AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a subsidiary of Amazon that offers a plethora of services for cloud-based computing, storage and networking. Other services include database and analytics services, applications and developer tools.
Based on these services, AWS provides several certification exams designed for cloud engineers, administrators and architects. These certifications are categorized into Role Based and Specialty Certifications. This article intends to throw some light on the nitty-gritty of Specialty certifications.
AWS Specialty Certifications
AWS Specialty Certifications are exams that confirm your expertise in specific technical areas.
These certifications target professionals like:
- Data Architects
- Solutions Architects
- Data Engineers
- Infrastructure Engineers
- DevOps Engineers
- IT Security Specialists
Skill sets required for these certifications include either a Cloud Practitioner or an Associate level certification along with technical proficiency and practical experience in an area of specialization.
Types of AWS Specialty Certification
AWS offers three Specialty certifications namely:
- AWS Certified Advanced Networking – Specialty
This certification is designed for individuals who already have an experience in networking and demonstrates an individual’s expertise in designing and implementing cloud-based solutions using AWS, designing and maintaining network architecture for AWS services and automating AWS networking tasks.
A candidate must possess either the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or a current Associate-level certification. It also requires a minimum of 5 years of experience in architecting and implementing network solutions.
- AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty
This certification validates an individual’s expertise in implementing core AWS Big Data services, designing and maintaining Big Data, and using tools and technologies to automate data analysis.
One must have acquired either the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or a current Associate-level certification before applying for this certification. This certification also requires experience in implementing a successful design to process data and a minimum of 5 years of experience in data analytics.
- AWS Certified Security – Specialty
This certificate validates a cloud security professional’s ability to:
- understand AWS data protection methods
- understand AWS data encryption methods
- understand secure internet protocols
- implement decisions related to cost, security and deployment
- understand security operations and risks
This certification requires a candidate to hold either the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner or a current Associate-level certification. AWS also recommends the candidate to have a minimum of five years of experience in designing and implementing security solutions and at least two years of experience in securing AWS workloads.
Also Read: How to get success with AWS Certification
Type of Exams, Duration and Registration Fee
All the Specialty exams are conducted for a duration of 170 minutes and have multiple choice and multiple answer questions.
The registration fees for each exam is US $300.
Recertification of AWS certifications is required after every two years. AWS sends a notification to every candidate six months prior to the date of expiry of the certification.
For candidates holding a Specialty certification, a recertification in the Associate level exam is not required. They only need to sit for a recertification exam specific to the speciality achieved.
A recertification exam runs for a duration of 80 minutes and costs US $75.
Planning and Preparing for The Exam
There are certain steps that a candidate must follow to prepare for AWS Specialty exams in order to get certified at the first attempt.
- Attend a training class to help enhance technical skills and understand best practices.
- Go through the exam guides and attempt sample questions on a regular basis. These questions allow you to keep a track on your progress and figure out the areas that require attention.
- Understand and learn exam strategies with the help of a certified technical instructor and AWS Exam Readiness course or take a practice exam by registering at AWS training to maintain the pace.
- Schedule the exam and receive the certification.
AWS Specialty Certification Benefits
AWS certification is designed in such a way that they help demonstrate your achievement and take your AWS expertise further. The benefits include:
- Accessing AWS certified global community
- Receiving invites to AWS events
- Receiving AWS certified Logo to showcase your talent
- Using digital badges to demonstrate your expertise among your peers
- Gaining access to more AWS products with every certification that you earn
Apart from these benefits, a candidate gains several other benefits as these certifications are industry standard and globally recognized and have also acquired a place in the top five highest paying certifications. There is a high demand for AWS certified professionals among employers and studies prove that this will continue to increase. Each of these certifications can make you earn an average annual salary of $100,000, as per a study was done by Forbes. These certifications prove that an individual wants to excel and thus, manages to gain recognition among peers and employers. Therefore, getting certified in any of these certifications is a beneficial situation for anybody.