Comparison of AWS Associate Certifications

AWS Associate Certifications refer to a series of certifications offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that validate an individual’s foundational and mid-level knowledge and expertise in various AWS services and technologies.

There are three associate-level certifications in Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is often confused among the exam takers which is the suitable certification for their career profile. Amazon has designed each certification by keeping a specific job profile in focus.

In this article, we are explaining the differentiation between each associate level exam (AWS Cloud Architect, AWS Developer, AWS DevOps, and AWS SysOps Administrator) and who has to prepare for which certification. If you are planning to become a master in the AWS concepts, you have to get all the certifications.

AWS Associate Certifications Comparison

Difference between the Associate Certifications

This article highlights the key differences between the following certifications

  1. AWS Solutions Architect – Associate
  2. AWS Certified Developer – Associate
  3. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
  4. AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate 

Many newbies might get confused between the terms SysOps and DevOps while choosing a better career option. We recommend you to understand the difference between the two and make the right decision for a bright career.

AWS Solutions Architect Associate

The AWS Solutions Architect Associate is more catered to IT professionals to get an overall insight into all the services that AWS Labs has to provide.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate demonstrates proficiency in a broad spectrum of AWS services and technologies. This certification emphasizes designing solutions that prioritize both cost-efficiency and performance, showcasing a deep comprehension of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

Skills validated in AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification

Before appearing for the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, you must have the following skills:

  • Proficiency and expertise in AWS services related to computing, networking, storage, and databases, along with familiarity with AWS deployment and administrative tools.
  • Capability in deploying, overseeing, and managing operations on AWS, coupled with the ability to enforce security measures and adhere to compliance standards.
  • Familiarity with both the AWS Management Console and the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), as well as an understanding of the AWS Well-Architected Framework, AWS network configurations, security solutions, and the global AWS infrastructure.
  • Aptitude to determine appropriate AWS services for specific technical needs and to specify technical criteria for applications based on AWS.

Also the candidates who are appearing for this exam must have familiarity with the following AWS services:

  • VPC’s and Subnets
  • S3
  • IAM
  • EC2
  • RDS
  • ELB
  • Route53
  • Cloudfront
  • SNS
  • SQS
  • Elastic Beanstalk
  • Kineses
  • SWF
  • Cloudformation

Also Read: AWS Solutions Architect Associate Exam Tips

It’s only necessary for the IT professional to know the basics of each service for the exam. This AWS Certified Solutions Architect associate exam will cover topics such as

  • Understanding of AWS Regions, Availability Zones and Edge locations
  • Best practices for IAM
  • Understanding of the database services provided by aws
  • Getting started with S3
  • Bucket policies using S3
  • Building EC2 instances
  • Working with Elastic Block Storage
  • Using a Bastion host
  • Security Groups and NACL’s
  • Configuring NAT instances
  • Working with AMI’s
  • Creating Autoscaling and ELB groups
  • Basics of Cloudfront
  • Building a Route53 domain
  • Understanding of the command line interface

Target Audience of AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification is an excellent entry point for those who have:

  1. Familiarity with AWS technologies.
  2. Robust experience in on-premises IT and knowledge of transitioning from on-premises setups to cloud environments.
  3. Previous involvement with alternative cloud platforms.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification Exam Domains

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate team syllabus breakdown into the following domains:

  •  Domain 1: Design Secure Architectures (30%)
  •  Domain 2: Design Resilient Architectures (26%)
  • Domain 3: Design High-Performing Architectures (24%)
  • Domain 4: Design Cost-Optimized Architectures (20%)

AWS Certified Developer Associate

The AWS Certified Developer – Associate (DVA-C02) Eam assesses a candidate’s skills in creating, testing, launching, and troubleshooting applications on the AWS Cloud platform. Additionally, the exam checks a candidate’s capability to:

  • Design and enhance applications for AWS.
  • Bundle and launch using continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) methodologies
  • Safeguard application code and data
  • Detect and rectify application challenges

The AWS Certified Developer is more catered to professionals who look towards developing solutions on the AWS Platform. This certification focuses on development topics such as

  • DynamoDB – Here DynamoDB is taken into more detail wherein the developer needs to know more about the key aspects of using this service. The IT professional needs to know how to create tables, and indexes and work with items in DynamoDB. Secondly, they need to know the important things to consider for the throughput provisioning for DynamoDB. For more information on DynamoDB, please visit the below URL :
  • SQS – Most highly available solutions on AWS will use the SQS service. The Queuing service ensures that systems can be built around a messaging system. The key properties of the queue in terms of messages, message retention, and visibility timeout need to be known by the developer. For more information on SQS, please visit the below URL :

Also Read: How did I Pass AWS Certified Developer Associate (AWS CDA) Exam?

  • S3 – The Simple Storage service is an important file storage service provided by AWS. Here the developer needs to know the in and out of this service. There are key sub-topics that one needs to go into detail such as
  • Working with S3 buckets
  • Using Bucket Policies
  • Hosting a static web site using S3
  • Versioning in S3
  • Lifecycle policies in S3 

For more information on S3, please visit the below url :

  • SNS – Knowing the message format of messages in SNS is important. Also knowing how the different providers need to be configured for sending messages via SNS also needs to be known. Since developers will use a lot of messaging when working with mobile based applications, this topic focuses on ensuring developers have a thorough knowledge of how to use the SNS feature. For more information on SNS, please visit the below URL :
  • Cloudformation – This is the automated provisioning system provided by AWS. Here the developer is expected to know the basic on cloud formation templates. They need to know all the key components of the template. Also they need to know the various intrinsic functions that can be used in the template. One should at least practice the formation of the below components using the template
    • EC2 instances
    • ELB
    • S3 web sites

For more information on Cloudformation, please visit the below URL :

Target Audience for AWS Certified Developer Associate

The AWS Certified Developer – Associate certification is an ideal entry point for those with:

  1. Proficiency in a high-level programming language from prior developer roles
  2. Familiarity with AWS technologies
  3. Comprehensive understanding of on-premises IT systems and their transition to cloud environments
  4. Previous exposure to other cloud platforms

AWS Certified Developer Associate Exam Domains

AWS Certified Developer Associate Exam syllabus splits into four domains as listed below:

  • Domain 1: Development with AWS Services (32% )
  • Domain 2: Security (26% )
  • Domain 3: Deployment (24% )
  • Domain 4: Troubleshooting and Optimization (18% )

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate

The AWS SysOps Associate is more catered to professionals who look towards working with solutions built on top of AWS. The key aspects that are looked into within this AWS Online Course are given below

For more information on Cloudwatch and Cloudtrail, please visit the below URL

Monitoring and metrics – A lot of focus is given into ensuring that the SysOps professional knows about the capability of monitoring and metrics in AWS. One should know all the aspects when it comes to monitoring RDS, EBS and EC2. The key service used here are Cloudwatch Alarms and Logs and Cloudtrail.

Building fault tolerant systems – All systems need to be built for fault tolerance and this area focuses on aspects such as RDS MultiAZ Failover and using Elastic IP’s for failover for EC2 instances. For more information on RDS MultiAZ Failover and Elastic IP, please visit the below URL

Try Our: Free Practice Questions on AWS Certified Sysops Administrator Associate

For more information on Autoscaling and ELB, please visit the below URL

Building High Availability Systems – The services that provide High Availability systems are the Autoscaling and ELB service. One should also know the integration between both services. One is expected to try out the various features of Autoscaling such as suspending processes, understanding how to scale reactively and proactively. In ELB one is expected to know how to register EC2 instances with ELB, create and manage ELB’s.

Troubleshooting – Here the troubleshooting focuses on EC2 and ELB issues. There is a lot of focus on issues with Linux EC2 instances, but one should also not forget to look at the various issues encountered with Windows EC2 instances. Also when working with ELB, one should know how to cope with issues when users cannot access EC2 instances or the service that is provided by the ELB. For more information on EC2 and ELB issues, please visit the below URL

Deployment and Provisioning via Cloudformation and Opsworks – One should to know how to configure Cloudformation and Opswork stacks in aws. Since the Sysops professional in the real world would need to provision environments for development, QA and Test teams , this is important to know for the SysOps professional. For more information on Cloudformation and Opsworks, please visit the below URL:

Security – Building IAM policies – One should know how to build custom IAM policies. All the various components of IAM policies should be understood. One should know how to allow and deny resources to aws using these policies. For more information on IAM Policies, please visit the below URL:

Networking – Route53 and VPC Networking – Understanding the different routing models provided by Route53 is important. Also one should know how to build networks in a VPC. Understanding of NACL’s and security groups is important. For more information on Route53 and VPC Networking, please visit the below URL:

Target Audience for AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Certification

The AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate certification serves as an excellent entry into the AWS Certification journey for those with:

  1. Background in systems administration
  2. Familiarity with AWS technologies
  3. Extensive experience in on-premises IT and knowledge of transitioning from on-premises systems to cloud-based solutions
  4. Prior engagement with alternative cloud platforms.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate Certification Exam Domains

  • Domain 1: Monitoring, Logging, and Remediation (20%)
  • Domain 2: Reliability and Business Continuity (16%)
  • Domain 3: Deployment, Provisioning, and Automation (18%)
  • Domain 4: Security and Compliance (16% )
  •  Domain 5: Networking and Content Delivery (18%)
  •  Domain 6: Cost and Performance Optimization (12%)

AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate Beta Certification

The AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate certification affirms your competence in fundamental AWS data services. It showcases your capability to establish data pipelines, effectively oversee monitoring and problem-solving, and improve both cost-effectiveness and performance, all while adhering to industry-leading benchmarks.

If you are enthusiastic about leveraging AWS technology to transform data into valuable insights for analysis, this beta exam provides a unique chance to be among the early adopters of this newly introduced certification.

Also Read : How to Become an AWS Data Engineer: A Complete Guide [2023]

Target Audience for AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate Beta Certification Exam

AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate Beta Certification examination targets individuals with 2-3 years of experience in roles related to cloud data or on-premises data who are transitioning to the AWS Cloud.

Professionals in cloud-focused positions like Data Engineers, Data Analysts, Data Architects, or Business Intelligence Engineers can achieve this certification to enhance their credibility and assurance.

Additionally, individuals in related roles such as software engineers, cloud engineers, reporting analysts, data quality analysts, and those in on-premises data capacities can also pursue and obtain this certification.

AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate Beta Certification Exam Domains

  • Domain 1: Data Ingestion and Transformation (34%)
  • Domain 2: Data Store Management (26%)
  • Domain 3: Data Operations and Support (22%)
  • Domain 4: Data Security and Governance (18%)


I hope this article would have helped you to understand who has to take which certifications, from one of the AWS Foundation certifications. Solutions Architect Certification is for those who are looking for overview of all the services, Developer exam is for those who want to develop on AWS platforms and finally AWS certified SysOps administrator exam is for those who wants to know more about the deployment, infrastructure and administration related ideas.

All the three exams have the overlapping of one topic in another exam. Amazon Certified Solutions Architect and developer exam has the 50% of the exam topics common. The most important difference between the exams are the way you want to learn. Otherwise all the Microsoft Exams are going to cover the same set of services.

If you have any questions about the certification exam, please call to our customer care or send us query.

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.

3 thoughts on “Comparison of AWS Associate Certifications”

  1. If preparing for AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam for a person who is in networking/core telecom for about ten years , can he/she take Developer Associate with bit more preparation?
    Are they way different ?


  2. Hi Latha,

    You can take AWS developer associate exam with bit of preparation.

    They are not way different. However do note that more emphasis will be on coding services of the AWS.

    Knowing JSON will help you a lot in this preparation, which you can undersatnd very easily.

  3. Ashwani Singh

    I am a certified AWS Solution Architect associate who wants to learn more about automation and devops in AWS. Which certification should i go for? Developer Associate or Sysops associate. Please advise if there is any other certification other than above two which i can target in AWS

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