New AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate (DEA-C01) exam goes live on March 12th, 2024!

AWS Certified Data Engineer - Associate (DEA-C01)

Hard to believe it was last September when AWS first announced its brand new Data Engineer – Associate (DEA-C01) certification. This announcement was newsworthy for a couple of reasons:

  • It represented the first new Associate-level AWS certification in over a decade! (The Solutions Architect, Developer, and SysOps Administrator Associate exams all debuted with the advent of the AWS global certification program back in 2013.)
  • It signaled the beginning of a shift in the AWS certification landscape. Shortly after announcing the new AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate certification, AWS also announced that it would be retiring three of its Specialty-level exams: the AWS Certified Data Analytics – Specialty, AWS Certified Database – Specialty, and AWS Certified SAP on AWS – Specialty. With fewer Specialty-level certifications, AWS appears to now be prioritizing job role-based certifications at the foundational, associate, and professional levels.

The AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate exam was available to sit as a beta between November 27, 2023 and January 12, 2024, and pass-fail results have now been shared with everyone who sat the beta exam during that time. AWS is now ready to release the final version of this exam on March 12, 2024!

In this blog post, I’m going to answer some questions you might have about this brand-new exam, including:

  • Who should take the new DEA-C01 exam?
  • When will the new DEA-C01 exam be available?
  • What is the format of the new DEA-C01 exam?
  • What information will be covered on the new DEA-C01 exam?
  • How can Cloud Academy help me prepare for the new DEA-C01 exam?

Who should take the new DEA-C01 exam?

According to the new DEA-C01 exam guide, the new AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate (DEA-C01) exam is geared towards individuals with 2-3 years of experience in data engineering and at least 1-2 years of hands-on experience working with AWS services. The exam guide also states that candidates for this certification should understand “the effects of volume, variety, and velocity on data ingestion, transformation, modeling, security, governance, privacy, schema design, and optimal data store design” and promises to validate a candidate’s ability to perform the following tasks:

  • Ingest and transform data, and orchestrate data pipelines while applying programming concepts.
  • Choose an optimal data store, design data models, catalog data schemas, and manage data lifecycles.
  • Operationalize, maintain, and monitor data pipelines.
  • Analyze data and ensure data quality.
  • Implement appropriate authentication, authorization, data encryption, privacy, and governance.

Passing this exam will require experience and expertise as an IT on-premises or cloud data engineer who works with extract, transform, and load (ETL) pipelines, uses data lakes for data storage, and understands how to analyze data and ensure data quality and consistency.

That being said, there are no formal prerequisites for this–or any other–AWS certification exam, so anyone can register for and sit this exam.

When will the new DEA-C01 exam be available?

Registration opens for the DEA-C01 exam on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The exam will be available to sit beginning that same day.

What is the format of the new DEA-C01 exam?

Like the other three Associate-level AWS certifications, the new AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate (DEA-C01) exam will cost $150 USD and contains 65 multiple choice and multiple response questions. Most questions will have 4 possible answer options where you must select one correct answer, while others may have 5 or 6 answer options from which you must select two or three correct answers. Of the 65 questions in the exam, only 50 of them will count towards your score. The other 15 questions are used by AWS for evaluation purposes and do not affect your score in any way. There is no way to tell which questions are scored or unscored but there is also no penalty for guessing, so always be sure to answer every question, even if it’s just an educated guess!

The exam has a pass-fail designation and is scored on a scale of 100-1,000, with a minimum score of 720 required to pass, just like the other Associate-level exams.

What information will be covered on the new DEA-C01 exam?

The new DEA-C01 exam guide references four domains, which are shown in the table below.

DEA-C01 Domains

DEA-C01 Domains

Let’s briefly discuss what’s covered within each of these four domains in a little more detail.

DEA-C01 Domain 1: Data Ingestion and Transformation (34%)

This domain accounts for over one-third of the overall exam content and focuses on ingesting, transforming, and processing data, as well as orchestrating ETL pipelines for your data. This includes knowing how to read data from AWS services that stream data such as Kinesis, Redshift, and DynamoDB streams, then transforming it based on your requirements using services like Lambda, EventBridge, and AWS Glue workflows. You’ll also need to understand some basic programming concepts such as infrastructure as code, SQL query optimization, and continuous integration and continuous delivery, or CI/CD, when testing and deploying your data pipelines.

DEA-C01 Domain 2: Data Store Management (26%)

In this domain, you’ll need to know how to store and catalog your data. This involves everything from modeling your data to defining schemas for your data, which could be structured, unstructured, or semi-structured. You should have a thorough understanding of all AWS storage platforms and know how to determine the best data store for your needs based on availability and throughput requirements. You’ll also need to manage the lifecycle of your data in a way that is cost efficient, secure, and resilient to failure.

DEA-C01 Domain 3: Data Operations and Support (22%)

This domain will assess your ability to use AWS services to analyze your data, ensuring data quality as you automate the processing of your data. This includes configuring appropriate monitoring and logging of your data pipelines, using services like CloudTrail and CloudWatch to assist in troubleshooting any issues that may arise. You should also be familiar with AWS Glue DataBrew and understand how it can be used for everything from preparing data to be transformed to defining data quality rules, verifying, and cleaning data.

DEA-C01 Domain 4: Data Security and Governance (18%)

This final domain is all about data privacy, authorization, and compliance. You should understand the role of security within an AWS architecture and understand how to implement security in both your VPC network infrastructure as well as your users with AWS Identity and Access Management. This includes knowing the principle of least privilege and how to apply role-based, attribute-based, and policy-based security when appropriate. You’ll also need to understand encryption and how to leverage the AWS Key Management Service to encrypt and decrypt your data.

How can Cloud Academy help me prepare for the new DEA-C01 exam?

As soon as the new AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate exam was announced last year, our team here at Cloud Academy began to assess the content in our library to help curate a brand new AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate (DEA-C01) Certification Preparation course that fully covers all aspects of the new DEA-C01 exam guide.

We also sat the beta version of this exam when it was available (it was very challenging for an Associate-level exam!) and leveraged our collective knowledge and experience to build new and updated lessons, hands-on labs, and assessments covering all of the topics that are emphasized in the new DEA-C01 exam. Our new course is currently available in preview, but will be fully updated and published by March 12, 2024!

To find out the latest information about this exam, as well as to learn more about updates to other AWS certification exams, you can visit the Coming Soon to AWS Certification page. From there, you can review the exam guide for the new DEA-C01 exam.

For training preparation on all AWS certifications, I encourage you to browse our entire library of AWS certification content.

Best of luck with your studying, and keep an eye on this space for more AWS certification updates in the months ahead. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to help!


Cloud Academy