With a large percentage of businesses working remotely, Gartner projects the cloud computing industry will see exponential growth over the next few years, reaching over $331 billion in revenue by 2022. Cloud computing’s growth is rooted in its digital transformation capabilities. Cloud computing allows organizations of any size to move their technical infrastructure off-premises with more flexible and cost-effective solutions than the high operational costs of onsite infrastructure solutions.

Cloud technology is no longer a nice-to-have that only large enterprises can afford. If your organization wants to stay competitive and remain agile in the face of constantly changing technology, upskilling your team in cloud skills is a must. And while there are several cloud providers to choose from, Amazon is the industry leader with a 47% market share over Microsoft and Google. Keep reading for more information on the AWS cloud certifications that’ll ensure your team has the AWS skills needed to survive in a cloud-first environment.

AWS certifications for every level

AWS has 11 distinct certifications spread across four levels. These include the beginner-focused foundational certificate, intermediate associate certifications, advanced professional certificates, and specialty role-based certifications. In this article, we’re going to highlight the three most popular certification categories.

Foundational level Cloud Practitioner Certification

The Cloud Practitioner Certification is the sole foundational-level certificate for learning AWS.  This certification measures the learner’s understanding of the AWS platform, so it’s not considered as technology-focused as the others. In fact, there are plenty of non-technical roles that may benefit from the Cloud Practitioner Certification, including project managers, sales account executives, and finance specialists.

To earn a Cloud Practitioner Certification, learners should be proficient in areas like understanding AWS support contracts and knowing the fundamental benefits of the cloud, such as the security strength of a cloud system. 

Who should consider getting a Cloud Practitioner Certification?

Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps Associate Certifications

Unlike the foundational certificate, there are three associate certifications: Solutions Architect Associate, Developer Associate, and SysOps Associate. These role-based certifications have some overlap with each other, so consider which certificate best suits your career plans or your company’s skills needs. Of course, if you or your team have the drive to take all three certifications, your collective AWS knowledge will be that much stronger. 

Here’s a high-level look at the three associate-level certifications so you can determine which best suits you or your team:

Solutions Architect and DevOps Engineer Professional Certifications

It’s recommended that learners earn at least one associate-level certification before continuing on to earn either of the two professional-level AWS certifications, Solutions Architect Professional and DevOps Engineer Professional. This ensures there’s a strong level of familiarity with implementing AWS features before successfully advancing into designing and operating your company’s entire AWS cloud system. Before studying for and earning a professional-level AWS certification, learners should have a comprehensive understanding of how to run, optimize, and troubleshoot solutions within AWS.

People who should consider the professional-level AWS certification include:

Chart your organization’s certification course 

As tech organizations move increasingly to the cloud, IT departments are encouraging all their team members to validate a base-level of AWS skills by earning the Cloud Practitioner certificate. To futureproof your company and prepare your tech teams for whatever might come next, developing cloud expertise is key. 

Explore how IT skills like cloud computing can promote business continuity in our guide to navigating remote work.