Person standing on a ladder reaching up for paper clouds that are hanging down suspended by string. Blue background.
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Cloud computing: What you need to know about upskilling and starting out

5 May 2023

Cloud computing has been around for a while now, but it is an increasingly useful area to work in as most organisations store data in the cloud.

A career in cloud computing requires some level of technical skill, but with the vast array of resources available, it’s pretty easy to pick up the skills you’ll need to work in the area.

One thing you will need is a cloud skills certification, however. Before we take a look at a few of the many courses that can boost your skills and provide you with certification, let’s look first look at the skills you need for this career and why they are attractive to employers.

Why cloud skills?

Of all the areas to work in, cloud computing is one that constantly needs fresh talent. This is because it is so widely used by businesses to store and secure data.

All kinds of industries have migrated to the cloud because the benefits are myriad. It makes it easier for companies operating remotely to store data in one digital location that can be accessed by any employee no matter where they are. It is also easy to back up and sync data automatically to the cloud.

To upskill in the area of cloud computing, you will need to familiarise yourself with the big three cloud service providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

These big providers act as vendors and have much of the cloud computing market covered. If you know one of the big three in depth, those skills will stand to you when you apply for a job.

Technical skills

To work in cloud computing, these are some of the technical skills you should learn:

A great way of learning these skills is by doing a course on one of the many online education platforms like Simplilearn, Udemy, Pluralsight or Coursera.

The Complete Cloud Computing Course for Beginners on Udemy is a good bet to cover the basics and give you an overview of what you need to know.

If you’re a crammer, then there are lots of YouTube videos on various cloud computing topics out there, such as Simplilearn’s six-hour cloud computing tutorial video from earlier this year.

Get cloud certified

As mentioned previously, certification is very important for cloud computing and a lot of employers will look for it as a way of making sure you’re fully qualified.

For this reason, if you’re serious about a career in cloud computing, it is a good idea to learn from one of the major cloud services providers.

AWS’ learning library has many short courses ranging from fundamental to advanced learning, such as Cloud Operations on AWS, AWS Cloud Essentials for Business Leaders and AWS Cloud for Finance Professionals.

Likewise, Google Cloud provides training programmes. Its foundational certification does not require learners to have previous tech knowledge but it also has professional certifications for those who want to branch into cloud careers like cloud DevOps engineer, cloud database engineer and cloud architect.

And Microsoft runs courses on its cloud platform Azure, too.

Networking (in the non-technical sense)

Of course, online learning paths are not the only way to upskill in cloud technologies. You can also build your network and find people who work in tech to provide moral support and learn from their experiences of how to get into certain areas of cloud computing.

In Ireland, there are lots of different cloud community meet-ups happening on a semi-regular basis. Unfortunately, most seem to be happening in Dublin, but if that’s too far to travel, there are many webinars and international cloud-related events that are streamed online.

Cloud Academy’s last event, AWS re:Invent 2022, was held in Nevada but streamed online. In fact, Cloud Academy is a great all-round resource for cloud enthusiasts. As well as events and resources, it provides learning paths for various cloud careers and hands-on exercises to test the new skills you learn.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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