What an exciting time for AWS certification Team!

Their most popular certification, the Solution Architect-Associate recorded more than 2500 new certificates in the month of July only, +270% vs June, +310% vs July 2015. This means more certificates this month than it was recorded during its first year of life (2013).

This could be highlighted thanks to the new data collected on the AWS Hall of Fame directory which since its launch about a month ago, is successfully reaching out to the AWS building community.

(Sourced from www.awshof.com)

Hard to say why this month was so special but here are some potential leads:

  1. AWS skills are highly in demand

  2. More and better suited training resources available

  3. Partners have been highly “encouraged” to get more of their employees certified

  4. Many let their certification expire on the 30th April 2016 and had to renew it

  5. A potential breach in the exam content

Rather than one single explanation, it is certainly the combination of all those events that led to such a high peak in July.

  1. Several surveys out there are publishing that AWS accreditations are among the top-paying certifications of 2016. (source:Globalknowledge, Forbes, PC-mag) Adoption of AWS Cloud keeps increasing and we are seeing a shift in the industry where it’s no more a question about Cloud vs non-Cloud but more about how much Cloud do I need and which shape.

  2. Available training resources have also made a huge difference. When I did my Solution Architect - Associate exam early 2014, there was barely any training material available apart from the AWS online documentation. (amazing documentation by the way). Today many firms are providing affordable and targeted programs which help you scope and prepare specifically to succeed. The library of ReInvent videos is also a huge asset that should be consumed without limit.

  3. It makes sense for partners to get AWS certified employees because they get access to special programs, rebates and incentives which make a compiling ROI to invest in training and vouchers.

  4. AWS introduced a recertification policy on the 30th of April 2015 which leaves pre-announcement certified individuals 1 year to recertify. It seems to be plenty of time but as many of us wanted to do the Professional level instead of the Associate again, you start realizing that time was against you and if you wanted 2 shots at it (AWS retake policy being 30 days), you had to be ready by end of February. I believe many lost their accreditation on that journey and had to start from scratch.

  5. The last point but not the least, when an accreditation gets popular and can increase someone’s value in the job market, dumps with real exam questions start appearing and the never ending race between certification team and greedy individuals starts: refresh the content as often as possible, increase security at the test centers but it has its limitations. I have been involved with the certification team at Cisco for some time and I have seen them fight against the content breach for years. I must say they have done a fantastic job of mitigating the impact of that pledge and managed to keep a very relevant certification program. The same must be happening at AWS right now.

All of those observations confirm that AWS certifications are currently sought after and we should expect the same trend for the professional tracks in the next following months. With the upcoming reInvent conference in November and for sure exciting new announcements from Amazon, it is a great time to invest in the AWS certification. There is no tricks in the exams, you will learn tons of new things and you might also have fun along the process (at least I did).

All data shown above have been taken from the directories of the AWS Hall of Fame (www.awshof.com). Certified holders, make sure your register, even if you see your name in the list. We are trying to get the most accurate data possible to build potentially the largest Cloud community on Earth.


03 August 2016



Jean-Louis Auzepy