From Developer to AWS Cloud Specialist - The AWS Certification Learning Paths Explained

The Value of an AWS Certification

It is globally known that to earn an AWS certification implies a higher level of qualification of experience in an employer’s and peer’s eyes and increases an organization’s proficiency with applications that are AWS-based.
However, there is another benefit that has remained in the dark up until now. The results from the 2015 IT Skills and Salary Survey that was conducted by Widows Pro and Global Knowledge show that the average pay for four of the AWS certifications has exceeded $100,000. 

While it isn’t guaranteed that a certification does not necessarily equal to a six-figure salary, it couldn’t hurt to get one.

Enroll in our AWS Solutions Architect Certification course today and develop a strong foundation in Cloud Computing.

The certifications of AWS are role-based programs. They are designed specifically for developers, solution architects, and system operations administrators. Within each role is defined as an entry role, a central role or the associate level, and the expert or the professional level. While it isn’t compulsory to have training before attempting one of these exams, it is highly recommended.

AWS Learning Path

With data and information collected from our extensive base of qualified trainers, we give you learning paths that could walk you down the path to becoming an AWS rock star. 

Developer/SysOps Admin

If you are a Developer or a Systems Operations Admin or aspiring to get into this role, this is what your possible learning path should be.

Dev/Sys Ops Admin learning path

Entry Level – The AWS Tech Essential Certification

An Overview of This Certification

With this certification, you are introduced to all the AWS services, products, and standard solutions to rigorous exercises and hands-on experience. IT technical end users are given the fundamentals to becoming more capable and competent in identifying services by AWS to make informed decisions about the IT solutions based on the business requirements.

This certification stands as help to individuals who emerge from a non-technical background.

Who Is the Course For?

This course is for those individuals who:

  • Are responsible for the articulation of the technical benefits of the AWS services
  • Are new to AWS
  • SysOps Developers and Administrators who have an interest in learning and using AWS services.

The Prerequisites of This Course

If you are already working in an AWS environment, then this course will help you form a strong base to understand the concepts and the various aspects of AWS. You can get familiar with the principles of AWS by accessing the virtual labs hosted by several e-learning websites.

The CloudLabs are quite similar to the real-life AWS environment, as you will have the opportunity to practice the concepts, commands, and forms that AWS professionals execute in real-life scenarios.

With a free AWS account, you can try to learn all the practical applications and explore the environment. 

The Objectives of This Course

With this course, an individual will learn to:

  • Recognize terminology and concepts as they relate to the AWS platform
  • Navigate the AWS Management Console
  • Understand the security measures AWS provides
  • Differentiate AWS Storage options and create an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket
  • Recognize AWS Compute and Networking options and use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
  • Describe Managed Services and Database options
  • Use Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) to launch an application
  • Identify Deployment and Management Options

AWS Solutions Architect Certification

Intermediate Level – Developer Associate OR Systems Operations Associate

Depending on which area of expertise you want to excel in, you can choose the Developer Associate or Systems Operations Associate

The AWS Certified Developer – Associate

An Overview of This Certification

With the AWS Certified Developer Associate certification, expertise in technical areas such as the development and maintenance of applications on the AWS platform is validated.

Who Should Do This Course? (Prerequisites)

Candidates who wish to take up this course should have:

  • 1+ years of hands-on experience in maintaining and designing AWS-based applications
  • In-Depth knowledge of 1 or more high-level programming language
  • An understanding of the core AWS uses, services, and underlying architecture best practices
  • Proficiency in developing, designing, and deploying any cloud-based solution with the use of AWS
  • Experience in the development and maintenance of applications that are written for Amazon Simple Storage Service, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service, Amazon Simple Notification Service, Amazon Simple Workflow Service, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS CloudFormation.

A Brief Overview of The Exam

  • A practice exam registration fee of $20
  • An exam registration fee of $150
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • The time duration of 80 minutes to complete the exam
  • The exam is available in Chinese, English, and Japanese

The Skills You Should Possess

Before taking up this exam, there are a few skills to possess:

AWS Knowledge and Experience

As an aspirant of the AWS certification, you might have a firm grasp of the concepts if you have been studying diligently. However, to pass the AWS exam, you need to be precise with the question formats, the test systems, and the testing environments.

Getting hands-on experience on AWS will help you grasp the subject and learn about computing, networking, storage, and content delivery in a practical way. Additionally, through the online labs, you can get familiar with Auto Scaling and various techniques and strategies that are vital in the AWS environment.

General IT Knowledge and Experience

Along with a keen interest in the AWS framework and hands-on experience in the methodologies, it is essential to be proficient in networking concepts, system administration in Linux/UNIX/Windows, scripting, and basic monitoring techniques in a dynamic environment. 

Salary Prospects

The average salary of an AWS Certified Developer Associate is $137,825.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

An Overview of This Certification

With training and a credential in the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate, expertise in technical areas such as management, deployment, and operations on the AWS platform are validated.

Who Should Do This Course? (Prerequisites)

Aspiring candidates will be eligible for this course only if they fulfill the given criteria:

  • Candidates must have 1+ years of experience in the operation of AWS-based applications.
  • Candidates must have experience in operating, provisioning, and maintaining the systems that run on AWS.
  • Candidates must have the ability to identify and acquire requirements to define a solution to build and operate on AWS.
  • Candidates must possess the capabilities to provide the AWS deployment and operations guidelines and best practices throughout the lifecycle of a project.

A Brief Overview of The Exam

  • The registration fee for this exam is $150.
  • The practice exam registration fee is $20
  • The exam is available in Chinese, English, and Brazilian Portuguese.
  • It is a multiple-choice based question with a time duration of 80 minutes.

AWS Exam Pointers

Being aware of the concepts and working principles, you will have a firm grasp on AWS. However, to be able to pass the certification exams, you need to be aware of the exam format, types of questions, testing system, and test environment.

While taking the exam, you need to be able to effectively gauge the intentional ambiguity in the questions and arrive at the best possible answer.

Each question in the Certification Exam can be in one of the three formats:

1. Multiple Choice – choose the single best answer.

2. Multiple Response – there could be more than one right answer, and you can select more than one.

3. Sample Directions – select an answer that completes a statement or is the best answer to the question.

The Skills You Should Possess

Before taking up this exam, there are a few skills to possess:

AWS Knowledge and Experience

As an aspirant of the AWS certification, you might have a firm grasp of the concepts if you have been studying diligently. However, to pass the AWS exam, you need to be precise with the question formats, the test systems, and the testing environments.

Getting hands-on experience on AWS will help you grasp the subject and learn about computing, networking, storage, and content delivery in a practical way. Additionally, through the online labs, you can get familiar with Auto Scaling and various techniques and strategies that are vital in the AWS environment.

General IT Knowledge and Experience

Along with a keen interest in the AWS framework and hands-on experience in the methodologies, it is essential to be proficient in networking concepts, system administration in Linux/UNIX/Windows, scripting, and basic monitoring techniques in a dynamic environment. 

Salary Prospects

The average salary of an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate is $108,046 per annum.

Learn about the AWS architectural principles and services like IAM, VPC, EC2, EBS, and more with the AWS Solutions Architect Course. Register today

Expert Level – The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

An Overview of This Certification

With the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional certification technical expertise in operations, provisioning, and management of distributed application systems on the AWS platform are validated.

Who Should Do This Course? (Prerequisites)

Before taking the course, candidates need to meet a few prerequisites, after which they can take up the exam:

  • Candidates must have attained the AWS Certified Developer – Associate or the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate credentials.
  • Candidates must have 2+ years of experience in operations, provisioning, and the management of AWS environments.
  • Candidates must be experienced in developing codes in at least one high-level programming language.
  • Candidates must be experienced in automation and testing via programming/ scripting.
  • Candidates must have an understanding of agile and other development processes and methodologies.

A Brief Overview of The Exam

  • The exam registration fee is $300
  • The exam is available in English
  • It is a multiple-choice question-based paper with 170 minutes to complete the paper.

AWS Exam Pointers

Being aware of the concepts and working principles, you will have a firm grasp on AWS. However, to be able to pass the certification exams, you need to be aware of the exam format, types of questions, testing system, and test environment.

While taking the exam, you need to be able to effectively gauge the intentional ambiguity in the questions and arrive at the best possible answer.

Each question in the Certification Exam can be in one of the three formats:

1. Multiple Choice – choose the single best answer.

2. Multiple Response – there could be more than one right answer, and you can select more than one.

3. Sample Directions – select an answer that completes a statement or is the best answer to the question. 

The Skills You Should Possess

Before taking up this exam, there are a few skills to possess:

AWS Knowledge and Experience

As an aspirant of the AWS certification, you might have a firm grasp of the concepts if you have been studying diligently. However, to pass the AWS exam, you need to be precise with the question formats, the test systems, and the testing environments.

Getting hands-on experience on AWS will help you grasp the subject and learn about computing, networking, storage, and content delivery in a practical way. Additionally, through the online labs, you can get familiar with Auto Scaling and various techniques and strategies that are vital in the AWS environment.

General IT Knowledge and Experience

Along with a keen interest in the AWS framework and hands-on experience in the methodologies, it is essential to be proficient in networking concepts, system administration in Linux/UNIX/Windows, scripting, and basic monitoring techniques in a dynamic environment.

Solutions Architect

If you are a Solutions Architect or aspiring to get into this role, this is what your possible learning path should be.

Solutions Architect Learning Path

Entry Level – The AWS Tech Essential Certification

An Overview of This Certification

With this certification, you are introduced to all the AWS services, products, and standard solutions, with rigorous exercises and hands-on experience. IT technical end users are given the fundamentals to becoming more capable and competent in identifying services by AWS to make informed decisions about the IT solutions based on the business requirements.

This certification stands as help to individuals who emerge from a non-technical background.

Who Is the Course For?

This course is for those individuals who:

  • Are responsible for the articulation of the technical benefits of the AWS services
  • Are new to AWS
  • SysOps Developers and Administrators who have an interest in learning and using AWS services.

The Prerequisites of This Course

If you are already working in an AWS environment, then this course will help you form a strong base to understand the concepts and the various aspects of AWS. You can get familiar with the principles of AWS by accessing the virtual labs hosted by several e-learning websites.

The CloudLabs are quite similar to the real-life AWS environment, as you will have the opportunity to practice the concepts, commands, and forms that AWS professionals execute in real-life scenarios.

With a free AWS account, you can try to learn all the practical applications and explore the environment.

The Objectives of This Course

With this course, an individual will learn to:

  • Recognize terminology and concepts as they relate to the AWS platform
  • Navigate the AWS Management Console
  • Understand the security measures AWS provides
  • Differentiate AWS Storage options and create an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket
  • Recognize AWS Compute and Networking options and use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
  • Describe Managed Services and Database options
  • Use Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) to launch an application
  • Identify Deployment and Management Options

Intermediate Level - AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate

An Overview of This Certification

This certification is intended for those individuals who have experience in designing distributed systems and applications on the AWS platform.

Who Should Do This Course? (Prerequisites)

Before taking up this certification, candidates must meet specific criteria:

  • Candidates must have 1+ years of experience in designing cost-efficient, available, scalable, and fault-tolerant distributed systems on AWS.
  • Candidates must possess an in-depth knowledge of one or more high-level programming languages.
  • Candidates must have the ability to identify and define the requirements for an application that is AWS-based.
  • Candidates must have experience in deploying hybrid systems with on-premises and AWS components.
  • Candidates must possess the capability to provide the best practices for the building of a secure and reliable application on the AWS platform.

A Brief Overview of The Exam

  • The registration fee for the exam is $150
  • The practice exam registration fee is $20
  • The exam is available in 8 languages - English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese
  • It is a multiple-choice based question paper with 80 minutes to complete.

The Skills to Possess

Before taking up this exam, there are a few skills to possess:

AWS Knowledge and Experience

As an aspirant of the AWS certification, you might have a firm grasp of the concepts if you have been studying diligently. However, to pass the AWS exam, you need to be precise with the question formats, the test systems, and the testing environments.

Getting hands-on experience on AWS will help you grasp the subject and learn about computing, networking, storage, and content delivery in a practical way. Additionally, through the online labs, you can get familiar with Auto Scaling and various techniques and strategies that are vital in the AWS environment.

General IT Knowledge and Experience

Along with a keen interest in the AWS framework and hands-on experience in the methodologies, it is essential to be proficient in networking concepts, system administration in Linux/UNIX/Windows, scripting, and basic monitoring techniques in a dynamic environment. 

Salary Prospects

The average annual salary of an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, is $114,935.

AWS Solutions Architect Certification

Expert Level - AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional

An Overview of This Certification

With the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional credential, advanced technical skills, and experience in designing distributed systems and applications on the AWS platform are validated.

Who Should Do This Course? (Prerequisites)

Candidates who wish to take up this course should have:

  • The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate credential
  • 2+ years of experience in designing and deploying cloud architecture on AWS
  • The ability to evaluate requirements of the cloud application and make architectural recommendations for deployment, implementation, and the provisioning of applications on AWS
  • The capabilities to provide the best practices guidance on the architectural design across multiple projects, applications, or the enterprise

A Brief Overview of The Exam

  • The registration fee for the exam is $300
  • The practice exam registration fee is $40
  • The exam is available in Japanese and English
  • The paper is a multiple-choice based with a time duration of 170 minutes

AWS Exam Pointers

Being aware of the concepts and working principles, you will have a firm grasp on AWS. However, to be able to pass the certification exams, you need to be aware of the exam format, types of questions, testing system, and test environment.

While taking the exam, you need to be able to effectively gauge the intentional ambiguity in the questions and arrive at the best possible answer.

Each question in the Certification Exam can be in one of the three formats:

1. Multiple Choice – choose the single best answer.

2. Multiple Response – there could be more than one right answer, and you can choose more than one.

3. Sample Directions – select an answer that completes a statement or is the best answer to the question.

The Skills to Possess

Before taking up this exam, there are a few skills to possess:

AWS Knowledge and Experience

As an aspirant of the AWS certification, you might have a firm grasp of the concepts if you have been studying diligently. However, to pass the AWS exam, you need to be precise with the question formats, the test systems, and the testing environments.

Getting hands-on experience on AWS will help you grasp the subject and learn about computing, networking, storage, and content delivery in a practical way. Additionally, through the online labs, you can get familiar with Auto Scaling and various techniques and strategies that are vital in the AWS environment.

General IT Knowledge and Experience

Along with a keen interest in the AWS framework and hands-on experience in the methodologies, it is essential to be proficient in networking concepts, system administration in Linux/UNIX/Windows, scripting, and basic monitoring techniques in a dynamic environment.

Salary Prospects

The average annual salary of an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, is $117,434.

The Importance of Practice Exams and How to Prepare for the AWS Exam.

Being aware of the concepts and terminologies of AWS is not enough to have clarity on the exam. To perform well in the exam, you need to practice as many questions as possible. The practice exam will help you gain familiarity with the structure as it mimics the pattern of questions in the actual exam. It’s advisable to refer to an established Education provider that specializes in AWS exams. The practice exams will enable you to gain clarity on the subject and help you clear the exam with ease. 

Salary Prospects for the AWS Certified

A Forbes article reports that there are 3.9 million jobs in the U.S. affiliated with cloud computing today with 384,478 in IT alone.

Cloud computing jobs

The median salary for IT professionals with cloud computing experience is $90,950, and the median salary for positions that pay over $100,000 a year is $116,950.

Globally, there are 18,239,258 cloud computing jobs.

Cloud computing jobs

Conclusion

With these learning paths to help you, you have a clear and sure shot at success in your field. Now, it would be easy for you to choose which AWS Certification is beneficial for your career. We would like to hear your views and opinions, too, so go ahead – leave your comments in the section below.

About the Author

Avantika MonnappaAvantika Monnappa

A project management and digital marketing knowledge manager, Avantika’s area of interest is project design and analysis for digital marketing, data science, and analytics companies.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.