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Roadmap to Success: AWS SysOps Admin

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Roadmap to Success is a series of posts designed to help learners better understand certification pathways, career opportunities associated with those certifications, and next steps beyond certification.

UPDATED: We updated this article July 6, 2017, to reflect relevant changes to the AWS SysOps Admin certification curriculum.

The Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator — Associate (AWS SysOps Admin Associate) certification is designed to validate technical expertise in deployment, management, and operations on the AWS platform. As an increasing number of businesses and organizations move to the cloud, well-qualified admins are in demand. Pursuing an AWS certification creates opportunities for personal challenge and professional advancement.

Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator  Associate (AWS SysOps Admin Associate)

The Amazon Web Services SysOps Administrator — Associate (AWS SysOps Admin Associate) certification is intended for IT professionals seeking validation of their expertise in relation to AWS administration. The certification includes focus on:

  • Designing and deploying scalable, highly available, and fault tolerant systems on AWS;
  • Lift and shift of an existing on-premises application to AWS;
  • Ingress and egress of data to and from AWS;
  • Selecting the appropriate AWS service based on data, compute, database, or security requirements;
  • Identifying appropriate use of AWS architectural best practices; and
  • Estimating AWS costs and identifying cost control mechanisms.

The AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification is made up of one exam, which is covered by CBT Nuggets training:

Though there are no prerequisites for the AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification, it is considered an intermediate-level certification, requiring hands-on experience working with AWS. For those pursuing the AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification, we recommend having a minimum of one-to-two years of experience working directly with AWS, particularly in provisioning, operating, and maintaining systems running on AWS. AWS recommends that learners have in-depth knowledge of at least one high-level programming language. Learners should also complete the CBT Nuggets AWS: Technical Essentials course in preparation for the SysOps Administrator exam.

Exam Details

Time allotted for exam: 80 minutes
Passing score: AWS does not publish the passing score for its exams
Question types: Multiple choice/single answer; Multiple choice/multiple answer
Exam registration: Register at AWS
Exam cost: $150 (USD)*
*AWS provides practice exams at the cost of $20 (USD)
Exam Blueprint: AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate (free resource)*
*AWS also provides sample questions as a free resource to assist in exam preparation.

The Next Step
Many learners who earn their AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification choose to continue their careers within the realm of AWS. Therefore, many choose to pursue the next step in the AWS Operations certification path, the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional. Others may choose to backfill their certification vitae by earning AWS Associate-level certifications in other pathways, including Architecting, Developing, or Specialities.

Other learners may choose to diversify their certification resume by pursuing other cloud solution certifications. Options include:

Recertification
The AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification is valid for two years from the date of certification. To re-certify, learners must pass a recertification exam or a higher-level exam. Learn more about AWS recertification.

Career Considerations
Payscale.com provides a helpful salary guide to help learners determine appropriate pay scales for job opportunities associated with the AWS SysOps Admin Associate. Depending on professional experience, an employee who holds an AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification can earn, on average, $69,482. Other resources report salary averages that are significantly higher but tend to focus on regions where the cost of living is high. Forbes.com reports that each of the five AWS certifications brings an average salary of $100,000. However, learners can more reasonably expect salaries ranging from $57,000 to $75,000 for Associate-level AWS career opportunities. Roles that are common for those holding an AWS SysOps Admin Associate certification include cloud engineer, developer, senior developer, systems engineer, and application engineer.

AWS Certifications
AWS certifications are offered at two levels: Associate and Professional. Associate-level certification is a prerequisite to the Professional-level certifications. AWS certification tracks include:

AWS Certified Solutions Architecting

AWS Certified Developing

AWS Certified Operations

Specialty Certifications

Concluding Thoughts
As the workplace continues to evolve and organizations become increasingly dependent on cloud technologies, employers are on the hunt for IT professionals with the skills and expertise to support, scale, and ultimately grow organizations. Launch your career into the cloud by earning certifications that will open doors and create opportunities!

Watch. Learn. Conquer the AWS SysOps Admin Associate!

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