Key findings on AWS professionals and salaries from new salary survey

January 29, 2019 at 12:41 am

AWS Certification

After several years of dramatic expansion, we finally have a survey that gets under the skin of our industry. The Jefferson Frank Salary Survey is the biggest independent annual study of AWS technology professionals. It provides insight on how big a part AWS plays in the skill set of tech professionals. With 59% of participants based in the US, its answers are also a good reflection of the situation locally.

Of those who responded, 65% have worked in IT for over 10 years. This means that there is a voice of experience in the results that can spot trends as easily as it can fads. AWS shows no sign of being the latter—of the professionals who work directly with it, 80% experienced a marked increase for work involving AWS in the last 12 months. Similarly, 79% predicted that this would increase again in the next year.

What does this mean to me as an employee?

Over half of survey respondents weren’t certified in AWS before starting in their current role. However, with 22% reporting a direct increase in salary after certification, its value is obvious. Skills in cutting-edge technologies, such as DevOps, big data and AI, will be essential to you going forward too, but certs are essential. The third-party tools where there is expected to be the biggest demand are Jenkins (15%), Terraform (11%) and Git (7%), with Jenkins and Terraform the two most currently used tools at the moment.

What does it mean to me as an employer?

Your employees are more valuable to you with a broad skill set, but they’re also more valuable to other companies. A lack of exposure to the latest AWS products was cited by 44% of survey respondents as a reason they’d consider changing employers in the next 12 months. Certification vouchers are listed outside the top ten employee benefits, but they still rank highly enough (11) to be worth considering.

If you’re unsure whether AWS certs are the key to your earning potential, consider the following. It was ranked as the best way to increase your salary amongst survey participants. That’s a long way ahead of networking, speaking different languages, or even hands-on experience. Some 73% also reported a salary increase when they last changed jobs, but if you’re happy where you are, what certs should you be looking at? The top certifications according to the Salary Survey are:

AWS Certified Solutions Architect – this requires familiarity with AWS infrastructure and concepts. You will learn how AWS-based applications work and how to build them on the platform.

AWS Certified Developer – you will need to know how to write code that uses AWS software. The course will give you hands-on experience designing, developing and maintaining applications.

AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – this will teach you how to deploy applications to the AWS platform, as well as selecting the appropriate services to meet an organization’s needs. Passing the exam will need both technical expertise and conceptual knowledge of the operation of the platform.

You also need to make sure your certs are relevant to your role. Over two-thirds of the survey respondents held AWS certifications, but don’t rack them up for the sake of it. Ensure you have the right certifications and your earning potential will sharply increase.

By the same token, 73% of participants reported a salary increase when they last changed jobs. If your current employer isn’t willing to reward your newfound qualifications, it might be time to see if someone else will. As much as expanding your knowledge base and certifications were cited as a way to increase your earnings, so was switching where you work.

If you are thinking about a move, the Salary Survey provides a fascinating breakdown of salaries across the globe. Some 61% of respondents said they would consider relocating for work. There’s plenty of information on pay for the United Kingdom, France and Germany. As the survey gives you an idea of what different positions earn around the globe, you can also see if you’ll be more in demand in a different country.

The US seems to pay technology professionals more than in Europe, but then contract work is quite the opposite, with much higher rates in the UK. Food for thought if you are interested in travel.

Want a more detailed breakdown of salary information as well as trends within AWS for the last twelve months? There’s also predictions for the coming year, you can get them by downloading Jefferson Frank’s 2018/19 Salary Survey here.

Sam Samarasekera is a Business Manager at AWS specialist recruitment firm Jefferson Frank. Here, he discusses the key findings of the company’s independent salary survey, examining everything from salary benchmarks, diversity, certification, and beyond. 

AWS Blog

New CBT Nuggets Course: AWS Security – Data Security

January 23, 2019 at 9:53 pm

AWS Security

During the 55-video, intermediate-level course, trainer Bart Castle teaches learners how to secure data using the Amazon Web Services cloud platform. Topics covered in this training include data storage services like S3, Glacier, EBS, RDS and more as well as common data encryption options and practices.

This training is in support of the AWS Security Specialty certification, and therefore, makes up just a portion of the requisite topics. Additionally, this course is aimed at anyone who works in an AWS environment or wants to learn more about cloud security practices.

Topics covered in this training include:

  • S3 object and bucket security
  • Data-in-transit security options
  • Client and Server-side encryption techniques
  • Encryption key management
  • AWS storage services security (EBS, RDS, Instance Storage, Glacier, DynamoDB etc)

This course includes:

  • 5 hours of training
  • 55 videos
  • In-video quizzes

A New Specialty Certification is on the Way from AWS…

November 18, 2018 at 12:08 am

Machine Learning

And it should come as no big surprise!

AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

This certification exam is currently in Beta as I write this. Yes – I plan on going and taking a look and will report back.

The AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty beta examination is intended for individuals with one to two years of hands-on experience developing, architecting, or running machine learning (ML)/deep learning workloads on the AWS Cloud.

It validates an examinee’s ability to:

  • Select and justify the appropriate ML approach for a given business problem.
  • Identify appropriate AWS services to implement ML solutions.
  • Design and implement scalable, cost-optimized, reliable, and secure ML solutions.

Recommended AWS and General IT Knowledge and Experience:

  • The ability to express the intuition behind basic ML algorithms
  • Experience performing basic hyperparameter optimization
  • Experience with ML and deep learning frameworks
  • The ability to follow model-training best practices
  • The ability to follow deployment and operational best practices

If you are really interested in this cert – be sure to download the exam guide:

https://d1.awsstatic.com/training-and-certification/machinelearning/AWS%20Certified%20Machine%20Learning%20-%20Specialty_Exam%20Guide_v1.1_FINAL.pdf