Cloud computing skills are in high demand as companies look to leverage the benefits of scalable public cloud resources.
The challenge? While 75% of tech leaders are building new products and services that leverage the cloud, just 8% of technologists have the cloud-related skills and experience necessary to facilitate these efforts.
The solution? AWS cloud certifications. Here’s a look at what they are, how they work and how they can benefit your career.
Potential Certification Paths
There are currently 12 AWS certification badges divided into four broad groups for IT professionals.
First up is the Foundational Cloud Practitioner certification. This knowledge-based certification requires no previous experience and is where most IT professionals start their AWS qualification journey.
Next are the role-based Associate and Professional certifications. Associated certifications are designed for IT pros with prior cloud or strong on-premises IT experience, and three badges are available: Solutions Architect, Developer and SysOps Administrator. For the two Professional certifications — Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer — Amazon recommends two years of AWS cloud experience.
The last group of AWS certifications is the Specialty badges, each of which comes with its own set of recommended experience. These certifications are designed for IT professionals with both substantive work and Amazon cloud experience. There are six Specialty certifications: Advanced Networking, Data Analytics, Database, Machine Learning, Security and SAP on AWS.
Advantages of AWS Certification
There are several advantages to earning any AWS certification badge. Some of the biggest benefits include:
Increased Career Opportunities
Given both the expanding role of cloud computing in business strategy and the leading position of AWS in the cloud market, Amazon Certifications are a great way to diversify career opportunities.
For example, AWS Solution Architects may find work as cloud architects tasked with building, testing and improving cloud frameworks. AWS Security experts, meanwhile, are often hired as cloud security engineers who help companies protect sensitive data and ensure regulatory compliance.
Improved Earning Potential
Of the 15 most valuable IT certifications in 2022, five are from Amazon. In 14th place is AWS Cloud Practitioner, which comes with an average annual salary of just over $135,000. Big Data Specialty takes 12th spot at $138,000, while Associate Security and Associate Solutions Architect take 6th and 5th place, respectively, with salaries of $149,000 and $155,000. At number one is AWS Professional Solutions Architect, which commands compensation of more than $168,000.
Enhanced Employment Flexibility
AWS certifications also offer the benefit of employment flexibility if a company needs change. This is a concern for many IT professionals, given the increasing number of layoffs currently underway in the tech industry.
Given the breadth and depth of AWS badges, along with their recognized market value, staff are in a better position to shift their focus as required. This means that even if existing job roles are eliminated, IT pros can either shift to new employers or build on existing badges to enhance their skill set.
Paving Your Own Career Path
Certifications from AWS offer skill- and knowledge-based training that make it possible for IT professionals to pave their own career path. From cloud design and development to security and big data, there are a host of benefits to earning any AWS badge. Interested in doing more with your AWS certification? Consider an AWS training program for more information!