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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Thumbs up AWS Certs Are The Real Deal

    I just wanted to give anyone some perspective of how passing the AWS exams (Architect - Associate and Developer - Associate) can help your career based on an offer letter given to me today for a new position created, so I didn't get poached away from my current employer:

    My professional profile:
    ==================
    10+ years of IT experience
    Master's Degree in IS
    Cert before passing the AWS exams: CISSP
    Salary: ~$76,000 (USD)

    Offer letter for new cloud position created after passing AWS Architect - Associate and Developer - Associate: $120,000 (USD).

    Still kind of freaking out about this, but I wanted to let you know the AWS exams were totally worth passing.
    Last edited by Kittrick; 10-23-2017 at 01:12 AM. Reason: punctuation
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  3. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #2
    congrats! could you share what is your training resources?
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  4. Junior Member
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    #3
    Congratulations! Can you give a description of what you did prior to the offer and how your role will change, if any?
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  5. Senior Member shochan's Avatar
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    #4
    2017 -> Chillaxing & (reading C|EH - Matt Walker)
    2018 -> CCNA CyberOps (July Cohort)
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  6. Member dizzy_kitty's Avatar
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    #5
    Awesome! I've been looking into cloud certs, specifically AWS Certified Sysops Administrator – Associate... I read that one is pretty intense.
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  7. Senior Member Mitechniq's Avatar
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    #6
    Congrats Kittrick!

    I will add - in 2 years my salary has increased 78%! All due to my experience and certifications in AWS. My job has me broadening my cloud experience into Azure and GCP as a lot of our developers are expressing interest in those CSP's. If you are a Security guy like me, I would say these type of certs are what will make you stand out from the others... at one point my previous director before leaving the company said to me, there is probably a handful of people who have their CISSP and AWS PSA - demand whatever salary you want and they will pay.
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  8. Senior Member
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    #7
    Well done man thats a very good increase, well done again. Helps to work for a company that is pro Cloud and also a company that values it's employees. Not that many around. Looks like they didn't just give you a 5% increase but instead looked at the market rate of what it would cost them to get someone with your skills vs giving you the increase, very good idea on their part.

    Care to share the industry or area you work at?
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  9. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #8
    wow thats awesome! congrats. its also important to note that the only time you'll ever get a substantial raise is to leave your current position. where do you live? cost of living greatly depends on the kind of offer you receive.

    that said i wouldnt say AWS certs will give everyone a 40k bump, though it doesnt hurt. i dont have a degree...only certs and i clear just north of 125 after bonus.

    experience trumps all!
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  10. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dizzy_kitty View Post
    Awesome! I've been looking into cloud certs, specifically AWS Certified Sysops Administrator – Associate... I read that one is pretty intense.
    its harder than CSAA, but not by much. theres a lot of material overlap

    source: have both
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  11. Senior Member
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    #10
    Nice bump, congrats!
    This made me think about getting back to AWS cert studying until I realized I really prefer vSphere. Maybe Azure.
    2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
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  12. Senior Member Mitechniq's Avatar
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    #11
    @techfiend - If you enjoy VMware, even more, a reason to learn AWS, both are a lethal combination. https://aws.amazon.com/vmware/
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  13. Senior Member
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    #12
    I studied the Sys admin associate on udemy and it was relatively technical and kind of enjoyable. I was exposed to some of the nuances of AWS, like can't reuse private ip's, have to clone disks to resize, very complex billing. Dynamically sized environment based on activity was interesting but it seems a bit convoluted and I could see all sorts of issues with it. Then it came to the practice tests and it seemed 75% marketing, 25% technical. After getting sick of those practice tests I went on to study RHCSA, which was very technical and I knew most of it but I can't say I learned a whole lot that I've used in the real world. I never took either test. This happened in the first quarter of 2016, likely cert burnout. I'm ready to study another cert this winter. After the VCAP I was going to go on to VCIX but I'm just not finding many vSphere positions, I see more Hyper-V positions. I see about as many Azure openings as I do AWS.

    I noticed VMware on AWS awhile back, it sounds interesting but the AWS nuances I'm guessing are still there. The most I've done is used a vCenter plugin for AWS to migrate VM's, what a mess that was. Does anyone have experience with vCenter on AWS?
    2017 VCAP6-DCV Deploy (Oct) 2016 Storage+ (Jan)
    2015 Start WGU (Feb) Net+ (Feb) Sec+ (Mar) Project+ (Apr) Other WGU (Jun) CCENT (Jul) CCNA (Aug) CCNA Security (Aug) MCP 2012 (Sep) MCSA 2012 (Oct) Linux+ (Nov) Capstone/BS (Nov) VCP6-DCV (Dec) ITILF (Dec)
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  14. Junior Member
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    #13
    Skyyyyy2001 : Thanks so much for the reply.

    The resources I used to study for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect was:

    AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide: Associate Exam
    https://www.amazon.com/Certified-Solutions-Architect-Official-Study/dp/1119138558/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509417010&sr=8-1&keywords=aws+certified+solutions+architect+offic ial+study+guide&dpID=51fX5ppXJuL&preST=_SX258_BO1, 204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    If you read the book, do all of the exercises in this book, and most importantly spend a lot of time practicing with the online testing engine, you'll know a good portion of what is on the exam. I met the authors at AWS re:Invent 2016, and they all had a hand in writing the exam, so there is a reason the test questions look awfully similar to the exam.

    acloud.guru
    It has been my experience that this resource by itself is not enough to pass the exam, but where I found value is in watching the concepts explained in good detail that was easy to understand. Especially in that they highlighted new services that may appear on the exam.

    www.whizlabs.com
    The test exams here were much needed practice beyond the official guide's testing engine.

    Hope that helps!
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  15. Junior Member
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by schiphol View Post
    Congratulations! Can you give a description of what you did prior to the offer and how your role will change, if any?
    I am a Security Analyst who evaluates software and server configurations for security issues before they are put into production. My job that I'm moving into is the same thing, except AWS implementations and evaluations as well as the Certified Architect - Associate was explicitly written into the job description.
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  16. Junior Member
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by dizzy_kitty View Post
    Awesome! I've been looking into cloud certs, specifically AWS Certified Sysops Administrator – Associate... I read that one is pretty intense.
    I would start with the Certified Solutions Architect - Associate then the Certified Developer, as I notice that in my studying for the SysOps - Associate that there is a lot of lead up and overlap from those to the SysOps exam.
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  17. Junior Member
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitechniq View Post
    Congrats Kittrick!

    I will add - in 2 years my salary has increased 78%! All due to my experience and certifications in AWS. My job has me broadening my cloud experience into Azure and GCP as a lot of our developers are expressing interest in those CSP's. If you are a Security guy like me, I would say these type of certs are what will make you stand out from the others... at one point my previous director before leaving the company said to me, there is probably a handful of people who have their CISSP and AWS PSA - demand whatever salary you want and they will pay.
    That is pretty incredible! My goal is to pass all of the big 5 AWS certs, so if anyone has done it, I'd be curious how it has affected your career. I wonder if you get free entry into re:Invent in Las Vegas?
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  18. Senior Member
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    #17
    Wow thats a great jump!! All the best!!
    Year goals
    Security+ [done] Next is CCENT-CCNA [loading..]
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  19. Senior Member Mitechniq's Avatar
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    #18
    Honestly, I do not see any positive net of return by getting all 5 certifications or now 7 with the 8th certification coming out soon. It is more of bragging rights than anything else. My recommendation to most people is going SAA than SAP and for you probably wait till the Security Cert comes out. No free entry into re:Invent based on Certifications - you get a 10% discount and some 'AWS Certified' Swag.
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  20. Junior Member
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitechniq View Post
    Honestly, I do not see any positive net of return by getting all 5 certifications or now 7 with the 8th certification coming out soon. It is more of bragging rights than anything else. My recommendation to most people is going SAA than SAP and for you probably wait till the Security Cert comes out. No free entry into re:Invent based on Certifications - you get a 10% discount and some 'AWS Certified' Swag.
    You probably are right. I saw a video with the people who had all 5 certs and they had some glass trophy. Only 10% discount to re:Invent? I got that code through our AWS reps and I wasn't even certified at the time.
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  21. Member dizzy_kitty's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittrick View Post
    I would start with the Certified Solutions Architect - Associate then the Certified Developer, as I notice that in my studying for the SysOps - Associate that there is a lot of lead up and overlap from those to the SysOps exam.

    Thanks for the advice!
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  22. Senior Member Mitechniq's Avatar
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    #21
    Trophy - I have all 5 certs and I work for AWS, I do not recall anyone getting a trophy.
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  23. Junior Member
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitechniq View Post
    Trophy - I have all 5 certs and I work for AWS, I do not recall anyone getting a trophy.
    I must be mistaken then, because I saw a picture from re:Invent where people were holding up glass trophies. It might have been one of those like I saw on acloud.guru, where Ryan Kroonenburg got some "AWS Community Hero" award (I think it was called).
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