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AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Which certification is best for professionals?

Find out which form of cloud certification will help you demand the best salary and land the best jobs.

Published onMarch 21, 2021

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud

AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are the three biggest cloud platforms used by businesses around the world. Professionals looking to upgrade their skill set and to increase their appeal to employers should therefore consider certification and training with one of these platforms. The question is: which one?

In this post, we will pit AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud, to explore which platform makes the most sense for professionals to learn depending on your skills, goals, and experience.

What is a cloud platform?

A cloud platform is a collection of services, applications, and sometimes hardware (i.e. remote servers) that other businesses can use to enhance their own services. These include things such as database management, cloud storage, IoT services, security, and more. This is sometimes referred to as “Infrastructure-as-a-service.”

Cloud platforms essentially provide companies with scalable solutions for storing, retrieving, and manipulating data. In turn, they can grow to meet customer demands. This is a viable option for businesses of all sizes thanks to price plans that charge the client for the infrastructure used. While there initially were some concerns regarding security and privacy, the vast majority of cloud-enabled businesses now rely on such services.

The IaaS market is thought to be worth $50.4 billion

The IaaS market is estimated to be worth $50.4 billion according to research from Gartner, making it an extremely worthwhile skill for any IT professional.

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Certification

With that in mind, which of these platforms should you invest time and effort into learning? Which will yield the most job opportunities and best pay?

AWS has enjoyed the largest share of the IaaS market since its rollout in 2006. Today AWS maintains roughly a 33% share, with Microsoft Azure at 16%, and Google Cloud at 8%. So, in terms of pure numbers and demand, AWS certification will likely yield the best returns for professionals.

That said, there is no simple “right answer” when it comes to the best cloud platform for any given professional. Each offers a unique range of services, which may be more or less relevant for a specialist skillset. Moreover, if you wish to work for a particular employer, then it may be beneficial to first find out which web services that business relies on.

In terms of the sheer scope of services, AWS comes out on top with over 175 services, including:

  • Developer tools
  • Analytics
  • Storage
  • Database management
  • Compute
  • Networking
  • IoT
  • Security
  • Management
  • Enterprise applications

This makes AWS a strong option for companies that are looking for a “one-stop-shop” solution. AWS tends to be one of the more expensive options, however, with a more complex pricing model.

Microsoft Azure is another popular option with a wide variety of services. The integration of other services that customers may be familiar with – such as Office 365 and Teams – is also enticing for businesses.

Google Cloud has a smaller selection of services but is more focused on machine learning via its powerful Tensor Flow platform. With machine learning being a huge focus of many modern businesses, this is a valuable option for futureproofing your skills and employability. The company has also embraced open-source, and this expertise shows in the use of containers in particular.

See also: How to become a machine learning engineer

While these differences may influence a business’ decision over which platform to choose, they all offer broadly similar services and features.

Which platform should you learn?

So, with that in mind, which cloud platform is the best for IT professionals? Let’s take a look at AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud certification.

While there may be specific cases where Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure certification makes more sense (such as if you choose to specialize in machine learning), AWS certification remains arguably the most sought-after and in-demand.

Amazon Web Services is the most widely used cloud platform, meaning it will open up a lot of doors professionally.

See also: What is AWS certification?

A good place to start is with the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certification.

Microsoft’s Certified Azure Solutions Architect is a great additional string to your bow. It will appeal to a huge number of businesses that already rely on Microsoft’s services every day. Microsoft’s Certified Azure Solutions Architect is a great certification to aim for, though professionals will first need to complete the AZ-300 and AZ-301 courses.

If you have both these certifications under your belt, then why not complete the set with Google’s Professional Cloud Architect certification? This should also be a top priority for anyone looking to offer machine learning expertise. Again though, professionals should possess a substantial understanding of the cloud, and Google Cloud in particular, before attempting the exam.

The best answer when it comes to AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud certification, then? Get all three! You could also start with a more general certification, such as CompTIA Cloud+ which will provide a useful foundation.

You’ll be able to demand a larger salary and appeal to a broader range of employers

In general, while certifications alone are not the be-all-and-end-all for professionals working with the cloud, it’s true that you really can’t have too many. As you add these certificates to your resume, you’ll be able to demand a larger salary and appeal to a broader range of employers.

But what do you think? Who comes out on top when comparing AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud? Which other cloud platform certifications have you found most valuable?

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