The adoption of cloud computing accelerated over the last year as the COVID-19 pandemic caused massive disruption to businesses around the world. In uncertain times the ability to quickly innovate with agility and to align costs with demand has been a boon to many businesses. It’s therefore no surprise that cloud computing experts such as those with Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications are in increasingly high demand.
So, if one of the overarching questions in your mind is, “are AWS certifications worth it in 2021?” the answer is a resounding yes! In this article, we are going to discuss AWS certifications in detail and why you should get at least one certification as soon as possible. Read on!
First…What is an AWS Certification?
Before we dive into the benefits of getting an AWS certification before the end of 2021, it is important to be clear on what AWS certification is. AWS certifications can be attained by learning AWS through training courses or on-the-job experience and then taking an examination.
IT professionals get AWS certifications to showcase and validate technical skills and knowledge. AWS offers various certification exams for cloud engineers, architects, and administrators. There are hundreds of testing centres across the globe, but test takers can choose to take an AWS certification exam at home.
Types of AWS Certifications
AWS provides six core certifications and five specialty certifications (AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty exam (AXS-C01) has just recently been retired). The core certifications are grouped into four main paths based on job role – Foundational (Cloud Practitioner), Architect, Operations, and Developer and these are described in more detail below.
Foundational (Cloud Practitioner)
This is a certification path that is designed for people who want to build and validate their overall understanding of the AWS cloud. This path is beneficial for those in managerial, sales, technical, finance, and purchasing roles working with AWS cloud. There is a single exam in this path which is the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.
This AWS certification path is designed for solution design engineers, solutions architects, and everyone else who wishes to learn how to develop applications and systems on the AWS platform. This path has two sub-paths:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: At this certification level, one must demonstrate knowledge of how to design, manage, and distribute applications and AWS tools. IT professionals taking this certification must have the ability to design and deploy highly scalable and available systems in AWS and understand security, disaster recovery, and troubleshooting concepts. Although not necessary, it is recommended that those who wish to take this certification have at least one year of hands-on experience designing and deploying highly fault-tolerant and scalable AWS systems.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional: To undertake this certification, it is recommended (though not required) to take the Associate-level AWS Certified Solutions Architect exam and have at least two years of hands-on experience designing and deploying AWS systems. In this certification, IT professionals are required to showcase knowledge of complex AWS applications, including how to apply application design best practices, ways to optimize AWS architecture or an enterprise, and how to move applications to AWS.
This path has a single certification though the DevOps Engineer Professional in the Developer path also sits across this path.
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate: This certification provides knowledge of operations and deployment of AWS services and architecture, including data migration and application deployment.
This path is designed for software developers who are interested in learning how to create cloud applications on AWS. It has two sub-paths that include:
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: This certification provides IT professionals with code-level knowledge and understanding for AWS application design, development, and maintenance. It is highly recommended that you possess at least one year of experience maintaining AWS applications before taking this certification.
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: To undertake this certification it is recommended to have at least two years of hands-on experience provisioning and managing on AWS. Professionals learn various concepts involving continuous deployment and automation of AWS processes as well as how to implement them into the AWS architecture.
There are also five specialty AWS certifications:
- AWS Certified Data Analytics – Speciality
- AWS Certified Database – Speciality
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Speciality
- AWS Certified Machine Learning – Speciality
- AWS Certified Security – Speciality
Reasons Why AWS Certifications Are Worth It in 2021
Now that you understand different types of AWS certifications, you are probably wondering whether it’s worth taking any of them in these challenging times. Below are some of the reasons why AWS certifications are super important in 2021:
Expertise In Cloud Computing Is A Must-Have For IT Professionals
One of the main reasons why AWS certifications are worth it in 2021 is because cloud computing is inevitable for IT experts. Revolutionary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are driving all industries towards the cloud. According to Forbes, a majority of IT professionals believe that these cutting-edge technologies play a significant role in the adoption of cloud computing.
Acquiring expertise in cloud computing, especially in AWS services, is a necessity for IT experts today and in the foreseeable future. Therefore, if you want to gain a competitive edge and stick out from the crowd, you cannot overlook AWS certifications in 2021.
AWS Skills Demand Is Outstripping Supply
Finding individuals with cloud computing skills has become difficult for employers across the globe. According to a recent report, about 60% of cloud computing job postings require AWS-related skills. These numbers indicate that skills and knowledge in AWS are in high demand and will continue to be in the future. Learning AWS is, therefore, one of the best ways of advancing your career and ensuring you get a top-dollar job in your dream company.
AWS Is Widely Used In Cloud Adoption
Another reason why you should kick-start your cloud computing journey with AWS is that AWS controls about a third of the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) Market. This is more than the next two providers (Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure) combined. If this trend continues – which experts believe it will, we are likely to see exponential growth in AWS in the next few years. Therefore, getting an AWS certification in 2021 is a safe career choice for IT professionals and those who want to grow their business and skills on this highly-regarded platform.
There Is Increased Cloud Migration To AWS
SMEs, as well as well-established organizations across all industry verticals, are increasingly migrating to the cloud. Cisco projects that the global data centre IP traffic will hit 20.6 Zettabytes (ZB) by the end of this year. This translates to about 1.7 ZB per month! Additionally, it is expected that the worldwide public cloud services market will reach 17.5%.
The massive enterprise migration doesn’t come without its fair share of challenges. To solve them, there is a dire need for professional, customized solutions. This has led to increasing demand for cloud experts who can assist businesses ease their transition from conventional IT infrastructure to the cloud. In-depth expertise and know-how in cloud platforms, especially AWS, has become a valuable asset for organizations across the board, and this is one of the reasons why you should consider an AWS certification today.
Certification Validates Credibility And Expertise
Trust, credibility, and expertise are significant factors when it comes to offering value to potential clients and employers. These are the factors that help AWS practitioners stand out and build long-lasting relationships. A great way to establish credibility, trust, and expertise is to produce a certificate that shows you have skills in a particular area. By possessing AWS certifications, professionals tell their clients and potential employers that they have gone through rigorous training and have the capacity to successfully implement tasks given. With proof of expertise, there is no reason why you should not land a lucrative job in your dream organization. Don’t make a mistake of overlooking the importance of AWS certifications in 2021.
Finally…AWS Skills Are Well Compensated
Individuals with AWS certifications rank high in the list of the highest-paid professionals. Many AWS jobs offer a six-figure salary. As you think of enhancing your skills in these challenging times, choose the AWS certification path you want to take, find great AWS Certification Training courses, study hard, and pass your exam and you too can become a cloud computing expert.
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