Get Started with Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Why AWS Through Technology Services?

AWS accounts through the University offer an educational discount of 11% off the retail prices listed in the AWS Pricing Calculator. The University is not charged for network traffic out to the Internet (egress waiver) as long as this cost does not exceed 15% of the overall bill.

Using AWS

Is AWS right for your project?

We’re always available to sit down and discuss whether AWS is a good fit for your unit’s needs, design solutions, or take feedback on how we can improve.

How do I get AWS access?

When requesting AWS access through Tech Services, you will need a University CFOP and contact info for your billing/business office and IT support staff.

Support and Documentation

AWS Office Hours Monday and Tuesday (10-12 p.m.) Wednesdays (3-5 p.m.) and Fridays (1-3 p.m.)

Office hours are available to anyone! Meet with a member of the Cloud team and an expert from AWS. Ask questions, work through issues, optimize your system, get design guidance, or explore your ideas.

Schedule a 30-minute appointment here. You will automatically be sent a calendar invite as confirmation.

Get help from AWS experts

All university AWS accounts have Enterprise Support. Open a case through your AWS account to get direct help from AWS experts.

Illinois Help Articles

Tech Services has articles and instructions to help you or your IT staff connect AWS with Illinois-specific technologies.

AWS Documentation

Amazon has a library of documentation and user guides for each of the services within AWS.

AWS Resources for Instructors

AWS Academy is an offering from AWS to provide materials to use in the classroom. To learn more about this services and how to sign up as an instructor, see AWS Educate and Academy 

AWS Self-Paced Training and Certifications

AWS offers 3 primary paths for certification: Solutions Architect, Developer, and Systems Opperations. Each of these areas have two tiers of certification. Associates, which are intended for Intermediate (1-2 years experience) skill levels and Professional, which are intended for advanced skill levels (2+ years experience). AWS Educate offers many self-paced tutorials. To learn more about this service, see AWS Educate and Academy.

Solutions Architect

AWS Solutions Architect certification is intended for anyone with experience designing available, cost-efficient, fault-tolerant, and scalable distributed systems on AWS.

Learn more about the AWS Solutions Architect exam and free resources available.


AWS Developer certification is intended for anyone with hands-on experience developing and maintaining an AWS-based application.

Learn more about the AWS Developer exam and free resources available.

Systems Operations

AWS SysOps Administrator certification is intended for system administrators in cloud operations roles to validate technical skills.

Learn more about the AWS SysOps Administrator exam and free resources available.

AWS Free Tier and Credits

AWS offers free usage and credits.

AWS Free Tier

AWS Free Tier is a way to create an account and use some of the AWS resources. Since this account is outside of the Enterprise support that the University receives, you won’t have access to AWS support.


Proof of Concept Projects

AWS Credits for proof-of-concept projects: You can contact Luke Chirhart,, our Account Manager at AWS for some AWS credits to experiment with AWS services toward a research project.

Credits for Research

AWS Credits for Research provides larger amounts of credits for research projects after the proof-of-concept phase.

AWS Activate

AWS Activate provides credits for startups.

Specialty Certifications

In addition to that there are five advanced specialty certifications for specific topics: