An overview of Amazon Web Services certifications, Part 2

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

The Amazon Web Services certification program has strong potential for cloud computing professionals.With the exploding popularity of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite of cloud computing solutions, we’re in the middle of a two-part overview of available AWS certifications. Last month, we looked at the role-based AWS certifications (Foundational, Associate, and Professional levels) available.

This month, it’s time for a brief overview of the three AWS specialty certifications. Each of these is aimed at candidates who have between two and five years of experience in the AWS cloud topic area they are looking to be certified in.

Each certification exam at this level is currently $300 and good for two years (recertification exams are priced at $75). 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 14 days between attempts. Additional information on exam policies, as well as on the exams themselves, is available online.

Advanced Networking

The Amazon Web Services Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty exam (ANS-C00) consists of questions that are multiple choice — with some involving multiple responses — and the passing score is not advertised. The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

The Amazon Web Services certification program has strong potential for cloud computing professionals.

Big Data

This Amazon Web Services Certified Big Data – Specialty exam (BDS-C00) is divided into six domains and heavily focused on tools to use with all aspects of big data (storage, security, visualization, etc.). Again, it is pass or fail and the required score to pass is not publicized. The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

The Amazon Web Services certification program has strong potential for cloud computing professionals.

Security

If you’ve noticed, security has been a recurring theme in almost every AWS exam. The Amazon Web Services Security – Specialty takes on security as a separate topic. This particular exam, (SCS-C01), is not for those who know a little about security, but rather for those who others call on when there is a security incident, or when a secure design needed. All questions are multiple choice, with some involving multiple responses, and the following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

The Amazon Web Services certification program has strong potential for cloud computing professionals.

Machine Learning

The Amazon Web Services Certified Machine Learning – Specialty credential covers an IT hot topic that is almost certain to increase in importance in coming decades. As described by Amazon Web Services, this exam, (MLS-C01), assesses the certification candidate’s “ability to build, train, tune, and deploy machine learning (ML) models using the AWS Cloud.”

The exam, available in both English and Japanese, is a mix of single answer and multiple response multiple choice items. The following table lists the domains, weighting, and topics:

The Amazon Web Services certification program has strong potential for cloud computing professionals.

Coming up

Last month, we looked at the six exams that constitute the role-based certifications available for AWS. This month, we rounded out the discussion by looking at the four specialty exams and the topics associated with each of them. Next month, we will have some Test Yourself questions to see how well you know Amazon Web Services and how ready you are to schedule one of the exams.

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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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