Is AWS Certification Worth it?

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In the modern digital age, there is less emphasis on certification and more on an individual’s portfolio. But when we see the job market there is a certain benefit of having a certification. Having an AWS certification can greatly improve one’s chance of having a job and increase salary to live a comfortable life.

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AWS contains about 34% of market share. So it’s safe to say, if you are going to learn deep into a cloud platform, AWS can’t be a bad investment.

Experienced VS Certified

Even if one doesn’t have an AWS certificate, if he can prove that he knows what he’s talking about, then there can be no obstacle in his way to career improvement. But companies during their hiring process can’t test a candidate’s experience properly. In this case, the certificate acts as a filtering technique. A professional certificate also makes an employer too valuable to leave for the company. An AWS certificate typically correlates to a higher salary.

In many cases, a certified employee will not be able to solve problems elegantly as an experienced employee. But a certificate gives a certain advantage to rise the corporate ladder and have a good income.

Skills and Salary

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AWS gives many certificates for different types of skills, here is a list of all the available certificates with an average salary provided by ZipRecruiter (https://www.ziprecruiter.com/):

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner ($135,594 /year)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate ($152,171 /year)
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate ($98,342 /year)
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate ($132,055 /year)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional ($162,438 /year)
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional ($156,000 /year)
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty ($84,266 /year)
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty ($125,697 /year)
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty ($114,056 /year)
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty ($127,549 /year)
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty ($113,340 /year)
  • AWS Certified: SAP on AWS – Specialty ($59 /hour)

The different types of certificates apply to different parts of technological skills and could differ with salary due to the demand and complexity involved in the skill.

Why Does Certificate Matter?

Having an AWS certificate is more than just a decorative thing. A certificate shows confidence in the applicant and a high salary proves the worth of having a certificate. A certificate can give one competitive advantage over others. It can also be a way to overcome one’s shortage of experience.

A certificate can also increase efficiency and provide candidates with best practices to do things. If someone is unsure if he should study for the certificate, he should also consider that the skills learned can be easily transferable to other tech sectors and the confidence boost from a certificate will certainly be beneficial for a candidate. Various surveys show about a 25% salary increase for AWS professionals. So earning a certificate can be a good investment in today’s world.

Demands for AWS Cloud Skills

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AWS is the fastest-growing cloud service provider. It had a 7-year head start over its competitors. AWS revenue was 6 Billion USD per year in 2015. It’s been increasingly growing since the first decade of this century. According to AWS’s acknowledgment (Demand for cloud skills in APAC expected to triple by 2025: advice for workers looking to build skills), demand for cloud skills in APAC is expected to triple by 2025. As many companies are moving toward cloud integration of their products due to its affordability for large-scale hosting (Is AWS web hosting worth it?) and other services, people with AWS skills are needed by these companies. And the current payment of AWS-certified people is on the top tier. And with the increasing trend of cloud applications, these payments will surely increase.

What Should You Learn?

Just earning a certificate for a certificate’s sake might not be a good choice in the long term. Sometimes beginners don’t know what they should start with. The certificates mainly give role-based confirmation of skill. 

These roles are 

  1. DevOps Engineer
  2. Software Architect
  3. System Admin
  4. Database Administrator
  5. Big Data Professional
  6. Security Expert
  7. Network Expert 
  8. Data Analyst

For a beginner trying to learn a complex subject just because the salary is high might not be a successful approach. So If you are confused about what certificate to go for, you should learn about the individual role to decide what to pursue.

The AWS Cloud Practitioner can be your first choice to go after. It provides basic know-how of how to work with cloud computing and AWS infrastructure without going deep into any services. A beginner can pass this test with one week of practice. This can be good for morale. Then you can move onto higher level certifications depending upon your choice.

Should You Earn All the Certificates?

There is also the question of whether you should go for all the AWS certifications. If you dedicatedly want to become an AWS expert with various levels of skills then you might go for it. But keep in mind the cost of all the exams and the time required to finish the exams. All these certifications have 30% of common topics. First, complete the associate level certificates, then go for the professional level certificates. But don’t decide hastily. A concentrated approach with focused goals can make you highly demanding than your peers. 

Best of luck!

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