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AWS Certifications List – Which one should you get first?

Cloud Computing has become very popular nowadays with more and more business enterprises around the world taking their processes on the cloud. With cloud computing platforms like AWS, Microsoft, Google, etc. organizations have a variety of options available to them to operate their businesses virtually anywhere in the world without compromising on security. Though Microsoft and Google both serve the same purpose of providing cloud services to businesses, Amazon’s AWS has managed to make themselves the leader in cloud computing with list of AWS certifications.

AWS Certification Path
AWS Certifications List

AWS or Amazon Web Services are used by many top business organizations like Adobe and BMW. Getting a certification in AWS or starting career in AWS can make an individual ready to start working in top organizations with adequate knowledge of cloud computing services. Amazon has a long list of AWS Certifications; however, these are designed to meet certain eligibility criteria that an individual must fulfill before applying.

AWS Certifications List

Presently, Amazon offers 11 certifications based on roles like Architect, Operation, Developer, and several specialty certifications. The certificates are divided into three main categories – Foundational, Professional, and Specialty. Here is the list of AWS Certifications as mentioned on the AWS website:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty

AWS has no prerequisites for any of the above certification examinations although there are some guidelines that still need to be followed for attempting the professional and specialty certifications. The foundational certification of AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the natural starting point for any individual who is a beginner and wants to get started in the cloud computing sector. However, those who have some knowledge of cloud computing services can opt for the AWS Certified Developer Associate Certification. Some individuals may choose the other two associate-level certifications as well depending on the requirements.

To know which associate-level certification is best for an individual here is a short description of the roles:

Solutions Architects

These professionals have some experience in working in the AWS cloud computing platform. They are knowledgeable and skilled in using AWS services to meet the requirements of their organization. The AWS Certified Solution Architect- Associate Certification is widely considered to be the most popular and valuable cloud computing certificates available. Also, AWS Solutions Architects frequently ranks among the highest-paid IT professionals in the world. Thus, this can be the best starting point for cloud computing aspirants who want to work for big organizations supporting AWS.

SysOps Administrators

The SysOps Administrator certificate is suitable for individuals who are involved in operations and need to have a complete understanding of the AWS architecture. The cost and curriculum for this exam are almost the same as that of the Solutions Architect. However, the updated version focuses more on the technical aspects like building applications on the AWS platform and includes practical labs like performing tasks in the AWS Management Console or AWS Command-Line. This certificate can be highly beneficial for individuals who want to earn professional or specialty certifications later.


The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certificate can be considered as the best AWS certification for beginners after the foundational cloud practitioner certificate. Developer Associates have some experience in the AWS platform and are not complete beginners. They have hands-on experience in working in the AWS cloud computing architecture and have the knowledge of best practices recommended by Amazon. After the Solutions Architect, the Developer Associate certification is the most popular and valuable AWS Certifications in the world.

Which AWS Certification should you get first?

To answer the above question, an individual must assess where they are at present in terms of education and experience. If an individual is an absolute beginner and has no knowledge of cloud computing or AWS, then they must take the foundational certification examination and earn the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certificate. For those who have some knowledge of cloud computing and want to expand their knowledge further, the AWS Certified Developer-Associate Certification can be a good starting point. As mentioned earlier, the decision about which AWS certificate is right for an individual depends on their requirements and their career objectives.

AWS certifications are very valuable and offer IT professionals who work in the cloud computing sector earn better than their non-certified counterparts. These certifications validate an individual’s knowledge of the AWS cloud architecture and measure their skills in designing, planning, managing, and deploying applications on AWS. Depending on the skillset and the requirements of the job you are applying for, AWS Certifications are designed to fulfill the needs of the individual as well as the organization they work for. Therefore, earning an AWS Certification will prove very rewarding for you.

Posted in Cloud Computing

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