Path to AWS Certifications: Guidelines and Tips – EC2InstanceHelper

AWS Cloud services provide a great path toward expertise in cloud infrastructure.  Whether you’re looking to earn your first certification or upgrade existing credentials, this article will provide valuable insights and tips on how to find success on your path to AWS certification.

The AWS services offer a wide range of opportunities from infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, to software-as-a-service. With AWS certification, you can demonstrate your skills in managing and operating complex enterprise environments using various AWS services.


AWS Certification Goals

There are several types of AWS Certifications, and each has a different focus. For example, Certified Solutions Architect focuses on designing applications ats system level in accordance with business requirements while Certified Developer focuses on building core application components such as API Gateway, DynamoDB and S3. Here’s a list of all the available certifications:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, Professional
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Security – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Database – Specialty
  • AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty
  • AWS Certified SAP on AWS – Specialty


AWS Certification Free Tutorials and Resources


  • This is one of the core resources for preparing for AWS solution architect Certification exams.
  • This is the official exam guide from Amazon.
  • This fantastic blog mentions most of the starter resource pointers you would need.
  • This training is intended for customers and system administrators alike
  • This one is the official AWS sample exam paper.
  • This one is an Udemy Free resource.

Obviously, this is just a start, web is quite full of amazing and useful free training tools which require a bit more digging.

  • We also highly recommend that you set up your AWS account and start testing stuff on it directly as much as possible. There is really no alternative to actual experience.


AWS Certification Requirement and Prerequisites

To become a certified AWS professional, there aren’t any strict requirements as such but only recommendations. We shall mention some of the important ones.

  • Children between 13 and 17 need parental consent.
  • AWS of course big player for equal opportunity and non-discrimination.
  • Good Understanding of IT infrastructure and best practices.
  • Minimum 6 months to and year of experience using AWS services in a preferably professional setting.
  • As you progress t associate and professional level exams, the minimum experience recommended is 1 year with a solid understanding of at least one programming language.
  • With specialty exams, the level of proficiency increases considerably which will eventually come with time, after you have achieved passing associate/professional level exams.
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AWS Certification Exam Costing

This is only the entrance fee for exams and does not include any extras.

Foundation or Basic            =             100 USD

Associate                               =            150 USD

Professional                          =            300 USD

Specialty                              =             300 USD


What is AWS Cloud Practitioner

  • AWS Cloud Platform fundamentals.
  • Understanding the AWS platform.
  • Identifying AWS services for use cases.
  • Fundamentals of Building secure and reliable systems.
  • Targeted at People with no prior experience in IT.
  • Sales or Marketing people looking to build knowledge in AWS cloud fundamentals which can facilitate communication with technical staff and/or customers.

AWS Certified Developer

Designed for individuals who wish to demonstrate a strong understanding of developing, deploying, and debugging cloud-based applications using AWS. This certification validates an individual’s ability to:

  • Design, develop, and deploy cloud-based solutions using AWS services.
  • Develop secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform.
  • Utilize best practices for building scalable solutions.
  • Proficiency in AWS CLI, APIs, and SDKs.
  • Proficiency to write and debug code modules.

Recommended AWS Certified Developer Prerequisites

  • In-depth knowledge of at least one programming language
  • 1 year’s worth of experience with AWS services
  • 1 to 2 years of IT Experience

AWS Certified Solutions Architect

As an AWS Certified Solutions Architect, you will be able to design, architect, and build highly available and scalable cloud-based applications using AWS. You will have the knowledge

  • Experience and skills in a wide range of AWS services
  • Develop optimized and well-architected overall solutions which are also cost-effective
  • Build solutions that leverage AWS services such as Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service), and more.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architects are expected to possess a fundamental understanding of what constitutes an effective/best solution for a given problem, using AWS services.
  • They should be able to design complex solutions that scale easily in response to changes in demand or capacity needs.
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Recommended AWS Certified Solution Architect Prerequisites

  • Strong on-site IT experience
  • Strong experience in AWS services
  • Experience with any other cloud services

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator certification is a professional credential that proves

  • Capacity to deploy, and manage active workloads on a day-to-day basis
  • To administer and troubleshoot EC2 instances, RDS. DB Instances, ELB load balancers, and other services
  • Strong ability to work with Linux/Windows operating systems.

Recommended AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Prerequisites

  • Already experienced as a system manager and administrator
  • Experience with AWS services
  • IT Experience and working with cloud services generally.

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer

The AWS DevOps Engineer certification is a professional certification for AWS developers.

  • Validates your ability to design, plan and implement an automated infrastructure that meets requirements for performance, availability and scalability.
  • Capacity to design highly scalable and fault-tolerant system
  • Strong experience with AWS services in general
  • Ability to configure and deploy AWS solutions using automated scripts and CLI

AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Prerequisites

  • In-depth experience in at least one high-level programming language
  • Experience with automation and automated infrastructures
  • Experience of continuous integration and continuous delivery ( CI/CD )
  • Experience in deploying, monitoring, and logic different matrices

AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty

This one is a professional certification for data management professionals who want to use the AWS cloud to analyze and process large volumes of data. The exam is designed for people with experience in big data technologies who want to expand their learning to use them in an AWS environment


AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty

It is an advanced-level certification that validates a candidate’s ability to design and implement complex networking solutions on the Amazon Web Services platform. This certification requires a deep understanding of AWS networking concepts, such as virtual private clouds (VPCs), routing, security groups, and network access control lists (ACLs).

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AWS Certified Security – Specialty

The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification validates the candidate’s ability to design, engineer, and maintain secure, scalable, and cost-efficient AWS infrastructure with

  • Security fundamentals and best practices.
  • Understanding of how security works in the cloud.
  • AWS credentials management including IAM service accounts, access keys, and multi-factor authentication.


AWS Certified Machine learning – Specialty

The AWS Certified Machine learning certification is designed for professionals who want to acquire skills in machine learning and apply them on the AWS cloud. This certification is acknowledged in the industry as it shows you have the skills needed to architect and analyze machine learning models, use deep learning frameworks such as TensorFlow, and deploy production-grade applications using distributed systems such as Apache Spark and Apache Hadoop on target AWS infrastructure.


AWS certification – planning phase


Create a Study Timeline and Set Milestones

Make sure to plan out a study timeline that allows you enough time to thoroughly prepare for AWS Certification. Create milestones throughout the timeline so that you can actively measure your progress on the path to certification.

Consider Practicing with Mock Exams or Labs

Practicing the topics and technologies is a great way to gain confidence in preparation for your certification exam. Consider taking mock exams or labs to get hands-on experience with the real AWS technology. Time management is essential.

Leverage Study Resources, such as Books and Videos

AWS certifications come with an overwhelming volume of material, but it is important to have exam-specific resources that can provide guidance and instruction throughout your preparation journey. Books like “AWS Certified Solutions Architect” or “AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional Training Notes” available from Amazon, are great because they offer hundreds of practice questions, helpful tips, and advice for exam day. Additionally, there is an array of YouTube channels dedicated to providing instruction toward certain certifications.