Which AWS certification is the best?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has divided certification in five categories:

1. Cloud Practitioner

2. Architect

3. Developer

4. Operations

5. Specialties

1. Cloud Practitioner:

The Cloud Practitioner exam provides individuals with an overall understanding of the AWS Cloud to validate their knowledge with an industry-recognized credential.

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner: This exam provides individuals in a larger variety of cloud and technology roles with a way to validate their AWS Cloud knowledge and enhance their professional credibility. This exam covers four domains, including: cloud concepts, security, technology, and billing and pricing.

Exam Overview

  • The exam is 100 USD
  • Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the exam

2. Architect:

Architecting exams validate technical knowledge for solutions architects, solution design engineers, and anyone who designs applications and systems on AWS.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: This exam validates your ability to effectively demonstrate knowledge of how to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. We recommend candidates have at least one year of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable and distributed systems on AWS.

Exam Overview

  • Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • 130 minutes to complete the exam
  • Exam available in English, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese
  • Exam registration fee is 150 USD

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional: This exam tests your advanced technical skills and experience in designing distributed applications and systems on the AWS platform. This is recommended for anyone that has completed an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification with two or more years of hands-on experience designing and deploying cloud architecture on AWS.

Exam Overview

  • Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • 170 minutes to complete the exam
  • Exam available in English and Japanese
  • Exam registration fee is USD 300

3. Developer:

Developing exams validate technical knowledge for software developers who develop cloud applications on AWS.

AWS Certified Developer – Associate: This exam validates proficiency in developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS. This is for anyone with one or more years of hands-on experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application, plus in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language.

There are two versions of exam available:

  • Version 1: (Latest) AWS Certified Developer – Associate
    (Released June 2018)
Exam Questions Multiple choice and multiple answer
Number of Questions 65
Time to Complete 130 minutes
Available Langauges English, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese
Practice Exam Fee 20 USD
Exam Fee 150 USD
  • Version 2: (Old) AWS Certified Developer – Associate
Exam Questions Multiple choice and multiple answer
Number of Questions 55
Time to Complete 80 minutes
Available Langauges English, Japanese, Simplified Chinese
Practice Exam Fee 20 USD
Exam Fee 150 USD

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: This exam tests your technical expertise in provisioning, operating, and managing distributed application systems on the AWS platform. This is recommended for anyone that has achieved AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification with two or more years of hands-on experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments.

Exam Overview

  • Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • 170 minutes to complete the exam
  • Exam available in English
  • Exam registration fee is USD 300

4. Operations:

Operations exams validate technical knowledge for SysOps administrators, systems administrators, and those in a DevOps role who create automatable and repeatable deployments of applications, networks, and systems on the AWS platform.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: This exam tests your technical expertise in deployment, management, and operations on the AWS platform. This is for anyone with one or more years of hands-on experience operating AWS-based applications.

Exam overview

  • Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • 130 minutes to complete the exam
  • Available in English and Japanese
  • Exam registration fee is USD 150

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: This exam tests your technical expertise in provisioning, operating, and managing distributed application systems on the AWS platform. This is recommended for anyone who has achieved AWS Certified Developer – Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification and has two or more years of hands-on experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments.

Exam Overview

  • Multiple-choice and multiple-answer questions
  • 170 minutes to complete the exam
  • Exam available in English
  • Exam registration fee is USD 300

5. Specialties:

Specialty exams validate technical knowledge for AWS experts who also possess expertise in specific technical areas. They’re recommended for individuals with a deep proficiency and real-world experience in an area of specialization.

AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty: This exam tests your technical expertise in designing and implementing AWS services to derive value from data. This is for anyone who performs complex Big Data analyses.

Exam Overview

  • Format: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Length: 170 minutes
  • Language: English, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese
  • Registration Fee: 300 USD

AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty: This exam tests your technical expertise in designing and implementing AWS and hybrid IT architectures at scale. This is for anyone who performs complex networking tasks.

Exam Overview

  • Format: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Length: 170 minutes
  • Languages: English, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese
  • Registration Fee: 300 USD

WS Certified Security – Specialty: This exam tests your technical expertise in securing the AWS platform. This is for anyone in an experienced security role.

Exam Overview

  • Format: Multiple choice, multiple answer
  • Length: 170 minutes, 65 questions
  • Languages: English, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese
  • Registration Fee: 300 USD

Conclusion: In an easy word, we recommends,

  • If you are new to AWS go for Cloud Practitioner.
  • If you want to design and architect AWS cloud then choose Architect path (Beware have more focus on Services and Designing Cloud).
  • If your core area of expertise in delivery and development of projects and you worked on Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery then choose developer path (this focus more on using of services).
  • If you are in operations choose operations path.
  • Big Data, Security and Networking are everywhere useful. As a Developer/SysAdmin/Architect you should always have knowledge of Networking, Big Data and Security. Hence you should choose for specialty exams as per your interest. But we recommend focusing first on your core areas like, Architect, Developer or Operations and then browse for another path of certification.
  • Now AWS has also came with speciality exam for Alexa skills though it was in beta but it’s worth to look into it. Beta exam ended hope full exam will get launched soon.
  • Keep eyebon beta exam because it will give you 50% off on exam fee and if you will not able to clear exam then you will get one additional chance without additional fee to pass exam when full version will get launched. The concept might change in future. For latest updates please check AWS certication site.

Reference: Above all information has been taken from: https://aws.amazon.com/certification/

Please Note: AWS Professional and Specialty Exams has NO Prerequisites Now. AWS opened all exams to attempt directly. Please Refer: http://atechnologyguru.com/2018/11/09/aws-professional-and-specialty-exams-has-no-prerequisites-now/



By: Himanshu Shekhar

Himanshu Shekhar is Chief Technology Officer, having expertise in Mobile Apps, Java, J2ee, Oracle, Web, IoT, DevOps, Microseconds, Blockchain and AWS Cloud since 18 years. He is Certified Professional of many Technologies.

He worked in the technology division of companies like Sunlife Financial (Fortune 500 Company), Aricent Technologies (Now Altran Group).

He worked on projects for companies like "Alcatel Lucent NJ USA", "Sandisk USA", "SiS Taiwan", "Photeon GmBH Germany", "AvotMedia Sunnyvale USA", "THQ Wireless", "Ericsson" and many more.

He is a founder of "A Technology Guru".


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