What is AWS and how to make a career in it?


This is indeed a very popular question considering that cloud technology in India has emerged as a potent business tool only in recent decades. If you are asking this question, rest assured that you are on to something, because AWS is a top trending technology which is growing at a magnificent rate. With companies likeInstagram Pinterest, Netflix, Dropbox, Unilever, Kellog’s Etsy, Snapdeal, Infibeam, Nykaa, Tata, Reliance, Hotstar, etc. availing AWS services, the future of cloud technology has much to gain from AWS. In this article, we will try to put some questions to rest and give you the clarity to make an informed decision for a glorious career in AWS.

What exactly is AWS?

AWS simply means Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon which provides cloud computing solutions and today is the most availed and the most popular cloud computing service in the world. Big-ticket companies both in India and the world heavily rely on AWS’s cloud computing platforms and tools for their humungous data storage and data management requirements. One would ask, why is something like AWS required when we had physical local data centers in place? The answer is simple: their inefficiency. The factors that make physical servers inefficient for contemporary business can be briefly summed up in these words: rigidity, unscalability, frequent up-gradation/validation needs, lack of security, physical space requirements, and ultra-high costs of installation and maintenance. These shortcomings have necessitated businesses to look for better alternatives for their Data Management. Hence, the advent of cloud technology. In that, AWS beats all other cloud providers to with its highly scalable, cost-effective, secure, and reliable tools and services to match a gamut of business operations.

A brief history of AWS:

AWS was launched in the year 2002 offering a limited number of cloud services collectively known as S3 (Simple Storage Service). Later on in 2004, with further development, it launched its SQS (Simple Queue Service) and EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) services. Putting all three together, Amazon relaunched AWS in 2006 and has since developed a vast range of extremely scalable services with a “pay-as-you-go” system of payment that enables a client to pay only for the services availed of. Today, AWS offers tools and services in the domains of Storage, Analytics, Application Integration, Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality (AR & VR), Cost Management, Blockchain, Business Productivity, Compute, Containers, Customer Engagement, Database Management, Game Development, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning, Media, Mobile Technology, Developer Tools, Networking and Content Delivery, Quantum Technology, Robotics, Satellite Technology, Security, Identity and Compliances.

Today, AWS accounts for 12% of Amazon’s revenue and reports an annual growth of 37% with a turnover of more than $30 billion. To the list of AWS’s clientèle, add more eminent names like NDTV, UTV, Future group, the Bombay Stock Exchange, Hindustan times, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Airbnb, McDonald’s, Air Asia, Adobe, Cox & Kings, Raymond, and the list is endless. AWS commands 1/3rd of the cloud computing market today.

To make a career in AWS, decide what you are cut out for.

There is a plethora of job descriptions and profiles that work together to make up the edifice of AWS services. Currently, there are 11 certifications that AWS offers to aspirants who look forward to taking up professional job roles specialized in the field of AWS’s cloud technology. These 11 Foundational, Associate level, Professional level, and Specialty level certifications and the corresponding nature of functions they are fitted out for are the following:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner –This is the stepping stone certification that will certify your overall understanding of AWS. This is a good entry-level certification. (Certification cost: $100)
  • AWS Certified Developer Associate –This isa certification meant for Developers with experience and knowledge of basic cloud computing as well as for freshers, as prior work experience is not a prerequisite. (Certification cost: $150)
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate –This certification is meant for individuals having hands-on AWS experience in deploying, managing, and operating applications, although prior work-experience is not mandatory. (Certification cost: $150)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate –A certification targeting to validate your knowledge and experience in architectural processes of designing, creating, and deploying services in AWS, it mandates a prior experience of at least 6 months. (Certification cost: $150)
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional –Meant for those who play a DevOps engineering role from deployment to operational management, this certification mandates a prior experience of at least 2 years in AWS cloud deployments. (Certification cost: $300)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional –Requiring a mandatory minimum of 2 years experience in AWS cloud architecture and certification in AWS Solution Architect Associate, this certification is targeted towards solution architects who create complex solutions using data services to deploy multi-tier applications in AWS. (Certification cost: $300)
  • AWS Certified Big Data Specialty –This certification is targeted towards professionals with a mandatory minimum of 5 years experience in Data Analytics as well as having the AWS Cloud Practitioner or any one Associate level certification. (Certification cost: $300)
  • AWS Certified Advanced Networking Specialty –designed for professionals working on complex network projects, this certification mandates a minimum of 5 years experience in network management on AWS as well as a prior certification as AWS Cloud Practitioner or any one Associate-level AWS professional. (Certification cost: $300)
  • AWS Certified Security Specialty –This is a high-level certification aimed for professionals with at least 2 years of experience in AWS security workload control and an additional 5 years of experience in IT Security Services. (Certification cost: $300)
  • AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder Specialty –A certification that validates a candidate’s building, testing, and deploying Amazon Alexa skills, this one requires a minimum of 6 months’ experience in building Alexa skills and knowledge of programming language. (Certification cost: $300)
  • AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty –This certification is for those who have worked in Data Science roles with a mandatory minimum of 2 years of experience in designing, implementing, deploying, and maintaining machine learning solutions. (Certification cost: $300)

The first step would be to identify which of the above job roles are suitable to your liking and aptitude. Be informed that these certifications and job roles test you at many levels which are not confined simply to knowledge and skill. They test your endurance, problem-solving skills, and analytical attributes also. So brace yourself for a high road but with assured success. AWS certified IT professionals are some of the highest-paidIT professionals in the world.

After choosing a certification path, where to start?

If you are a student, begin by acquiring an undergraduate degree in the IT field and prepare for an AWS certification that does not require prior work experience, like the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. It is a good idea to create an account on the AWS website and access the AWS Free Tier platform available free of cost for 12 months. The AWS Free Tier platform will allow you to access AWS whitepapers and use the AWS tools and services as a customer. This will give you an insight into the working of AWS, the kind of input that your chosen certification will demand of you, and the output it generates for AWS users.

If you are an IT graduate, gather the relevant hands-on work experience. As most AWS certifications mandate a pre-experience for sitting their certification exams, ticking this box should be the first step if you want to acquire an Associate level, Professional level, or a Specialty level certification. Bear in mind that each lower-level AWS certification is a stepping stone towards the higher-level AWS certification which is especially evident in the criteria stipulated for the Specialty level certifications like the AWS Big Data certification or the Advanced Networking Specialty certification. Therefore, if your target is to specialize, do not stop at an Associate certification. Continuous development and certification will take you leaps ahead.

Having gained adequate work-experience it is then time to register yourself with AWS and get training for your chosen certification. Choosing a good training institute where you will be guided by professional and certified trainers and mentors is a must. The right mentors will not only train you for your AWS exams but also equip you with the right knowledge and attitude for cracking interviews for AWS job roles. With the right training, acquire the certification and open doors to unlimited career opportunities in AWS!

So go right ahead and shape your AWS career! We will be waiting to meet you at the other end.