Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS – What Best for Your Career in 2019-20?


Technology is constantly evolving, bringing in new trends each day! For any person into the technical domain, it is really important to stay updated with the latest trends. But they also need to choose a field of specialization at some point in their career. There are 2 common choices – stay into the technical domain and grow further or enter into the managerial role and grow your career further. If you are a techie and wish to grow in the same field, a career in cloud computing should definitely interest you.

Companies are undergoing a strategic digital transformation for continued success in modern technology environments. Research shows that the market for public cloud services was around $186.4 billion and the number has grown further since then. Cloud computing has touched millions of lives and has a deeper penetration that you would think. This has also increased the market for cloud computing jobs and is expected to add around a million jobs by 2020. This has also resulted in profoundly changing skill sets, and merely having a technical background is not enough.

Career options in cloud computing

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There are several cloud computing technologies in the market. You will come across an overwhelming number of cloud service providers, hybrid solutions, products, services, features and more. There are two public cloud behemoths that have captured a majority of the market – Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. So, if you are planning to grow your career in public cloud computing, you need to choose between these two providers. Making a choice between these two providers is not an easy job! Both of these companies are leaders in their own rights, so none has an unprecedented edge over the other. It is important to understand both these technologies into detail, take into consideration multiple factors before making a decision. Both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure offer similar capabilities revolving around storage, security, and networking.

With the exponential growth predicted for cloud computing jobs, Microsoft Azure vs. Amazon AWS is a common debate topic among tech professionals. Both these domains have a lot of potentials and are sought after, so which one to follow becomes the confusion. Before deciding between any one of these two cloud computing giants, it is important to have some basic knowledge about both of them. Selecting one cloud over the others will come down understanding the differentiating factors between both of them.

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Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure Logo

Microsoft Azure offers an ever-expanding set of cloud services that help businesses meet different challenges. This is an enterprise-grade, flexible and open cloud computing platform that helps businesses do more and save money. It allows businesses to build, test, deploy and manage services and applications using Microsoft managed data centers.

Strengths of Azure

  • Easily available and scalable.
  • Offers cost-effective options.
  • Different options for IaaS and PaaS.
  • Allows hybrid cloud computing.
  • Secure with a range of great features.
  • Robust open source support.

Weaknesses of Azure

  • Limited compatibility backward.
  • Requires an expert for management.
  • The additional pay-as-you-go option is expensive.

Amazon AWS

Amazon AWS Logo

Amazon AWS has dominated the cloud computing market from day one. It is the clear market leader for public IaaS and PaaS services. This secure cloud services platform offers database storage, computing power, content delivery, and other functionalities. The Amazon AWS service can further be divided into 2 products, which are further divided into services.

Strengths of AWS

  • Has an extensive range of infrastructure applications.
  • Is highly flexible and offers a free tier.
  • Users on any digital infrastructure can easily migrate to AWS.
  • Offers greater control over security.
  • Has a cost-effective pricing model.
  • Allows rapid deployment and is scalable.

Weaknesses of AWS

  • Availability of hybrid options is not a priority.
  • Range of options available can be overwhelming and confusing for traditional employers.
  • Migration times vary with the type of organization.

Why opt for a career in Microsoft Azure?

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To take up a career in either AWS or Azure, professionals need to learn both these and avail their certifications. When compared to the giant Amazon AWS, here are the reasons that attract professionals towards a career in Microsoft Azure –

  • Offers several growth-related challenges.
  • It is enterprise focused.
  • Studies state that 365,000 companies are adopting Azure each year.
  • Azure is expanding its market share and enterprise footprint.
  • Opportunities for Azure have multiplied drastically in past years.
  • Easy to adapt and learn.
  • Job roles and designations, you can choose from –
    1. Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer – Azure
    2. Azure Cloud Engineer
    3. Senior Azure Architect
    4. Agile IT Cloud Engineer
    5. Azure Cloud Architect
    6. Cloud Solution Architect – Azure
    7. Technology Solutions Professional
    8. Support Engineer
    9. Cloud Systems Administrator – Azure
    10. Cloud Network Engineer
  • Global job opportunities are available.
  • Being an open source platform, it can be easily integrated into different Microsoft products.
  • Multiple solutions to learn including data residency, hybrid database, storage solutions and more.

Certification for Microsoft Azure

Microsoft-certified

If you are thinking about the resources, as Mr. Nathan from CertLibrary mentioned the following in one of his articles,

“Microsoft often offers PDF files and even several long-form video series that document the different certifications they offer. Watch them and read up! They literally are feeding you the information you need to be familiar with. If they offer a video series, take some time and slowly work through it. Microsoft obviously selected these resources for a reason. – mentioned in his article by.”

There are a number of Microsoft Azure certifications that professionals can choose from. The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) is one of the most common certifications to start with. You can take multiple individual’s exams to complete a particular certification. These certification exams allow you to validate your knowledge and skills, and further strengthen your career. You can start with an Azure role-based certification or a certification in development, platform or data.

To start your cloud computing career in Microsoft Azure, aim for the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert certification. This is one of the basic certifications for Azure and acts as a prerequisite for further advance certifications. The roles related to this certification include cloud architect, cloud administrator and information security analyst. It can help professionals gain entry into enterprises offering cloud computing services.

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Why opt for a career in Amazon AWS?

Amazon-Web-Services

Here are a few reasons which make a career an Amazon AWs a lucrative option –

  • It has got the largest enterprise base and is the undisputed leader.
  • It is customer focused.
  • Preparation for the certification gives professionals an in-depth knowledge of S3, EC2, and VPC.
  • There are several free and paid resources available to prepare for the exam.
  • Depending on the area of specialization there are several certifications to choose from like the Solutions Architect Certification, Developer, DevOps, and SysOps.
  • Jobs and roles you can get with AWS certification –
    1. AWS Cloud Architect
    2. Cloud Developer
    3. SysOps Administrator
    4. Cloud Sales & Purchase Manager
    5. Cloud DevOps Engineer
    6. Key Account Manager
    7. AWS Networking Specialist
    8. Cloud Software Engineer
    9. AWS System Integrator
    10. AWS Big Data Specialist
  • A number of job prospects and career growth opportunities available.
  • Job options available across companies in the world.

Certification for AWS

AWS-certified

If you are thinking about the resources, Sean Winters, the Associate Solutions Architect from New Relic, mentioned the following in one of his articles,

“AWS provides plenty of certification prep and training opportunities. I found it tempting to power through all the theory material and come back to the labs later, but it was more effective to do the labs immediately after learning the relative theory. While the exams don’t have any labs, using the labs to get firsthand experience applying the theory improved my mental model and made it easier to recall the material.”

AWS currently offers one foundation, three associate, two professional and three specialty certifications. AWS certifications are easily accessible and highly valued by employers.

To start your career in AWS, one of the most sought after exams is the AWS Certified Solutions Architect. This certification will allow you to work as an AWS Solutions Architect Associate. This certification helps you learn how to design and deploy applications on the AWS server. It tests your ability to make recommendations in architecture during designing and provisioning applications using AWS. It also validates the ability to migrate multi-tier, complex applications on AWS. The certification also checks the ability to implement cost-control strategies and deployment of enterprise wide-scalable operations.

The AWS Solutions Architect Associate is one of the most sought after role by employers. To take up the AWS Solutions Architect Certification, it is mandatory to have a minimum of 2 years’ experience in AWS technology for designing applications.

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Final Words

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Amazon AWS is an already established leader in cloud computing, while Azure is catching up at a rapid pace. In terms of popularity, both AWS and Azure are competing on the same level. One core difference is that AWS operates more on an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) level while Azure operates more on Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) level.

IT professionals can play a big role when traditional organizations migrate to the cloud. Along with technical, cloud computing also requires many management and negotiation skills. You need to learn to plan for the long term and learn from your experience what works and what does not. You will be involved in decision making at all levels, right from the decision to buy to deciding the type of architecture to invest in.

It is not surprising when people say that the future is in cloud computing. Taking cloud computing at this stage is a great time to get prepared for this evolving industry. Businesses today are moving away from the traditional methods and approaches, so the role and demand of a cloud computing expert are going to rise in coming times. You can build a long and successful career and embrace the new opportunities arising in cloud computing. Both these cloud computing giants have their set of merits, you need to understand your skills and interests before choosing any one of them.


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Article Published by Souvik Banerjee

Web Developer & SEO Specialist with 10+ years of experience in Open Source Web Development, specialized in Joomla & WordPress development. He is also the moderator of this blog "RS Web Solutions".

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3 thoughts on “Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS – What Best for Your Career in 2019-20?

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