Comparison of AWS Associate Certifications

There are three associate level certifications in Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is often confused among the exam takers that 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

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 getting an overall insight into all the services that AWS Labs has to provide. Here the IT professional needs to know the basics and essentials of the below 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

AWS Certified Developer Associate

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 on the key aspects of using this service. The IT professional needs to know how to create tables, 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 high 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?

  • For more information on S3, please visit the below url :
    • Working with S3 buckets
    • Using Bucket Policies
    • Hosting a static web site using S3
    • Versioning in S3
    • Lifecycle policies in S3
  • 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
  • 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 need to be know. Since developers will use a lot of messaging when working with mobile based applications, this topic focuses on ensuring developers have a thorough knowledge on 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 cloudformation 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 :

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

Try Our: Free Questions on AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate

  • 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


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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