Over the past several years, cloud computing domain generated much hype, interest, and investment within the IT industry. The cloud has become a Mantra for end-users and service providers, as well as global companies and organizations of all sizes. As a result, companies that offer cloud-related products & services, such as Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft, IBM, and VMware are attracting users with a variety of cloud solutions. This is creating a surge in cloud computing jobs and a demand for certified professionals.
As per hostingtribunal.com, the global public cloud computing market is set to reach $258 billion by the end of 2019. It even says 90% of companies are already moved to the cloud. The cloud infrastructure spending by various companies surpassed $80 billion in 2018(source: Canalys). Top three public cloud service providers are still dominating IaaS public cloud domain with the majority of market share. They are Amazon Web Services (AWS) with 47.8%, Microsoft Azure with 15.5% and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with 4.0% (source: Gartner).
While Azure and GCP are growing consistently, AWS clearly remains as the leader in the cloud computing market. This brings us to know more about AWS jobs, salaries, learning path, certification and exam preparation.
A)Benefits of AWS Certifications
There are plentiful advantages to become an AWS certified professional:
- these certifications help to validate your knowledge & skills in the outstanding cloud computing platform.
- these certifications are consistently listed among the top-paying IT certifications worldwide.
- they garner more interviews and higher wages for aspiring cloud specialists.
- they offer globally-recognized credentials.
- they provide credibility and dedication to your cloud engineering career path.
- they open road to a network of like-minded peers and AWS thought-leaders.
- recertification exams ensure your AWS skills remain current.
B)AWS Jobs & Salaries Across the Globe
The high adoption rate of AWS cloud services by organizations around the globe has raised the need for workforce and some of the top salaries, making IT professionals pursue these relevant certifications in particular.
C)Levels of AWS Certifications
The AWS role-based certification tracks offer foundational, associate, professional, and specialty level paths for developers, sysops administrators, and solutions architects. They help you build and validate your cloud skills so you can do more on the cloud.
D) Learning Methods and Materials
The best preparation for AWS Certification exams is gaining hands-on practical experience. Whether you are just starting out, building on existing IT skills, or sharpening your cloud knowledge – our AWS Certification Training can help you to bridge skills gaps and enhance your cloud knowledge further.
E) Tips for Preparing an AWS Certification Exam
Here, I have tried summarizing steps you can follow before giving the required exam. Dig in!
a)Book the exam, but give yourself enough time
Do not book the exam only when the exam dates are near. Book them in advance so that you can plan your study.
b)How long will it take to prepare for the exam?
With a full-time job and other commitments, investing 80 hours or two months of study is recommended for Solutions Architect – Associate exam. But if you are entirely new to AWS, preparing approximately 120 hours or three months is highly desired. If you are an absolute beginner in AWS then start with the fundamentals, and move to the Solutions Architect – Associate Learning Path.
c)Find a study buddy
Getting AWS certified is encouraged by the management team in most of the organizations. Find out who has already got certified and learn the best practices from them. Also find out if anyone else is preparing for certification, so that you both can put in some study hours together.
d)Learn the theory and do the labs
There are plenty of certification preparation and training opportunities. Practical labs immediately after learning the theory give you the benefit of firsthand experience.
e)Practice Sample Questions
You may or may not see sample questions you practiced in the actual exam but practicing those sample questions will equip you enough to think out of the box and apply the real skills during the exam. A set of 10 sample questions and answers is available on the official AWS website. It is important to review them to understand the type of questions that are asked in the exam. Essentially, this would help you to get a basic idea about the exam pattern.
f)Where to focus your time
If you are already a Solutions Architect and the Associate level exam connects with your current or previous work experience then you need to decide where to focus more.
The certification exam throws about 60 percent questions on Designing Solutions. Another 30% on security and troubleshooting (might be familiar to those with an IT or System Administrator background). The remaining 10% focuses on deployment and implementation (might be familiar to developers or programmers).The best approach is to delve deeply into any unfamiliar territory. Hands-on labs, scenario-based use-cases, real-time examples, books, podcasts and videos on learning materials shall help you in getting ready for the exam.
g)Learn the A to Z of Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Learn in detail about the core AWS’s services – compute, storage, networking, security & identity management, architecture, global infrastructure, management & configuration tools. Our training course provides you with a good grasp an all you need to know of AWS services. You can visit onlineidealab.com for more details.
h)Sign-Up for AWS Free Tier Account
AWS free tier is the free web services environment offered by Amazon for its users. Signing up for the same will enable you to explore the AWS console. It will provide you hands-on experience of working with AWS.
Please visit the AWS website and sign-up for the AWS Free Tier Account.
You can browse the official certification page at AWS website for any information about the exam, documentation, white papers, FAQs, etc. Study the exam guide and sample questions to know the exam layout and domains covered. AWS has a good documentation repository for all services. Referring to this documentation is the best choice to get started with the implementations. Every service has an FAQ section in its documentation. Read those as that section has answers for lots of confusing questions.
White papers give you an overall conceptual idea about the services. Some of the important white papers you should go through are –
- Overview of Amazon Web Services
- AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Architecting for the Cloud: AWS Best Practices
- AWS Security Best Practices
- AWS Storage Services Overview
j)Watch Re-invent Videos
You can gain conceptual knowledge on core services like VPC, RDS, EC2, and S3 when you watch the amazon-reinvent videos.
k)Use cases and Architectures
Learn the use cases of every service like SWF, SQS, SNS, SES, etc. Go through all the reference architectures provided by AWS on its official page. Understand services like EC2, SQS, S3, DynamoDB, RDS, VPC, Route53, CloudFront, CloudWatch, ELB, Autoscaling, Elastic Cache, and others are used.
There are a number of commercial mock exam simulators in the market. Also, there are few apps available for practicing AWS certification questions on play store or app store. You can work on them for in-depth knowledge of AWS.
m)Read AWS Books
It is recommended to prepare through some good AWS books to pass the AWS architect certification exam, though you learn a lot through the official study guide for AWS certified solutions architect associate exam. You can refer:
- “Amazon Web Services in Action” by Andreas Wittig and Michael Wittig
- “AWS For Admins For Dummies – 1st Edition” by John Paul Mueller
- “AWS Administration Cookbook” by Lucas Chan and Rowan Udell
n)Online Articles and Forum Discussions
You can research and find some good articles on each and every topic of AWS concepts. You can even participate in discussion forums and ask your questions. There, you will get the experts answers to all of your queries about the exam, exam objective, exam information, and exam topics.
o)During the exam…
Don’t hit submit until you have attempted all the questions. Skip fast the questions and come back and answer. Read questions and multiple choices carefully and answer them.
p)What happens after you finish the exam?
Associate-level exams have130 minutes to complete while Professional and Specialty exams last 170 minutes. After completing the exam, AWS certification results are posted within 72 hours under the test taker’s AWS Certification Account. IT professionals who achieve a passing score receive an e-certificate and can download specific AWS-certified logos and badges for personal and professional use. IT pros who fail the exam can retake it two weeks later.
Note: Amazon requests every candidate to sign up for the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before writing the exam. The exam takers are not allowed to disclose any of the exam details like the number of questions, type of questions, passing score, etc. If such information is leaked to the public, Amazon is authorized to cancel the respective candidate’s certification.
q)AWS Certification Lifecycle & Recertification
AWS Certifications are valid for 3 years. Recertification helps to keep your AWS credentials current. It strengthens the overall value of your AWS Certification and shows individuals and employers that your credential covers the latest AWS knowledge, skills, and best practices.
Stay current with AWS once certified!
Amazon Web Services launches new updates daily and it’s hard to find the time to keep up. To help you stay up-to-date after your certification, we hall provide quick and current headlines from Amazon Web Services delivered to your inbox every week.
Stay with us. Good Luck!