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:
- One or more years of hands-on experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS
- In-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language
- Ability to identify and define requirements for an AWS-based application
- Experience with deploying hybrid systems with on-premises and AWS components
- Capability to provide best practices for building secure and reliable applications on the AWS platform
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.
How does proper training make a difference?
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. Our assessment engine tracks their progress to make sure they are completing these activities correctly. If students aren’t progressing as they should be, we give them access to the exact courses and activities that teach those concepts.
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.
In fact, some students who just don’t feel comfortable taking the exam (or even the training) before going through a basic Linux course, and that’s totally fine. Go with what makes you comfortable, just know that it is not absolutely necessary if you’ve got the right training guiding you.
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.