We get lots of questions about AWS certification exams and this is a frequently asked question that came through LinkedIn:
In order to take an AWS certification, are there any prerequisites that I should go through?
This is a two-part question:
- Are there any prerequisites I should go through to pass the exam?
- Are there any prerequisites needed to register for the exam?
Although AWS says you should have a certain amount of experience before you can take the exam, they can’t actually verify that you have it. So the answer is no, there are no prerequisites to the AWS Associate exams.
Here’s what you need to know…
Are there any prerequisites needed to pass the exam?
This post focuses entirely on Associate level exams. Professional level exams have a different answer.
First, if you look up the AWS Associate level exams on the AWS website, you will notice the Candidate Overview information. Let’s look at the Candidate Overview for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam:
- Hands-on experience using compute, networking, storage, and database AWS services
- Hands-on experience with AWS deployment and management services
- Ability to identify and define technical requirements for an AWS-based application
- Ability to identify which AWS services meet a given technical requirement
- Knowledge of recommended best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform
- An understanding of the basic architectural principles of building on the AWS Cloud
- An understanding of the AWS global infrastructure
- An understanding of network technologies as they relate to AWS
- An understanding of security features and tools that AWS provides and how they relate to traditional services
Those are a lot of words designed to scare away people who “don’t have enough experience.” However, experience comes with time and proper training.
Can proper training overcome lack of experience?
Often, we see students pass AWS certifications with less than a year’s worth of training and without any prior AWS experience. How is that possible, considering the clearly written candidate overview above? Because we train them at the level the certification expects.
We train them to be engineers.
We train them to solve complicated, real-world problems. Problems faced by today’s organizations that depend on the cloud to give their customers better experiences and increase revenue.
We give our students access to real AWS consoles, with real AWS resources and realistic scenarios to complete.
This is what we specialize in and that’s why it is possible. Extensive Linux, networking, security, and AWS experience could be very beneficial in helping you succeed, but it’s not required if you have training that fills those gaps for you. The right training will give you the background experience you need.
With that said, training does take time. So many people look for shortcuts, but just like all things worth it in life, training shouldn’t be rushed. Push yourself to learn faster, sure, but don’t cut corners by memorizing exam dumps. This will hurt you in the long-run.
Some students who just don’t feel comfortable taking the exam (or even the training) start simpler and then move on to certification exams. For example, they start with the AWS Concepts course or AWS Essentials. Go with what makes you comfortable.
Are there any prerequisites needed to register for the exam?
There are no prerequisites to the AWS Associate exams. You do not need to pass another exam and you don’t need to attend any training in order to register for the exam. You can learn more about what each AWS certification exams consists of, how much it costs to take the exams, and what benefits you may see from becoming AWS certified here.
As mentioned before, Professional level certifications are different. AWS recently decided to drop the requirement to pass an Associate or Foundational level exam before tackling the Professional level exams. However, we still recommend students take and pass on the Associate level before moving on to the Professional level as those exams can be tough even for the most experienced AWS user.