AWS Certification Path and Best Training Resources

Cloud Computing and AWS

The cloud industry is constantly growing and becomes one of the most loved spaces to be in today. More and more companies are adopting cloud computing, not only big enterprises but small to medium size companies are also giving special interest in this technology.

Looking after the current market scenario, AWS is more promising than any other cloud service providers. If you’re planning to make a career in this field then, it is recommended to get certified as it’ll provide you an edge over the competition.

AWS Certification Path

There are 12 AWS certification, one under the Foundational level, three at the Associate level, two for the Professional level, and six for the Specialty level.

Foundational level:-

There is one certification under this category i.e Cloud Practitioner. The AWS Cloud Practitioner is the entry-level exam aiming to provide an overall good understanding of the Amazon cloud platform. It includes the basics of cloud computing, use cases of AWS, services, and benefits.

Associate Level:-

The associate-level certifications cover a relatively wide range of AWS services with a good technical angle. The certification requires at least one year of experience in problem-solving and implementing solutions using the AWS cloud. Certifications under this category are-

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
  2. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  3. AWS Certified Developer – Associate.

Professional Level:-

The professional level certifications aimed at the Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer positions. It is recommended to start first by taking associate-level certifications before you go for professional-level certifications. The certification requires two years of hands-on experience using AWS cloud for designing, operating, and troubleshooting. There are two certifications under the professional level which are-

  1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional
  2. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional

Specialty Level:-

The certifications dive deeper into the AWS services focusing more on data analytics and big data solutions. The certifications require higher technical expertise with significant working experience. There are six AWS Specialty Certification-

  1. AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty
  2. AWS Certified Security Specialty
  3. AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty
  4. AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty
  5. AWS Certified Data Analytics Specialty
  6. AWS Certified Database Specialty

There are plenty of courses for AWS training available online. Here is the list of courses that you can take according to different exams. Starting from Udemy for beginner level exams such as Foundational and Associate level certifications. For professional and specialty level certifications, it is ideal to take training from well-established learning platforms in respective fields such as Whizlabs and Pluralsight.

Best Courses for AWS Certifications

Foundational level

Udemy: Ultimate AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

You don’t need to know anything about AWS for starting this course. AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is the entry-level certification for AWS. The course covers all the topics on the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner CLF-C01 exam with great examples. This crash course on Cloud Practitioner is jam-packed with in-depth video lessons, downloadable PDF resources, quizzes, practice exams to assess your knowledge and understanding, and detailed training notes which can help you to pass the exam with flying colors. The course instructor is Stephane Maarek. He is a solutions architect, consultant, and software developer and is recognized as an AWS Hero.

Key learnings:-

  • AWS Account Activation Troubleshooting
  • AWS Fundamentals (EC2, ELB, ASG, RDS, ElastiCache, S3)
  • Compute services: ECS, Lambda, Batch, Lightsail
  • Deployments & Managing Infrastructure at Scale in AWS
  • Leveraging the AWS Global Infrastructure
  • AWS Cloud concepts, Architecting and Ecosystem
Pros
  • Well organized and useful course content with clear explanation and examples.
  • Perfect for beginners. Provide detailed information for the newbie cloud learner.
  • Summary slides at end of each lesson.
  • Effective practice tests.
  • The excellent passing rate at first attempt.
Cons
  • Voice clarity problem.

Course length:- 11 hours

Rating:-4.8

Associate level

1. Udemy: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

After passing the AWS Certified Cloud exam with perfection, Stephane Maarek is here again to help you to clear the Developer exam. The good thing about Stephane Maarek’s course is that they are constantly updated with fresh topics and examples. The associate level AWS certifications such as Developer, SysOps, Solution Architect, and DevOps have taken a big step up in difficulty. They are one of the most challenging exams. But don’t worry, when Stephane Maarek is with you. The course is full of great information and hands-on examples and is very easy to follow. The course is not only for AWS practitioners but also for anyone who wants to acquire knowledge and upskill themselves with best practices on Serverless and AWS Cloud.

Key learnings:-

  • Understand Serverless API using AWS Lambda, Cognito, DynamoDB, and API Gateway
  • Carry out messaging and integration patterns using SNS & Kinesis and AWS SQS
  • Performing microservices using X-Ray, CloudWatch, and CloudTrail
  • Deploy applications using Elastic Beanstalk and AWS CICD tools
  • Learn security best practices
Pros
  • Best learning resources and teaching sense.
  • The well-structured course focused to pass the certification.
  • Start this course with zero knowledge.
  • The perfect combination of theory and labs.
  • No whitepapers, No flashcards. Nothing extra is required to ace the exam.
Cons
  • Teaching speed is quite faster.
  • Little improvements should be made after module quizzes.

Course length:- 16 hours

Rating:- 4.3

2. Udemy: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate

The SysOps Administrator certification covers a wide range of AWS services at a medium depth. If you’ve already completed the AWS Certified Solutions Architect course or Developer Course then you can take this course. It includes more advanced AWS concepts and principles. The team behind this course has done a wonderful job explaining each topic in the best possible way in short to medium video lectures. There is also a practice test at the end of the course which can help you to assess yourself.

Key learnings:-

  • CloudWatch: monitoring, metrics
  • Building highly resilient architectures in the cloud
  • Data management, Networking, Security, OpsWorks
Pros
  • Covers all the exam topics in depth.
  • Decent instructions with exercise and real-world examples.
  • Easy to follow course content.
  • Adequate explanatory notes with hands-on lab sessions.
Cons
  • The course needs some upgradation.

Course length:- 16 hours

Rating:- 4.5

3. Udemy: AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

Developed by Ryan Kroonenburg the founder of ‘A Cloud Guru’ with his partner Mark Richman who is an AWS Training Architect, this course already helped over half a million students to pass the AWS Certified Solutions Architect- Associate exam. The course begins with covering an overview of the AWS platform and then follows through individual elements of the AWS platform. The course also helps programmers to deploy applications on AWS.

Key learnings:-

  • Identity Access Management and S3
  • EC2, Databases on AWS, Route53, VPCs, HA Architecture
  • Building Alexa skills
Pros
  • The course is cheaper than most other courses without compromising on quality.
  • Course material keeps on updated from time to time.
  • Covers almost 95% of the areas being asked in the exam.
  • Well paced course content and presentation style.
Cons
  • The exam review section needs to be improved.

Course length:– 18 hours

Rating:- 4.5

Professional level

1. Whizlabs: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional

AWS DevOps Engineer Professional Online Course provided by Whizlabs helps professionals to ace the certification exam. Whizlabs is one of the pioneers among online learning platforms especially targeting tech courses and certifications like Cloud Computing, Big Data, Cyber Security, Blockchain, and more. In addition to training video lectures, the course gives hands-on lab experience to test your knowledge and understanding of the AWS environment. The course contains a total of 33 labs for the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional Exam covering most important topics like EC2, Database, Aurora, etc.

Key learnings:-

  • Implement highly flexible and robust systems on the AWS platform
  • Design and manage tools automating the operational processes
  • Deploy applications with Elastic Beanstalk
  • Implement security controls, governance processes, and compliance validation
Pros
  • Comprehensively covered all the exam objectives.
  • Detailed and easy to understand explanation.
  • Settled your doubts with tons of real-life examples.
  • Up to date content as per the changes in the exam.
Cons
  • Not at all.

Course length:- 14 hours

Rating:- 4.5

2. Whizlabs: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional

With 9+ hours of rigorous training videos, 10 labs, and a practice test, you’ll be fully prepared to pass the Solutions Architect Pro exam in the very first attempt. The course is ideal for advanced practitioners who have several years of experience in AWS architecture and those who already hold Solution Architect Associate certification. The course helps you demonstrate the ability to architect and deploy AWS solutions.

Key learnings:-

  • Design and deploy an application by selecting appropriate AWS services
  • Migrate complex and multi-tier applications on AWS
  • Advanced understanding about security aspect related to AWS
  • Cost control strategies
  • Performance improvement for applications
Pros
  • Decent content quality.
  • 100% Syllabus covered.
  • Small sessions with a clear explanation.
  • Extensive question bank and test material.
Cons
  • No, Whizlabs will never disappoint you.

Course length:- 9+ hours of Training Videos

Rating:-4.6

Specialty level

Pluralsight: For AWS Specialty Certifications

Pluralsight is the one-stop destination for training and learning more advanced technological skills. You can’t trade-off on quality if you’re into preparing for one of the AWS Specialty Certification exams like Advanced Networking, Security, Machine Learning, Alexa Skill Builder, Data Analytics, and Database. By following courses and learning paths designed by Pluralsight experts, you’ll gain the necessary skills and knowledge to sit and pass the certification exam.

Pluralsight features:-

  • Develop your skills with expert-led courses
  • Custom learning plan aligned with your goals
  • Engage with peers and experts for course discussions and doubts
  • Get all helpful resources like course slides, instructor notes, source codes, and more
  • Measure your skill level with confidence through regular assessments
  • View hours spent on the learning and leaderboard of your top members by Pluralsight analytics
  • Create your own reports and analysis
  • Free 10-day personal trial including thousands of expert-led courses, Pluralsight IQ assessments, guided learning, and interactive projects.

Which AWS Certification is Best for me?

Determining which certification is best for you, depends on your goals and experience. One first needs to understand about all the certifications in-depth, how they link to different job roles, and what are their prerequisites. For instance, foundational certification i.e the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner is for anyone who is interested in the AWS platform or wants to start a career in cloud computing but professional level certifications are for those who already hold associate-level certifications with a particular streamline(Architect/Developer/Operations) and significant technical experience handling AWS platform.

AWS services and certifications keep on evolving over time. Get yourself updated by following the AWS certification site and for more details about exams, costs, and study tips.