Right AWS Certification

How To Choose The Right AWS Certification For Career Success In 2024?

Vidhi Gupta
January 4th, 2019
7:00 Minutes

These days AWS certifications are in a lot of demand. AWS certifications shows that the holder has in-demand skills and knowledge as validated by one of the most recognized entities in cloud computing. AWS certifications are a great way of demonstrating that one understands the platform and its terminology. It showcases that one has the level of cloud expertise that can accelerate and add value to cloud projects.

This blog is to help learners understand how to pick the right AWS certification. There are plenty of AWS certifications and it can be difficult to know which one is apt as per an individual's interests and career. Let's begin by understanding the types of AWS credentials.

Types of AWS Certifications

Currently, AWS offers twelve certifications. These are categorized as foundational, associate, professional and specialty certifications.

Foundational Certification

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

Associate Certifications

  • AWS Certified Developer
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Professional Certifications

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

Specialty Certifications

  • AWS Certified Database - Specialty
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking - Specialty
  • AWS Certified Security - Specialty
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics - Specialty
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning - Specialty
  • AWS Certified SAP on AWS - Specialty

In-Depth Understanding of AWS Certifications

Now that we've discussed the names of the certifications offered by AWS, let's explore them in depth a little. Let's begin with the foundational level credential that is imperative to get started in this field.

A) Foundational Certification

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is a must-have entry-level credential. It's designed to validate a candidate's understanding and knowledge of the AWS cloud.

  1. Prerequisites: Minimum experience of six months working in any general AWS cloud role (technical, managerial, sales, etc.).
  2. Format: Multi-choice & multi-select questions
  3. Length: 90 minutes

Areas Covered

  1. Basic AWS architectural principles knowledge
  2. Value proposition of the AWS cloud
  3. Common AWS services use cases
  4. Basic security & compliance
  5. Core deployment & operating principles

B) Associate-Level Certifications

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

This examination is created for those who have hands-on experience in designing and dealing with distributed applications. These candidates are required to demonstrate their ability in managing, implementing & designing apps using different tools and services on the AWS platform. It is important for tech team leaders since it validates their solid foundation in AWS. This credential is important for anyone who is looking to expand their career in this field.

  • Format: Multi-choices, multi-select answers
  • Time: 130 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Working of network technologies in the AWS
  • Working of AWS-based applications
  • Connecting of client interfaces to the AWS platform
  • Building secure & reliable apps on the AWS platform
  • Deploying hybrid systems. These have an on-premises data center & AWS components
  • Familiarity with AWS infrastructure and concepts
  • Knowledge of implementing and deploying in AWS
  • Data security best practices around AWS
  • Knowledge of disaster recovery techniques & troubleshooting

  • AWS Certified Developer

The AWS Certified Developer (Associate) exam consists of developing and maintaining apps based on AWS. It's imperative to know about writing actual code that employs AWS software for accessing AWS apps from within the custom business applications.

  • Format: Multichoice, multi-select answers
  • Time: 80 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Knowledge of the basics of AWS architecture, along with core AWS services.
  • Hands-on, working experience around designing, deploying, maintaining & developing apps.
  • Practical knowledge of apps that employ key AWS services like AWS notifications, databases, services and workflow services to store and change management services.

  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

This AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate) examination is a unique credential that's completely inclined in the direction of system administrators. To pass this exam, one must attain both technical expertise as well as in-depth conceptual knowledge. This is needed in the space of the operational aspects of this platform. Prior experience as a Windows/ Linux admin will be an add-on.

  • Format: Multichoice, multi-select answers
  • Time: 80 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Deploying apps to the AWS platform.
  • Sending & receiving data between multi-VPC architectures and data centers.
  • Selecting the right AWS services as per the company needs.
  • Provisioning, securing & managing systems in AWS.

You May Also Read - How To Become an AWS Certified SysOps Administrator?

C) Professional-Level Certifications

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect

A Professional AWS Architect is someone with the prowess to evaluate an organization's requirements. They then make architectural recommendations to implement and deploy applications on AWS. These professionals must possess a high level technical skill and experience around designing AWS-based applications.

  • Prerequisites: At least 2 years of practical experience wherein the individual has designed and deployed cloud architecture on AWS. They must possess knowledge of best practices for multi-application architectural design.
  • Format: Multichoice, multi-select answers
  • Time: 170 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Knowledge of best practices to design scalable apps on AWS.
  • Opting for the apt AWS service as per an application's requirement.
  • Migrating complex app systems to AWS through a multi-tier architectural design.
  • Understanding of cost optimization best strategies

  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer

DevOps Engineer certification is about the provision, operation, and management of apps on the AWS platform. The examination for this credential focuses on continuous delivery (CD) as well as the automation of processes. Both of these are the fundamental concepts in the DevOps movement.

  • Prerequisites: Hands-on existing experience in provisioning and managing AWS-oriented apps. Understanding of modern app development like the agile development methodology is also needed.
  • Format: Multi-choice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 170 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Fundamentals of modern CD methodologies.
  • Knowledge about implementing CD systems.
  • Set up monitoring, logging and security control systems on AWS.
  • Implementation of available & scalable systems on AWS.
  • Designing and managing tools that trigger automation of production operations

Explore igmGuru's AWS DevOps training program to start your career in AWS DevOps.

D) Specialty Certifications

  • AWS Certified Data Analytics

The AWS Certified Data Analytics (Specialty) certification is apt for individuals who have working knowledge in data analytics. These professionals must have hands-on experience of using AWS services in line with designing and architecting big data solutions. It validates their experience in extracting value from data via AWS services.

  • Format: Multi-choice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 180 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Implementing the core AWS big data services through architecting best practices.
  • Designing, visualizing and maintaining data.
  • Automating data analysis through AWS tools.
  • Employing best practices for security to implement big data solutions.

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking (Specialty) certification is designed for the validation of a candidate's skills and experience in performing complex networking tasks on both AWS and hybrid IT network architecture at scale. Aspirants must have a solid background in architecting and implementing best network solutions, along with advanced networking knowledge on AWS.

  • Format: Multichoice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 170 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Design, develop, and deploy cloud solutions with AWS.
  • Implementation of core services as per architectural best practices.
  • Automating AWS tasks to ensure network deployments.
  • Designing and implementing security and compliance.
  • Network optimization and troubleshooting.

  • AWS Certified Security

The AWS Certified Security (Specialty) certification deals with the subjects that security experts and teams must master. One must have knowledge of all the best practices, along with skills to build deep knowledge in services around the AWS platform. It's crafted in line with the must-haves to validate one's AWS knowledge across different security topics. These include data protection and encryption, incident response, infrastructure security, access management, identity, and monitoring and logging.

  • Format: Multichoice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 170 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Utilizing different AWS services in order to opt for the right level of security as per the deployments and the sensitivity level of the data.
  • Selection of suitable data protection techniques and encryption mechanisms.
  • Implementation of logging and monitoring solutions for detection and analysis of security vulnerabilities within the infrastructure.

  • AWS Certified Machine Learning

This certificate is a big addition and perk for those who wish to validate their skills in creating, implementing and maintaining ML solutions. This credential allows them to do all this for a variety of business problems. Those in a data science or development role benefit extremely by earning this credential.

  • Format: Multi-choice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 180 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Picking the finest ML approaches as per the business problems.
  • Crafting and implementing reliable, cost-effective, secure and scalable ML solutions.
  • Understanding the apt AWS solutions to ensure ML solutions are created and deployed.

  • AWS Certified Database

The  AWS Certified Database (Specialty) credential is great for those working closely with databases and even implementing them. It validates an individuals' skills in completely comprehending the offered AWS database services. It also teaches about bringing value to the business by optimizing DB architecting and integration.

  • Prerequisites: A minimum of 2 years of experience in working with AWS on-premises and cloud-oriented NoSQL and relational DBs.
  • Format: Multi-choice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 180 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Deployment & migration
  • Monitoring & troubleshooting
  • Database design
  • Security
  • Management & operations

  • AWS Certified SAP on AWS

It is the newest addition to the list of AWS credentials. It is crafted for professionals who aim at demonstrating in-depth knowledge around SAP solutions. They also have an understanding of workloads that run in the AWS Cloud.

  • Format: Multi-choice & multiple-answers
  • Time: 180 minutes

Areas Covered

  • Crafting SAP solutions that work well in the AWS cloud as per the AWS well-architected framework & SAP support and certification requirements.
  • Migrate current SAP workloads to AWS.
  • Implement new SAP workloads on AWS.
  • Operate SAP workloads on AWS.

Best Steps for Study AWS Certification

AWS certification does not have fix steps of studying; therefore some steps are the most straightforward which are given below-

  1. Enroll for an AWS training class and get knowledge of cloud computing and AWS.
  2. Review top rated exam guides and study materials that are available on the internet.
  3. Read multiple AWS white papers that hold valuable information to answer the questions.
  4. Practice exams ease all worries about the AWS certification exam that one may be experiencing.
  5. Schedule the examination once everything is set.
  6. It usually takes somewhere around 80-120 hours of focused practice and studying to prepare for the exam. It also depends upon one's experience and the certification that is being pursued.


There are 12 AWS certifications and each of these have a specific purpose to tend to. These are exceptional credentials that have the power to completely change an aspirant's life. Those who get certified with any of these AWS credentials are sure to experience brilliant opportunities in the future. The specialty certifications are a stepping stone.

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