Exploring the AWS Certification Levels ONLC Training Centers

An Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certifications is like a badge of honor. With it, you’re signifying that when it comes to one of the most widely-used and relied-upon cloud systems on planet Earth, you have a serviceable and useful level of expertise. Pat yourself on the back!

Looking to learn more about getting a certification? Check out our AWS Certifications you can receive with ONLC.

What Is An AWS Certification?

AWS certifications prove that the holder has practical and theoretical knowledge of specific Amazon AWS systems and functions.  Certifications demonstrate the skills necessary to deploy and manage AWS cloud computing systems.  

Types Of AWS Certifications

AWS certifications come in three levels; Foundational, Associate, and Professional.  Each tier has a different scope (the degree of coverage of AWS services and systems in a certification exam) and depth (the degree of technical knowledge required for each exam).  

Wondering which type is the best AWS certification for you? Let’s take a look at available AWS certification paths:

Foundational Level 

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is an optional foundational level step that prepares users for a higher level associate certification and professional level certifications. This certification exam is designed to test show core knowledge of AWS cloud at a broad level.  The AWS certified cloud practitioner will give you the knowledge of:

  • Core AWS services 
  • Basic AWS architecture and foundations 
  • Basics of AWS security and compliance functions 
  • Cloud computing fundamentals

Associate Level

Associate level AWS certifications are a step up (a considerable measure up) from the foundational level.  These certifications cover a broad spectrum of AWS at a mid-level depth, requiring the student to learn a large number of AWS services and systems at a mid to high level of technical skill. 

AWS Certified Developer – Associate

After completing this certification, you should understand core AWS services and the basic architecture best practices. You should also be able to:

  • Design, develop and deploy AWS cloud-based solutions.
  • Identify techniques needed to code a cloud solution
  • Implement the correct architecture for development and testing environments
  • Work with the various Amazon tools and services associated with databases, messaging, workflows, and notifications
  • Pick the right AWS services for a given application based on requirements
  • Write code for performance optimization of the AWS services utilized by an application.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

Upon completing this certification, you should be able to:

  • Deploy, manage and operate scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant AWS systems
  • Migrate on-premises systems to AWS
  • Implement and control AWS data flow
  • Properly select the AWS service that is best for security, data, or computing requirements
  • Estimate AWS usage costs and identify cost controls

Having one or more years of experience working with AWS systems is required before becoming a candidate for this certification.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The associate level of the AWS Solutions Architect certification will prepare you to:

  • Formulate architectural best practices for AWS
  • Identify cost control measures and estimate AWS costs
  • Design data flow to and from AWS
  • Select the most appropriate AWS service based on security and data requirements and database design
  • Be fluent in the design and application of data security
  • Manage the lift and shift of an on-premises architecture to an AWS cloud-based architecture
  • Design and deploy highly available, secure, scalable, and fault-tolerant AWS systems

Professional Level

AWS professional level certifications show that the holder is an expert in both knowledge and skill.  These certifications are aimed at two specific roles, Solutions Architects and DevOps Engineers.  These certification exams are extremely challenging but can open high-level career paths for their holders.  While not technically a prerequisite, taking an associate exam is a good idea before taking on a professional-level certification.       

AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional

Completing this certification level should provide you with a commanding knowledge of AWS authentication, authorization, and accounting. With this AWS certification level, you will learn:

  • Fluency in the administration of advanced roles and group management
  • The intricacies of subnets and routing
  • Proficiency with advanced networking using IPSec, BGP, Jumbo Frames, and Direct Connect
  • Development and advanced deployment techniques
  • To assess cloud risk, compliance and governance
  • Advanced use of cloud formation
  • Various tools provided by Amazon for monitoring, maintenance, and deployment

AWS Certified Solutions Architect 

The Professional Solutions Architect certification is the highest AWS certification. You should be able to perform all of the duties of the previous certifications as well as the ones listed below.

  • Identify costs and implement complete cost control strategies
  • Design and deploy enterprise-level scalable AWS operations
  • Be able to formulate and carry out a strategy to migrate complex multi-tier applications to AWS
  • Select the correct AWS best practices to design and deploy applications based on the provided requirements
  • Design and implement the various networking features of AWS
  • Master the design and implementation of AWS connectivity
  • Design and deploy dynamically reliable, scalable, fault-tolerant, highly available, and secure AWS applications

Specialty Certifications

Specialty certifications are neither associate nor professional level, but instead are an expert level deep dive into certain AWS services.  These exams cover a narrow scope and deep depth of knowledge.  Some specialty certifications recommend five or more years of experience in your field before attempting them.   Currently, there are seven specialty certifications available.  

  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty 
  • AWS Certified Security Specialty 
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty 
  • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty 
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty 
  • AWS Certified Database Specialty  

Did you figure out which is the best AWS certification level for you to pursue? Are you ready to sharpen your pre-existing skills? Contact ONLC today to learn more about our offerings and get signed up.


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