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3 New AWS Exams: Architect, Database, Analytics

by Team Nuggets
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Published on March 9, 2020

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently rolled out new exams for three certifications. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate has been refreshed, AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty was updated and given a new name, and AWS Certified Database – Speciality is a brand new certification!

All three AWS certifications are out of beta — and learners will be able to take the new exams starting this month. Here's a quick look at the new exams and what you need to know before sitting for them.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C02) is an entry-level architect exam. System architects develop blueprints that companies rely on when building new or enhancing existing applications.

Associate candidates need one or more years of hands-on experience designing fault-tolerant, scalable, distributed AWS systems. They also must have a broad but not necessarily a deep understanding of how these services function. Knowing AWS compute, networking, storage, and database services features enable them to pick the right solutions when their employers build new applications.

Candidates should also be familiar with AWS best practices and able to incorporate them into development projects. Security is a must in every application today, so candidates need to be able to good choices there as well.

Earning AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certification should solidify a person's position on an enterprise AWS team — and provide them with the opportunity to take on more design challenges as they move up the IT ladder.

First day to test for the new exam: March 23, 2020.

AWS Certified Database – Specialty

The second certification is the AWS Certified Database – Specialty (DBS-C01). This new certification is a key techie of an enterprise IT team. Data volumes are exploding. The world's data will grow from 33 zettabytes (1Zbyte = 1trillion Gbytes) in 2018 to 175ZB by 2025, a compounded annual growth rate of 61%, according to International Data Corp.

As the volumes rise, data planning and management have become a challenging and important function for IT teams. AWS Certified Database – Specialty is intended for individuals who manage corporate DataBase Management Systems (DBMS). Because this course is a deep dive into technical DMAS innards, a candidate should have a minimum of five years of experience with common database technologies, and at least two years of hands-on experience working with AWS products.

In addition, the student should have experience working with on-premises and AWS Cloud relational and NoSQL databases. This certification tests a person's ability to:

  • Design database solutions for high performance, compliance governance, and high scalability

  • Execute and Validate Data Migrations

  • Determine ongoing maintenance requirements, tasks, and processes

  • Outline Backup and Restore Strategies

  • Optimize Database Performance

  • Troubleshoot and Resolve Common Database Issues

A deep understanding about DBMS design enables these team members to compare the costs and capabilities of various database solutions; take advantage of new automation features to streamline business processes; put robust backup and disaster recovery procedures in place, so data is protected, and ensure high availability — so work gets done.

Organizations value employees with these skills, and so salaries typically are in the six-figure range. Also, AWS has been pushing hard to gain a foothold in the DBMS market and is having success with its services. Because AWS is a newcomer in this space, many companies lack staff with AWS DBMS experience.

First day to test for the new exam: April 6, 2020.

AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty (formerly AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty)

The AWS Certified Big Data – Specialty received not only a skill set update, but a name change to AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty. The change in title illustrates how the industry is shifting. With big data, the focus was on putting procedures in place so enterprises could collect large amounts of information. Now, those processes are fairly well understood, so they want to take the next step and use analytic features to leverage the information for competitive gain.

This exam also requires a great deal of technical experience. Candidates should have a minimum of five years of experience with common data analytics technologies and at least two years of hands-on experience with AWS services. They should know how to use AWS services to design, build, secure, and maintain analytics solutions.

The test examines an examinee's ability to define AWS data analytics services and understand how they integrate with each other. Companies are interested in securing data, so they must implement sound data governance and compliance controls

Again with data volumes growing at rapid rates, companies are struggling to find enough skilled individuals to keep pace. So, individuals with the AWS Certified Big Data –Specialty credential will be in high demand.

First day to test for the new exam: April 13, 2020.

Preparing for the New AWS Exams

AWS works with third-party firms specializing in testing and certification to establish course schedules. The first releases are in English only, but the vendor adds support for other languages over time. Tests are available in a variety of formats (online, live, mixed, etc.) and at various times and at different prices. Candidates select the options that best suits their schedule and wallet.

A great deal of effort goes into the development of AWS services and a lot of work is required to develop its certification and training programs. Change is a constant in today's fast-paced, highly charged technology world, and it is coming to the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate; AWS Certified Database – Specialty; and AWS Certified Data Analytics certifications. So, candidates need to be prepared.


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