AWS Certifications: Why you need to start with Solutions Architect Associate first?

AWS Certifications: Why you need to start with Solutions Architect Associate first?

AWS Cerifications Where to Start

AWS is turning out to be one of the hottest career options for IT professional today. Check this out yourself by googling the word  “aws skills” and you will find some of the most interesting results on the first page.

As per Forbes, many of the US federal agencies are moving to “cloud first” policy. However they are unable to find enough resources to perform this migration. Likewise in UK too, Demand for cloud skill have shown a growth of 20% for over the last couple of years as per the survey conducted by UK government.

Well… the skill of cloud computing is becoming an essential item in an IT resume. Employers are actively and increasingly looking for employees with cloud experience. Which involves all the way from business requirements to the actual cloud implementation. The job search websites like or shows a listing of around 3500 AWS related jobs on any day.

Why do you want to get AWS certified?


Based on survey from the, On an Average certified solution architect makes 120 thousand dollars per year. As per glass door, the salaries are ranged even higher. It averages to 150 thousand dollars per year for AWS solution.


According to recent survey conducted by the Global Knowledge, AWS solutions architect is the highest-paying certification in year 2016 in the IT world. The same survey also shows that Certified Solution Architect earned a higher salary then certified project management professional.

Well do we all not, have enough reasons to get certified?

Why Associate Solution Architect?

AWS has two professional level certification streams: Solution Architect and DevOps engineer. A prerequisite for professional level is successful completion of associate level certification of that same streams. For example, if you want to be a solution architect professional, you will need to complete the solution architect associate level first. Likewise for DevOps professional, prerequisite is completion of either developer or admin associate certification level first.

So this leaves you with only three choices to begin with: Associate Solution Architect, Associate Developer or Associate SysOps admin.

The analysis shows that  Associate SysOps admin is the difficult one among the three, and it's  advisable to start with SysOps, if you currently work as an infrastructure admin , and managing VMs, storage or networking.

So for majority of the population it is best to try either Associate Solutions Architect or Associate Developer to start a career in Cloud Computing.

Now, an important piece of information, both the certifications share 50 % of the contents.  That means if you prepare for one exam, you already know the 50% of the other and so you are prepared 50% for both exams either way.

Not to forget the Associate Developer should be taken first as it’s the easier of the two.  However, from gaining knowledge and learning point of view, its recommend to start with Associate Solutions Architect first. Solution architect Associate certification covers most of the AWS services and concepts, and requires one to thoroughly understand the key concepts in detail.

Hope this blog post helps you to decide where to start your aws certifications path. If you would like to learn more about what kind of work AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate does, Please check my other blog post.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee

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