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Is AWS Easy to Learn? cover image

Did you know that once you become familiar with a particular subject, your brain reduces blood flow to those areas? That’s why learning and practicing new skills is crucially important for your well-being. It helps you preserve mental acuity as you age and improves neuroplasticity (a fancy science word for the brain changes).

We’ve been there, though: any new field of study is intimidating at first, even if we know it’ll do us a favor in the long run. The same applies to getting started with AWS: it offers a gazillion of services, and knowing them all seems simply daunting. But is getting AWS certification that hard?

It is very subjective and depends on who you ask, really! We have some detailed answers to it here, in case you’re curious. This article will try to have a more objective “textbook” look at it and rank the AWS certifications by difficulty.

So let’s get straight to the point: is AWS easy to learn?

How long does it take to learn AWS?

Even though those are only rough calculations, timeframes for getting AWS certified do exist. We have divided them following different levels of proficiency. These are the approximate estimates:

1. Entry-level.

If you are an absolute beginner or only have some general IT experience, it may take up to 90 to 100 hours of dedicated preparation to get an AWS badge. To put it another way, it is around 3 weeks to 6 months, depending on your capabilities and time resources. After completing your training, you are expected to have an excellent foundational understanding of AWS and be competent with some supervision. The entry-level roles include those of junior software developer, system administrator, or data analyst.

2. Mid-level.

If your goal is to reach a more advanced level of AWS, it will take around 6 to 12 months in total to clear that mid-level AWS certification exam. By passing it, you’ll have good knowledge about the field and will be able to work most of the time independently. The potential AWS jobs for you at this point are a data scientist, software engineer, and others.

3. Senior-level.

Would you like to become a pro in AWS? In this case, the timeframe may be a bit wider. You’ll need 1 to 3 years of hands-on experience and some additional training to nail this career path. Senior-level AWS professionals are known for having an in-depth understanding of many AWS services as well as guiding and leading other people. Their positions include but are not limited to senior architects and software or cloud engineers.

With those time estimations in mind, let us quantify which AWS certification exams are as easy as ABC and which ones are the tougher nuts to crack.

The easiest vs. the hardest AWS certifications

Currently, AWS offers six regular and five specialty certifications. The regular badges are the ones that you’re most likely going to start with. They’re split into three learning paths emphasized on different skills that lead to the following job positions: Architect, System Administrator/Engineer, and Developer/Engineer. As we already know, those pathways are divided into three more categories according to their difficulty.

So let us state the obvious now: AWS certification exams become more demanding as you progress through their three-tier hierarchy. Thus the Cloud Practitioner exam is considered the easiest of all, while the associate and professional level assessments pose a more significant challenge.

Let us begin with our piece of cake. Cloud Practitioner exam and training will provide you with the basic knowledge of AWS services. By obtaining this certification, you will be able to answer questions about the shared responsibility model, Amazon’s pricing strategy, simple scenarios on what AWS product fits a particular situation best, and more. If you wish to get the AWS badge as quickly as possible and with the least amount of effort, then we undoubtedly recommend this one. In terms of costs, the exam itself is $100, which sounds like a wise investment. For those of you starting from zero, consider enrolling in this AWS Cloud Practitioner training course: we guarantee you it will be a high return on your investment. Clearing the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam is enough to get you started with an AWS career and a good salary.

On the other hand, the question “Which AWS exam is hardest?” is tough itself. According to Quora, some people consider DevOps Engineer or Professional Solutions Architect examinations the most challenging ones, while others argue that the SysOps Administrator cert is a complete nightmare. Those differences of opinion may be affected by various factors, such as what kind of educational resources people use or how hard they study. It is also challenging to find a person who passed most or all AWS exams and could evaluate the situation impartially.

We believe that both associate and professional certification exams can be difficult for different reasons. Associate-level AWS certification is the first step toward your cloud specialty, so there are loads of theoretical material to cram for this one. To pass it, a lot of brainpower, as well as $150, is needed. Professional-level exams, on the other hand, require the synthesis of both your knowledge and experience. It validates how effectively you use the tools and proves that you’re a real AWS pro. Even though the price of this badge is higher - $300, it is surely going to pay off once you get one of those lucrative AWS jobs.

With this information in mind, the decision is yours alone. The recipe is simple here: once you know how much time and energy you want to dedicate to your learning process, find the right training, stick to it, and everything else will sort itself out!

The final notes

It is clear by now that mastering AWS services is no walk in the park. Depending on your desired level, it may take from as little as a few weeks up to a few years to reach it. There is not even an objective answer to the question “Is an AWS certification hard to get?” because all exams are quite different by nature. You will have to find this yourself along the way.

Anything is possible, though, and those are the tips that we have for you:

We will definitely help you with the latter. This AWS training course is the best on the market for the newbies in the field, and we’re not even exaggerating. It contains both top-notch theoretical content and practical tasks, as well as practice exams and 1:1 mentorship session. 100% success guaranteed, we say!

We wish you the best of luck and, as the ancient Romans used to say, through hardship to the stars… to the cloud, that is.

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MiglÄ— StasiulionytÄ—