Which AWS Certification Should I Get?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) certifications are extremely valuable as they show that you have basic knowledge about AWS and Cloud systems. AWS offers certifications at four primary levels: Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty, each targeting specific skill sets and knowledge areas. 

The Foundational level is ideal for beginners, the Associate level suits those with some experience, the Professional level targets advanced users, and Specialty certifications focus on specific technical skills. Choosing the right certification depends on your career goals and current expertise level. 

With so many certifications available, each catering to different areas of expertise, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. The purpose of this article is to help you understand the choice that best suits your professional goals and explain how to prepare for it.

Which AWS Certification Should I Get?

What is AWS Certification and Why is it Important?

AWS Certification is a credential offered by Amazon Web Services to individuals who demonstrate expertise and skills in various aspects of AWS cloud computing. 

AWS certification is important because individuals showcase their in-demand skills with these certifications, and organizations build effective and innovative teams for cloud initiatives using AWS certifications validating cloud competency. AWS Certification allows you to manage AWS services efficiently and equips you with the expertise to leverage AWS technologies for innovative cloud solutions.

What Are the Different Types of AWS Certifications Available?

AWS certifications are designed across different specializations to validate your expertise in cloud computing. The certifications are divided into 4 primary levels: 

  1. Foundational
  2. Associate
  3. Professional
  4. Specialty

Each level targets specific skill sets and knowledge areas, allowing you to choose the certification that best matches your career goals and current expertise. Let’s explore each certification level in detail to understand them more.

types of aws certifications

Foundational Level

Starting at the foundational level, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is perfect for individuals new to AWS and cloud computing. This certification assesses the ability to understand AWS cloud concepts, services, security and architecture, pricing, and support.

Associate Level

There are 4 associate-level certifications:

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate Certification
  2. AWS Certified Developer – Associate Certification
  3. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Certification
  4. AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate

People with expertise in creating applications and platforms on Amazon Web Services and cloud infrastructure are the ideal candidates for associate-level certifications.

Professional Level

There are 2 professional-level certifications:

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  2. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional 

They are targeted at individuals who are involved in complex and advanced solutions. These certifications validate more technical expertise in AWS platform services.

Specialty Certifications

There are 3 professional-level certifications:

  1. AWS Certified Security – Specialty 
  2. AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty 
  3. AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

Specialty certifications are designed for individuals with technical skills and expertise in designing and implementing AWS services in specific areas.

Which AWS Certification Is Right for Your Career?

The right AWS certification depends largely on your current skill level and ultimate career goals. Here’s a quick guide to help you make an informed decision:

What Are the Best AWS Certification Options for Beginners?

For those just starting out, the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or AWS Certified Developer – Associate are excellent choices. They provide a solid foundation and are a good way to start a cloud computing career.

Which AWS Certifications Should You Consider If You Have Some Experience?

If you have some background in cloud computing or AWS, consider the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate or AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate because these certifications build on your existing knowledge and skills, helping you further enhance your ability to manage scalable systems. They provide a deeper understanding of AWS services and best practices, making you more proficient and effective in your cloud computing role.

What Advanced AWS Certifications Are Suitable for Experienced Professionals?

For advanced users, obtaining professional-level AWS certifications can significantly elevate your career. These certifications are designed to validate advanced skills and a deep understanding of AWS services, enabling you to design and implement sophisticated solutions that meet specific business needs.

Achieving these certifications demonstrates your ability to handle complex, large-scale projects using AWS technologies. For instance, the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional requires knowledge of advanced architectural principles and best practices for building secure, reliable, and cost-efficient applications on AWS. On the other hand, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional focuses on provisioning and operating applications, emphasizing automation, continuous integration, and continuous delivery.

What Are the Resources for Learning AWS Certification?

When it comes to preparing for AWS certifications, having the right resources can make all the difference. Numerous online platforms, books, and courses are available to help you get started. Some popular resources include:

  • AWS Training and Certification Portal: AWS’s official training site offers a variety of free and paid courses tailored to each certification.
  • A Cloud Guru: This platform provides comprehensive training courses and practice exams for all AWS certifications.
  • Linux Academy: Known for its hands-on labs, Linux Academy offers in-depth courses and practice tests.
  • Whizlabs: Offers practice exams and preparation guides for AWS certifications.
  • Books: Books like “AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide” and “AWS Certified Developer Official Study Guide” are great resources.

Utilizing these valuable resources will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully achieve your aws certification.

How to Prepare for AWS Certification Exams?

Preparing for AWS certification exams requires careful planning and study. Here are the 5 tips to help you prepare:

  1. Understand the Exam: Become familiar with the exam, including its topics, question types, and format.
  2. Hands-On Practice: Practical experience with AWS services is crucial. Utilize AWS’s Free Tier to practice.
  3. Study Resources: Use the recommended books, online courses, and practice exams.
  4. Join Study Groups: Engaging with study groups can provide support, resources, and motivation.
  5. Practice Exams: Take multiple practice exams to prepare for the actual test and identify areas for further study.
5 Tips to Prepare for AWS Certification Exams

Implementing these strategies will provide a thorough preparation and increase your confidence as you approach your aws certification exams.

How to Choose the Right AWS Course for You?

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a course:

  1. Course Content: Ensure the course covers all the topics in the exam blueprint.
  2. Instructor Expertise: Look for courses taught by certified AWS professionals with real-world experience.
  3. Hands-On Labs: Courses with hands-on labs can help reinforce learning.
  4. Student Reviews: Other students’ reviews are good sources to learn about the course.
  5. Price: Consider the cost of the course and whether it fits within your budget.

Taking these factors into account will guide you in choosing an aws course that best fits your learning needs and career goals.


No matter where you are in your career, there is an AWS certification that can help you deepen your knowledge and improve your professional standing. Choosing the proper certification and possibly complementing it with an AWS and DevOps course, ensures that you are well-prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities in the cloud computing space.

AWS certifications can improve your skills and lead to new career opportunities. Whether you’re a junior or a senior, there is an AWS certification path for anyone looking to advance their career.


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