The Top AWS Exams and How to Prepare for Each of Them

With cloud computing trends experiencing a steep rise, many of the world’s largest businesses are increasingly shifting their workloads to Amazon’s cloud service, known as AWS (Amazon Web Services). 

AWS is currently the global market leader in the cloud computing space and continues to lead in public cloud adoption. The job search giant, Indeed.com, predicts that the AWS market will reach $236B by the end of this year at a CAGR of 22%, with more than 380,000 cloud computing jobs globally available. With more organizations running part or whole aspects of their business on AWS, the demand for cloud computing professionals will be on the rise soon.  

So, if you are looking to give your technical career a big push, investing in an AWS certification training program is going to be a smart decision. The best part is that AWS certifications are top-paying industry certifications. The average salary of an AWS-certified technology professional is now $129,868. There’s little doubt that AWS certifications are among the most popular and rewarding cloud certifications in the IT industry today.

Earning an AWS certificate will jump-start your technical career. And for those who are already working with AWS, it will help you upgrade your skills and stay on top of future trends. 

Let us begin by understanding why AWS Certification is so important.

AWS Beginner's Guide

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AWS Beginner's Guide

Why Should You Choose AWS Certification?

AWS certifications allow you to validate your proficiency in working with AWS cloud services. As one of the most in-demand cloud certifications in the market, AWS certifications stand out in their thoroughness in assessing candidates’ skills, laying great emphasis on on-hand experiences and best practices in cloud management, architecture, and security. Earning an AWS certification will easily:

  • Highlight the in-demand skills of an IT professional in cloud computing 
  • Improve their marketability in leaps and bounds
  • Provide them with solid credentials in an industry that is projected to grow almost 70% by the next five years

Covering foundational, associate-level, and specialty cloud computing topics, AWS currently offers 12 certifications. 

Online Training Programs – Best Way to Prepare for AWS Certifications 

If you’re still wondering which one of the many AWS certificates to pursue and in what order, or figuring out how to manage time from your busy schedule to prepare for the AWS exams, Simplilearn’s AWS Certification Courses can efficiently help you prepare for AWS exams and be successful in earning your valuable AWS Certification. Our AWS certification courses align with the latest AWS exams featuring Amazon designed best practices. 

If you are already working with AWS, taking any of these exams will help you upskill and clarify key concepts. There are certification courses for beginners that will help you learn the foundational knowledge and skills to work with AWS services and solutions. 

You can choose anyone from the role-based certifications in Cloud Practitioner, Architect, Developer, and Operations roles. Our learning path for the top-paying and high-in-demand AWS certificate courses like AWS Solutions Architect Certification Training Course, and AWS Developer Associate Certificate Training course or our fundamental AWS certification courses like AWS Technical Essentials Certification Training course, all contain the latest course content, access to integrated labs, live demos and real-time industry projects to help you pass these AWS exams. 

Here is a guideline to navigate your way to earning the AWS certificate of your choice; discussing top AWS exam certifications and approaching these AWS exams and cracking them successfully. 

AWS Certification System 

The 12 AWS certifications are officially divided into four categories, starting with foundational and then advancing to Associate and Professional certificates. 

These are one foundational certification, three associate-level certifications, two professional-level certifications, and six specialty certifications.

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Note: new exam version (SAA-C02) as of March 22, 2020

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty (coming soon)

Note: brand new certification as of April 6, 2020

  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty (coming soon)
  • *Note: new certification name and exam version as of April 13, 2020 (formerly AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty)
  • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty
Master the architectural principle and services of AWS with the AWS Cloud Architect Master's Program. Check out the learning path.

Certifications That are High in Demand

AWS Certified Solutions Architect (associate)

Format of this exam: Multiple choice, multiple answer

Length: 130 minutes

Fee: $150

To earn this is an AWS certificate, you will have to answer questions about cloud-based solutions for deployments that follow strict requirements. It will also test your knowledge of AWS architectural best practices. This certification will validate your understanding of how to build and deploy systems in the AWS cloud. 

Simplilearn recommends that though there is no prerequisite for this training course, working knowledge of AWS security and compliance policies will help you understand the concepts and increase your chances with the exam. You can refer to the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Practice Exam that can help you be more confident before attending the exam.

Our AWS Solutions Architect training course comes with like self-paced training options, blended learning options. We also provide Corporate Training, which can be customized to your internal training path and team needs. 

As an AWS select technology partner, all Simplilearn AWS Certificate Training courses contain current and relevant course material, access to integrated labs, live demos, real-time industry projects, and simulations exams to help you pass these AWS exams.

AWS Certified Developer (associate)

Format: Multiple choice, multiple answer

Length: 80 minutes

Fee: $150

AWS Certified Developer (associate)

Format: Multiple choice, multiple answer

Length: 80 minutes

Fee: $150

Your ability to develop native applications on the AWS cloud is demonstrated through this certification. You’ll need to display your skills in using the AWS SDK to interact with and optimize the AWS services you have built into an application. By clearing this exam, you will validate your functional understanding of code-level security practices, including credential creation and encryption strategies.

Preparation Tips

Relentless innovation and constant and rapid changes characterize the AWS platforms. While it is not much that Amazon Web Services can do about evolving technology impacting their exams, it recommends adherence to certain guidelines to keep your preparation focused. According to the guidelines:

  • A new feature or service is required to be in general availability (GA) for six months before it is incorporated into an exam.
  • AWS will discuss “topic areas and objectives” but would never divulge specific services and features.
  • AWS regularly shuffles questions between multiple exams, but every question will be from the stated topic areas and objectives.

Preparation Process

Ideally, an associate-level exam prep time takes about 120 hours, depending on the primary resources available. Simplilearn can help you crack the AWS exams with its instructor-led, live-streamed online classes, and the AWS Developer Associate sample questions.

In our opinion, professional level certifications will demand even more time and dedication. 

AWS Solutions Architect Practice Test

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AWS Solutions Architect Practice Test

Structure Your AWS Certification Plan

Our recommended sequence of how you should build your AWS certification is to progress from associate level to the advanced levels is:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect (associate)
  • AWS Certified Developer (associate)
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (associate)
  • The specialty certs that interest you
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (professional)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect (professional)

It is also recommended that you space out your exams every 3-6 months and not take them at a go. So when it is time for recertification, you are not burdened with back to back exams. 

AWS exams are not very expensive, and considering that Amazon will not easily let go of their leadership position in the market soon, AWS certification courses are an investment worth your money — it will pay — off handsomely in the near future. 

Simplilearn’s AWS Certification courses are here to assist you with our 24/7 teaching assistance, applied projects, integrated labs, and online videos. Our AWS training conducted through self-paced live streaming facilitates networking with a global audience and live interactions, discussions, and questions and answers sessions with our industry-expert instructors. 

Stay focused and prepare carefully with dedication for these AWS exams, and you have a winning career-building strategy at hand. We wish you all the best!

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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