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Complex and constantly evolving, cloud computing involves connected technologies that inspire many questions among IT professionals. Companies continue to modernize infrastructures and adopt cloud native development practices and a DevOps culture. As a result, IT and business leaders are identifying extensive gaps in the skills of their teams. A fully trained, certified workforce can prevent companies from making costly mistakes while migrating to the cloud and modernizing company applications and technologies.
Both IT leaders and professionals continue to ask how to best achieve cloud proficiency across the organization. It takes knowledge and skills to adopt cloud technologies, which will save companies and IT professionals hundreds of hours and loads of money.
But how do you get started on the right path toward establishing a cloud-powered career or organization? Below you’ll find answers to the 15 most common questions we hear from organizations and individuals looking to improve their cloud skills and technologies.
Where should I start with cloud training?
Where you start entirely depends on you and your organization’s needs. If you are currently employed in IT, start with training in the specific cloud provider that your company is using. This will enhance your worth to your organization and potentially impact your overall job performance. If you are new to the industry, there are many options available depending on your interests. You can choose between any of the market leaders, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Or, you can choose more niche service platforms, such as Google Cloud or Oracle.
Are any cloud services easier to learn than the others?
Naturally, every cloud service provider will claim that their platform is easy to learn and the most beneficial to users. In reality, learning a new technology greatly depends on your previous experience and knowledge in the field. Azure may be a natural fit if you are familiar with Microsoft products administration or .NET development. AWS or Google might work best if you have a background in Java, Linux, or Red Hat products. If you are new to cloud computing, however, you may want to start with the most basic course possible in the technology that you’re most interested in working with.
How long does it take to become proficient with cloud services?
As with any career, proficiency will vary greatly depending on your job role and the extent to which you will be using a technology. One thing is certain – proficiency will require training and hands-on practice with the tools. While you can take a training class and gain some proficiency in a certain area of cloud computing, you will need to invest in ongoing study and practice to continually improve your cloud skills. If you currently work in a cloud environment, courses that you can immediately apply to your daily work will be the most beneficial to achieve proficiency. If you are considering cloud computing as a career, you can expand your general knowledge with free cloud provider accounts and learning environments to develop these skills. To that end, it’s important to have access to cloud programs after your initial training, which allows you to cement what you’ve learned to memory. Some training programs, like those offered by ExitCertified, give you three months of access after the course has been completed to solidify concepts and the ability to contact an instructor for answers to questions anytime during your course, as well as years after its completion.
How much do entry-level cloud IT jobs pay?
Salaries for cloud computing professionals vary greatly depending on job title and experience level. The average base salary for a cloud architect in the United States is $106,100. Cloud network engineers make approximately $150,800 on average, while cloud database administrators can earn an average of $130,000.1 More specialized cloud computing jobs, such as those in AI, big data and analytics, can start at significantly higher rates, even in entry-level positions.
Can you get a cloud computing job without certification?
The short answer is, yes. There continues to be an industry-wide shortage of candidates that can meet the skills gap employers are experiencing. If you have the right level of experience and aptitude, you can find cloud computing jobs without certification. Cloud certifications can, however, give both your pay and career a boost.2 The other positive thing about certifications is that they prove you have a breadth of knowledge in that program. Plus, getting certification forces you to learn aspects of a program that you may not regularly use on the job.
Is coding required for cloud computing?
This depends on your career goals. Cloud computing encompasses infrastructure, platform, software and services, and relies on professionals for support in data science, business and strategic planning, backup and disaster recovery, cybersecurity and a host of other professional fields. Some of these areas require highly specialized experience and coding skills and others do not.
What skills do you need for cloud computing?
The world of cloud computing provides a range of career opportunities, depending on your level of experience. Professionals who are new to the cloud can explore opportunities in infrastructure and platform architecture, software development, data science and analytics, cybersecurity and more. First, think about the technologies you’re interested in learning. Then, talk to one of our training specialists who can talk with you about your interests and goals to help you determine the best fit for you.
How do I start a career in the cloud?
You can begin by taking single classes, enrolling in a progressive training program or going for a specific certification. You may want to start with a simple introductory course that allows you to learn at your own pace. Once you get farther along, you’ll be better off with instructor-led training, which allows you to ask questions during and after class. The problem with just watching a video is that once you think you may be grasping the concepts being taught, you can’t ask the instructor for confirmation or clarification. You can research online for the answer to your question, but you might not find it. The major cloud vendors offer essential foundational courses that provide a hands-on intro to their platforms. These courses teach terminology and basic instructions to navigate their platform. As you progress in one area and have a better sense of your training needs, you can invest in more in-depth courses and certification programs.
Which cloud certification is best?
The most in-demand cloud certifications include Google, AWS and Azure, and for good reason. Learning the architecture, administration and development aspects of these platforms can give you a competitive edge. It may also be beneficial to obtain certifications in data science, agile processes, DevOps and AI. Deciding which certification to take first (or next) depends on your career goals and the needs of your organization. For many roles, having a mix of certifications in programs that relate to one another can be of particular benefit. This includes certification in multiple cloud programs as well as certification in other areas, such as machine learning and the other emerging technologies listed above. According to one report, IT professionals who hold six or more certifications make $91,643 a year, 8% more than the worldwide average salary. In North America, these certified professionals also receive an average raise of $12,000–$13,000 per year.3
How difficult are cloud certification exams?
Certifications hold value because employers know they’re difficult to earn. If they were easy to earn, more people would take the certification exam after taking one or two courses. But IT certification exams are made to be difficult. Still, you can pass the exams if you study and prepare for them by obtaining extensive experience and theoretical and practical knowledge. The best way to achieve this is through study, such as taking classes through vendor-authorized cloud training partners and organizations like Mirantis, which is known for creating the most high-quality courses available for open source technologies. These types of courses can improve your chances of passing your exam on the first attempt, as they use proven methods that provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to operate the technologies.
Of course, the difficulty of the exam also depends on the level of certification. Some are entry level while others are deeply technical for more professional practitioners.
How much are cloud certifications?
Cloud certification exam costs vary depending on the skill level and vendor, but most cost between $100 and $300.4 Those prices are subject to change, and that is just the price for the exam itself. Any training or practice tests you take are an additional fee, and if you don’t pass the exam the first time, you’ll need to pay to take it again. Taking vendor-approved training can improve your chances of passing the exam. To offset costs, you can ask your employer about having your cloud certifications included as part of your skill development.
Are cloud certifications worth it?
Cloud certifications offer several benefits. In addition to potentially earning more money, you’ll also experience greater confidence in your overall skills and ability to do your job. IT professionals who hold certifications typically can develop solutions more efficiently and troubleshoot better than their non-certified counterparts. Employers feel more confident in their IT employees who hold certifications.5 This trust can lead to better roles within your company – and boost your appeal to potential employers. In one study related to AWS certification, the majority of IT leaders reported that having cloud certified staff resulted in increased productivity, improved security, increased innovation and improved staff retention.6
Can I learn what I need on my own?
Self-education can be a vital component of success and can help you brush up on the basics and stay on top of emerging trends. You can find online courses that fit your schedule and allow for hands-on practice, but be sure to learn from trusted sources. Look for self-paced courses that are led by expert instructors who the cloud vendors have authorized to teach the material. Additionally, evaluate whether self-guided learning is the right choice for you based on your own self-discipline and the ways you learn best. Many people are more successful when they have dedicated a few days to learning a new program or brushing up on skills.
My company is still in the cloud-planning stages. When should I get training?
Once implemented, cloud systems will likely be relied upon to run specific business operations, so it’s never too early to begin to understand those platforms. In fact, requesting training opportunities from your employer can show initiative and dedication to the organization. You may even want to suggest training the entire team at once as an option. Training as a group can greatly improve cloud migration and adoption. Group training also allows you to customize the curriculum to your organizational needs and decide how it is structured (how many days, how many hours per day, start and end times). There also tends to be a cost benefit to training six five or more people at one time.
Where can I find cloud training that will set me apart?
Cloud technologies have caused major transformation in the IT industry, which is a good thing, but they also have created skills gaps for many organizations. ExitCertified partners with all the major cloud platforms — including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Oracle — to help professionals obtain the training they need and achieve certification. We also support private and hybrid cloud training for VMware, Red Hat OpenShift and other tools and frameworks, as well as courses in AI, machine learning, Kubernetes, data science and other emerging technologies. With hundreds of vendor-approved courses — taught through a variety of delivery modalities, including live instructor-led courses, virtual classes and group classes — you can easily find the training you need for your current and ongoing career goals.