Will an AWS Certification get you a Cloud Job?

Neal Davis
4 min readApr 1, 2024

Many students often question whether obtaining an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification is enough to guarantee them a job in the field. The straightforward answer is, unfortunately, no. While an AWS certification is a significant achievement, it alone does not ensure job placement. There are numerous additional factors that are critical in launching a successful AWS career.

So, does this mean certifications are not valuable? Quite the opposite. Certifications play a crucial role in the IT job market, especially for roles related to AWS, which are known to be both lucrative and fulfilling. However, securing a position in the AWS ecosystem requires more than just certification. It’s about combining your credentials with relevant, hands-on experience that aligns with the specific role you’re searching for, thereby increasing your employability.

The Importance of AWS Certifications in your Job Hunt

In today’s competitive job market, AWS certifications act more as prerequisites rather than unique selling points for candidates. With many professionals holding the Solutions Architect Associate certification, simply having it might not set you apart when applying for AWS Solution Architect roles. Employers often expect candidates to hold multiple AWS certifications. Without them, your application might not even catch the eye of hiring managers.

It’s advisable to not only complete all AWS Associate level certifications but to also aim for at least one Professional level or Specialty certification. Aligning these certifications with your personal experience and targeting those that are most relevant to the positions you desire can significantly boost your job prospects. Starting with the AWS Cloud Practitioner certification is also beneficial, as it provides a solid foundation and an extra credential for your resume.

Understanding Employer Expectations

To stand out to employers, it’s helpful to consider what they are looking for in a candidate. Generally, they seek:

  • Relevant Skills: Target jobs where your skills closely match the job description. Customize your resume for each application to highlight the skills and experiences the employer is seeking.
  • Experience: Employers favor candidates who can contribute effectively from the start. If you’re new to the field or shifting from a different IT area, gaining relevant AWS experience can be challenging but is essential.
  • Communication Skills: Clear and effective communication, both written and verbal, is key throughout the hiring process and in professional settings.
  • Teamwork: Be prepared to demonstrate your ability to work well in a team, highlighting examples from past experiences.
  • Self-motivation: Showcasing your drive and initiative, such as through personal projects or continuous learning, is highly valued.
  • Dependability and Positivity: Reliability and a positive attitude are qualities that employers look for in a potential employee.

Gaining Relevant Skills and Experience

Focus on roles where your skills are a good match for the job description. Unfortunately, job listings often include a wide range of skill requirements, sometimes more than any one individual could realistically possess. It’s crucial to identify the core requirements of the job and ensure your skill set aligns with those needs.

Moreover, AWS roles typically require knowledge beyond AWS-specific skills. Familiarity with operating systems (like Linux and Windows), database management, programming languages, CI/CD tools, and automation tools is often necessary. Keep abreast of the most sought-after skills and incorporate them into your learning journey.

Building Your Experience

Gaining relevant experience is often the most challenging aspect for newcomers or those transitioning from other IT fields. Here are strategies to build your experience:

  • Engage in Training Courses: Choose courses that offer practical, hands-on activities to simulate real-world scenarios.
  • Practice in a Lab Environment: Utilize AWS sandbox or lab environments to gain as much hands-on experience as possible.
  • Participate in Projects: Dive into AWS tutorials, contribute to open-source projects on GitHub, or start your own projects. This not only builds experience but also showcases your skills to potential employers.
  • Join a Live Training Bootcamp: Perhaps the best training option there is! With the right live training program — such as the Cloud Mastery Bootcamp from Digital Cloud Training, you get to build real-world experience with significant project work, learning directly from highly experienced instructors.
  • Volunteer or Freelance: Offering your services to non-profits, startups, or on freelance websites can provide practical experience and enhance your resume.

Effective Communication and Teamwork

Ensuring your resume is well-crafted and your communication is clear and concise is crucial. Additionally, being able to demonstrate effective teamwork and self-motivation will set you apart in the job market. Employers value candidates who not only fit technically but who also contribute positively to the team dynamic and show initiative in their work.

The Bottom Line

AWS certifications are invaluable for both acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating your skills to potential employers. They are essential for advancing in your career. However, securing your ideal AWS position requires more than just certifications; it demands dedication, continuous learning, and the right mix of skills and experience.

Navigating your career path in AWS can be complex, but with the right approach and resources, achieving your career goals is entirely possible. Remember, the journey to your dream AWS job is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes time, effort, and persistence to build the career you envision.

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Neal Davis

Founder of Digital Cloud Training, IT instructor and Cloud Solutions Architect with 20+ year of IT industry experience. Passionate about empowering his students