Asking yourself if you think it’s worth gaining an AWS Certification? I found myself asking the very same question and couldn’t find a comprehensive list of the benefits of getting AWS certified. Now that I’ve passed, I decided to put together that list and the results you might expect from passing one or more of the AWS Certifications.
Certifications provide a structured way of learning Amazon Web Services. Gaining one will improve the students’ knowledge of AWS in combination with increasing their employability, salary and provides a solid foundation for further learning.
Keep reading and I’ll list 10 of the reasons why you might consider taking an AWS certification and briefly explain each one of them. Let’s dive in…
1. Show me the Money!
Ok, this is an obvious one and lets face it. It’s pretty high on anyones list of reasons for studying and getting certified in any subject. So what can we expect from gaining an AWS certification? This is going to depend wildly on w
hat certifications you take and your experience. But let’s say your goal is to become an AWS solutions architect, then according to globalknowledge.com you could expect a salary of around $136,259 !
It goes without saying that passing the exams by themselves doesn’t guarantee that you’ll instantly attain the top salary, but it will give you a respectable step towards achieving it. After all, if an employer is presented with two equally skilled candidates and one of them has a bunch of AWS certifications where the other does not, then it makes for an easier choice when choosing who gets the promotion.
2. Why Should I hire you?
Employability relates closely with salary and also something that you’re likely to consider a factor when taking one of the AWS Exams. I touched on this in the salary section by giving the exam of two equally qualified candidates and one has AWS certifications, well it’s likely they’ll get the job. But more than that, I’ve heard stories of recruiters actively searching out people on linked in with AWS certifications and head hunting them for positions.
The more I think about this, the more it makes sense. When you think about it, a recruitment consultant is less likely to have an in-depth knowledge of AWS and as a result will use any kind of indicator that they can think of for giving a clue as to a potential candidates skill set. Certifications are a major indicator that a person will have a certain level of skill and dedication towards AWS technologies.
So even if you’re the best AWS architect going, if it’s not obvious to a recruiter then you’re name may never get put forward to that job you want so much. Getting certified gives them one less reason not glance over your resume.
3. AWS is the Big DOG!
Enough with the career stuff, I just want to learn the best freaking cloud solution out there! Of the 3 major cloud players (Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services) AWS it LEAPS and bounds ahead. They own amassive share of the market (35% according to parkMycloud.com). So if you were going to pick a cloud provider to get certified in just by pure numbers then AWS is the obvious choice.
This translates to employability because you’re much more likely to see job advertisements in AWS than you would say Google Cloud. With the sheer size of AWS though there is the double edged sword of being overwhelmed when decided what part of AWS to learn. Trust me when I say that literally no one knows all the features inside and out that AWS offers.
Taking an AWS certification helps laser focus your learning to exactly what’s important to you. And gives you confidence that what you’re learning is valuable in the eyes of the people who created it in the first place.
4. Cloud is taking over
I was having dinner with my parents the other night and my mother told me she needs to get a cloud account! I asked her what it meant and she wasn’t too sure haha. This made me laugh initially, but after thinking about it a little longer. I came to realise that if my own mother knows about cloud computing then it’s truly hit the mainstream.
Cloud is here to stay, not only that. My prediction is, it’s going to get a lot bigger in the near future. For a long time people were adverse to the idea of putting their data on other peoples servers. But now, it’s almost taken for granted. I’ve done a lot of certifications over the years and I know the investment you have to take to pass them. So believe me when I say I think long and hard before recommending a particular certification. With AWS it’s a no brainer.
5. 12 Month free trial
If you’re reading this and your interested in AWS then there’s a good chance you’ll already know about the free 12 months new users get when they sign up for an AWS account. With this free tier you can run a bunch of services at no cost whatsoever! For instance you can run a virtual machine 24/7 for 12 months, completely free. How does this relate to certifications? Well for one, it means when you take a course and learn the features. It’s pretty likely you’ll need to make use of AWS products as part of the learning process.
Guess what, without a free tier. They would cost you money! Luckily Amazon recognise this and make the barriers to entry as low as possible. So you can start playing around with various features and not worry about having a nasty bill at the end of the month.
6. Stand Out From The Rest
I touched on this in the intro. But when you think about it. It totally makes sense. The Software world is extremely competitive. Any graduate leaving college trying to get their first job will tell you that. Even seasoned veterans need to constantly keep their skillsets up to date in order to stay relevant. Some people turn their noses up at certifications, but the simple truth is that getting one immediately shows a certain level of dedication to a technology and potentially passion for what you do.
If you already have a great job, that’s fantastic. Gaining a few certifications could be the tie breaker that gets you that new promotion or pay rise.
7. I Am Certified Hear Me Roar!
Even if you’ve been using AWS for years, there can always be that nagging doubt that the person next to yo
u knows more. Or your own confidence is lacking because you don’t know how to gauge just how well you know AWS relative to the industry as a whole. Taking a certification can not only boost your credentials but it can also boost your confidence in what you know. Now when you walk into that meeting and express your opinion about how things could be done better you have that knowledge in the background to back you up.
Some people are born with confidence, but if you’re like me this isn’t the case. The only way I improve my confidence is by learning things and practicing them until I know the answers off by heart. Going through the certification process builds that confidence and forces you to learn to answer questions to a point where it becomes second nature.
8. Structured Learning vs Self tought
I have a short attention spam. I know this and I’m honest with myself about it. If I were to be left alone with the task of learning AWS products and features I’d probably skim over a bunch of them, find out the thing that interests me study that for a while and then move on to watching the latest Netflix drama.
Going down the structured learning route really forces you to learn the material. After all, come exam day if you don’t know the answers well you’re outta luck buddy. This kind of very real pressure focuses my learning like no other. I often find myself booking the exam early on in my learning to act as a goal to work towards. It also lets me know that I can’t spend forever learning this material and never actually taking the exam.
The structured learning route also ensures that you’re going to learn a carefully selected list of content that’s going to be as useful as possible to as broad an audience as possible.
9. It’s Time to Specialise
AWS offer an ever growing variety of specialist certifications. At the time of writing this blog you can get specialist certifications in Advanced networking, Big data & security. I would also predict that they’ll definetly be offering on in machine learning in the near future also.
If you are wanting to refine your AWS skills in a specific niche set of products then picking one of the specialty certs will be a great way of learning those skills. Checkout the AWS certification road map for more info.
Ability to specialise in a particular area of AWS and prove your credentialsEvent Recognition
10. Become Famous (ish)
Ok so maybe not famous like a celebrity. But what you do get is:
- Access to the AWS certified linked In community.
- Official AWS certified logo usage.
- Access to the AWS certified lounges at re:Invent
- Free practice exams for future study
- Access to the AWS certified store to by Tees and various gear.
So that’s my list. Honestly, if you’ve been hesitating on getting certified. I can tell you that it’s benefited me massively and I have no regrets. So what are you waiting for?