The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification is the leading and one of the most credible certifications that an IT professional can attain. With any of the AWS certificates, it will be easier for you to get a job as even employers prefer candidates who have earned them. Depending on the path you want to pursue, there are different certification paths that you can choose. The purpose of this article is to explain the different certification paths and help you to decide which would be most appropriate for you.

There are three levels of AWS certifications with each being more advanced than the other. Within the levels, there are three role-based certifications. Outside the three levels, there are also two specialty certifications. Below is a breakdown of the levels and the certifications under each.

a) 1st level- Foundational – AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

b) 2nd level- Associate – AWS certified solutions architect (associate)

AWS certified developer (Associate)

AWS Certified Sys0ps Administrator (Associate)

c) 3rd level- Professional – AWS certified solutions architect (Professional)

AWS certified devops engineer (professional)

AWS certified dev0Ps engineer (Professional)
d) Specialty certifications- AWS Certified Advanced Networking (Specialty)

AWS Certified Big Data (Specialty)

Under the Foundational level, you can earn a certificate as an AWS Certified Cloud practitioner. At this level, you can choose to be an architect, developer or operations practitioner. This level checks for the overall understanding of the Amazon Web Services cloud and is a good beginning point before you go for the associate or specialty levels.

To take the Associate level certification exam, you will not require any prior certification. If you are interested in or have experience designing distributed applications, you should go for the Solutions Architect certification. You will be tested on your ability to offer data security, ability to troubleshoot problems, the actual design of functional systems and the implementation and deployment in AWS.

Those interested in the development and maintenance of AWS-based applications should go for the Developer certification. You will be tested on actual coding, your knowledge of AWS fundamentals, design and development, deployment and security and debugging.

If you are already working as a system administrator or want to be one, do the Sysops Administrator
certification. This certification will test for one’s ability to deploy applications to the AWS platform, sending and receiving data and choosing suitable AWS services for specific organizations. The certification examines on high availability,monitoring and metrics, analysis, deployment and provisioning, data management, networking and security.

To climb the career ladder, and be entrusted with more responsibilities, you will need the AWS Professional certifications. You will, however, need to have done any one of the associate certifications to qualify for this level certification. Both the developers and the system admins can take the DevOps Engineer certificate. The exam tests on continuous delivery (CD) and process automation, security, monitoring and high availability and elasticity.

If you aim to do senior level solutions architecture tasks, then the Solutions Architect professional certification is for you. The exam for this level tests on high availability and business continuity, network design, costing, deployment management, scalability, security, data storage and elasticity and hybrid architecture and cloud migration.

The specialty certifications will require you to have at least one role-based certification. It is meant to validate advanced skills in certain technical areas. The choice to do this one
depends on your interests and intended career path.