Different Levels of AWS Certifications Explained

Different Levels of AWS Certifications Explained

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Oct 18, 2021 18:23 IST

Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to lead in public cloud adoption, and as of March 2021, it offers 12 AWS certifications that cover both foundational and specialty cloud computing topics. AWS Certifications are divided into four levels or categories –

2021_03_AWS-CERTIFICATIONS.jpg

 

  • Foundational Certification
  • Associate Certifications
  • Professional Certifications 
  • Specialty Certifications

Image – Different levels of AWS certifications (Source)

Foundational Certification

It requires candidates to have at least six months of AWS cloud and industry knowledge. Foundational certification offered by AWS include:

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

This certification exam is meant for candidates who have the knowledge to effectively demonstrate an overall understanding of AWS Cloud, independent of specific technical roles addressed by other AWS Certifications.

Recommended experience and knowledge –

  • Candidates should have at least six months of experience using the AWS cloud in any role, including technical, administrative, financial, sales, and purchasing.
  • Candidates should have a basic understanding of IT services and their use cases on the AWS cloud platform

Read more – What is AWS certification?

Associate Certifications

Associate certifications require candidates to have one year of experience in implementing solutions using AWS cloud. Associate-level certifications offered by AWS include:

2. AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)

AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification exam confirms your ability to identify and define requirements for an Amazon Web Services-based application and to follow best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.

Learn how to become an AWS Solutions Architect.

Recommended experience and knowledge –

  • Excellent understanding of typical multi-tier architectures: web servers (Apache, nginx, IIS), caching, application servers, and load balancers
  • RDBMS (MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server), NoSQL
  • Knowledge of message queuing and Enterprise Service Bus (ESB)
  • Familiarity with loose coupling and stateless systems
  • Understanding of different consistency models in distributed systems
  • Experience with CDN and performance concepts
  • Network experience with route tables, access control lists, firewalls, NAT, HTTP, DNS, IP, and OSI Network
  • Knowledge of RESTful Web Services, XML, JSON
  • Familiarity with the software development lifecycle
  • Work experience with information and application security, including public-key encryption, SSH, access credentials, and X.509 certificates

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3. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate)

The AWS Certified Systems Operations Administrator – Associate Level exam certifies technical expertise in deploying, managing, and operating on the AWS platform.

Recommended experience and knowledge –

  • One or more years of hands-on experience operating AWS-based applications
  • Experience provisioning, operating, and maintaining systems running on AWS
  • Ability to identify and qualify to define a solution to be built and operated on AWS
  • Capabilities to provide assistance in the operation and deployment on AWS of guidance and best practices throughout the life cycle of a project

Explore AWS Certification Online Courses & Certifications

4. AWS Certified Developer (Associate)

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certified Developer – Associate Level exam validates technical expertise in developing and maintaining applications on the AWS platform.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Knowledge

  • Professional experience using AWS technology
  • Hands-on experience programming with AWS APIs
  • Understanding of AWS Security best practices
  • Understanding of automation and AWS deployment tools
  • Understanding storage options and their underlying consistency models
  • Excellent understanding of at least one AWS SDK

General IT Knowledge

  • Understanding of stateless and loosely coupled distributed applications
  • Familiarity developing with RESTful API interfaces
  • Basic understanding of relational and non-relational databases
  • Familiarity with messaging & queuing services

Top AWS Architect Interview Questions and Answers

Professional Certifications

Professional AWS certifications require candidates to have two years of comprehensive experience in designing, operating and implementing solutions using AWS Cloud. Professional-level certifications offered by AWS include:

5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional)

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Level exam validates advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Knowledge

  • AWS core services, including Compute and Networking, Storage and CDN, Database, Application
  • Services, Deployment and Management.
  • Security features that AWS provides and best practices
  • Able to design and implement for elasticity and scalability
  • Network technologies as they relate to AWS networking, including DNS and load balancing, Amazon
  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and AWS Direct Connect

General IT Knowledge

  • Large-scale distributed systems architecture
  • Eventual consistency
  • Relational and non-relational databases
  • Multi-tier architectures: load balancers, caching, web servers, application servers, networking and databases
  • Loose coupling and stateless systems
  • Content Delivery Networks
  • System performance tuning
  • Networking concepts including routing tables, access control lists, firewalls, NAT, HTTP, DNS, TCP / IP, OSI model
  • RESTful Web Services, XML, JSON

6. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional)

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer certification exam validates technical expertise in provisioning, operating, and managing distributed application systems on the AWS platform.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Knowledge

  • AWS Services: Compute and Network, Storage and CDN, Database, Analytics, Application Services, Deployment, and Management
  • Minimum of two years hands-on experience with production AWS systems
  • Effective use of Auto Scaling
  • Monitoring and logging
  • AWS security features and best practices
  • Design of self-healing and fault-tolerant services
  • Techniques and strategies for maintaining high availability

General IT Knowledge

  • Networking concepts
  • Strong system administration (Linux / Unix or Windows)
  • Strong scripting skillset
  • Multi-tier architectures: load balancers, caching, web servers, application servers, databases, and networking
  • Templates and other configurable items to enable automation
  • Deployment tools and techniques in a distributed environment
  • Basic monitoring techniques in a dynamic environment

AWS Certification Exam, Cost and Eligibility

Specialty Certifications 

 The technical AWS cloud experience at the specialty level varies as per different certifications. Specialty certifications offered by AWS include:

7. AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty

AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty certification exam is for candidates who perform complex networking roles.

Recommended experience and knowledge

  • Candidates should have a current AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or Associate-level certification: AWS Certified Solutions Architect,  AWS Certified Developer,  or  AWS Certified SysOps Administrator  – Associate
  • Advanced knowledge of AWS network concepts and technologies
  • Minimum of five years of practical experience in the design of architectures and in the implementation of network solutions
  • Advanced network architectures and interconnectivity options (e.g. IP VPN, MPLS / VPLS)
  • Network technologies within the OSI model and how they affect implementation decisions
  • Development of automation tools and scripts
  • CIDR and subnets (IPv4 and IPv6)
  • IPv6 transition challenges
  • Generic solutions for network security features, including WAF, IDS, IPS, protection against DDoS attacks and economic denial of service/sustainability (EDoS)

8. AWS Certified Security Specialty

AWS Certified Security Specialty certification exam is for candidates who are in security roles.  

Recommended experience and knowledge

  • At least two years of hands-on experience protecting AWS workloads
  • Security controls for workloads on AWS
  • Minimum of five years of IT security experience in relation to the design and implementation of security solutions

9. AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty

AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty certification exam is for candidates who are in development or data science role.  

Recommended experience and knowledge

  • At least two years of hands-on experience protecting AWS workloads
  • Security controls for workloads on AWS
  • Minimum of five years of IT security experience in relation to the design and implementation of security solutions

10. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty

AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty certification exam is for candidates who perform the role of Alexa skill builder. It validates a candidate’s ability to build, test, and publish Amazon Alexa skills.

Recommended experience and knowledge

  • At least 6 months of hands-on experience building Alexa skills using the Alexa Skills Kit, including skills that incorporate services from the AWS Cloud
  • Proficiency with a programming language
  • Published an Alexa skill

Top 10 Reasons to learn AWS – Services and Benefits

11. AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty

AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty certification exam intends to validate a candidate’s expertise in AWS data lakes and analytics services.

Recommended experience and knowledge

  • At least 5 years of experience with data analysis technologies
  • At least 2 years of practical experience working with AWS
  • Knowledge and experience working with AWS services to design, build, secure, and maintain analytics solutions

12. AWS Certified Database Specialty

AWS Certified Database Specialty certification exam intends to validate a candidate’s expertise in AWS database services.

Recommended Knowledge and Experience

  • At least 5 years of experience with database technologies
  • At least 2 years of hands-on experience working on AWS
  • Experience and expertise working with on-premises and AWS-Cloud-based relational and non-relational databases

An AWS certification not just validates your cloud knowledge but also demonstrates your dedication and willingness to learn. Obtaining one of these degrees is not going to guarantee a job by itself (the most relevant thing is and will always be your experience and being able to demonstrate what you know how to do), and it gives you a competitive advantage over candidates who are not certified. A valid AWS credential will help you stay at the forefront of innovation. Based on your professional aspirations and line of work, choose the one that fulfills your requirements.

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About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio