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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Specialty Certifications

By: Lindsay McKay

Published On: September 30, 2021

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Specialty Certifications

With companies continuously shifting to cloud-based computing, the need for cloud professionals for cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, keeps on increasing. AWS is known as the market leader in the cloud computing space and earning AWS certifications are a great way to get your foot in the door of the cloud computing industry. AWS Academy offers courses designed with curriculum specific to AWS cloud technologies from managing to developing. Currently, AWS has one foundational level certification, three associate-level certifications, two professional-level certifications, and five specialty-level certifications including data analytics, machine learning, security, and more. If you are just starting out, the AWS Academy Cloud Foundations course is intended for students who seek an overall understanding of cloud computing concepts or want to create a foundation for future AWS Academy continuing education courses without the need for any technical experience. Before you move on to earning specialty certifications, you need to earn the corresponding associate-level certifications of the AWS Certified Solutions Architect, the AWS Certified Developer, or the AWS Certified SysOPS Administrator 

AWS Machine Learning Specialty 

The AWS Machine Learning certification is intended for individuals in development or data science role that have had 1 – 2 years of experience using machine learning or deep learning on the AWS Cloud. To prepare for the certification exam, along with hands-on experience, it is recommended to take the AWS Academy Machine Learning Foundations course. This introductory course introduces students to the concepts and terminology of AI and ML. There are some prerequisites for this course, which include general IT technical and business knowledge, experience scripting with Python, and a basic understanding of statistics. Once you have completed the course you will be able to demonstrate the following: 

  • Select and justify the approach for a given business problem 
  • Implement a machine learning pipeline using Amazon SageMaker 
  • Use Amazon ML services including forecasting, computer vision, and natural language processing 

This certification is one of the newer certifications offered by AWS and has become known as one of the most challenging, so make sure you are prepared before you challenge the exam. 

AWS Data Analytics Specialty 

The AWS Data Analytics certification is intended for individuals with experience and expertise working with AWS services to design, build, secure, and maintain analytics solutions. This credential helps organizations identify and develop talent with critical skills for implementing cloud initiatives. If you are an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, the AWS Data Analytics Specialty is the recommended next step for career advancement. This course is a series of lab exercises focusing on Big Data analysis and you will learn how to: 

  • Design and maintain data analysis 
  • Ingest, store, and secure data 
  • Visualize structured and unstructured data 
  • Automate loading data into a data warehouse 
  • Query a data store with manual schema specification 
  • Query a data store with automated schema generation 

Along with the AWS Cloud Foundations course, students may find it beneficial to complete the free AWS Data Analytics Fundamentals online training before taking on these lab exercises.  

AWS Security Specialty 

The AWS Certified Security certification is intended for individuals in a security role and who have at least 2 years of hands-on experience securing AWS workloads. The certification ensures you have mastered security fundamentals, that you follow the best practices, and that you have deep knowledge of key services that are unique to the AWS platform. Before attempting the exam, it is recommended to have 5 years of IT security experience, a basic understanding of cloud computing technology, and to have completed an AWS Certified Security course. This course focuses on the security and monitoring of AWS and upon completion you will be able to: 

  • Implement data encryption methods and secure internet protocols 
  • Build an identity management policy  
  • Understand the various AWS security services and build a secure lab infrastructure including EC2 and S3 instances 
  • Build and apply security controls on a web application using an advanced load balancer and content delivery network 

The AWS Certified Security certification is the broadest certification and skills learned can be transferred to other cloud platforms. This course has been approved by the Canadian College of Health Information Management (College) for 15 CPE units.  

Are you ready to validate your skills with certification? Sign up for one of our AWS Academy courses today! 


The information contained in this post is considered true and accurate as of the publication date. However, the accuracy of this information may be impacted by changes in circumstances that occur after the time of publication. Ashton College assumes no liability for any error or omissions in the information contained in this post or any other post in our blog


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