Guide / Software / How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect?

How to Become an AWS Solutions Architect?

Updated on September 2, 2021 | by Alex Smith

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Amazon Web Services or AWS offers you several role-based certifications. These certifications, when acquired, boost your chances of finding the right opportunity that pays you well. The Cloud domain is evolving very quickly. And so does the whole landscape of Cloud Computing. There is a lot of demand for qualified professionals in the Cloud domain. If you wish to stay abreast in using this technology, certify yourself and maintain the certification or grow by getting new certification under your belt. 

Getting Started with AWS Certifications

AWS offers you in total 11 role-based professional certifications (at the time of writing), meeting various aspects of the Cloud industry. These certifications branch out into four different categories; Foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty level. 

As the name suggests, “Foundational” means it covers the basics of a cloud. In this case, the AWS. Any professional having solid foundational knowledge in AWS Cloud Services can register and clear the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification exam to become an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. Similarly, many certifications are available at different levels, suiting distinct requirements. 

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Let’s Talk About AWS Solutions Architect.

Our focus here is the role of AWS Solutions Architect and how to become one. Two Solutions Architect certifications are available, and they are AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate and AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional. Even though there are no pre-requisites in place that restrict you from directly attempting the higher-level certification, it is best to start your Professional certification journey from the Associate-level. Take up this recognized AWS Training and Certification course to acquire Associate-level certification. 

Some professionals also suggest that if you don’t have sufficient experience working in the AWS platform, it is best to start with a Foundational-level AWS Cloud Practitioner certification exam to get a better hang of it. 

All About AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Associate (SAA-CO2)

It is an Associate-level certification exam from AWS. They recommend one or two years of work experience in the AWS platform for designing cost-efficient, scalable, fault-tolerant, and highly available distributed systems before attempting this certification exam. This certification which carries USD 150 as registration fees and USD 20 for Practical fees, validates three significant areas: 

  1. How will you architect and deploy applications on AWS that are secure and robust? 
  2. Based on customer/client requirements, how will you define a solution based on architectural design principles? 
  3. During Project Lifecycle, how will you offer implementation guidance to the organization based on the best practices? 

This certification exam consists of 65 questions which are either Multiple Choice or Multiple Response ones. The scoring scale is from 100-1000, where you must get 720 to pass the exam. The duration of the exam is 130 minutes. The break-down of sections for this exam are: 

  • Design Cost-Optimized Architecture-18%
  • Design Resilient Architectures-30%
  • Design High Performing Architecture-28%
  • Design Secure Applications and Architectures-24%

Once you pass this Associate level certification exam, you can be sure that you are on, right track and, with preparation, can clear the professional-level certification. 

A-Z About AWS Certified Solutions Architect-Professional (SAP-C01)

AWS Solutions Architect Professional level requires much more experience in clearing the exam SAP-C01. AWS tests a professional’s advanced technical skills and proficiency in designing distributed applications and systems using the AWS platform. AWS recommends you two or more years of work experience with the AWS platform before attempting this certification. This certification validates several essential points, and they are: 

  1. How will you devise and deploy a fault-tolerant, reliable, highly available, and dynamically scalable on AWS? 
  2. How will you design and deploy enterprise-grade scalable operations using AWS? 
  3. How will you select the right AWS Services to create and deploy applications based on the requirements? 
  4. How will you migrate complex, multi-tier AWS applications and implement cost-control strategies? 

This exam costs you $300 and an extra $40 for Practice exams. And you can take this exam either in online proctored or in testing centers. What do you need to clear AWS Solutions Architect-Professional? 

  • You must be familiar with an AWS-supported scripting language, Windows & Linux environments, AWS APIs, AWS Billing Console, AWS CLI, AWS CloudFormation templates, and AWS Management Console. 
  • Must be able to architect Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment Process. 
  • Use AWS technologies to design a hybrid architecture, etc. 

In this exam, you will face 75 questions that may contain either Multiple Choice or Multiple Response ones that you have to attempt within 180 minutes. The passing mark is 750 on a scale between 100-1000. The different section break-down for this exam are: 

  • Design for Organizational Complexity 12.5%
  • Continuous Improvement for Existing Solutions 29%
  • Design for New Solutions 31%
  • Cost Control 12.5% 
  • Migration Planning 15% 

Is Getting AWS-Certified Worth It or Not? 

Yes, absolutely! AWS certification not only helps you to fetch more opportunities but also comes with increased salaries. AWS is currently the market leader in the Cloud Computing domain. 33% of the online space in Cloud space use AWS Services. You can imagine the demand that arises. Let me put that into perspective; one in every three websites you visit uses AWS.

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