An overview of Amazon Web Services certifications, Part 1

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Note: This is Part 2 of 2. To read Part 1, click here.

AWS is making a certification splash. Which are the Amazon Web Services certifications that you should know more about?Amazon Webs Services (AWS) has been hosting sites and providing cloud services for years. During much of that time, they have stayed below the radar and been an unknown entity to many not directly involved in network/cloud administration. Recently, though, they have started advertising, promoting themselves, and working their way into conversations of managers and accountants alike. As a result of this, at least one AWS-related certification is appearing on every list of top/popular certifications for this year.

AWS certifications have been in existence for a while and there are a number of them ranging from entry level to a mastery of some area of technical expertise. Most of them are based on the role the individual plays and test skills associated with deploying and managing an AWS implementation.

What follows is an overview of six of the role-based certifications (we will not be looking at specialty certificates until next month) and what you should know for and about each of them: more information about all of the credentials discussed here is available online. In coming months, we will focus on a few of the AWS certs in greater depth.

The Amazon Web Services certifications are arranged in difficulty from the Foundational level (six months knowledge/experience expected) to the Associate level (one year) and the Professional level (two or more years). The Cloud Practitioner certification is the only Foundational, entry-level, certification in the AWS family and the cost to take the exams is currently $100.

The Associate level exams (Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps Administrator) are $150, and the Professional level exams (Solutions Architect, and DevOps Engineer) are $300.  Certifications are good for two years, and then you must recertify (at a discounted rate of $75 per exam).

While there is no limit on the number of times you can take an exam until you pass, there is a required waiting period of fourteen days between each attempt. The six exams discussed here make up the role-based certifications available for AWS. Next month, we will take a look at the three specialty exams and the distinctions of each of them.

Cloud Practitioner: Foundational

This exam (CLF-C01) is divided into four domains and focused heavily on entry-level knowledge of IT services and the AWS platform- in other words, can you “define,” “identify,” and understand the AWS cloud concept. The passing score is 700 on a range from 100 to 1,000 and all questions are multiple choice, with some involving multiple responses.

The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

Cloud Practitioner: Foundational Requirements

Solutions Architect: Associate

This exam (SAA-C01) is divided into five domains and more heavily focused on having had experience with the AWS Cloud and working with it hands-on. Instead of so much “define” and “identify,” there is more “choose” and “determine.” The passing score is 720 on a range from 100 to 1,000 and all questions are multiple choice, with some involving multiple responses.

The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

Solutions Architect: Associate Requirements

Developer: Associate

This exam (DVA-C01) is similarly divided into five domains and heavily focused on an understanding of best practices. Not only are developing and deploying aptitudes tested, but also those associated with debugging. The verbs commonly used for topic areas with this exam are “implement” and “write,” The passing score is 720 on a range from 100 to 1,000 and all questions are multiple choice, with some involving multiple responses.

The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

Developer: Associate Requirements

SysOps Administrator: Associate

This exam (SOA-C01) is divided into seven domains and more heavily focused on networking concepts and virtualization. How to “create” and “implement” are two of the more common verbs associated with the topics you need to know. The passing score is 720 on a range from 100 to 1,000 and all questions are multiple choice, with some involving multiple responses.

The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

SysOps Administrator: Associate Requirements

Solutions Architect: Professional

Not to be confused with the Solutions Architect certification at the Associate level, this one — though it has the same name — is geared toward those with much more experience and troubleshooting knowledge than the previously mentioned one. This exam is divided into eight domains and heavily focused on the candidate being able to “design” and “demonstrate.”

The passing score is not proclaimed and the following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

Solutions Architect: Professional Requirements

DevOps Engineer: Professional

Running the gamut of topics, this certification differs from most of the others in that it does have a prerequisite: it requires the candidate to already be certified as a SysOps Administrator at the Associate level. By requiring that certification, the exam for this one can focus only on the higher-end topics and focus on the candidate’s ability to “monitor,” “analyze,” and “manage.”

The passing score is not proclaimed and the following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

DevOps Engineer: Professional Requirements

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Emmett Dulaney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emmett Dulaney is an associate professor and the author of numerous certification study guides, including the CompTIA A+ Complete Deluxe Study Guide, Second Edition (ISBN: 978-1-118324066).

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One thought on “An overview of Amazon Web Services certifications, Part 1”

  1. Very informative. I do recommend CompTIA Cloud Essentials in conjunction with the Cloud Practitioner. Thereafter, CompTIA Cloud+ with the Solutions Architect – Associate. This will give you a robust understanding of Cloud. Cybrary also offers a foundational class.

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