About Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate SAA-C02 Exam
Amazon Web Services, also known as AWS, houses a huge collection of the Cloud computing platforms and APIs, which have opened up several hot career prospects in the IT field. To equip the professionals with the requisite knowledge and skills to operate with AWS, Amazon offers a number of certifications. There are different options available at different levels and any of them opens the floodgates to vast career opportunities. Thus, if you want to prove that you have all the needed expertise to perform the role of a Solutions Architect and are able to architect robust and secure apps using the AWS technologies and deploy them effectively, you can go for the Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certificate. This path is intended for those interested candidates who have at least 1 year of practical expertise in designing fault-tolerant, scalable, and cost-efficient distributed systems on AWS.
It is recommended to have the ability to identify which AWS services meet the specific technical requirements. Your hands-on experience using compute, networking, and storage AWS services will be an added advantage. Moreover, the applicants need to be familiar with the security tools and features that are provided by AWS and know how they relate to traditional services.
Prerequisite Exam and Its Details
The qualifying test for this associate-level certificate is Amazon SAA-C02. First of all, you should know that it is a 130-minute exam that comes with 65 multiple-response and/or multiple-choice questions. It can be taken online or at a testing center in the English, Simplified Chinese, Korean, and Japanese languages. To complete this exam with flying colors, one must achieve the passing score of 720 points on a scale of 100-1000. To register for the test, an interested candidate will need to pay $150 for the voucher. Additionally, $20 is charged if you want to purchase the official practice exam for preparation.
Besides the possibility of taking the mock test, you can also go for the training courses from the official site. You can enroll for them via free digital training, classroom training, and free webinars. All in all, there is the opportunity to learn AWS Technical Essentials, know about Architecting and Advanced Architecting on AWS, or choose other options. During these courses, you will be able to explore the required terminology and key concepts to let you build a solid knowledge base. They will also help you gain the skills in making the architectural decisions that are based on the AWS architectural principles and best practices or using the Well-Architected Framework for the improvement of architectures with the AWS solutions.
The vendor also offers some whitepapers and FAQs for you to explore on its website. You can look for the options you like right on the exam webpage. Most of them are available in the PDF files, and you can also download some labs to practice your hands-on skills. Each option covers certain topics so that you will be able to choose the one that you want to learn and improve.
Prerequisite Exam and Its Content
To be able to pass this certification test, it is important to master the topics that are covered in the overall content. Thus, you need to explore the details of the objectives before you choose the prep option. Please note that each of the domains will present a specific amount of questions depending on which are more important for the evaluation of your skills. Thus, the exam content revolves around the following areas that you need to study:
- Design of Resilient Architectures
In this section, a potential applicant should have some skills in developing multi-tier architecture solutions, highly available and fault-tolerant architectures, as well as decoupling mechanisms with the use of AWS services. Also, you have to be able to select the appropriate resilient storage. The area covers 30% of the content, so you need to be ready that a lot of questions will be presented from it.
- Design of High-Performing Architectures
As for this part, you should know how to choose high-performing networking solutions and scalable storage solutions for a workload. Moreover, it is highly valuable to have the ability to identify elastic and scalable compute solutions. If you know how to select the high-performing database solutions, it will be your advantage as well. The domain covers 28% of the entire content.
- Design of Secure Applications & Architectures
The next topic covers developing secure application tiers and secure access to the AWS resources. Besides that, it involves the selection of the appropriate data security options that you should know about if you want to answer the questions from this area. There will be 24% of them during the test, so you need to be ready.
- Design of Cost-Optimized Architectures
The last module is all about the identification processes connected with cost-effective database services and storage solutions. Also, it includes the details of the design of cost-optimized network architectures. As for the weightage of this part, it will cover about 18% of the whole content.
Employment and Salary Opportunities
If you obtain the Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate certificate, you will prove that you possess the ability to provide the implementation guidance to your organization throughout the project’s lifecycle on the basis of best practices. Also, it helps you gain the skills in using the architectural design principles to define a solution on the basis of the customers’ requirements. Your skillset will also be enhanced with the ability to architect and deploy robust and secure apps on the AWS technologies.
All these skills will help you become an AWS Solution Architect, an AWS Global Solution Architect, an AWS Redshift Architect, an AWS Cloud Architect, and so on. Depending on your knowledge and hands-on expertise, you can even aim for the advanced-level options. As for the salary that you can expect for, it is possible to earn about $130,000 per annum. Each position can offer you a different amount depending on your abilities and company policies, so, in theory, you can always expect to get more than that.