Which AWS Certification Is Best For You?

AWS certification can help open the door to some job opportunities. Here, this article will help you find out which AWS certification is best suited for you.

April 22, 2022

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An Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification is a sort of honorific title. With it, you’re indicating that you have a serviceable and valuable degree of competence in one of the most commonly used and relied-upon cloud systems in the world. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Do you want to learn more about obtaining a certification? Read on to know which AWS certification is best for you.

If you have not had AWS certification yet and you are preparing for the exam, you can try to visit our websites to get more information and a free AWS Practice Test. To download, visit our website for your IOS or Android device.

What exactly are AWS qualifications, and why are they valuable?

which aws certification is best

AWS certification is a well-known industry certificate. It helps learners gain credibility by confirming a degree of Amazon Web Services cloud knowledge, and it assists companies in identifying talented employees to drive AWS cloud initiatives.

After completing one or more of AWS’s examinations, a professional earns an AWS certification. Certifications from AWS are valid for three years.

To keep your AWS Certified designation, you must show your continuous skill on a regular basis through a procedure known as recertification.

Let’s take a moment to define certificates and what they aren’t.

  • Certifications are evidence of knowledge — they demonstrate that you are knowledgeable enough to pass the test.
  • Certifications are not evidence of experience there is no replacement for genuine cloud work. However, there are several alternatives to obtaining hands-on AWS cloud training outside of the workplace and to kick-start your cloud career with little or no experience.
  • Certifications can be useful in opening up doors – They can get you an interview or put your name on the list of candidates for a promotion.
  • Certifications are not gold tickets that guarantee you a job in the cloud. They can set you up for success, but it is up to you to earn it.
  • Certifications are very valuable AWS cert holders earn well over $100,000 USD each year on average. AWS credentials are among the highest-paying cloud certifications available.
  • Certifications aren’t only about earning money; they also assist authenticate your expertise and guarantee that teams speak the same cloud “language,” often known as “cloud fluency.”

When considering your AWS career path, consider certification as a stepping stone. It can assist you in reaching the next level, but the actual attainment is still up to you.

Whichever path you take, being AWS certified has never been easier. Amazon provides all of its certification examinations online, which means you may test with little notice from home, the workplace, or wherever you are – no need to travel to a testing facility.

Which AWS certification is best for you?

“Which AWS certificate is ideal for me?” you might wonder. Your professional objectives might help you choose the best certification learning path for you. Let’s look at the various certifications provided by Amazon Web Services.

There are now 11 separate certificates available, divided into four expertise levels:

  • Foundational
  • Associate
  • Professional
  • Specialty

Wondering which AWS certification to take? Let’s take a closer look:

Foundational Level

  • Certifications:
    • AWS Cloud Practitioner – Foundational
  • Scope: 10
  • Depth: 2
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Recommended Experience: 6 months of AWS and industry knowledge
  • Skills covered: 
    • Basic AWS architectural foundations
    • Key AWS services
    • AWS security and compliance 

It’s probably for you if: you need to understand fundamental cloud ideas, such as what is cloud, what is cloud migration, and how AWS works at a high level, but you won’t be getting your hands dirty with implementation.

Every journey begins with a beginning. AWS’s Foundational certification serves as the entry point.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner – Foundational

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is an optional foundational level step that prepares users for associate and professional level certifications. This certification exam is intended to assess foundational knowledge of the AWS cloud at a high level. The AWS certified cloud practitioner will teach you about:

  • AWS’s core services
  • The fundamental architecture and underpinnings of AWS
  • The fundamentals of AWS security and compliance services
  • Fundamentals of cloud computing

Associate Level

  • Certifications: 
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
    • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
    • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  • Scope: 8
  • Depth: 4
  • Recommended Experience: One year of experience working in AWS to solve problems and implement solutions.
  • Skills covered: 
    • How AWS-based apps function
    • Developing safe apps using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform
    • Using AWS to deploy hybrid systems
    • Hands-on AWS application development
    • Application development on AWS
    • AWS environments are secure.

Associate-level certificates are a significant step up from the fundamental level. These certifications cover a broad range of AWS services and systems at a mid-level depth, requiring students to study a large number of AWS services and systems at a mid to high level of technical expertise.

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

Following completion of this certification, you should have a solid understanding of essential AWS services as well as basic architecture best practices. You should also be able to do the following:

  • Create, develop, and deploy cloud-based applications on AWS.
  • Determine the approaches required to code a cloud solution.
  • Set up the proper architecture for development and testing environments.
  • Utilize the many Amazon tools and services related to databases, communications, workflows, and alerts.
  • Based on the requirements, select the appropriate AWS services for a specific application.
  • Write code to optimize the performance of AWS services used by an application.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

You should be able to do the following after finishing this certification:

  • Deploy, manage, and run AWS systems that are scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant.
  • Migrate on-premises systems to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
  • AWS data flow implementation and management
  • Select the AWS service that is appropriate for your security, data, or compute needs.
  • Estimate AWS use expenses and discover cost-cutting measures

Before applying for this certification, you must have at least one year of experience working with AWS systems.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The AWS Solutions Architect certification at the associate level will equip you to:

  • Create AWS architectural best practices.
  • Determine cost-cutting techniques and estimate AWS expenses.
  • Create a data flow to and from AWS.
  • Choose the best AWS service depending on your security and data needs, as well as the design of your database.
  • Be well-versed in the design and implementation of data security.
  • Manage the transition from an on-premises to an AWS cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Create and deploy AWS systems that are highly available, secure, scalable, and fault-tolerant.

Read more: What Are The AWS Solution Architect Certification Benefits?

Professional Level

  • Certifications
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
    • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
  • Scope: 10
  • Depth: 8
  • Recommended Experience: Two years of comprehensive experience using AWS, with comprehensive experience designing, operating, and troubleshooting solutions.
  • Skills covered:
    • Deploy a complicated AWS migration
    • Discover cost-cutting techniques.
    • Put CD concepts into action
    • AWS systems should be monitored and logged.
    • AWS may be used to construct scalable systems.

AWS professional level certifications demonstrate that the bearer is a subject matter expert in both knowledge and skill. These certificates are geared toward two distinct roles: Solutions Architects and DevOps Engineers. These certification examinations are exceedingly difficult, yet they can lead to high-level professional opportunities. While not strictly required, completing an associate test before attempting a professional-level certification is a smart idea.

AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional

After completing this certification level, you should have a solid understanding of AWS authentication, authorization, and accounting. You will learn the following with this certification:

  • Fluency in sophisticated role administration and group management
  • The complexities of subnets and routing
  • Advanced networking skills such as IPSec, BGP, Jumbo Frames, and Direct Connect are required.
  • Techniques for enhanced development and deployment
  • Cloud risk, compliance, and governance must all be evaluated.
  • Use of cloud formation at a higher level
  • Amazon provides a number of tools for monitoring, maintenance, and deployment.

You can try to visit our blog to get more information about the way to become an AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect 

The highest level of AWS certification is Professional Solutions Architect. You should be able to carry out all of the responsibilities outlined in the previous certifications as well as the ones specified here.

  • Identify expenses and put thorough cost-cutting solutions in place.
  • Create and implement enterprise-level scalable AWS operations.
  • Be able to devise and implement a plan for migrating complicated multi-tier applications to AWS.
  • Based on the needs, select the appropriate AWS best practices for designing and deploying apps.
  • Create and deploy AWS’s numerous networking functionalities.
  • Learn how to design and deploy AWS connections.
  • Create and deploy AWS applications that are dynamically reliable, scalable, fault-tolerant, highly available, and secure.

Specialty Certifications

which aws certification is best

Specialty certificates are neither associate nor professional level, but rather a thorough dive into certain AWS services at the expert level. These tests cover a restricted range of topics and a wide range of expertise. Before seeking several specialist certificates, you need to have at least five years of experience in your area. There are now seven specialized certificates available.

  • Certifications
    • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
    • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
    • AWS Certified Security – Specialty
    • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
    • AWS Certified Database – Specialty
  • Scope: 3
  • Depth: 10
  • Recommended Experience: Two to five years of hands-on experience and advanced knowledge of AWS in a specific specialty area.
  • Skills covered:
    • Create and manage Big Data
    • Make use of AWS to automate data analysis.
    • Automate the use of AWS systems for network installations.
    • Kinesis, Athena, QuickSight, and Rekognition are all abilities.
    • AWS for Machine Learning Solutions
    • Create safe machine learning solutions

You already have extensive experience in a specific area of AWS and are eager to confirm that knowledge and further your career.

AWS Specialty certificates go further into certain subject areas, such as networking, data analytics, databases, security, and machine learning. They, like the Pro-level certs, should not be taken lightly, and numerous years of hands-on professional experience in each specialty domain is strongly advised for everyone.

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty certification delves into both hybrid and AWS-only networks, covering topics including multi-region configurations and cost optimization. It’s not an all-encompassing certification — there are certain services about which you don’t need to know anything — but where it does focus, it digs deep. You must be completely familiar with particular services such as Direct Connect, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), and routing.

AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

The AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty certification was replaced by the AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty certification in 2020. There are some themes that have been covered previously, while others are entirely new and more in-depth. It focuses on all data services, with a particular emphasis on S3, RedShift, Kinesis, and Elastic MapReduce. Security of data is also addressed. Earning this certification demonstrates that you understand the services and tools available in AWS for building data analytics applications, as well as building and managing the lifecycle of gathering, storing, processing, and displaying your data.

AWS Certified Security – Specialty

The AWS Certified Security Specialist certification is the most comprehensive of the specialty certifications. It only makes sense – security spans several domains, therefore this certificate is less focused on individual services. Nonetheless, it delves into a variety of security-related services, including Identity and Access Management (IAM), Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Key Management Service (KMS), CloudTrail, AWS Config, and Web Application Firewall (WAF). Some of the most typical questions on this exam require you to determine how various security settings interact or conflict.

AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

One of the latest credentials is the AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty, which specializes in, well, machine learning. Think about it. You’ll be expected to demonstrate knowledge of machine learning’s underlying concepts, such as collecting and analyzing data, modeling, and machine learning algorithms, as well as proficiency with Kinesis for streaming data collection and SageMaker for building, training, tuning, and launching machine learning models.

AWS Certified Database – Specialty

This certification, one of the newest Amazon Web Service certifications, demonstrates your ability to recommend, create, and maintain AWS database solutions for businesses’ specific AWS database services needs. You should be familiar with database deployment, migration, management, monitoring, and troubleshooting, as well as workload-specific database architecture and database security. You should have at least 5 years of experience with standard database technologies, as well as a few years of hands-on experience with AWS and knowledge of on-premises and AWS cloud-based relational and NoSQL databases.

Frequently asked questions AWS Certification

How long does it take to become an AWS certified professional?

This is mostly determined by the candidate’s prior experience and understanding of AWS, as well as the certification level desired, Practitioner, Associate, Professional, or Specialty. In their test guide for each certification, AWS specifies the amount of experience required before taking the exam. For example, the AWS Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C02) requires 1 year of hands-on experience in creating accessible, cost-effective, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

However, by committing to your studies and acquiring hands-on practical experience using your own ‘free-tier’ account to familiarize yourself with the console and services, you can complete your certifications without satisfying these prerequisites. It is critical to keep a study plan, and I would recommend at least one hour of study every day for the Practitioner and Associate levels, with the Professional and Specialty levels requiring additional time each day.

What is the cost of becoming AWS certified?

The cost of the tests varies according to the degree of certification:

  • Practitioner = $100
  • Associate = $150
  • Professional = $300
  • Specialty = $300

Which AWS certification is the best?

All AWS certifications are valuable and valuable assets to have as a professional. Choosing which one to take, or which one is ‘best,’ is mostly determined by your hobbies, job, and professional goals. For example, if you prefer working in the networking and architectural fields, the following path might be ideal for you:

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Solutions Architect – Associate
  • AWS Solutions Architect – Professional
  • Networking Specialty

If you were an eager developer or wanted to advance into application development, you may choose an alternative path:

  • AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Developer – Associate
  • AWS Developer – Professional

So it all relies on your goals as an individual and where you want to take your career.

Is it possible to obtain AWS certifications online?

Yes, AWS credentials may now be obtained online and from the convenience of your own home. There are a few things you should be aware of, all of which can be obtained online. To summarize, the following are the main factors to be aware of:

  • You must be able to converse with a proctor who speaks English. Exams can be taken in a variety of languages, but contact with the proctor must be in English.
  • Only certificates are now accessible to people who live on the mainland. China, Japan, Slovenia, or South Korea are all possibilities.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your computer satisfies the system requirements for online proctoring.
  • You must take the exam in a private and peaceful location, and you must ensure that you will not be disturbed.
  • Unlike conventional certification centers, you are not permitted to leave your desk or move out of the line of sight of your webcam during the online test.
  • Pearson VUE is presently the only testing facility that provides online proctoring.

Are AWS certificates still valuable in 2022?

Yes, AWS certifications are valuable! However, the true value of an AWS certification is determined by why you want to become AWS certified.

Are you expecting that certification would help you get an interview or obtain a job in the cloud? Did your manager tell you that you needed to become certified? Do you believe that obtaining a single certification will give you a six-figure salary?

Then why is important. Certifications are only tools. They are not the ultimate aim; rather, they are checkpoints along the path.

Amazon Web Services provides 11 separate certifications at four different levels as of March 2022. Figuring out where to begin and which AWS credential is ideal for you and your professional aspirations might be quite frightening at first. Fortunately, once you figure out what you’re looking for, the way to get there is typically very obvious.

Because the AWS exam is constantly updated, you can refer to the most up-to-date FAQs about the exam.


So, which AWS certification is the best fit for you? If you’re just getting started in the cloud, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner and Certified Solutions Architect – Associate is excellent places to begin. From there, it’s possible to provide information and give basic recommendations, but deciding on the correct certification (or set of certifications) and AWS learning route ultimately comes down to your circumstances and professional aspirations.