The subject of AWS certifications is divisive. Some claim that having a certification is a requirement for employment as a cloud engineer, while others claim it is a waste of time and money. The truth is more complicated; while credentials can be helpful for some, they may not be for everyone.
When choosing if earning an AWS certification is the correct choice for you, there are a few factors to take into account. Although there are several certification levels, they all entail the same things.
Why you want to be certified?
The main query is this. With your qualification, what do you intend to accomplish? What would it enable you to do? The certification itself is usually not the end aim for most people; rather, it serves as a stepping stone. The key to determining if a certification is worth your time and money is understanding what your aim is and whether it will be helped by certification.
If obtaining a certification advances your overall objective, wonderful!
Before diving into the books, you might want to figure out how a certification fits into your overall plan of action or what your ultimate objective is.
Reasons to get AWS certified
Validating your knowledge
AWS certification proves that you understand a set of ideas and concepts, something you might not be able to show otherwise. This proof has been independently verified. AWS certificates aren’t easy to obtain, therefore having one is significant. When may the usage of such proof arise?
Making yourself a more attractive candidate to a potential employer
If you’re submitting a job application to companies that utilise AWS, they undoubtedly want to know that you have experience with the products and services they offer. Your certification serves as evidence that you are, making you a less dangerous prospect. It’s a quick and simple approach for hiring managers to see if you possess the necessary abilities.
A certification won’t guarantee you a job, but it can increase your chances. If you are competing against a candidate who is not qualified, your qualification may offer you the advantage.
Making yourself a more attractive candidate to AWS Partners
A certification might increase your appeal if you’re seeking for a job with an AWS Partner. Having qualified employees demonstrates that an AWS Partner is familiar with AWS, just as a certification demonstrates your own familiarity with AWS. That matters to their clients as well as to AWS. In fact, AWS mandates that Partners employ a minimum number of certified personnel. You are a more appealing prospect if you have certification.
Trying to land your first job using AWS
A certification can help you get interviews and, ideally, your next job when you’re seeking to enter into the computer industry. A certification can be an excellent method to get fundamental information while you’re just getting started.
Getting a job in technology might be a difficult situation. Roles are necessary to get relevant expertise, but relevant expertise must first be obtained through a position. When a person lacks competence, certifications might help them break the cycle and get out of their current situation. This is a relatively typical occurrence, and for those individuals, certification is definitely worthwhile.
When getting an AWS certification might not be worth it
If you’ve already worked with AWS, a certification might not be as helpful. Your resume and previous projects can be used as evidence that you are familiar with AWS, which opens many of the same doors as a certificate. A certification loses its value at a particular point in your career. It still has value, but you might want to give it more thought to see if it’s the greatest use of your time. A certification might not be for you if you’re convinced that your job history will land you interviews.
Don’t discount all certificates as useless if this describes you. Although they might not be helpful to you, other individuals may be at various stages of their careers and find that a certification will help them advance. Don’t be the seasoned professional who dismisses the importance of certificates; you’ve already succeeded; don’t block others from succeeding.
The Misconceptions Of AWS certifications
Let’s talk about a few possible misconceptions
A certification is not a guaranteed salary or pay raise
Having a certification will undoubtedly help you land a job, but there is no set salary you can anticipate. There are studies and polls that claim to indicate it increases your wage, but be sure to examine who funded or conducted the study. Those figures are an average and not by any means guaranteed, in any kind of situation.
A certification is not in perpetuity
Every three years, you must renew your certification since AWS content regularly changes. More studying, tests, and test costs are necessary as a result. This helps maintain the value of a present certification, but it also implies that it might be advisable to wait if you don’t have a clear use case for one just yet.
A certification is not the same as practical experience
Although almost no organisation runs entirely on AWS, the certifications frequently presumptively demand that you do. There are trade-offs when deciding between various AWS services as well as when deciding whether to use an AWS service or a service from a third party. Although navigating those trade-offs is an important aspect of system architecture, certifications won’t teach you how to do it.
A certification isn’t the only way to learn
There are several ways to stay current with new technologies and maintain the quality of our talents. There are several methods to study without a degree, including reading books, watching presentations, and building projects.
Cost of AWS certification
Consider a scenario in which you have a goal in mind and certification will aid in your achievement. How much will it cost you? More considerations than merely the certification’s cost must be taken into account.
Sitting the exam
There are several levels of certification, ranging from the basic “Certified Cloud Practitioner” certification to more specialised certifications like Security and Machine Learning. Higher levels are more expensive: You must pay for each retake and the test itself, which may cost between $100 and $300.
Study materials: Free to thousands
You probably won’t take the test right away unless you’re an AWS specialist; you’ll need to prepare first. There are several materials available at various pricing points.
There are free tools and white papers available if you want to spend as little money as possible, but it takes time to select the finest ones. You may get video courses, booklets, and practise examinations that normally cost up to a few hundred dollars if you’re prepared to pay a little. You can pay for full classroom tuition if you’re ready to spend a lot of money; more specifically, thousands of dollars.
Whatever way you choose to learn, be sure to budget time and money for finding quality study resources.
The financial expenditures may not be a concern for you if your company is paying for your test (for example, if you work for an AWS Partner), but the amount of study time is still a concern.
Studying for an AWS certification: Weeks or months of your time
Preparing for the test might take a lot of time—some suggest 100 hours or more—depending on the level of certification and the amount of expertise you already have.
It is not a little expenditure to conduct that learning, whether you do it on your own time or while working. Think about how much money your time is worth. Studying for an AWS certification takes 100 hours, which implies 100 hours are not available for other activities. If it’s the best use of your time, only you can determine.
Is AWS certification worth it?
Does certification merit the cost? That is up to you.
It may be really helpful if it can help you land the next fantastic job or if you need to demonstrate your expertise with AWS. It might be a fantastic investment if it aids in achieving a larger objective. A qualification helps open the door for the thousands of people who land their first jobs in technology each year.
Consider it a little longer if you’re unsure of how an AWS certification might be beneficial. It’s OK that not everyone has to be certified; but, please don’t belittle those that do.
Certification is not a one-size-fits-all solution, like everything else in AWS.