Certifications / Cloud

Is the AWS SysOps Worth It?

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Published on May 18, 2020

Becoming AWS certified is becoming a big draw for many IT professionals. AWS is the undisputed cloud computing leader. Therefore, there is a demand for admins who can leverage AWS solutions for organizations.

One of the most popular AWS certifications is AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate. Consisting of seven domains, including Deployment and Provisioning, Data Management, and Security and Networking, the SysOps Admin exam is dense.

 It not only requires a considerable amount of studying but AWS SysOps Admin is an associate-level cert — meaning prior knowledge of and experience using the AWS platform is strongly recommended.

Let's take a closer look at this certification and determine if it's worth adding to your certification portfolio.

Who Should Earn the AWS SysOps Admin?

AWS SysOps Administrator – Associate certification is intended for system administrators who are responsible for AWS systems and services. If you are on the front line of your organization's cloud and infrastructure support, you are likely going to need this cert. It's a no-brainer if your organization uses AWS products or services.

Earning SysOps Admin certification validates a wide range of knowledge and skills including:

  • Deploying, managing, and operating scalable, highly available, and fault-tolerant systems on AWS

  • Implementing and controlling the flow of data to and from AWS

  • Migrating on-premises workloads to AWS

As such, you should have at least one year of experience managing systems. You should be comfortable with the basic concepts of system administration in an AWS product environment. Otherwise, you probably aren't ready to take the exam.

Let's take a look at a few scenarios that can help you determine if AWS SysOps Admin – Associate is a smart play for you.

Scenario 1: You're an Administrator Whose Environment is Expanding to the Cloud

You already know how to administer and configure services for popular AWS products. You've taken some entry-level AWS exams and know how to perform basic tasks on AWS from an administration point of view.  

You want to learn more about scalability and redundancy options on AWS. Your role has evolved to incorporate additional services online, or you have become responsible for migrating existing services to the cloud.

Maintaining cloud infrastructure requires exceptional knowledge of AWS and tasks such as deploying and configuring services, managing data flow to each of the services and much more. The AWS SysOps Admin cert is ideal for this kind of role advancement as it prepares you for associate-level certification.

Scenario 2: Public Cloud SysOps Administrator

You are already working in a cloud environment — with many services and systems online as a public cloud SysOps administrator. This means that you are responsible for many online services. AWS SysOps Admin certification gives you the extended knowledge required to deploy scalable services when the business demands increased capacity.

Every problem or challenge that you will come across in the AWS ecosystem has a product associated with it as a solution. This means that there are tons of options when considering a new build or deployment.

Earning AWS SysOps Admin – Associate certification validates that you can make sense of it all and find the best solution. It also saves you research time by not having to read mountains of documentation when you are looking for new solutions.

Exam Prerequisites for the SOA-C01: None

Technically, there are no prerequisites to sit for the SysOps Admin exam, or any AWS certification exam for that matter. However, AWS provides the recommended knowledge and experience that candidates should possess — and we here at CBT Nuggets suggest that you treat those as prerequisites. Or your chances of passing the exam could be slim.

AWS recommends a  minimum of one year of hands-on experience with AWS and the ability to operate and manage systems on AWS. You also need to understand the AWS tenets and architecting for the cloud. Hands-on experience with AWS and CLI, as well as SDK and API tools experience, are also requirements.

Knowledge of networking technologies that relate to AWS is also necessary. Practical security experience is another area that you will need to have some hands-on experience with. Here's AWS's complete list of recommended knowledge for the SysOps Admin – Associate exam.

Is AWS SysOps Admin Worth it?

One of the biggest benefits of earning AWS SysOps Admin – Associate is that you'll understand AWS best practices and be able to apply them to a variety of real-world situations. This will help you leverage AWS for organizations successfully and securely.

The bottom line is that fetting AWS certified is worth it. The general trend is that most companies are on the path toward cloud integration. Having the skills to help them leverage AWS and get the most out of their investment can boost your career prospects.


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