AWS Certification Path – Levels, Exam, Cost

Do you ever think that what makes Dropbox, Facebook, WordPress, and other renowned platforms so powerful that despite millions of active users, they serve each and every user so feasibly and efficiently every day…?? Meanwhile, one of the key technology behind this is Cloud Computing!! Undeniably, Cloud Computing has become an integral part of the organizations in a very short span of time and due to this, the demand for Cloud Professionals is also increasing exponentially in the tech world. And with the same concern, one of the leading cloud platforms – Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides you the prominent AWS Certifications to help you for excelling in Cloud Computing skills and get some worthwhile career opportunities in the Cloud domain!!

AWS-Certification-Path-–-Levels-Exam-Cost

Now, the question arises – What is AWS Certification? In general, AWS Certification is concerned with the certification program provided by the Amazon Web Services that help you to validate your expertise in the cloud domain after passing the particular examination. There are various modules that come under AWS Certifications and you can choose the relevant one based on your preferences and requirements. Furthermore, AWS Certifications are the most-demanded and preferable aspects by almost every IT giants such as Amazon, IBM, Uber, etc. while looking out for the cloud professionals. Several other remarkable benefits of AWS Certifications are provided below:

  • It helps you to showcase your Cloud Expertise across the world through digital badges, certificates, etc.
  • An AWS Certified individual gets worthwhile career opportunities with better paychecks in comparison to others.
  • Also, you get a chance to connect with other brilliant minds through AWS Certified community.
  • It comes up with several other rewarding programs such as the Subject-Matter Expert (SME) Program, AWS Partner Network (APN), etc.

So, as of now, you’ve known about AWS Certifications and it’s benefits, now let’s move further and take a look at the structure of AWS Certifications. AWS Certifications are generally categorized with respect to several role-based learning paths such as Cloud Practitioner, Architect, Developer, and Operations. Furthermore, these certifications fall under 4 Levels – Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty based on the expertise level.

AWS-Certifications



Now, let’s discuss all these AWS Certification Exams in detail:

Foundational Level

The first-level that comes in the AWS Certification path is – Foundational Level. This level is basically concerned with the basics of the AWS cloud and is recommended for beginners. At this level, there comes only 1 Certification – AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.  

1. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

It is an entry-level AWS Certification that comes under the Foundational level. It is specifically designed for the individuals who are having a basic understanding of the AWS Cloud platform and you’re strongly recommended to have at least 6 months of industrial experience in the AWS Cloud domain before opting for this exam. Moreover, this foundational level exam covers the following aspects of AWS Cloud – basic global infrastructure, architectural principles, value proposition, basic security and compliance aspects, pricing models, and several others.

  • Level: Foundational
  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Exam Duration: 90 Minutes
  • Cost: 100 USD (Practice Exam: 20 USD)

Associate Level

The next level in the AWS Certification path is Associate Level. The associate level requires you some in-depth and broad knowledge of a specific domain and the difficulty level of the exams is also higher in comparison to Foundational Level. In Associate Level, there come 3 Certifications – AWS Certified Solutions Architect, AWS Certified SysOps Administrator, and AWS Certified Developer based on different job-role.  

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect

This certification is designed for the individuals who are having an experience of at least 1 year in designing distributed applications and implementation of solutions in AWS Cloud. You’ll be required to showcase your skills in designing, managing, and deployment of applications on the AWS platform to earn this certification. The AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification exam covers the following aspects – knowledge of architecture and deployment of applications on AWS, solution giving abilities using architectural design principles, implementation guidance throughout the entire project life cycle, etc.

  • Level: Associate
  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Exam Duration: 130 Minutes
  • Cost: 150 USD (Practice exam: 20 USD)

2. AWS Certified Developer

The AWS Certified Developer (Associate) certification is designed for those who are having at least 1 year of development experience and proficient with the development & maintenance of applications on the AWS platform. To earn this certification, you’re required to have a sound knowledge of programming language along with an in-depth understanding of core AWS services and basic AWS architecture best practices. Furthermore, you also need to know about the development, deployment, and debugging processes of cloud-based applications along with various other related concepts.



  • Level: Associate
  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Exam Duration: 130 Minutes
  • Cost: 150 USD (Practice exam: 20 USD)

3. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate) is designed for the systems administrators professionals with at least one year of industry experience in deployment and operations on AWS. The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator certification exam covers the following aspects – deployment & management of applications on the AWS platform, data transfer between data centers and AWS, picking out the relevant AWS services for the organization as per the requirements, estimation of AWS cost-usage & identification of operational cost control mechanisms, etc.

  • Level: Associate
  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Exam Duration: 130 Minutes
  • Cost: 150 USD (Practice exam: 20 USD)

Professional Level

After Foundation & Associate Level, here comes the Professional Level which demands the expert level of knowledge for the selected role-based certification. The certifications that fall under the Foundational & Associate level can be considered as the prerequisite for this Professional Level. In this level, there come 2 Certifications – AWS Certified DevOps Engineer & AWS Certified Solutions Architect.

1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional) certification is designed for those individuals who are possessing an experience of at least 2 years as a Solutions Architect in the cloud industry. Meanwhile, you’re recommended to hold AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate) before opting for the respective professional level exam. Moreover, this professional-level certification concerns with your skill & abilities in various areas such as evaluation of cloud application requirements, design & deployment of cloud architecture on AWS, cost-control strategies implementation, etc.

  • Level: Professional
  • Recommended Prerequisite Exam: AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate)
  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Exam Duration: 180 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice Exam: 40 USD)

2. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer

Here comes another professional-level certification – AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional) which is designed for the individuals who are having industry experience of two or more years in provisioning and managing AWS architectures. You’re recommended to hold AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate before appearing for this certification exam. Also, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer certifications majorly concern with Continuous Delivery (CD) methodologies, AWS automation processes, monitoring & log systems on AWS, etc.

  • Level: Professional
  • Recommended Prerequisite Exam: AWS Certified Developer (Associate), AWS Certified SysOps Administrator (Associate)
  • Exam Format: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)
  • Exam Duration: 180 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice Exam: 40 USD)

Specialty

You can also opt from 6 specialty certifications provided by AWS. However, you’re required to have a deep knowledge of the chosen domain as the exam level of the specialty certifications is quite higher. These 6 specialty domains are listed below:

1. AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty

The AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty certification validates your expertise in Data Analytics and the ability to design & model Big Data solutions using AWS services. You’re recommended to have an experience of at least 5 years with data analytics technologies along with 2 years of hands-on experience on the AWS platform before appearing for this certification exam.



  • Exam Duration: 180 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice exam: 40USD)

2. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty

The AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification helps you to validate your skills in building, testing & publishing of Amazon Alexa skills. To earn this certification, you’re recommended to possess at least 6 months of industry experience in building Alexa skills using Alexa Skills Kit and also have a sound knowledge of programming languages.

  • Exam Duration: 170 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice exam: 40USD)

3. AWS Certified Security – Specialty

The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification validates your expertise in the security domain in AWS. You’re recommended to possess industrial experience of at least 2 years of securing AWS workloads along with an experience of a minimum of 5 years of designing and implementing security solutions in the IT security domain to earn this certification.

  • Exam Duration: 170 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice exam: 40USD)

4. AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

The AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty certification validates your expertise in the development, implementation, and maintenance of Machine Learning solutions using AWS Cloud. To earn this certification, you’re recommended to have one or two years of experience in the development and architecture of Machine Learning or Deep Learning workloads on the AWS Cloud.

  • Exam Duration: 180 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice exam: 40USD)

5. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

The AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty certification validates your expertise in handling complex networking tasks on AWS. You’re recommended to hold AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification or any other Associate-Level certifications such as Architect, Operations, Developer, etc. before opting for this certification. You’re also recommended to have at least 5 years of experience with architecture & implementation of network solutions.

  • Exam Duration: 170 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD 

6. AWS Certified Database – Specialty

The AWS Certified Database – Specialty certification validates your expertise in designing and maintenance of AWS database solution as per the requirements. You’re recommended to have at least 5 years of industrial experience with database technologies along with a minimum of 2 years of experience on AWS. You also need to have some hands-on experience with AWS Cloud-based relational and non-relational databases.

  • Exam Duration: 180 Minutes
  • Cost: 300 USD (Practice exam: 40USD)

So, this is the complete role-based learning path for AWS Certification from which you can opt for the relevant certification exam based on your requirements and goals. Furthermore, AWS also offers you the various worthwhile resources to prepare for these certifications such as training programs, user guides, etc. Now, what are you waiting for? Prepare for the rewarding AWS Certification exams and advance your Cloud Career to get some ravishing carer opportunities!!




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