As public cloud adoption continues to increase, and with Amazon Web Services (AWS) leading the charge, cloud certifications are more prevalent than ever before. Not only is AWS the market leader in cloud adoption, but they are also the most seasoned cloud provider with over a million customers. AWS now offers 11 certifications that cover both foundational and specialty cloud topics, making it difficult to pick just three of the most popular. However, below you’ll find my top three picks for which AWS certifications to obtain in 2020 and why:


1. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate/Professional:

The AWS SA Certification continues to be highly regarded amongst the IT community and according to AWS, validates one’s ability to architect and deploy secure and robust applications on AWS technologies. Enterprises tend to seek professionals with this certification because it also demonstrates one’s ability to provide implementation guidance based on best practices related to data & security, disaster recovery, and troubleshooting, just to name a few. For those of you who have already obtained the Associate-Level Certification, the Professional Certification furthers your knowledge in cost optimization strategies and migrating complex application systems to AWS. These are highly desired skills for AWS Partners, helping their customers migrate to the cloud, and AWS end-users alike.


2. AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty:

The big data field is growing exponentially as organizations realize the business value in utilizing their data to find ways to reduce costs, make better decisions, and meet customer demands. This, in turn, has led to an increased demand for data and analytics professionals who are well-versed in AWS and other cloud technologies. The AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty covers topics like storing big data with S3 or DynamoDB, processing big data with Lambda or Glue ETL, and analyzing big data with AWS services like Redshift, RDS, and Aurora. You will also learn how to apply machine learning to vast data sets using Amazon ML and SageMaker. The high demand from large enterprises on AWS for these skill sets in conjunction with the shortage of big data talent is why I highly recommend this certification in 2020.


3. AWS Certified Security – Specialty:

As companies continue to adopt cloud technologies, security will remain a focal point for these organizations when deciding who to trust to navigate them through their cloud journey. Employers will continue to need Cloud Security professionals to be subject matter experts in regard to best practices in information security and compliance. The AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification covers security fundamentals, security best practices, and the various services that are specific to the AWS platform. This certification validates you have a working knowledge in several areas from data protection and encryption to identity and access management. Security will continue to be a concern for existing and future cloud adopters who are worried about their data being stored on AWS servers and this certification can help alleviate many of those concerns.

If you’re new to the cloud, or more specifically, new to AWS, certifications can provide you with the foundation you need to get your foot in the door in a cloud-first world. Furthermore, AWS certifications alone cannot guarantee you an interview or an offer, but can give you a competitive advantage over similar candidates. Whether you’re looking to break into the cloud industry or open doors for new job opportunities utilizing AWS, these three certifications will certainly peak any employers’ interest in 2020.


Mark is the Founder and CEO of ReluTech. With many years of experience in the technology field, Mark is the leading force of ReluTech’s stride to change the future of the industry. Outside of the office, Mark enjoys swimming, playing ping pong, collecting comic books, and traveling with his family.

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