One of the most popular cloud computing services used by organizations and businesses worldwide is AWS. It is a one-stop solution for companies, whether it is about the migration of databases or delivery of content. With this, the opportunities for cloud computing professionals are increasing tremendously. More and more IT professionals are pursuing AWS certifications. Currently, AWS offers 12 certifications that range from foundational to speciality cloud computing topics.
Having an AWS certification shows that a professional has skills that are acquired from a globally recognized body in cloud computing. With AWS cloud architect certification, professionals stand out amongst their peers and their familiarity and knowledge of the best practices in cloud architecture is validated. To become AWS certified, there are few steps that professionals can follow:
- Take an AWS training course for the AWS certification that you want to acquire. With this, professionals can build their foundation and increase their knowledge of AWS as well as cloud computing.
- Professionals should review all the Study Guides that are available for their choice of certification.
- They can also read AWS whitepapers as these contain valuable information which might answer their questions.
- Professionals should take practice exams that can make them familiar with the actual certification exam.
- Once an individual feels that they’re prepared, they can schedule the exam. Based on the certification that one is pursuing and their level of experience, it can take anywhere between 80 to 120 hours to prepare for the exam and acquire the certification of your choice.
It is recommended that before pursuing a speciality level certification, professionals pursue the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. It is an entry-level certification that validates a candidate’s understanding of the AWS cloud foundations. For acquiring this certificate, it is advised that professionals have minimum of 6 months of general AWS cloud experience in any role. It is a 90-minute exam that consists of multiple-choice questions.
One of the most in-demand and popular AWS certifications is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate-level and Professional-level certifications. These are in-demand and such certifications tend to fetch higher average salaries. The average annual salary for certified AWS Solutions Architects can go as high as $155,000.
The main responsibility of an AWS Solutions Architect is to deploy applications to infrastructure in the AWS cloud. One of the main reasons why major companies have shifted towards the cloud is cutting costs. With the cloud, companies don’t have to invest in on-premises infrastructure. This may sound simple but it isn’t. This is where AWS Solutions Architects come into play. They are responsible for creating a design that also addresses critical factors such as performance, reliability, usability and scalability apart from cost-cutting. Their duty also includes minimizing risks such as calculation errors or data breaches that an organization might face. For these responsibilities, a deep understanding of AWS cloud is required.
To become an AWS Solutions Architect, professionals need to pass the AWS Solutions Architect – Associate level examination. It is a 130-minute exam that consists of multiple-choice as well as multiple-answer questions. The score range for the exam is 100 to 1000, out of which candidates need to score a minimum of 720 to pass the exam. The exam fee is $150 for the Associate level exam and $300 for the Professional level exam. There is an option to take the exam in various languages including English, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Japanese. If an individual is not able to pass the exam successfully, they can retake it after fourteen days and they can take it as many times as they want. The AWS Solutions Architect Certification is valid for three years and can be renewed every year after that.
The AWS Solutions Architect exam consists of five sections –
- Design Resilient Architectures
- Define Performant Architecture
- Specify Secure Applications and Architectures
- Design Cost-Optimized Architectures
- Define Operationally Excellent Architectures
Professionals can prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect exam by taking a training course for building their foundation for the exam. However, training courses alone aren’t enough preparation for it. Along with that, professionals should dive deep into specific AWS services including Amazon VPC, RDS, S3, Kinesis, Lambda and Serverless Components. They should also go through Whitepaper, an AWS Storage Services Overview that contains various scenario-based questions regarding the kind of storage that can be used. With this, professionals can learn the differences between them and when to use each storage service. Apart from this, professionals need to learn the test-taking strategies that would be beneficial for the AWS Solutions Architect exam. To successfully pass the exam, professionals need to use the elimination technique for each question and read every question twice. The questions in the exam are tricky so candidates should take their time to read the question properly and then answer. They should also use the “Mark for Review” feature liberally so that they can come back to questions that they want to review in the end.
There is a significant lack of AWS professionals who are experienced, which is why now is the right time to pursue the AWS Solutions Architect certification and progress your career in the cloud computing industry by getting certified. There aren’t any prerequisites for acquiring the AWS Solutions Architect certification, however, some prior experience of at least one year working with AWS is considered beneficial. Any professional who is interested in hosting applications on AWS, that is fault-tolerant and highly scalable can go for this certification. It is suitable for professionals who are Cloud Software Engineers, Programmers, DevOps Professionals, Cloud Developers and Programmers.
After getting certified as an AWS Solutions Architect, professionals can take their career to the next level and prove their expertise in the field of AWS. With this certification, they will be able to design systems that are reliable, cost-efficient, high-performing and secure. They can work as Solutions architects, IT managers, System administrators, Software developers, Solution design engineers and Testing professionals after pursuing the AWS Solutions Architect certification.