AWS Training and Certification Blog

Is the AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate certification right for you?

You can now register for and take the new AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate exam. This certification validates skills and knowledge in core data-related AWS services, the ability to implement data pipelines, monitor and troubleshoot issues, and the ability to optimize cost and performance. As an AWS Solutions Architect on the AWS Training and Certification team, I add technical oversight to the AWS Certification exams. I was the lead Certification Technical Architect for this exam, meaning I reviewed all of the content and made sure the exam questions were technically accurate and met our quality bar.

This blog gives you an inside look at this new exam, AWS Exam Prep resources you can use, and additional offerings in the works from AWS Certification.

Why did AWS build a certification for data engineers?

Data engineering is experiencing rapid growth. Job listings worldwide for data engineers grew 45% from 2021 to 2023 and are expected to grow by another 28% over the next decade (Draup). This new AWS Certification offers candidates a means of positioning themselves for in-demand job roles in data engineering.

Data engineering is also essential to the other major trend happening across various industries: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Most ML algorithms require clean data for training and evaluation. Data engineers link together the source of the data to the operation that consumes it. They also engineer features and sanitize the data, which improves the models’ results.

For people looking for opportunities to grow professionally, data engineering is a great career choice. Data engineers need the programming aptitude of a developer and an architectural understanding of data-related AWS services. Some data engineers train specifically for data engineering roles while others could come into such roles by circumstance.

How can I prepare for the AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate exam?

To help you prepare for this exam, there are official exam prep materials available in AWS Skill Builder, our online learning center. We have organized the preparation process into four steps so you can approach exam day with confidence. Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the exam and exam-style questions, learn about exam topics, prepare for the exam, and assess your exam readiness.

How does this exam compare with other AWS Certification exams?

Depending on your background, you may find the AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate more challenging than our other associate-level certifications. Data engineer is not an entry-level role. It requires skills that overlap with adjacent positions like software developer, data scientist and solutions architect. As such, the exam guide defines the target candidate for AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate as someone with 2-3 years of data engineering experience and 1-2 years of hands-on AWS experience. This certification is at a higher level of complexity than our other associate-level exams.

What else is AWS Certification planning to build?

My AWS Certification colleagues and I are actively working to enhance our offerings at the foundational, associate, and professional levels. The reason for the focus on these categories stems from customer demand. We see a lot of interest in these exams from both candidates and employers alike. Plus, the technology landscape has changed considerably over the last decade, and we want our certifications to reflect these changes. Stay tuned for more to come.

Want to know how other fellow learners prepared for AWS Certification and get tips from experts? Check out the following blogs: