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AWS Certification for Cloud Professionals – Why You Need It, How to Get It, and Where It Will Take You

AWS Certification for Cloud Professionals – Why You Need It, How to Get It, and Where It Will Take You

Information technology (IT) is a lucrative and challenging career field worth exploring for its above-average salaries, challenging roles, and practically endless growth opportunities. Whether you’re just entering the workforce for the first time, thinking about a career change, or looking for ways to enhance your current IT skills, you should be considering the value of AWS Certification.

IT Career Prospects at a Glance

Open IT positions are diverse and plentiful and can be found at large and small organizations all over the country and in every market imaginable. In 2020 alone, US employers posted 3.9 million IT job openings, and by 2030 they will add more than 600,000 new IT jobs to that number. 

Salaries for computer and IT jobs average more than $30,000 higher than the median annual wage for other occupations. With the field constantly expanding, that means increasing opportunities for you to enter or advance in the field.

Competition for the best positions can still be fierce, however; so having the right combination of technical experience, soft skills, and certifications will help you stand out from the crowd. Whether your focus is software development, network engineering, or cloud computing, you’ll want to make sure your resume highlights the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certifications that employers look for. AWS Certification shows employers that you have essential knowledge and skills in cloud computing and networks–critical for success in every IT role today.

Cloud Computing Outlook and Opportunities

More and more organizations are turning to cloud computing as the most efficient and cost-effective way to use technology services and store data without the expense and hassle of buying and maintaining physical data centers and servers. Global cloud infrastructure spending topped $200 billion dollars over the past twelve months and shows no signs of slowing. 

The undisputed leader in cloud computing is Amazon whose 34% market share is greater than the combined revenues of their next two competitors fighting from behind, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. With a large and diverse customer base, an extensive network of tech partners, constant innovations, fast and scalable solutions for businesses, and 43% year-on-year growth, it’s a safe bet that Amazon will continue to dominate, and the need for AWS certified professionals will continue to grow. 

If you’re looking to land your perfect role in the cloud computing arena, becoming AWS certified will help you do that. And consider this: individuals with AWS Certification make as much as 25.9% more than non-certified staff, typically earning an annual average income of $113,932. There’s never been a better time to jump into the cloud computing field or to enhance your current skills and expand your professional potential.

Why Companies Value AWS Certified Employees So Highly

Not all IT certifications get you where you want to go, because not all IT certifications are valued equally by employers. But AWS certified professionals are in short supply and high demand, so it’s worth taking a moment to understand exactly HOW highly in demand they are–and why.

Getting an AWS Certification is more than just a feather in your cap–it’s a signal to employers that you have the cloud skills and knowledge you need to be of value to the company. It might surprise you to learn exactly how highly many organizations regard their AWS certified staff. 

According to IT research and strategy firm ESG, IT decision makers overwhelmingly agree that hiring AWS certified staff gives their organizations significant competitive advantages and operational benefits.

In one survey, respondents were asked questions about the ways in which their AWS certified staff contribute to their company’s goals and successes. The responses were overwhelmingly positive.

Almost all of them (97%) agree that AWS certified staff put their company in a better competitive position to succeed over the next 3-5 years. An impressive 90% of respondents say their cloud team is more productive with AWS certified staff, and 90% also say that when it comes to selecting leaders for cloud projects, they trust staff members with AWS certification more than those without certification.

These employers cite other advantages of hiring staff with AWS Certification:

  • 86% agree the security of cloud workloads is improved.
  • 89% agree timelines for cloud project completion are shorter.
  • 89% agree troubleshooting is faster.

Clearly, employers value what AWS Certification tells them about an individual’s technical knowledge and skills. When you earn AWS Certification, you’re not just checking off a box–you’re presenting yourself as a person who will improve a company’s security, efficiency, and productivity and give them a measurable competitive advantage.

AWS Certification pushes your resume to the top of the pile during your job search, helping you stand out in a competitive hiring environment. (It’s worth noting here that the AWS Certified Solutions Architect training course from TLG Learning includes essential job searching and business skills that will make you a standout in the candidate crowd.)

Once you’ve landed a role in IT, you may decide to add topic-specific AWS Certifications that will enhance your opportunities for career advancement and give your salary a bump! As you demonstrate to your employer that you’re willing to stay on top of the latest cloud technologies and validate newly acquired knowledge with additional AWS Certifications, your value will increase–as will your earnings. 

What Types of AWS Certification Are Available?

AWS Certification Paths

By now you understand that AWS Certification proves to employers you have the most valuable and in-demand technical skills and knowledge required for building secure and reliable cloud-based applications using AWS technology. But which certifications are best for YOUR professional goals?

There are several different AWS Certifications available, and you should choose the certification pathways that’s right for you depending on your situation, your previous technical experience, your current professional role, and your career goals. Meeting with a TLG Learning counselor is the most efficient way to decide which certifications are best for you to pursue. 

AWS Certification is organized into four types or paths: 

Foundational Path – Reflects six months of fundamental AWS Cloud and industry knowledge.
Certification: Cloud Practitioner Foundational

Associate Path – Reflects one year of experience solving problems and implementing solutions using the AWS Cloud.
Certifications: Solutions Architect Associate, Developer Associate, SysOps Administrator Associate

Professional Path – Reflects two years of experience designing, operating, and troubleshooting solutions using the AWS Cloud.
Certifications: Solutions Architect Professional, and DevOps Engineer Professional

Specialty Certifications – Reflect technical AWS Cloud experience in specific Specialty domains as specified in the exam guides.
Certifications: Advanced Networking Specialty, Data Analytics Specialty, Database Specialty, Machine Learning Specialty, Security Specialty, SAP on AWS Specialty

It’s highly recommended you take a results-oriented approach to selecting which AWS Certifications to go after, and your TLG Learning counselor will help you do just that. As you peruse the list of certifications, it may not be immediately obvious which ones will help you achieve your professional goals. This is why we recommend you talk to a TLG Learning counselor who is highly experienced in helping both aspiring and experienced IT professionals create a plan.

By the way, if you’re relatively new to the IT world but think it’s the right career for you, consider looking into becoming a Network Development Engineer. The training you’ll receive through TLG Learning includes networking fundamentals, essential Linux skills, Python scripting, and cloud computing. It’s a great way to start your IT career, get some AWS cloud skills under your belt, and you could be placed into a pre-apprenticeship so you start getting paid sooner than with any other program out there. Ask your TLG Learning counselor about it.

Choosing an AWS Certification Training and Exam Preparation Program

There are several factors to consider when selecting a pathway for studying and preparing to take the AWS certification exams. Here are some questions you might want to ask:

  • How will I decide which certifications to train and study for?
  • What are the costs and time commitments for each certification course?
  • Can I take training and prep courses at a time that works for me, or is it impossible to find the classes I need that fit conveniently into my schedule?
  • Is the training material used in the course provided by and approved by Amazon?
  • Is there a hands-on application component, or is it just “book learning”?
  • Can I handle a DIY self-paced course or would I learn better with a live instructor?
  • Are the trainers highly skilled or are they basically just going to read through the material out loud?

As you can see, it’s not just about cost! Let’s dig into a few of these important factors so you can make the right choice for your AWS Certification journey.

TLG Learning Offers More Courses at More Times to Fit Your Schedule

Busy professionals like you need training that fits into your life. TLG Learning is at the top-of-the-class when it comes to offering lots of options, so you’ll definitely find a course that fits into your already full schedule. You’ll find the online course catalog to be the absolute easiest to navigate, with course descriptions and objectives that are clear and concise. 

Earn the Right AWS Certification with Expert Guidance

With so many AWS Certifications available, it might be difficult to figure out where to start. At TLG Learning, we take a highly personalized approach to helping you navigate your AWS Certification options. First take some time to explore your options on the TLG Learning website to familiarize yourself with the certification pathways and course catalog. Then, meet with a TLG Learning counselor who will learn about your background, experience, and your immediate and long-term goals, and then they will assist you in selecting the right certification path for you. Your counselor will even give you the opportunity to take assessments that will shine a light on your technical strengths and aptitudes to ensure you’re equipped for certification success. 

One TLG Learning student, Shawn, recently shared with us what a difference his counselor made for him. He had a networking background already but not much knowledge or experience with the cloud. He knew adding AWS Certification to his resume would be helpful, so he looked through the schedule of prep courses and selected the first one he thought made sense for him. Fortunately, he talked to a TLG Learning counselor before he enrolled. The counselor was able to identify a far more efficient certification route for him to take based on his experience and goals–one that was faster and less expensive than he had anticipated! With this expert guidance, Shawn earned AWS Certifications that resulted in a promotion and pay bump that he almost certainly would not have enjoyed if he had gone down the certification path he thought he should.

Your TLG Learning counselor will be a truly trusted advisor who will make sure you use your time wisely and efficiently. With a solid plan and confidence you have the required knowledge and aptitude to be successful, your counselor will assist you in signing up for the appropriate courses, whether it’s a one-day class or a 4-week session with a like-minded cohort.

Our Trainers Are Dedicated to Your Success

Once you’re enrolled in a course, you’ll find your experience with our top-notch trainers to be second-to-none. Not only are TLG Learning trainers experts in the content, they’re also experts at providing targeted instruction to every student in the class. They know your professional experience and background is uniquely yours, so they’ll take the time to learn about you and every other student in the class, and then actively tailor the training as they go to create a personalized learning experience that is completely applicable to your situation and career goals and will set you up for exam success.

A Note About Free Digital Training from Amazon: Is It the Best Deal?

One option you have in preparing to take an AWS Certification exam is free training direct from Amazon. At first glance, this may seem like a solid choice–the training is delivered digitally, it’s totally free, and it’s self-paced so you have complete control over how quickly you move through the material. 

You may be successful working with self-paced test prep materials like those offered by Amazon if (1) you already have extensive hands-on experience in the areas covered by the exams and (2) you’re highly disciplined when it comes to studying. 

Keep in mind that TLG Learning teaches Amazon-provided content, so you’ll get coverage of the same information from both Amazon and from TLG Learning. The decision you’ll have to make is whether you can do it on your own or whether you’ll do better with additional structure and the personal attention and explanations from a live instructor.

And this is important: the free digital courses offer NO hands-on or lab component, even for longer courses like the one to become an AWS Certified Solutions Architect. The material can feel pretty theoretical without the opportunity to actually use it or apply it. No wonder so many of these students seek out TLG Learning after trying the self-paced route!

Having access to world class instructors is a major key to your certification success, and you simply won’t find any better instructors than those at TLG Learning.

Advantages of AWS Certification Training Through TLG Learning

When you take courses through TLG Learning, you’re getting some very important benefits that will give you the absolute best chance at passing the certification exam the first time:

  • Expert Guidance – You’ll navigate your certification pathway options with guidance from a TLG Learning counselor who will help you select the certifications that will help you meet your professional goals.
  • Course Availability – You’ll find more courses at more times than anywhere else to fit your schedule.
  • Training Content – You’ll receive training and exam prep with courseware provided directly from Amazon so you can be confident it is up to date with the current exams.
  • Instruction – You’ll receive personalized instruction from outstanding expert trainers who are skilled in presenting the content in a way that is easy to understand, and you can ask questions and get clarification about essential concepts before you take the exam.
  • Structure – You’ll have the comfort of structure and instructional pacing that holds you accountable and allows you to learn and absorb the content efficiently over a period of a few days or weeks, depending on the course.

At TLG Learning, our goal is to help you move quickly and confidently through the certification process so you can go after that job or promotion as soon as possible. It’s worth noting that with few exceptions, each additional certification you earn will pay for itself with a salary bump. According to TLG’s IT Skills and Salary Report, an individual with six or more IT certifications makes at least $10,000 a year more than those with just one certification on their resume!

The Bottom Line on Cost: Digital courses and prep materials from Amazon are free, but cost shouldn’t be the most important factor you consider. Plus, if you’re a veteran, your GI Bill will cover the cost of AWS Certification courses from TLG Learning, which means you get high quality, personalized instruction for the same price: free! You can use your veteran benefits to pay for exam fees, too.

Your New Career as an AWS Cloud Expert is Just a Phone Call Away

There’s no better time than now to grow your skills, increase your value and marketability, and set yourself up for the next level of professional success! Whether you’re looking to land your first IT job, add cloud skills to your current technical experience, bring more expertise to your current role and employer, or springboard to a higher position with the responsibilities and compensation that go with it, earning the AWS Certification is sure to help you reach your goals. The first step is to speak with an education consultant at TLG Learning who will help you create a plan and put it in motion. Schedule a call today!

TLG IT Careers, a division of TLG Learning, has been trusted for over 25 years by aspiring IT professionals to deliver effective, specially tailored training programs and dedicated job placement support. With expert instructors and end-to-end career success coaches, TLG IT Career students are confidently accepting roles as software developers and network engineers with Fortune 500 companies like Amazon and Microsoft. 93% of IT Career alumni graduate on time. 91% of students are placed within 60 days of graduating and are offered an average entry level pay of $82,000. TLG offers several Apprenticeship options too. Over 70% of TLG placements are in paid IT Apprenticeships. 99% of over 10,000 students trained worldwide would recommend TLG Learning. Completely devoted to student success, TLG IT Careers provides monthly, free digital orientation classes for potential students to learn more.

A remote first company with headquarters located in Bellevue, Washington – TLG Learning can also be found at Camp Murray in Washington.