Introduction

Amazon web services, commonly known as AWS, is a dynamic cloud environment that has served the business necessities of companies of all sizes across the globe. In today’s technical evolution, companies have shifted their focus on their business and services being conducted through a cloud-based infrastructure platform.

The fast adoption of cloud computing technology has transformed the industries and provided them with a broader business expansion scope. A deep insight into the recent trends reveals the growing demand for AWS experts. With tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon ruling the charts in almost every technical domain, Amazon has built a cloud fortress in the market in terms of the cloud computing platform.

Astonishingly, around 33% of the businesses running on the internet prefer AWS as their first choice of a cloud computing platform. From the world’s leading enterprises to startups and public and private sectors have opted for AWS solutions. Thus it is highly likely that the growing demand for AWS professionals will continue to increase in the future.

 

A Brief Summary of AWS History

Amazon expanded its technical horizon with the state of the art technology offering in the year 2000. Amazon’s primary goal was to provide third-party retailers the means to have their online website for shopping with the support from Amazon’s e-commerce engine. However, it didn’t achieve critical success in the initial stages without the necessary support system.

Amazon needed a centralized platform to make the business idea into a well-developed service. Thus, the emergence of AWS began with an organized environment that had well developed APIs. It was identified that there is a need for the development of applications in a faster manner with room for reusability. This was the tipping point when Amazon realized the need for a more robust platform to allow companies to run their application in the AWS cloud infrastructure in a cost-effective approach.

 

Why is the AWS job market famous among IT professionals?

The demand for cloud computing is growing each year. According to Gartner’s report, the cloud computing industry’s projected growth rate will witness a three times increase than the overall IT market by 2022. As the enterprises shift their focus to AWS due to its benefits offered for ease of business,

AWS’s market domination is prominent, thus offering considerable potential for professionals looking to make a mark in this industry. Gartner presents the market share reports that lists Amazon’s share in the cloud market at 47.8%, followed by Microsoft at 15%. This shows the job prospects are not slowing down soon. Some of the critical factors that have made AWS a popular career choice are the following.

The strong potential across the global market

The growing demand for newer technologies and the evolving startup markets have increased the job potential in the technology industry globally. The shift towards cloud computing by companies of all sizes has seen a rise in cloud technology. AWS, being the leader in this market segment, offers tremendous career opportunities with certifications that can be completed at one’s convenience. The right combination of theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience are sure to provide some of the finest careers in AWS.

High demand with limited professionals

Technical professionals look to evolve in their careers as the world embraces advanced specialized offerings in the market. The need for a change in their job roles demands a competitive market that is not slowing down at the earliest. With the rapid use of AWS services, trained professionals are increasing, which opens up the possibilities to level up in the skill set and plunge in for a newer opportunity.

 

How to Choose the Career Path in AWS?

There are many aspiring students and professionals of the technology industry who are considering an AWS career. However, the willingness to pursue a job in AWS is often linked with a lack of guidance as per the required specialization and skill set that one must possess. There are numerous certified courses, but it is not easy to choose the right one among them. This article delves further into the prerequisites and the opportunities that are existing in the AWS industry.

AWS Learning Structure and Education

A technical background is a must for gaining entry into the AWS industry. A clear understanding of cloud computing is an absolute necessity, along with a specialization in cloud computing, which is considered an added advantage. There is a need for understanding the hardware and software configurations and good knowledge about the computer networking domain, setting up servers, application development, database, and its relevant configuration.

It is not a prerequisite to have an advanced skill level in each area, but a clear understanding of them will help be familiar with AWS much easily. It is essential to follow a well-structured process of acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of AWS.

a)  The knowledge of core AWS services and tools like Cloudwatch, Route53, RDS, and CloudFormation. The core services include the likes of EC2, S3, and IAM.

b)  Hands-on experience is a must, ensuring all the AWS requirements for your account are set up correctly.

c) A clear understanding of the AWS certificate exam structure is a necessity. Generally, the AWS exam has different categories, such as the associate exam is considered the entry-level exam. The remaining professional exams are built upon the foundations of the associate course with more advanced topics. There is a provision for following a specialization for the exams such as networking or security. Another vital factor to be mindful of is the set of guidelines for each certification exam.

d)  Many professionals overlook the need for reading whitepapers. Aspirants and experts must continue evolving by reading more whitepapers as it will help evaluate and understand from a research point of view and follow upcoming research. This allows us to keep updated with current research trends in the market.

 

AWS Certification

Currently, some certifications range from absolute beginners to the most advanced, including specializations. The list of the available certificates is highlighted below.

a)      AWS Foundation – Level

Certification options: AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.

Scope of the course: Introduction to cloud computing concepts and AWS and to lay the foundations for further specializations.

 

b)     AWS Associate – Level

Certification options: AWS Certified Sysops Administrator (Associate), AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Associate), AWS Certified Developer (Associate).

Scope of the course: A more in-depth insight and knowledge and skill-building covering topics such as AWS architecture and its development and related operations. These certifications will enable professionals to know the developmental role of AWS cloud app, system administrator roles for deployment and management of the AWS process, and creating cost-effective and highly scalable systems that are fault-tolerant.

 

c)      AWS Professional

Certification options: AWS Certified DevOps Engineer (Professional), AWS Certified Solutions Architect (Professional).

Scope of the course: An advanced system that covers the concepts of AWS architecture and engineering thoroughly. The possible roles include operating and managing the AWS environment.

 

d)     AWS Specialty

Certification options: AWS Certified Big Data (Specialty), AWS Certified Advanced Networking (Specialty), AWS Certified Security (Specialty), AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder (Specialty), AWS Certified Machine learning (Specialty).

Scope of the course: A in-depth certification that covers the most advanced levels of specialization. The roles vary from big data operation using AWS, complex networking based tasks, security workloads of AWS, build and testing Amazon’s Alexa skillset and design and employing machine learning solutions and maintaining them. 

 

Preparing for the exam

It is essential to understand the preparation for the AWS exam. The completion of the course itself will not avail a certificate, thus understanding and following the learning path as per the AWS website is crucial.

Showcasing the certification in the right manner

AWS certification brings recognition in its own right. However, it has been reported by top recruiters that there is a large number of junior-level cloud developers who have completed some of the AWS certifications but fail to be recruited due to the lack of soft skills. It is essential to highlight technical expertise and soft skills that many professionals don’t stress in their resumes to stand out. The individuals who lack soft skill requirements may enhance them with certified courses from reputed institutions.

 

Technical Skills

Python, Java, and C#

Most professionals in the AWS industry have good programming skills. They are usually from a software background and have good knowledge of popular programming languages such as Java, Python, and C#. It is necessary to keep upgrading the technology industry skills, and proficiency in a minimum of two programming languages is essential in getting started in the AWS industry.

Computer Networking

The cloud platform is dynamic and along with it arises the need for multi-dimensional professionals who are not limited to a specific skill set. To succeed in the cloud computing industry, one must create scalable solutions with high security. This is not achievable without understanding networking concepts such as DNS, TCP/IP, VPNs, CDN, etc. Virtual private cloud is yet another concept that is of importance. Although achieving mastery in every technical skill is not possible. However, knowledge about the relevant terminologies and their usage will be beneficial.

Data Storage

A primary skill of an AWS architect is to understand how to work with databases. There are provisions for multiple data storage in AWS, and it is imperative to know how to use them as per the need. With big data forming a crucial part of the cloud platforms, the knowledge of relational database service until big data concepts is one of the primary requirements for a company’s successful functioning in the cloud environment.

Data Security

In the AWS platform, several companies conduct their business operations that involve sensitive information of a company and its clients. In such cases, security is of utmost importance. AWS follows strict guidelines on account setup, and the accessibility of data is specific to authorized personnel, and codes are being used to perform tasks in the platform. Therefore, it is necessary to understand security concepts and enhance identity and access management skills.

 

Related AWS Concepts

The technologies related to cloud architecture and services are crucial for a professional to understand thoroughly. Each year Amazon introduces a new service in their offering, thus keeping track of the upgrades and understanding the necessities such as simple queuing, notifications, and relational database services is vital to know.

The newer technologies in the AWS line up, such as AWS IoT, may need more upgradation of skills and have an idea about how IoT works are required. Interested professionals may opt for an update in this domain as more challenging roles are likely to be open in these specialty roles.

Serverless Architecture in the cloud

Today, the cloud industry has transformed businesses. The focus has been on moving serverless applications from one cloud to another. The possibility of scaling up applications has made serverless applications a necessity. It is easier to perform patches to applications and services in the AWS cloud. Amazon’s serverless products, such as EC2, Container service, and AWS Lambda, are the most sought after by clients in the past few years. The identified skill set that an AWS architect must know is.

Knowledge of API and microservice architectures.

  • Orchestration of the workflow.
  • Lambda environment for computation and model designing.
  • Monitor the identity management and handling the serverless   authorization and authentication processes.
  • Important end to end security techniques.
  • Management of the overall functionality of an application and its architecture.

Amazon Kinesis Data Streams is a scalable and durable real-time data streaming service. It is capable of continuously processing gigabytes of data per second from several sources. These sources vary between website click, database related event streams, financial transactions, IT log data, social media feed etc.

The Amazon Kinesis data stream also allows real-time data analytics with the provision of real-time dashboards, real-time anomaly detection are some of the options available. It is a very important feature for businesses conducted on the online platform  The knowledge about Amazon Kinesis Data stream is considered as a bonus among other relevant skills.

Containers

As per recent trends, one of the most sought skills for a professional in the AWS industry is containers. The experience with Docker, Jenkins, and Kubernetes is considered high, and leadership roles are offered to such experts. The containers are their usability in packing an application’s code and configuration and related dependencies into a single object.

This allows for creating hybrid applications that are in high demand for businesses. Another essential feature of using containers is creating scalable machine learning models in a faster manner. Amazon’s EC2 is the most popular among the container tools existing in the market today. The familiarity with containers will be helpful for professionals to find more high paid job offers.

 

Multi-cloud environments

As more and more companies look to make the most of the cloud platforms, they look at the possibilities of adding multiple applications in the cloud. A market survey on multi-cloud management was conducted among 300 US-based companies. It was found that nearly 93% of the companies preferred multi-infrastructure cloud for their business.

The use of multiple public clouds and a private cloud stood at 81%, whereas numerous private clouds or dedicated clouds. The remaining 10% vary between a combination of one public and one private cloud or multiple public clouds only. Therefore, cloud migration experience is one of the top skills in demand for AWS cloud professionals.

 

Non-Technical Skills

To start an AWS career, there are essential non-technical skills highly preferred in the job market today. As per the experts, a higher degree and communication skills, problem-solving ability is an added advantage, especially for professionals seeking to grow in AWS’s career. The pricing of the models may add more to a professional’s skill set, as the leadership roles demand the need for interaction with clients and engineers.

Understanding the pricing structure will allow us to interact with clients and provide them with useful information and supervise the engineers as per the AWS contract instances. Some of the cases are listed below.

On-demand instances with no contract required and charges are as per the seconds of use of the service.

Schedule instances that require to pay on a recurring schedule with the options being daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.

Spot instances allow for paying up to the amount of usage and save up to 90% for the AWS system’s unused compute instances.

Dedicated instances involve a virtual private cloud on hardware that is offered to individual customers. This option is expensive and most companies are not keen on this offer.

 

Possible Job Roles with an AWS Certification

AWS certificates are globally recognized, and acquiring one will open the doors to a wide range of opportunities. In recent times, some of the job roles have become very popular in the cloud industry, discussed in the following sections.

 

Operational Support EngineerAn IT professional with an operational support engineer’s role will be involved with the monitoring and resolving operation-based issues related to a company’s tooling. They are also responsible for maintaining any AWS environmental upgrades.

Average Yearly Salary: $59,000-$92,000

 

Cloud Engineer (Software): Cloud engineers related to software development and implement various software services and systems associated with the process. They also act as mentors to junior level engineers and are involved with the discussion of the outcomes with shareholders. These professionals are generally well-equipped to know programming languages such as Python, C++, JavaScript, and Ruby, among several other languages.

Average Yearly Salary: $63,000-$93,000

 

AWS Solutions Architect: They are primarily involved with cloud computing and its architectures. The AWS solution architect must be aware of the AWS toolset. The job includes designing and maintaining cost-effective solutions and applications that are highly scalable on the AWS cloud.

Average Yearly Salary: $130,883-$150,000

 

AWS DevOps Engineer: DevOps engineer roles revolve around designing AWS cloud solutions. They are also involved with server related implementations and overseeing the maintenance and debugging.

Average Yearly Salary: $93,000-$144,000

 

AWS SysOps Administrator: The key responsibilities include installation and configuration, operation and maintenance of system, software, and other infrastructures that may be virtual or non-virtual. They also manage reporting dashboards and analytics-based software.

Average Yearly Salary: up to $160,000

 

AWS System Integrator (Cloud): The system integrator role requires working as a team for supporting the deployment and troubleshooting of matters of complex nature. This job role requires a comprehensive understanding of cloud computing and its related systems.

Average Yearly Salary: $81,000

 

AWS Cloud Developers: The development of software services and applications on an enterprise-level are performed by a cloud developer. The knowledge of cloud orchestration tools is a must.

Average Yearly Salary: $95,000

 

Senior AWS Cloud Architect: The role is a traditional role that requires working with customers and engineers while providing supervision for operations efficiency. They monitor the interface involving client-side stakeholders. It is a senior position with years of experience and proficiency in the cloud environment functions and tools. Senior Cloud architects work in developing the technical architecture and ensure successful implementation and integration in the customer-related cloud environment.

Average Yearly Salary: $165,000

 

Conclusion

The surge in demand for AWS has risen in recent years. The continued innovation and companies’ willingness to offer multiple services across the cloud platform have created several job opportunities. While the cloud industry looks to meet the right balance of demand and hiring of the right professionals for the jobs, it is to note that there is a massive gap in meeting this demand.

The cloud computing industry is booming, but the skills shortage calls for more opportunities for aspirants who have been doubtful about making the plunge in this sector.

Amazon continues to offer multiple services on the cloud platform yearly. Thus there is a constant demand for professionals throughout.

The words from wiser innovators and experts have expressed the opportune moment for any individual to delve into a new career choice is when the market is at its peak. It is of utmost necessity to be able to follow the right certifications and build upon the learning path to reach the most advanced levels gradually.

One must understand that the specialty may depend on an individual’s choice or interest, and mastering every skill is not necessary. However, keeping a keen eye on the recent trends and understanding the related concepts and advancements is an added advantage. The most promising times of the technological era have just begun. This is the right moment to capture this growing opportunity to dive into an AWS career.

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Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell is a freelance technology journalist. He reviews educational software and writes in-depth online course reviews from popular e-learning platforms. You can reach Anthony at anthony@learnacourseonline.com

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