AWS Certification in 2021. Is it Worth It?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) was launched in 2002, mainly offering a small set of services by the parent company Amazon. In 2004, it was expanded to include public usage and since then, the service has grown to become one of the largest internet-based companies in the world.
Big corporations, from SAP to Tata Motors and Pfizer to Walt Disney, plus a few hundred top-500 companies, are signing up to the AWS cloud to make sure operations run. However, all these organizations are running into a major problem—the skills gap.
Few people have the skills and knowledge to manipulate cloud services. Many cloud-specific positions are going unfilled and salaries for certified and trained cloud professionals are soaring through the roof.
Many organizations cite a lack of cloud skills as a major impediment to adopting the cloud technology. Here, we find out if AWS certification in 2021 is still relevant and explore viable opportunities available.
But first, let’s get some basics out of the way.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads and continues in championing the growth in cloud computing and is an undisputed leader in the cloud technology sphere, thanks to a host of innovative cloud computing structures:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Major reasons for organizations to use AWS include the following:
- They want to improve agility using the cloud;
- They want to reduce the time to get online;
- Businesses that adopt cloud technology experience an average of 20.66 percent improvement in getting to market;
- They want to ensure that everything is secure using AWS data centers.
Why AWS is an Industry Game Changer
AWS takes the lion’s share in today’s cloud computing services market. Here are a few statistics and projections that prove this:
- Wikibon estimates AWS to make over $43 billion by 2022;
- More than 55 percent of Amazon’s operating revenue in the second quarter of 2018 came from AWS, according to Statista;
- Close to 80 percent of organizations around the world were already using AWS applications and a further 12 percent are experimenting with the services;
- In 2013, AWS had a revenue of over $3 billion, jumping to over $45 billion in 2020, according to Statica;
- A CNBC news update shows that Lyft is committed to spend a minimum of $300 million on AWS by 2021.
AWS is considered a market leader and mature provider of cloud computing services, making it a reference point and thought leader among its competitors. For the 10th year in a row, AWS was named as an Infrastructure & Platform Services Magic Quadrant leader by Gartner in 2020.
7 Benefits of AWS Certification
1. Better career flexibility
The newest certifications give you a clear advantage over the competition in the modern, fast-paced job market. Certifications in AWS are critical if you intend to pursue a career in cloud computing as they offer you flexible career options. With a 33 percent cloud computing market share and a 43 percent year-over-year growth potential, AWS is expected to an even bigger influence over the industry. These numbers and shares show that certified AWS experts are in huge demand.
AWS certification equips you with the skills to become an expert in managing, developing, and executing cloud services in various verticals. Finance, government, retail, healthcare, insurance, and banking are just a few business niches that require cloud specialists like you. Further, AWS-certified cloud professionals can fill up positions across the world, including remote positions in Europe, Asia, and the United States.
2. Tap into better-paying job markets
IT certifications help clear the path towards achieving a fulfilling IT career. Among the top IT certifications with the best pay potential are AWS certifications. Today, an AWS-certified senior software engineer makes an average of $67 per hour, while an AWS-certified cloud solutions architect gets to take home about $73 an hour in the United States. With the demand for cloud professionals increasing, you can earn good compensation packages wherever you decide to work across the world.
3. Attain better recognition and career progression
Certifications in the IT job market provide an extra benefit when going through the recruitment process, assisting you to become more prominent in the ever-competitive world. Many enterprises today favor candidates that come with industry certifications such as AWS certification while vetting potential employees.
4. Join a network of global professionals
Professionals from across the globe and many industries are in the AWS Certified Global Community. Earning a certification gives you full access to this critical body, which can help you build your range of contacts in a way that would not be possible through other means.
5. Showcase your dedication towards the Cloud industry
An AWS certification is a demonstration of your commitment level to the industry and the best practices. Earning an AWS certification requires a significant amount of time, dedication, hard work, and effort. This dedication is inspiring to many, especially employers.
6. Assist the organization in creating customized training programs
Each enterprise has unique AWS platform requirements, so employee training needs to address the business goals. AWS-certified professionals are in the prime position to help in building, running, and executing these training programs, becoming a critical asset to the firm.
7. Relatively easy to learn
Getting certified is hard work, but AWS certifications are not as difficult and time-consuming as other IT certifications. While a lot could be going on in your life right now, it is worth making some compromises to earn AWS certifications. They can help you achieve your career ambitions and pave the way to a career in a technology field you love.
Why Do Enterprises Demand Amazon Cloud Computing?
According to the report What is AWS and What Makes it AWSome?, AWS provides a steady technology platform. AWS data centers feature different security layers, which ensure data safety and integrity. Audits are regularly carried out by AWS to make sure the security infrastructure is impenetrable.
Other reasons that more businesses are signing up with AWS include the following:
- Cost-effective solutions: The AWS pricing system does not require a significant commitment in terms of expenses. The base fees are relatively low and companies have the option of paying selectively for services as they use them. This way, users can save significantly on costs. AWS’ storage capacity and computing power depend on the requirements of a business. Plus, enterprise owners don’t need to worry about any upfront investment or minimum-expenditure requirement.
- Flexible and open: The AWS structure lets users select a programming model or developmental platform that benefits them the most. This flexibility lets businesses focus on innovating and not infrastructure. Users have the option of working with the operating systems, databases, programming languages, and architectures they are most familiar with.
- AWS services are scalable and elastic: The global cloud infrastructure offered by AWS allows you to be creative and makes experimenting easy. Depending on your needs, it’s easy to scale the services up or down. There are also options to remove and add resources to adjust to requirements, making you more effective at managing project costs.
As mentioned earlier, a common challenge for organizations interested in adopting cloud technologies is the lack of expertise. This is where you and AWS certification come in.
What Are the 12 AWS Certifications?
Currently, AWS offers 12 certifications that cover everything on the cloud subject, from foundational to specialty levels, for those who are interested in joining the revolution. Each exam ranges from $150 to $300.
The certification you take depends on your career path and experience level with AWS products.
- AWS-Certified Cloud Practitioner: This course is suitable for those who have a working knowledge of AWS Cloud and want to take an Associate or Specialty certification.
- AWS-Certified Developer Associate: This is suitable for individuals in the development space who have at least a year’s experience of working with AWS-based applications.
- AWS-Certified SysOps Administrator Associate: This certification is for anyone who has worked in the systems operations or administration role for up to two years.
- AWS-Certified Solutions Architect Associate: This course is for those who have worked as solutions architects for more than a year.
- AWS-Certified DevOps Engineer Professional: This is a professional-level certification for individuals in DevOps position and with over two years of experience working with AWS environments.
- AWS-Certified Solutions Architect Professional: If you have more than a year’s experience dealing with AWS systems, this is the certification for you.
- AWS-Certified Database Specialty: This course is a specialty certification for those with at least five years of experience in managing common database technologies, two years of working with AWS, and working with AWS Cloud-based NoSQL and relational databases.
- AWS-Certified Data Analytics Specialty: This is a certification for data professionals and software developers capable of showing their data analytical skills using the AWS platform.
- AWS-Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty: This is for the individual whose role involves creating and managing Alexa skills.
- AWS-Certified Machine Learning Specialty: This course is for people in Data or Development Science roles.
- AWS-Certified Security Specialty: This is an ideal course for individuals working in security roles with two years of experience in AWS workloads.
- AWS-Certified Advanced Networking Specialty: This course is for candidates who carry out complicated tasks in networking.
Each certification is globally recognized as a validation of your AWS skills. Having the right AWS certification is critical for your career development.
Why the Right AWS Certification is Valuable
An AWS-certified professional has some of the most in-demand skills in the cloud space industry. AWS training & certification courses help you prepare for each certification. Not to forget that it also validates your skills through one of the world’s best known cloud computing entities.
In the job market, your certification means that you understand the platform that everyone is currently using. Plus, you achieve a certain level of expertise, which will help you speed up and save time while working on cloud-based projects. Organizations looking for recruits value AWS accreditation as it validates your familiarity with and understanding as well as expertise of cloud architecture, security, and management.
Are AWS Certifications Worth the Trouble in 2021?
There is a recurring debate in business circles on how important AWS certifications are. Some argue that AWS is what service organizations pay for, so on-the-job training and experience are all that is required to learn to fully utilize the service to achieve business objectives.
However, two things negate this thought:
First, AWS comprises over 200 services as of 2021 and there are plans of including more cloud-related services as demand grows.
Second, AWS is the market’s largest cloud service with a share three times that of Microsoft Azure—the closest dominant cloud service.
Online AWS training and certifications allow cloud professionals to learn all about the 200 services in a streamlined and in-depth manner. The training courses and certifications are rigorous and evaluate skills relevant to the platform before offering candidates a validation through certificates.
With such an extensive hold on the market, AWS-certified professionals are better positioned to prove to enterprises their skills related to the platform. This makes them a prime candidate for one of the most sought-after qualifications in the corporate world.
So, AWS certification is certainly worth it in 2021.
However, to make things clearer, you must consider a few more factors in making an informed decision.
Value of AWS Certification to a Professional
If you are a professional already working with AWS cloud infrastructure, enrolling for AWS certification can help you increase your knowledge of AWS services. You get to explore how different aspects of the platform work such as costing, security, scalability, and many others. These new skills equip you with the tools required to use the platform for the organization you are working in.
For the new AWS user, certification increases your chances of getting well-paying positions. The certifications authenticate your AWS-related skills, which appeal more to firms today than your previous job experiences alone.
How Long it Takes to Achieve AWS Certification
As a beginner, you need to invest three months or 120 hours of learning. Experienced professionals complete certifications within two months or 80 hours. The workload is easily manageable even when you have a full-time job and other commitments.
Additionally, AWS certification training courses offered by AWS experts enable learners to gain the required background knowledge related to the AWS certifications they want to achieve.
Quick Tips for the Certification Process
Here are a few tips from experts for those who are preparing for AWS certification:
- Be committed: Give the certification process your best. You must be prepared to dedicate a considerable amount of effort and time into learning and understanding AWS offers. Part of the preparation includes taking practice exams during AWS certification training to gauge your progress.
- Use available resources: Make sure you use all the available resources to your advantage. However, be careful in choosing only those resources that apply to you. The official AWS blogs provide you with the latest information on concepts, products, best practices, and features.
- Practice proper problem solving: Solving AWS issues demands you to understand the practical scenario. The problem-solving process includes considering various factors such as global reach, performance, and cost. Like any other technical issue you come across, various solutions are there depending on the available tools and resources. AWS provides many alternatives, but you must understand what each question expects of you.
- Don’t rush: It’s easy to feel the pressure to rush since AWS certifications offer the promise of increased income and better opportunities. However, rushing will not do you any good. This is a massive commitment, so give it time and make it a part of your professional career.
Types of AWS Certification Training
Below are three principal ways in which you can build your AWS knowledge base:
Via digital training
These AWS online training and on-demand courses empower you with the working knowledge of the latest services as they come up and when you need them. AWS provides many resources for scrubbing up your knowledge at your own pace and time. You can also join third-party training courses that are critical in helping you land the certification you desire.
Via classroom training
If a formal environment is more your thing, then this may be a great fit. Classroom training involves virtual or in-person training from expert instructors in a hands-on learning environment.
Amazon Web Services is one of the leading names shaping the future of cloud technology. Preparing for future trends in the resulting cloud job market provides you with some incredible benefits. After all, it’s important to take a glance at the prospects for accessing more jobs and drawing a potentially higher salary.
An AWS certification today can help you stand out in the crowd and stay ahead of the fast-growing cloud market. Not only does it establish your credentials but also offers you a chance to broaden your professional network. Certification also provides professional development and continuous learning. Check out our AWS training & certification courses today and get a head start towards the brighter future you deserve!
Propel your career to the next level. Enroll today!