Whenever I go on Twitter, someone is always tweeting about finally getting certified in something whether it be AWS, GCP or Azure. It's great to see people working hard to learn new technologies and expose themselves to new opportunities.
I made a start on self-learning to get AWS Certified earlier this year. I started with the foundational certification which is the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. I had to cancel the exam and stop the self-learning journey due to personal issues but I'm aiming to get AWS certified once everything is handled and can get back on track.
There are so many benefits to getting certified in any of the Cloud Computing platforms. I'm determined to get certified and I think you should too! I'm going to explain each platform and give a few points as to why it would be beneficial to get certified in each of the ones I describe. Let's begin:
1. AWS (Amazon Web Services)
AWS is an on-demand cloud service platform which are made available to use by individuals, companies & governments. The services are paid for on a pay-as-you-go basis. It offers over 170 different products and services ranging from tools to use for Machine Learning or tools to store Big Data. AWS is the most popular cloud service platform by far. Whenever I connect with someone new, they always mention AWS so I would recommend getting certified in AWS first but to each their own, chil'!
2. GCP (Google Cloud Platform)
GCP is the second of the most popular cloud service platforms that I want to touch on. GCP offers range of products of services too from Big Data Storage to Web Hosting. Many of its applications are hosted on the Google Cloud Platform including GMail and YouTube. Many of its products are very much similar to what AWS and Azure offer so I think it's safe to say that if you get certified in AWS, getting certified in GCP may be easier as the services are so similar but I would recommend doing some labs and investing time in self-learning regardless.
3. Azure Cloud Services (Microsoft)
Azure is Microsoft's Cloud Service Platform where they offer over 600 products for things such as Data Storage, IoT and App Services.
I admit that the Azure Platform is not something I know anything about personally or have ever used but it doesn't mean it is not something that you should learn. I think any form of Cloud Computing Certification is worth it personally.
1. Elevate your bag!
The information I have found are going to be based on UK salaries as that is where I am based but I will provide the most current USD conversions.
According to Venturi, an AWS Solutions Architect can bring an average salary of £88,514 ($118,601) whereas a Google Cloud Certified Professional Cloud Architect can offer an average salary of £115,581 ($155,486). According to Global Knowledge, getting certified in Azure Fundamentals brings an average salary of $126,653 (£94,100). Although this research is part of a US study, I think it's safe to say that it definitely bring an increase in salary as this skill is in such demand. Of all these certifications, Forbes have said that the Google Cloud Platform Certified Professional Cloud Architect is the highest paying certification as of February 2020.
The higher the speciality, the higher the cheque (well, at least it should do anyway!)
2. No matter the job role, the certification will add value
Whether you are working towards a career in web development, data engineering, or building our own SaaS product, being certified will be so useful no matter what tech pathway you take.
3. You'll be in high demand!
It definitely exposes you to new job opportunities and it can increase your salary. I've already discussed the salary but the number of job opportunities you can get access to whether it be as a full-time employee or as a contractor, you;ll never be short of finding great opportunities in different industries as well as countries.
Getting AWS Certified can unlock other discounts for you to get other certifications. Passing one can get you a 50% discount towards other certifications. This is useful as some of the Associate Certifications can cost $300 & you also get access to free practice exams. Google Cloud Platform also offers discounts of 50% off towards re-certification as well as free Google merch for every certification you gain. In regards to Azure, I couldn't find any information in the Azure Certification FAQs about any discounts but feel free to get in touch if you have any information about this.
Final open thought..
I had a bit of a fear in getting certified. The reason being that my practical experience of AWS was minimal & I thought I would need more practical experience before even considering one. I was intimidated by the recommended work experience needed for each certification but I realised I shouldn't think that way. I'm a self-taught DevOps (Big Data) Engineer, why can't I be a self-taught AWS Certified DevOps Big Data Engineer?
I definitely sought some advice from the Twitter community and I was encouraged to get certified through the self-learning route by doing labs and completing courses like on Udemy however, you have to ensure you practise as much as possible to apply what you are learning. There's no point fighting to get certified, pass the exams, get a job because of it and have no idea what you are doing or how to use the tools.
Before getting into Cloud Computing, if you are still learning to code and building projects, continue to do that and let Cloud Computing be something you look into in the future. Trying to overwhelm yourself with so much knowledge while learning something new can be a lot. There's no rush to get certified.
Hope you found this article useful!
August 31, 2020