition. Advisory, consulting and project management are just a few of the areas where cloud skills are in high demand. I would also consider staying up to date with SAP. Migration, design and management of HANA on AWS is a focus area for specialization in the AWS partner community. A point in case being AWS Partner Soltius who was just recognised and awarded at the AWS Partner summit in Sydney for their work with SAP solutions on AWS.

      • Sachin

        So for me to get into even SAP – HANA in future, AWS solution architect knowledge will help me. Thanks, this gives me a positive feel about my decision.

        • SAP is a BIG focus for the AWS partner community, I think you are in the ideal position//

          • I would double down skills / best practices on migration, management and optimization. Let me know which SAP on AWS “how to” courses would be of value to you and the team, we will make it so. IMHO HANA on AWS is awesome //

          • Moyosore Fakeye

            I am very similar to Sachin as I have been involved in tech but mostly in project management (PMP Certified), so basically very much on the functional side, most of the aws positions I see are looking for someone that knows linux and scripting as well. Do you think it would make sense to learn linux and probably bash scripting before starting the aws journey as I would like to not only pass the exam but would like to be effective and productive at work

  • Rakesh Singh

    Hi ,

    I am oracle database administrator . Can anyone please suggest, which certification i need to go and what is the scope of DBA in AWS.

    Rakesh Singh

    • Diego Tiziani

      Hi Rakesh, it depends on your hands-on experience and the direction you’d like to take. Most of the people start from the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certifications and then go to the SysOps and the Developer, leaving the Professional at the end. Remember that each certification lasts 2 years and you have to renew it if you want to have a valid score on your resume (you just have to pass the last you take in terms of difficulty).

      • Rakesh Singh

        Thanks Diego. It seems there is not any specific certification for database admins right?

        • Hi Rakesh you already have a great skill base as an Oracle DBA so let’s think about how Cloud can add to that. Having a working knowledge of AWS RDS is going to be the quick win. So I’d suggest making the AWS Sys Ops Associate your target proof point for showing your proficiency with cloud DB. That said, it’s a hard exam, and IMHO not easy for DBA’s! However you can do it, and I’m hoping that gives you an incentive to do the learning paths and study hard as it is a valuable cert to have (ask any recruiter).

          So with that baseline achieved (let’s think 6 weeks)… I’d suggest shooting for the AWS Big Data Specialty certification (goes live end of May).

          It’s going to appeal to your data side over your DB admin side, but MHO that is the future of DB but feel free to tell me I am wrong! My thinking is, at some point you will need to extend your knowledge beyond PLSQL, RMAN and Oracle Cloud. I think there will be a lot of business customers looking for alternatives to their current database solution, and they will need people to help with that transition. Achieving the Big Data Speciality cert would be a value point to your employee / and to you in market. Understanding the AWS Data Migration Service is also a value point for customers who may want to consider migrating from Oracle to PostGres. Plse email me if this doesn’t make sense happy to talk me if useful cheers! AL

  • Ranjit Gupte


    I am a SharePoint Administrator/Consultant . All my previous roles have been in IT Infrastructure services. I want to transition into AWS Cloud Computing. But a bit confused with which exam to start. Can you please suggest with which certification should I begin?

    Thanks and Regards,

    • Hi Ranjit yes it can be confusing knowing where to start however as a Sharepoint administrator you already have a good understanding of how to implement and manage systems at scale. I would suggest starting with the solutions architect associate for AWS as this learning path builds a working understanding of how the various services can be used together to solve business problems. I think that context will appeal to your consulting side.
      From there you could consider progressing to Sys Ops Associate, or you could decide to double down on a more generic domain. There are 3 new AWS speciality certifications due to be GA end of May – security, networking and BigData. The security and networking domains may appeal to your admin side.

      I suggest also holding on to and exploring the Azure learning paths – and also looking in to Google Cloud Platform. You already have a working understanding of collaborative workspace services, so it may make sense to extend your knowledge in this domain. Understanding the differences of the various platforms (in an objective and pragmatic way) is a skill that is in demand in the consulting space. Customers what to understand and explore the options for collaborative working environments. Either way don’t worry you are in the right part of the industry! So don’t feel like you need to throw anything away. Just think about building out. Hope this helps cheers! a

  • Chintan Mehta

    Hi There,

    I am currently working as a Service Desk Analyst. all my previous roles are at level 1 and I want to enhance my career with AWS. But as confused as everybody else in this forum, Unsure where to begin with.

    Is CCNA and MCSA certifications are necessary before jumping into AWS?
    Also, I do not have any experience with Programming or Development.

    Can anyone please suggest where should I begin from?

    Any help is appreciated

    Chintan Mehta

  • nadeem khan

    Hi Andrew,

    I am currently working as DB2 UDB DBA along with managing my team as a lead , so my role is more of technical as well as managerial, could you please help me in identifying which certification should I consider. I am confused that shall I go for Sysops first or Soln Architect first.
    Your valuable advise will definitely help me out to take right decision.

    • Hi Nadeem – my advice as usually given when someone asks which exam to take first, and from experience (having sat 3 of the 5 AWS exams so far) – is often to start off with the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam first. This exam is the easiest of the lot – studying for this and passing it will boost your confidence in preparation for taking the other exams. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam tests a lot of high level *conceptual* AWS cloud related stuff across all the domains, compute, storage, and networking etc. Knowing and validating your skills across these areas will help you communicate effectively with your existing team.

      I would then sit the AWS Certified Sysops Administrator – Associate exam – this is more of a *fact* based exam – where you are tested on finer details and service specifics etc. Beyond these 2 exams – there is a Big Data speciality exam (due to be GA end of May 2017) and a AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam. The Big Data speciality exam would align with your current DBA role – its all things data related. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional exam – is heavily focused on assessing your cloud architecture skills – its a tough exam, but worth the time and effort to study and pass – it is highly recognised in the IT industry.

      CloudAcademy has excellent tools (Labs, quizzes) and content to help you with your pathway to AWS certification.

      Hope this helps

  • Rohit

    hey Andrew,
    i am a Sr Java Developer with more than 9 years experience and have implemented/developed PCF base applications. I was looking to explore AWS and follow it up with a AWS certification. Please suggest what certification i should do in AWS


  • Pavithra

    Hi Andrew,

    I am a Software Engineer having 6 months of experience working on Cloud.
    I would like your advice in knowing if I should write my Developer or Solutions Architect exam.
    My colleagues suggest I write Developer, as they feel to write a SA exam, a minimum of 1 year experience is needed.
    Could you please guide me further?


    • Go for developer – you can always so Sol Arch next cheers AL

  • Gar Poon


    I’ve been pondering in moving into and specialising in the AWS field for several months now to make a change from the Microsoft track of technologies. My background is that of a (probably a typical) 3rd Line Wintel Adminstrator, with a broad understanding of MS Servers, Citrix, Virtualisation, Networking and SCCM. Having looked into the three tracks, SysOps seems to be the only logical and viable route. Although Developers/SA seem to be more in demand, I have no real-world/work experience in coding/programming would I be correct in saying that those that follow the Developer route are those with successful coding backgrounds?

    Would like to specialise as a SA in the long-term but transitioning over to such a role seems little far-fetched at the moment!

    • Yes and no. True the job titles are changing, but the expertise required remains the same so you are in a good place.
      The gap in the market right now is people able to help a business transform and adopt the agility cloud services make possible. Every level of an organisation hears and sees the great results traditional businesses like General Electric, Conde Naste and (of course the start ups) Netflix, Ooyala, AirBNB, Spotify and Uber are having on AWS. It’s a compelling story and they naturally all want some of what they are having. The issue is – generally speaking – that a business interested in embracing this agility lacks the skills internally to make that transformation happen. That skill gap lacks a formal title right now, but generally involves a mix of development, infrastructure, project and business skills. That is the opportunity for any one with experience in both traditional and cloud services. Learn how to leverage cloud platforms and services, and with your knowledge and experience you are in the box seat. Being vendor agnostic is I think a compelling position for consultants right now // Cheers AL

  • Hi Rohit I’d suggest starting with the Certified Developer Associate certification – studying for that will give you a good understanding of cloud concepts while you explore how serverless and containers might help you build your future apps cheers AL

    • Rohit

      Thanks Andrew.

  • Akshay Kumar


    Can somebody tell me what’s the best cert for my area of expertise. I’m an senior Firewall engineer(network security consultant).

    Pretty confusing see below comments. Wondering AWS wthr has/gives good opportunities for Firewall & information security profilers.


    • Tharindu

      sounds like “AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate” place to start

      • Hi Akshay you are in the box seat. The assessment team at AWS mentioned informally that they plan to go general release with the Security Specialty Certification at the end of May. The security specialty certification would be a fantastic proof point for a security specialist like yourself looking to show expertise in cloud environments. Our team have been working hard on building a security learning path that meets this new cert brief and more. We want to help security specialists transfer their datacenter / on-prem skills to cloud environments! I think you’ll like the content, and the cert. We wil publish as soon as AWS go GA with the certification. Meanwhile I’d suggest studying for and sitting the Solution Architect Associate certification. Passing that demonstrates your understanding of cloud infrastructure best practices and mat tweak your interest in services such as WAF, SSM, Config, Cloudtrail and Trusted Advisor. Cheers AL

  • Dhaval Makvana


    I am a software engineer and am using AWS to host the website. I have currently launched an ec2 instance and all the content i.e. pics and videos, my databases are everything on that. So which exam would help me get better at using AWS effectively to build scalable systems

  • Pavansingh

    I am having 4+ years of experience in Testing. I want to start career in AWS, which path is suitable for me?? is it beneficial for a tester to do AWS???

    • Diego Tiziani

      Hi Pavansingh,

      The AWS Developer certification seems a good start for you, https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/certified-developer-associate-aws-15/. Preparing for this AWS certification, you’ll learn how to identify the appropriate techniques required to code a proper cloud solution, how to implement the right architecture for development, testing, and staging environments, and you’ll be also able to implement best practices for debugging in AWS.

      If I were you, I’d also consider the AWS Solutions Architect Associate level certification at https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/. This specific learning path has been designed on the four major areas outlined in AWS’ exam guide: Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems; Implementation/deployment; Data security; Troubleshooting.

  • Diego Tiziani

    Hi Dhaval, if I were you I’d go for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate level. We have a great learning path based on the four major areas outlined in AWS’ exam guide: Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems; Implementation/deployment; Data security; Troubleshooting. With courses, labs, and quizzes, you will have everything you need to learn, build, and test your knowledge so you’ll be ready to demonstrate that you can effectively design and manage application infrastructure using AWS. Here’s the direct link: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/.

  • Tharindu

    Is it mandatory to take training class to do the exam? While I know it is very very useful, some exams actually has a necessity of taking course (ex: Certified Spring Professional)

    • No. Training is optional. Only pre-req is that you have to have passed an associate level certification to qualify to sit the professional certs // Cheers AL

  • abhishek mangal

    I am a network engineer..which AWS certificate will be suitable for me??

  • Sandeep

    Hi, Andrew, I’m into windows /VMware but i would like to switch to AWS. what could be the best Certification for me. Is SysOps is more worthy than Solution architect?

    • Diego Tiziani

      Hi Sandeep, if you wish to be comfortable deploying and managing full production operations on AWS then the SysOps Administrator Associate certification is for you! Designing highly available, cost efficient, scalable systems, data security, and troubleshooting are some of the topics you’ll be able to master with the AWS Solutions Architect Associate level certification instead!

      If I were you, I’d start from the SysOps and learn how to deploy AWS solutions for different scenarios and then focus on the AWS Solutions Architect at https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/.

  • Joel Britto

    Hi Andrew, I have been part of Operations team supporting applications involved in managing Application availability/improve stability. Now, the applications are being moved to cloud infrastructure. In order to support the applications on cloud, which one of these certificate would help?

    • I think start on the SysOps Associate Learning Path with a goal to achieving the Dev Ops Administrator Professional. Cheers AL

  • PK

    Hi, I am a 10+ years of experienced Microsoft ASP.net Programmer/lead. Any thoughts on which AWS course I should aim for? I have no experience with AWS at all. Thanks

    • Diego Tiziani

      Hi PK, AWS Fundamentals learning path might help you! It’s high-quality content you can follow to learn some core cloud principles like distributed storage, concurrent computing, redundancy, and security! The hands-on labs are also very helpful, look at https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/.

  • Vaishnavi B

    I have overall 11+ years of experience software industry in that 8 years of experience in testing and 3 years of experience in Project Manager. Currently working in cloud migration project but its not purely technical role. I want to complete AWS Solution Architect certification. Is this certification helpful for me to find jobs in solution architect position ? and how job offers after completion certification. Kindly help me , I am totally confused

  • Luli Leo

    hello there
    if Im new to network and IT field and i want to learn Aws what courses should i take?

    • Mas_Tacos

      You can take an AWS Essentials course and that will give you an overview. Then you can see what direction you would like to take. I would also focus on linux and scripting.

  • Nicole

    Hi I have 2+ years experience as a Security Analyst-Data Loss Prevention and I am wanting to obtain an AWS certification. Which certification do you recommend? I am hoping to get into some sort of cloud security and not really sure where to begin.

  • Vinothkumar Gomu

    Hi I have 5 years of experience as a SOA middleware administrator. Have minimal experience on development piece so far. I want to appear for an AWS certification. Which certification do you recommend? Looking for some learning path to begin.

  • Santosh

    I have 10 years of exp. in infrastructure network. Which AWS certification program I should chose. Also is it required to have knowledge of Linux is important.

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi, Santosh. I will recommend you to start with the AWS Solutions Architect – Associate certification. You can start to study with our specific learning path: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/. You might be more comfortable knowing a bit of Linux but it not as required as it is for other certification, like the Sysops Administrator – Associate certification. Hope it helps!

  • sandeep

    Hi I have 2+ years of experience as a Programmer Analyst in Production Support environment. I have minimal experience on development, Do i need to have prior knowledge of working or developing in the cloud environment to take the AWS certification?.

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hello, Sandeep. If you want to take any AWS Certification, you need to be comfortable with the AWS console and with the fundamental concepts of cloud computing. You can start with the Solution Architect Associate certification. I suggest you have a look at this learning path, that provides all the training you need: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/. Feel free to reach us if you need more information!

  • Sasank Jonna

    I have been a Microsoft shop Developer for the last 13 years (for the entire of my career). Worked on Desktop, web, sharepoint, SQL server, Project server applications with C#,VB,.Net, SQL, JS, Jquery being primary skills.

    Now with the cloud boom happening, and seeing all the companies moving to cloud platforms now or sooner, I thought I at least need to understand what it is all about. Thats where I landed here.

    But having been on Microsoft platform all these years, one would expect me lurking around Azure than AWS. So that where I need Gurus advice. Am I in the right place? Does my back ground of working in MS platform have any negative impact if I want to pursue a career in AWS?

    Which Certifications and which path I need to take in this AWS world so that it aligns with my background? Should I see these AWS certifications as starting points of new phase of my career or is just an add-on to my resume?

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Sasank! I don’t think that your previous experience might be a negative point, on the contrary! To start your career with AWS and cloud computing, AWS certifications are definitely to consider. Not only it will give you a strong knowledge of the platform, it will also give you a lot of credit in front of a potential employer. Have a look at each certification but I recommend to start with the Solution Architect – Associate certification. We created a specific learning path to cover each area of the exam: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/. Don’t hesitate to reach us for more information or guidance if needed!

      • Sasank Jonna

        Thanks Julie. But how should I market myself? As an experienced .Net developer with AWS certification? Or just as a AWS Certified person with development back ground.

        Please note that I would be having zero experience on AWS except the certifications.

        In a nutshell, I am trying to understand how my career would progress if go for these AWS certifications.

        • Julie Tessaro

          Hi, Sasank! First of all, your previous experience is definitely something to highlight! You have a lot of experience and knowledge to put forward. Secondly, if you train and pass an AWS certification that will be a solid proof of your AWS abilities. As an IT guy, having a previous experience with Microsoft and then moving to AWS show that you’re able to learn and that’s definitely something valuable.
          Have a nice day and feel free to reach me if needed :)

  • Kunal Patil

    Hello, I have 3 years 6 months experience in IT Networking domain mainly in data as well as in security. I am currently serving as a Network Administrator for a renowned IT consulting firm. I have mainly worked on Cisco devices, HP, Juniper (Routers, Switches, Firewalls etc.).
    I feel paranoia when I think about my future as a Network Engineer as the industries are moving to PaaS. I really don’t know which direction shall I move into Cloud computing cause technically I feel left behind because it seems programmers/developers going to snatch all these cloud computing jobs & there is no room for a Networking guy like me in AWS (or perhaps in any other cloud platforms).
    Given my Networking experience & knowledge, is there any path in AWS (or anywhere in cloud platforms) where I can pursue which will give me much needed career advancement? Thanks in advance.

  • Naresh Dubaka

    Hi Folks,

    I am a fresh graduate I would like to pursue my carrier in AWS Cloud Technology and I am thinking about to write certification I am interested in Administration and I had learnt IBM Websphere and I know the core concepts of Websphere administration so what type of certification should I write? and which type of certification is suitable for me?


  • Seg

    Hello All,
    I am an IT Business Analyst and I want to start a career in AWS. Pls can u kindly advice which career path would be the best path for me to follow. Although I had a background in Networking before changing to IT BA about 5/6 years ago. Pls would be expecting your feedback

  • Sandeep Lingarkar

    Hello All,

    I’m a sql server DBA with 9+ years of exp. Can you please suggest me which AWS certification is related and suitable to me.


    • Diego Tiziani

      Hi Sandeep, you could start from the AWS Solutions Architect associate level certification. You’ll get to know all different services like EC2, VPC, S3, IAM, DynamoDB, Route 53, CloudFront, CloudWatch, CloudTrail, SQS, Direct connect, Storage gateway, Glacier and many other services. Following our specific learning path, you’ll be ready for the AWS exam. Have a look at https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/ and good luck!

  • “The three Professional exams expect you have two or more years of hands-on experience.” I think you mean two professional certifications.

  • Julie Tessaro

    Hi Udhaya! Thanks, we are happy to help :) Regarding your background, I would suggest taking the Solutions Architect Associate certification: it’s the most accessible one. You can check this specific training: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/solutions-architect-associate-aws-14/ – it will definitely help you to be ready! You will get both the theoretical and practical knowledge you need thanks to a combination of courses and hands-on labs. In any case, my advice is to get a lot of practice with the AWS console: it’s key to success. Don’t hesitate to reach me if you have another question!

    • Udhaya Kumar

      Thank you a lot. Im in India is there a specific procedure to enrol to this course and also I dont have programming knowledge will that be issue learning this course and one last question upon completion of this course what will I be able to perfom in Aws please…..

      • Julie Tessaro

        Hi Udhaya! There is no specific procedure to enrol, you just have to sign-up. For this training, you don’t need any programming knowledge. You will learn:
        about AWS Foundations: Compute, storage, and services. Designing highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems: teaches you to recognize and explain the core architecture principles of high availability, fault tolerance, and cost optimization. Then, you will go through the core AWS components that can enable highly available solutions when used together so you can recognize and explain how to design and monitor highly available, cost efficient, fault tolerant, scalable systems. To finish, you will even be able to test you skills and see if you’re ready to pass this exam. Let me know if you need anything else! Have a nice day.

        Domain two: Implementation/deployment. Learn to apply the design principles, components, and services we learned in the previous courses in this learning path to design and build a highly available, scalable application. We then apply our optimization principles to identify ways to increase durability and cost efficiency to ensure the best possible solution for the end customer.

        Domain three: Data security: learn to recognize and explain platform compliance for AWS, and be able to both recognize and implement secure procedures for optimum cloud deployment and maintenance, including understanding the shared responsibility security model, and knowing what that looks like in practice.

  • abhishek

    Hi there, i have one year of experience as a java developer. Can you suggest me the best course for me

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Abhishek! If you want to start with AWS, I recommend taking this course: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/ and then move to the Associate certifications (in my opinion AWS Solutions Architect Associate is the most accessible one!). Let me know if you want more information, I would be happy to help!


  • Mcyanogen Hesham

    Hi there,
    Any good start for people with Cisco experience?


    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi! In order to start with AWS, I recommend getting some solid foundation with the platform first. You can have a look at this learning path for example: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/ and take some of our hands-on labs to practice. Then, you can move your training to the Solutions Architect – Associate exam – we have a dedicated training solution that will help you to cover each topic included in the certification!

  • Julie Tessaro

    Completely! Getting at least one Associate level is recommended before the AWS Networking specialty. You can even take the SysOps Associate – which is more difficult than the Associate in my opinion in a second step. Let me know if you need anything else, good luck!

  • Julie Tessaro

    Hi! If you have no prior experience, you can start with this introduction to AWS: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/. It will help you to see more clearly the components of the platform and therefore choose which certification will be best. In my opinion, SysOps Associate is definitely the most difficult one from all associate certifications: I will go first for the CSA and then move to SysOps. If you need anything feel else, feel free to reach me here! Have a nice day, Julie

  • Julie Tessaro

    Hi, Krishna! As you said, many customers are going to AWS cloud, so if you want to change your career, or simply know more about AWS, being certified is very useful. If you don’t have any previous experience with the platform and if you want to prove your abilities and skills: it’s a great way to start. I hope this will help!

  • govind raj

    Hello All,
    I am working as a server support Engineer in a web hosting company, now I am looking to do AWS certification. Can anyone suggest which certification is suitable for me ?
    Solutions Architect or SysOps ?

    Thanks in advance !!

  • Akshay Kulkarni

    Hello, as I’m a fresher(Computer Science & Engineering), which certification course will be good for me, do I need to know any basics of cloud computing before completing these certifications, what are the job opportunities as a fresher if I complete these certifications and any company other than amazon will recruit me or only amazon will recruit?

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Akshay. If you want to specialize in AWS, AWS certifications are great. It will help you to gain experience and credibility as a future professional. You will be able to have more opportunities in terms of jobs. My recommendation is to start with Cloud Computing Fundamental, like this introductory course: https://cloudacademy.com/cloud-computing/what-is-cloud-computing-introductory-course/. Then, have a look at the different Associate certification and choose the one that matches your profile. AWS Associate Solutions Architect is usually the most accessible one but it’s important that you choose the one where you feel comfortable. Hope it helps. Free to reach me if needed!

      • Akshay Kulkarni

        Thank you Julie Tessaro.

  • Sumit

    I am a newbie just been out working in tech support BPO’s and worried about future, can you suggest what course i must begin with? Also i am for a non technical background i.e. i can learn but i do not know programming language, server, domains and anything that even related on a networking or higher level.

    Please suggest.

  • Maya

    My career is nowhere related to AWS, was a Presales consultant for 3.5 years and now working as a Senior Analyst in a HR/Resource Management kinda role.. was considering AWS as one of the career options as I am interested to pursue this .. I have a Bachelor’s Degree(B.Tech) in Information Technology. Some valuable suggestions are welcome…

  • Avijit Pal

    Hello All,

    I’m a Middleware Technical Consultant with 11 yrs of experience in IT Infrastructure and also have shell scripting experience. Now I’m moving towards cloud technologies, but a bit confused which track will add more value to my career – “AWS SysOps/DevOps” or “AWS Solution Architect”. Can someone guide me on this please?

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Avijit! If you’re new to cloud computing technologies, you can start with the AWS Solution Architect. It’s the most accessible certification and it will help you to start building your AWS knowledge and career. After that, once you have more experience, going deeper and pass the SysOps certification and then the DevOps engineer is very valuable. These certifications are high demanded and should open you many new doors! Let me know if you need more advice. Have a nice day!

  • Preethi

    Hi,i am working in application operations simce 2 years, and have knowledge on devops ,i would like to choose aws as my career..no experience in coding.
    Can u pl suggest which certification is best to start with ? And how many years is the certification valid?

  • Harsha M

    Hi All,
    can someone suggest which AWS Career option will be good for me based on my profile and Technical Expose i have.
    I have 6 Years of Exp as MS SQL DATABASE ADMIN, currently working on the same.
    please suggest how AWS Sops will be in further.
    Thank you.

  • Gomes B

    Hi All, I am a PLSQL Developer with 10 years of Experience. I would like to have a career in AWS Bigdata and I wish to start the certifications for the same. But I could see that few certifications expect hands on experience. As a PLSQL developer, I do not have any hands on in Cloud or Bigdata. Kindly request you to give me some guidance on how to start he career in AWS. Also please let me know whether I will be eligible to take up certifications without hands on experience.
    Thanks in Advance,

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Gomes! It’s true that AWS recommends having hands-on experience before taking any certifications. It’s not mandatory, but to be honest, it’s useful to succeed. I will recommend starting your AWS journey with basic knowledge, to understand cloud computing and AWS. This learning path is a good example: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/. Then, you can create your AWS account and start practicing. Our hands-on labs are also great to get you familiar with the AWS console. We also have specific training to get you ready for the AWS Big Data Specialty exam, but it might be easier to start with the AWS Solutions Architect exam. Take some time to build your knowledge of AWS and to practice before jumping into one exam. Good luck!

      • Gomes B

        Thank you Julie. I will have a look in the learning path. I will revert for any queries.

  • Surbhi kalra

    Hi i am Working as a QA i would like to know which aws certification would be easier for me to learn as i am not very good in programming

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Surbhi. AWS Certifications are not so much about programming, so it’s pretty safe to start with the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam. My advice would be to begin with AWS fundamental (this learning path is a good example: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/) and then get a lot of practice with the AWS console. Training is critical to success. Good luck on your journey!

  • Himanshu Agrawal


    I am a Java/J2EE lead developer having more than 7 years of experience in developing and managing J2EE applications. I want to pursue AWS as a career option and little bit confused between AWS Developer and Solution Architect certifications. I do not have any AWS experience but I have cloud experience in PCF. I am more inclined towards Solution architect certification, any suggestions?

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Himanshu! The AWS Solution Architect Associate exam seems a pretty good start in your case. Make sure to get familiar with AWS first. This learning path can help you to discover the platform and AWS services: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/. Next, you should get some real practice with the AWS console. It’s really important to succeed. Hope it helps!

  • Partho Chatterjee

    Hi All,

    I am Red hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and currently working as a Dev/Ops Engineer with hands on CI/CD pipeline, Jenkins, Kubernetes, Docker, Meosos etc. So I want to get myself certified in AWS. What would you suggest me to start with and what should be the correct certification path? I would definitely go for Professional level as well.

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Partho. If you don’t have any prior experience with AWS, I recommend starting from the beginning. For example, this learning path is definitely useful to understand more about AWS services: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/. After that, you can start training for the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate and then for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional. Hope it helps!

  • Julie Tessaro

    Hi Rohit. If you’re interested in being a cloud architect, taking the AWS Solutions Architect – Associate is a good start. You can also have a look at this learning path, https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/considering-career-cloud-computing-29/ to understand more about careers in the cloud. It may help you to decide which path is really for you and therefore choose the right certification!

  • Onkar Goswami

    I am solaris System administrator having experience of 1.7 years. I wanted to learn AWS , but i am confused for should i start with sysops or solution architect ? Please guide me. Also tell me is it possible to study without any coaching i mean any special environment needed for practice?

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Onkar. First of all, you should start learning a bit more about AWS. This learning path about AWS fundamental can help you: https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/aws-fundamentals-1/. But learning is nothing without real-practice: you should open an AWS account or try one of our hands-on labs and get some real experience before trying to pass any of the Associate certification. After that, the Solution Architect Associate exam can be a good start. Hope it helps!

  • Borhan Brihan

    That’s a great post about AWS. Information of Certification is equally important. Bookmarked this site.

  • Paola

    Hi Keerthi

    Firstly a great choice! Developers who are able to build functions and apps on AWS services are in high demand.

    I’d recommend the Certified Developer for AWS LP https://cloudacademy.com/learning-paths/developer-associate-certification-preparation-for-aws-15/ as the best place to start. That gives you a good foundation for AWS services and the architecture and design best practices that will help you. The Certified Developer is IMHO the easiest of the certs to pass and so offers an industry recognizable qualification for potential employer and team mates. The Developer learning path outlines the benefits of decoupling layers and leveraging AWS manager services to design highly available applications. You also get a good introduction to DynamoDB with that LP.

    My advice is to give yourself 6 weeks learning before booking the exam. You might want to skip some courses, but try to do ALL the labs in the LP! You can test out your exam readiness for the cert exam with our preparation exam https://cloudacademy.com/quiz/33486/

    A major benefit of the AWS platform is serverless computing, and you can run C# code in Lambda serverless functions – something you might feel an immediate affinity for based on your experience with C++

    So a next step would be to do the Python Serverless LP https://cloudacademy.com/library/amazon-web-services/?topics=Compute&topics=Serverless or cherry pick labs and courses that suit your interest

    Let us know if we can help you more and let how you get on!

  • Emanon Junior

    Im a Junior network admin considering a career change, I already have intermediate understanding of network infrastructure, Thinking of solidifying my cloud fundamentals first after which should I start off with Architect and progress to SysOps (or) ignore architect cert and go for SysOps ?
    Also I have no programming knowledge would I require it at some point of architect or sysops cert

    • Julie Tessaro

      Hi Emanon. I would recommend starting with the Solutions Architect. It will help you to acquire solid skills on AWS and will definitely help you to then get ready to move on to the SysOps exam – which is one of the hardest one. Learning at least one high-level programming language will definitely be useful for the rest of your cloud career, even if you don’t need to master one to pass the Solution Architect.
      Good luck!

      • Emanon Junior

        Which programming language would I need to consider ?

        • Julie Tessaro

          Hi Emanon. You can consider Java or Python but as mention earlier, it’s definitely not mandatory to pass the exam. In my opinion, getting experience with the AWS console will be more helpful! Have a nice day!

  • Julie Tessaro

    Hello Ajinkya! I don’t really believe in one specific order, but one common path could be: AWS Solutions Architect Associate –> AWS Developer Associate Level –> AWS Solution Architect Professional. But feel free to skip the Developer exam if you feel ready for the Professional exam! Our preparation exam has been updated just this week, so don’t hesitate to try it to discover where you stand: https://cloudacademy.com/quiz/33539/. Hope it helps, Julie.