Study Time for AWS Security - Specialty, According to People Who Took It

by Ross Heintzkill | Published on August 31, 2023

The AWS cloud is a versatile and powerful tool, but all its cloud compute, storage and networking opportunities come with unique security vulnerabilities. Because the AWS Cloud has unique concerns, tools and approaches to cyber security, AWS developed the AWS Certified Security - Specialty certification. It's a great cert to earn whether you want to support a cloud network or specifically lock down your organization's AWS cloud resources.

But IT certifications take training and preparation. You may be wondering how long it'll take you to prepare for the AWS Certified Security - Specialty. CBT Nuggets found out for you by surveying IT professionals who've earned the cert via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and even Instagram. In addition to learning how long it takes to prepare for the AWS Security cert, we also spotted what you can do to speed it up.

How long did most people need to study for the AWS Certified Security - Specialty?

Out of 131 IT professionals, the largest number of them (35%) needed somewhere between 6 weeks and 3 months to prepare for the AWS Certified Security - Specialty. Interestingly, nearly the same number of people (21%) needed more than 5 months to prepare for it as needed less than 6 weeks (24%). Taken all together, the vast majority (80%) of people needed less than 5 months to prepare.

When the "over 5 months" group is the same size as the "under 6 weeks" group, it's a strong indication that access to and quality of preparation materials is a key differentiator for people preparing for the cert. The AWS Certified Security - Specialty is a technical certification that covers topics uniquely specific to the AWS Cloud and the best way to learn what's on it is with a high-quality video-based online course with opportunities to practice and apply what is being taught.

How should you prepare ahead of taking the AWS Certified Security - Specialty exam? 

Many different cybersecurity topics are covered by the AWS Security Specialty cert, and the approach you take to learning about them changes too. For instance, you'll want to start with Identity and Access Management, which is also a systems administration skill. But after that, you'll want to focus on Logging & Monitoring, which is an entirely different skill set. The list goes on for all the topics covered in the exam.

Real-world practice is the most important part of preparing for the AWS Security Specialty cert. That's because while some of the AWS Security Specialty certification exam is general cybersecurity knowledge, an equally large part is familiarity with AWS-specific tools, technologies and implementation. There's a limit to how much you can simply read about AWS Security, you also need to find a course that helps you get first-hand experience doing what you're studying about.

Tips to make sure you’re test-ready before AWS Certified Security - Specialty exam day:

As with any IT certification, the first question you should always ask yourself is if the AWS Security - Specialty cert is worth it. You're going to spend a lot of time (and not a little bit of money) to learn what's on the exam – make sure it's the right thing for your own career.

In addition to that, AWS recommends having 2 or more years of production deployment experience in using AWS security services and features before attempting the AWS Certified Security - Specialty. You probably can't get that much experience without also having a good familiarity with cybersecurity principles and fundamentals. But make sure that you don't focus on one of those over the other. Experience with AWS is crucial to passing the AWS Certified Security - Specialty exam, but so is a strong familiarity with network and system security in the cloud.

Use virtual labs

A virtual lab is a great tool for preparing for the AWS Certified Security - Specialty since while you're using it, you can apply real-world configurations and security settings to your cloud network and AWS account without actually affecting anything. Different labs give you control over the environment, so you can pose specific problems for yourself and work through them in a totally fictional (but still authentic) setting.

Test yourself using practice exams

Where virtual labs are helpful for learning the actual, real-world configurations you'll need to pass the AWS Certified Security - Specialty, having access to practice exams is a great way to speed up how long it takes you to prepare for the test itself. Taking a practice exam before you get started can show you how you'd do before you get started, and then taking them while you're wrapping up can show you if there are any areas left to address.

Learn from the experts

Obviously, who you learn from matters maybe more than anything else. When it comes to a topic as broad but also technical as cybersecurity in the AWS cloud, you want to learn from an expert who has experience in the wider field as well as deep familiarity with AWS certification exams. 

The CBT Nuggets trainer for AWS Certified Security - Specialty has years of experience in the field and has been updating his course with content from updated versions of the exam as AWS has released them. If you want to see if his style is right for you, go to the course page and watch the first video in the series for free – it'll give you a sense of the way that CBT Nuggets experts teach their material and whether it's right for you.

Working in the AWS cloud is a long and stable career for a lot of cybersecurity professionals. If you think the AWS Certified Security - Specialty could open the door to opportunities for you, try a CBT Nuggets membership. Once you're a member, you get free access to every course CBT Nuggets has ever published. You also get to start with a free week, so you can spend a full week learning everything you want and deciding if it's how you want to prepare for the exam. But do find an online course to help you prepare for it – if you don't, you could easily become one of the people who takes over 5 months rather than 6 weeks to prepare for the AWS Certified Security - Specialty.

Get CBT Nuggets IT training news and resources

I have read and understood the privacy policy and am able to consent to it.

© 2024 CBT Nuggets. All rights reserved.Terms | Privacy Policy | Accessibility | Sitemap | 2850 Crescent Avenue, Eugene, OR 97408 | 541-284-5522