As organizations evolve, they are moving their day-to-day operations to cloud computing, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader in this category.
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Since launching in 2006, AWS has been an innovator in cloud computing, and in the 2020s, more organizations are relying on cloud computing than ever before.
Spending on cloud computing is predicted to increase to 500 billion by the end of 2023, according to a report by IDC.
This growth translates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 22 percent. The main areas that are predicted to grow between now and 2025 are
- Professional services (25.6%)
- Telecommunications (24.1%)
- Retail (23.7%)
- Resource industries (23.3%)
- Personal and consumer services (23.1%)
IT professionals that have AWS certifications and relevant work experience may be seen as valid candidates by technology employers. As this field continues to grow, the need for qualified AWS professionals is also likely to expand.
There are several compelling reasons to launch your cloud computing career by specializing in AWS cloud services.
Cloud computing is on the rise. The 2021 market for cloud computing was 178 billion, up 37% from 2020. More organizations than ever are using cloud services.
Cloud computing market share is dominated by AWS. As of Q4 2021, Amazon had 33% market share of the cloud market. This was more than the second and third competitors combined, Microsoft Azure (21%) and Google Cloud (10%).
Demand for cloud skills will increase between 2020 and 2025. A recent study by economics and strategy firm AlphaBeta shows workers will need to learn new digital skills to keep pace with technological changes. Cloud computing is seen to be of prime importance as the job market continues to evolve.
AWS skills are in demand. Jobs requiring training in AWS cloud computing increased by 177 percent from 2014 to 2018 . Organizations of all sizes are moving their operations to the cloud. The pandemic of 2019-2022 made many companies realize they need to undergo digital transformation and move to the cloud.
Cloud computing proficiency is necessary for IT professionals. Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) leveraging cloud computing is a growing trend in technology. As the market leader in cloud services, AWS is at the forefront of machine learning applications used by cloud specialists. Learning how to use AWS Cloud at a Specialist level can be a career differentiator.
There are an abundance of ways to learn the foundational aspects of AWS. Some rudimentary learning can be done through online video courses, though the more advanced aspects of cloud computing applications are best learned over an extended period of time.
Some cities have accelerated bootcamps that teach high level concepts of cloud computing, which are offered in various municipalities.
Perhaps the best way to get a firm grasp on AWS concepts is to go through an extended program, where you can learn the right way to set up networks, establish proper cybersecurity, and build cloud applications.
Learning AWS in a program taught by experienced cloud professionals allows students to ask questions, get one-on-one help, and absorb concepts in-depth.
MTI College is one of only a handful of junior colleges in the US that has curriculum that is AWS Academy approved. This means the MTI College AWS curriculum is developed and maintained by AWS subject matter experts, ensuring it is up to date and reflects current services and best practices.
AWS certifications show that a candidate has competency in each discipline. Employers may look for a job candidate to have specific AWS and/or other IT certifications for specific positions. Depending on the career path you want to pursue, you will want to decide which certifications are right for you.
Currently, there are twelve AWS certifications. Here is a top-level overview of each one.
Foundational Level Certification
AWS Cloud Practitioner
The AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is designed to validate one’s understanding of the Amazon Web Services Cloud. It is recommended not only for technicians, but also those who work in a non-technical role, who need to communicate about AWS to clients, like those in finance, management, or business positions.
- Prerequisites: It is recommended you have six months of general AWS cloud experience and industry before taking this exam.
Areas covered in this certification include:
- Basic AWS architectural principles.
- Business use cases and AWS value proposition.
- Key AWS services and common use cases.
- AWS security and compliance, including shared responsibility model for security.
- Deployment and operating principles.
- AWS billing, support, and pricing.
Ready to start preparing for the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam? MTI offers exclusive AWS Academy curriculum to get you ready for your exam. Learn more in MTI College’s AWS Cloud Administration program.
Associate Level Certifications
It is recommended that you have about a year of hands-on experience using AWS Cloud before taking the Associate level certification exams.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
This certification verifies that you know how to design, build, manage, and deploy systems in the AWS cloud. This exam is suited for candidates with experience in designing distributed applications. You should be familiar with AWS security and compliance guidelines before taking this exam.
- Prerequisite: One year of experience or equivalent study.
Some of the areas that will be covered in the certification exam:
- Network technologies in AWS Cloud, including configuration and management.
- Designing and deploying AWS-based applications, how client interfaces connect to AWS.
- Building secure applications on AWS.
- Deploying systems with on-premises data and AWS components (hybrid).
- Disaster recovery and data security.
- AWS infrastructure and concepts.
MTI College is ready to help you prepare for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam. Learn more about MTI’s AWS Cloud Administration program.
AWS Certified Developer – Associate
The AWS Certified Developer – Associate exam is for individuals in a development role with one or more years of hands-on experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application. If you have already earned the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certificate, it is recommended that you study for this certificate, as many of the same topics are covered in each.
This certification starts covering services like Dynamo DB, Elastic Beanstalk, SQS, and SNS, as well using them with APIs and SDKs.
- Prerequisite: One year of experience
Some of the proficiencies you must demonstrate in this certification exam are:
- Using core AWS services, uses, and basic AWS architecture best practices.
- Developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS.
- In-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language.
- Ability to use the AWS service APIs, AWS CLI, and SDKs to write applications.
- Ability to identify key features of AWS services.
- Understanding of the AWS shared responsibility model.
- Understanding of application lifecycle management.
- Ability to use a CI/CD pipeline to deploy applications on AWS.
- Ability to use or interact with AWS services.
- Ability to apply a basic understanding of cloud-native applications to write code.
- Ability to write code using AWS security best practices (e.g., not using secret and access keys in the code, instead using IAM roles).
- Ability to author, maintain, and debug code modules on AWS.
- Writing code for serverless applications.
- Understanding the use of containers in the development process.
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate examination is designed for system administrators. You will need one year of hands-on technical experience and conceptual knowledge of AWS Cloud operations. Having real world experience with deployment, management, and AWS operations will help immensely when taking this certification exam.
- Prerequisite: One year of technical experience with AWS.
Some of the skills that will be verified by this certificate are:
- Deployment, management, and operation of scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems on AWS.
- Implementation and control of data flow to and from AWS.
- Selecting the appropriate AWS service based on compute, data, or security requirements.
- Familiarity with appropriate use of AWS operational best practices.
- Estimating AWS usage costs and identify operational cost control mechanisms.
- Migrate on-premises workloads to AWS.
It is recommended that you have these proficiencies before taking this exam:
- Understanding of the AWS tenets – architecting for the cloud.
- Hands-on experience with the AWS CLI and SDKs/API tools.
- Understanding of network technologies as they relate to AWS.
- Understanding of security concepts with hands-on experience in implementing. security controls and compliance requirements.
- Understanding of virtualization technology.
- Monitoring and auditing systems experience.
- Knowledge of networking concepts (e.g., DNS, TCP/IP, and firewalls).
- Ability to translate architectural requirements.
Professional Level Certifications
Amazon recommends to years of full-time designing, operating, and troubleshooting solutions using the AWS Cloud. You should take the Associate level exams before moving on to the Professional exams.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
The Certified Solutions Architect – Professional certification requires a high degree of technical skill and experience designing AWS-based applications.
A professional AWS architect can examine an organization’s business and technological requirements and make recommendations for their cloud architecture. The Cloud Solutions Architect can then design, deploy, and maintain cloud applications for an organization.
It is recommended that a candidate have two or more years of hands-on experience managing and operating AWS systems.
- Prerequisites: Already earned AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification. Recommended: two years of real-world experience designing and deploying AWS cloud architecture, including multi-application architectural design.
Here are some of the aptitudes this exam will verify:
- Best practices for designing and architecting AWS applications.
- Diagnosing and selecting the best AWS services for the requirements of an organization.
- Migration of complex, multi-tier application systems to AWS.
- Knowledge of cost optimization and cost-control strategies.
- Ability to design and deploy dynamically scalable, highly available, fault-tolerant, and reliable applications on AWS.
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
The AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional exam is designed for individuals performing DevOps engineering duties, with at least two years of experience provisioning, operating, and managing AWS environments. This certification places emphasis on continuous delivery (CD) and automation of processes, which are two primary concepts of DevOps.
- Prerequisites: One year of experience
Here are some of the skillsets this certification will verify:
- Understanding of the basics of modern continuous delivery methodologies.
- Implementing and managing continuous delivery systems on AWS.
- Set up, monitoring, and logging systems on AWS.
- How to implement highly-available and scalable systems on AWS.
- How to design and manage tools that automate operational processes.
- Implement and automate security controls, governance processes, and compliance validation.
Specialty Level Certifications
Each of the Specialty AWS certifications focus on one area and require a deeper understanding and experience with that area of focus. The Specialty certifications have a similar difficulty level as the Professional certifications, but their focus is less broad and more specific, in areas like big data, networking, databases, machine learning or other focuses of AWS Cloud.
AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
The AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty certification is for IT professionals with a background in data analytics, who has experience using AWS to design and architect big data solutions. The certificate will verify the candidate can extract value from data sets using AWS services. This exam validates your ability to build, secure, and maintain data analytic solutions on AWS that are efficient, cost-effective, and secure.
- Prerequisites: At least 5 years of experience with data analytics technologies, at least 2 years of hands-on experience working with AWS services to design, build, secure, and maintain analytics solutions.
This certification will validate you have these skills and knowledge sets:
- Ability to define AWS data analytics services and understand how they integrate with each other.
- Explain how AWS data analytics services fit in the data life cycle of collection, storage, processing, and visualization.
AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
The AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty certification is designed for individuals performing complex networking tasks. The certificate validates a candidate’s skills in enterprise networking on AWS and hybrid IT networking architecture at scale. Candidates should have a background in architecting and implementing network solutions and advanced knowledge of networking on AWS.
- Prerequisites: Holding AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner cert, and one of the Associate certs: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, AWS Certified Developer – Associate, or AWS Certified SysOp Administrator – Associate. At least five years hands-on experience architecting and implementing network solutions.
It is also recommended that you have advanced experience with these skills:
- Advanced knowledge of AWS networking concepts and technologies.
- Advanced networking architectures and interconnectivity options (e.g., IP VPN, MPLS/VPLS).
- Networking technologies within the OSI model, and how they affect implementation decisions.
- Development of automation scripts and tools.
- CIDR and sub-netting (IPv4 and IPv6).
- IPv6 transition challenges.
- Generic solutions for network security features, including WAF, IDS, IPS, DDoS. protection, and Economic Denial of Service/Sustainability (EDoS).
Some skills validated by this exam are:
- Designing, developing, and deploying cloud-based solutions using AWS.
- Implementation of core AWS services using basic architecture best practices.
- Design and maintenance of network architecture for all AWS services.
- Leveraging tools to automate AWS networking tasks.
AWS Certified Security – Specialty
The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification is for individuals performing a security role with at least two years hands-on experience securing AWS workloads. The certification covers fundamentals of security, best practices for security in an organization, and how security is implemented in AWS instances and environments. You will be tested on your knowledge of data safety and encryption, infrastructure security, incident response, access and user management, monitoring, and security logging.
- Prerequisites: Two years of hands-on experience securing AWS workloads; at least five years of IT security experience designing and implementing security solutions.
These abilities and skills will be validated when you pass this certification:
- An understanding of specialized data classifications and AWS data protection mechanisms, data encryption methods and implementation.
- Practical understanding of secure Internet protocols and implementation of AWS security mechanisms.
- Working knowledge of AWS security services and features that help create a secure production environment.
- General security competency gained from two or more years of production deployment experience using AWS security services and features.
- Decision making skills regarding cost, security, complexity of deployment and maintenance, for a given set of application requirements.
- Knowledge of security operations and risk assessment.
AWS Certified Database – Specialty
The AWS Certified Database – Specialty certification shows that you can design, recommend, and maintain the optimal AWS database solution for a use case. It also validates your understanding of all the AWS database solutions offered, database architecture, integration, and optimization. If you work with databases, and have at least two years of experience with AWS Cloud databases, relational databases, and NoSQL databases, then this is a certificate for you.
- Prerequisites: 5+ years of experience with databases; At least 2 years of hands-on experience working on AWS. Experience and expertise working with on-premises and AWS-Cloud-based relational and nonrelational databases.
Here are some of the competencies this certification will validate:
- Ability to understand and differentiate the key features of AWS database services.
- Analyze needs and requirements to recommend and design appropriate database solutions using AWS services.
AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty
The AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification validates technical experience in designing, testing, and deploying Amazon Alexa skills. Anyone who works as an Alexa Skill Builder can take this exam.
- Prerequisites: at least six months of hands-on experience building Alexa skills using the Alexa Skills Kit and should be proficient in a programming language.
Some of the topics you will be validated on include:
- The value of voice search.
- User experience design.
- Proactively implementing AWS and Alexa best practices for security.
- Creating, testing, and validating for the skill.
- Working with the Alexa Developer Console.
AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
The AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty certification validates a candidate’s ability to design, implement, deploy, and maintain machine learning (ML) algorithms and solutions for a business case use. The exam is for candidates who perform data science or algorithm development. You should have at least two years of machine learning or deep learning experience in AWS Cloud before taking this certification exam.
- Prerequisites: 1-2 years of experience developing, architecting, or running ML/deep learning workloads on the AWS Cloud.
These are also things that you should have possess before taking this certification exam:
- Ability to express the intuition behind basic ML algorithms.
- Experience performing basic hyperparameter optimization.
- Experience with ML and deep learning frameworks.
- Ability to follow model-training best practices.
- The ability to follow deployment and operational best practices.
Here are some of the abilities and competencies this exam will validate:
- Candidate can choose and justify the best ML approach for a given business problem.
- Identifying the relevant AWS solutions to create and deploy your ML solution.
- Designing and implementing cost-optimized, scalable, reliable, and secure ML solutions.
While this list of AWS job titles is by no means exhaustive, these are a small sampling of the types of jobs you can pursue within the field of AWS. Note: Each position is contingent on certifications, hands-on experience, and other qualifications requisite to the job.
- AWS Cloud Architect
- Cloud Software Engineer
- AWS Cloud Application Developer
- AWS Solutions Architect
- AWS DevOps Engineer
- Business Intelligence Architect – AWS
- AWS Data Engineer
MTI College has two programs that help students get the fundamental AWS training that will you begin a career in cloud computing.
The AWS Cloud Administration Associate Degree Program is a 96 week program that trains students for the following certifications:
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Security+
- Amazon AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
- Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
This program is offered in our Online format, where all of the coursework is done online, with instructors teaching remotely from our Sacramento campus.
For students in California who already have an Associate’s degree or higher in any discipline, you can enroll in our fully online AWS Cloud Solutions Architect Diploma Program. This 100% online program is a 24 week training program that prepares you to pass these certifications:
- Amazon AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
- Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
As part of our accreditation for this program, applicants to the AWS Solutions Architect program must have the following:
- An Associate’s or higher degree from an accredited institution
- Education, certification or work experience in information technology
- Residency in the state of California
- Access to a laptop or desktop with broadband internet access
MTI College is proud to host the first official AWS Academy in the Sacramento region. MTI’s partnership with AWS Academy provides students with exclusive resources and curriculum to learn about the AWS cloud directly from the AWS team.