Here’s a question I recently came across on LinkedIn:
I see a lot of people posting that they’ve passed AWS certifications […] Are they getting certified after they are already in the AWS or Cloud field? Or are they passing exams to get into the AWS/Cloud field?
This is a great question. Whether you’ve already decided to get an AWS certification, or you’re still in the process of deciding, the question remains – when is the best time to earn a certification?
The answer is both: as you’re trying to enter the AWS and cloud industry, and if you’re already in the industry.
Trying to get a career working with AWS or the Cloud?
This is a perfect time to get an AWS certification. Why? There are two big reasons:
Having a certification can help give you more credibility.
This is the obvious one. Not all employers put a heavy focus on certifications, but we’ve worked with plenty of businesses who do. Here’s a big secret…some businesses even have requirements on the number of AWS certified employees they need to have in order to maintain or grow, partnerships. If your resume crosses their desk and you already have a certification, it can give you an advantage.
Certification gives you a goal to work towards.
This is my favorite.
Have you ever told yourself or your friends that you were building something or working on learning something cool? A few weeks go by, then a few months, until the project is but a memory.
You’re not even sure why it never went through to completion, and you don’t really care anyway, because you’ve already moved on to something more exciting.
I know this has happened to you because it’s happened to all of us.
So what separates the times when you did complete something significant? What about people you hear about in the news who are working on really cool stuff? How did they stick through it?
They did it by setting goals and holding themselves accountable to those goals.
The goals, however, need to be motivating enough and even more importantly, they need to be challenging but achievable. Not just achievable in 5 years, but rather achievable in a fairly short period of time.
An AWS certification exam is a great goal to work towards if you are looking to jump into a new field where you have no direct experience. Not only is it an achievable goal that can take less than 6 months to accomplish, but it also gives you a clear starting point for something otherwise completely unknown to you.
On top of this, it also ends up giving you a certified paper, which you can show off (tying back to point #1 – it gives you credibility).
Is it worth it if you’re already working in AWS or the Cloud?
- Certifications can mean higher salaries
- Certifications are a great way to keep your skills up to date
- They can open doors in your career that you might not otherwise have access to
- They provide proof that you have at least a baseline skill level, and that your skills are up to date with current technologies (since they usually require renewals)
- Certification training can help you troubleshoot issues faster on the job
Take advantage of them either way
So to answer the question, yes, feel free to take advantage of certifications either way. Even though AWS lists eligibility requirements as having “One or more years of hands-on experience […]” for their associate-level exams, and even more than that for their professional exams, the fact is that the right hands-on training can make you eligible in a much shorter time than that.
Experience comes from doing, and when you’re a beginner, it’s hard to jump into a complicated platform like AWS. But when you have experts telling you exactly what you need to learn and when you can accelerate your learning.
We’re here to help, — and with our training and your determination, we know you will pass.