Amazon Introduces Professional-Level AWS Certification

AWS pros can now take their mastery of the industry-leading public cloud platform to the next level, Amazon said Wednesday in introducing a higher tier of certification for its partners.

"Amazon Professional Level AWS exam will allow VARs to improve and validate their advanced technical skills and knowledge so customers can be certain of their proficiency," Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, blogged.

The new certification level adds to last year’s launch of the AWS Global Certification Program, which allowed solution architects, administrators and developers to certify their technical skills and their abilities to plan, deploy and manage an AWS system.

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"The new AWS Certified Solutions Architect -- Professional Level exam validates advanced technical skills and experience and represents the next level of proficiency along the AWS Certified Solutions Architect path, with a focus on the design and development of distributed systems," Barr wrote.

Chris Bunch, Country Lead for the United Kingdom and Ireland at Cloudreach Europe, a born-in-the-cloud managed services provider, told CRN the new level will give Amazon's partners an opportunity to distinguish themselves from the pack.

Cloudreach, a top-tier AWS Premier partner with several European offices, already has one developer who's passed the Professional Level exam, and many more who are eager to earn the certification, Bunch told CRN.

"The new exam enables us to demonstrate to our customers, potential customers -- and AWS -- the depth of our skills in the platform. It's a great discussion point to talk to potential clients about our engineering and project management teams being certified," he said.

Professional Level candidates must already be certified at the Associate Level, and should have multiple years of experience designing and deploying cloud architecture on AWS. The exam will assess their ability to evaluate requirements and recommend architectures for implementing, deploying and provisioning apps on AWS, according to Barr.

"Additionally, you should have the experience and the capability to provide best practices guidance on the architectural design across multiple applications, projects, or the enterprise," Barr wrote.

AWS is offering an Exam Guide to help applicants prepare for both AWS-specific and general IT knowledge sections of the new exam.

"The Professional track sets the bar higher in terms of knowledge and skill required," Bunch told CRN.

"It also ensures our teams have a breadth and depth of knowledge across all AWS products and solutions -- not just those they've worked with most recently on a given project," he said.