You’ve heard about AWS Certifications, and you’ve probably also heard that AWS certified engineers are making 6 figures.
And after some research, you’re seeing that many organizations are choosing to hire certified engineers over non-certified engineers. With the promise of a brighter future, and now, online exams, you’re considering getting an AWS certification.
The problem, however, is that you’ve started to realize certification requires a significant commitment of both time and money. Even the most basic certification exam costs $150, and the more advanced ones are twice that. Then, there’s the cost associated with training for the exam. AWS in-person training costs thousands, so you decide to turn to online sources. But now you’re torn on which training provider to go with, and so you have to spend some time studying various options. Finally, you realize that it won’t just take a few days of studying but rather weeks and maybe even months.
The motivation starts to fade, as you decide whether it’s worth sacrificing time away from Netflix and your family. Here’s what we’ve found after training hundreds of thousands of professionals and hiring managers.
Will AWS Certifications Make Me More Money?
Let’s be honest, this is probably the question you care the most about. If you decide to sacrifice video games, Netflix, or spending time with loved ones, there better be some kind of monetary reward, right? So are you going to make more money if you get certified? Like pretty much everything else in life, the answer is that it depends.
Does your current organization reward employees who get AWS certified?
If the answer is yes, then obviously you will receive a monetary reward. If you don’t know, it’s worth finding out. Many organizations recognize the value of certifications and reimburse you if it’s relevant to your role. If the answer is no, don’t give up hope yet. Read on…
Are you self-employed, and does your ability to close deals require a better grasp of AWS?
The training required to pass AWS certifications, when done correctly, can give you a much deeper understanding of the major AWS services, tools, and best practices. That means you can then turn around and impress clients with your ability to provide results, faster. You can also go to potential leads and impress them with your new-found knowledge. Oh, and don’t forget to flaunt the fact that you and your staff are “AWS Certified!” So yes, in the end, this is very likely to increase your earnings in the long run.
Do you work in AWS daily?
Even if your organization does not give you a training budget, or does not give you a bonus for passing a certification exam, it could still be worth it to spend the money it would take to get certified. Here’s why…
Imagine your manager gives you a task to deploy resources on AWS. The non-certified you would deploy those resources without realizing that there was a more cost-effective and faster way because you haven’t learned best practices. A few months later, your organization expands and your manager adds someone else to your team. That person does have one or more AWS certifications, and so they know about the faster, more cost-effective approach. They see the opportunity to shine, and so they tell your manager exactly how to optimize the deployment of those resources. Guess what happens next? You look like you don’t know what you’re doing, and the new guy just made a lasting impression.
Moral of the story: training for certifications can help you showcase your ability to adapt and learn.
Are you looking to shift careers into the AWS/Cloud industry?
Working towards, and passing, AWS certifications can be a great way to join the popular AWS(/Cloud) train.
Why? Because training for the certification exams give you a goal to work towards, which is perfect for learning how a platform works. If there’s anything holding back learners’ potential, it’s the fact that many try learning a new skill without setting goals, and they end up abandoning it altogether. Plus, you finish with a badge of validation saying that you have experience. If you can create some sort of project on top of this, you’ll be well on your way. A certification and proof that you’ve built something in AWS is a great start to a killer resume to help you land a job where you otherwise have no applicable experience.
Let Statistics do the Talking
According to a Global Knowledge survey, professionals with the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate level certification have an average salary of $119,233. And all five AWS certifications (not counting new specialty certifications) result in above-market salaries. Each of the five results in above $100,000 per year on average. The Global IT Skills and Salary Report is updated yearly and provides a good point of reference when considering what to get certified in.
So even if certifications aren’t recognized in your current organization, it doesn’t mean you should stop pursuing them. Just because you won’t get immediate monetary compensation does not mean it is a bad decision – especially not if you think about your career long-term. As more and more organizations leverage the use of the cloud or grow their existing deployments in the cloud, there will continue to be an increasing demand for people who know their way around the major cloud players, and AWS is definitely one of those major players.
Do employers actually care?
The previous stats say yes, but we’ve spoken with hiring managers who simply do not view certifications as being that valuable. Unless it is a performance-based certification, they might say that “answering multiple-choice questions doesn’t prove you have real-world skills.”
Here’s how we respond…
You’re absolutely right. We’ve come across our fair share of paper-certified candidates during job interviews. These are the candidates who have not experienced hands-on training, or training at the level that the certification exam expects. They’ve basically learned how to game the exam. But unfortunately, it’s much harder to game real life or a job interview when you can’t explain the how or why.
This is one of the reasons we offer hands-on labs around AWS certification exams. Because our assessments test you in a real AWS console with real AWS resources, you can’t fake your ability to complete the real-world scenarios unless you truly know how to do it. The great thing is, though, that even if you don’t know how to do it, we know exactly what you don’t know based on your performance. From there, we can tell you exactly what training you need and why, and all of this training is hands-on.
So if you have an AWS certification, and you also have a micro certification from Linux Academy for completing a lab, hiring managers get validation that you actually know what you are doing.
It’s not about the certification, it’s about the journey
If all you care about is memorizing exam dumps to get a paper certification then you are wasting your time. These are the people we spend 10 minutes or less with on a pre-screen phone interview before thanking them for their time and never calling back. The people Linux Academy hires are those that have spent the hours training for the certification exam. Their reason for getting certified wasn’t just to finish, it was for the journey of learning. These are the people that end up with a more rewarding job, and longevity in the field.
Ready to get started? Download our free ebook on how to pass AWS Certifications here.