Learn Cloud Computing: Importance, Skills, and Training Paths

Cloud computing was a fast-growing part of the global technology ecosystem long before COVID-19. The increase of work-from-home arrangements in companies around the world during the pandemic turbocharged its adoption.

The market for cloud computing, which was valued at about $370 billion in 2021, is expected to maintain a fast growth trajectory and rise by nearly 16% per year through 2030, according to Grand View Research. Anyone interested in boosting a technology career or switching to technology should explore programs to learn cloud computing and other essential tech skills.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet. Services such as storage, computing capacity, databases, and applications can be ordered on demand and paid for as they’re used or for a specific period as determined by a contract.

An example of how cloud computing differs from traditional computing is Microsoft’s suite of office products. With the stand-alone Microsoft Office, users have had word processing, spreadsheet, and other applications on their computers in a software program for which they’ve paid a flat fee. With Office in Microsoft 365, users have access to the same applications from anywhere they have an internet connection. They pay by subscription.

As it happens, Microsoft Azure is one of the “Big Three” cloud computing providers, along with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Together, they control about 65% of the cloud market, according to Synergy Research Group.

Users of cloud-computing services include streaming giants (Netflix), email providers (Gmail), corporate software providers (Salesforce), and financial service providers (banks).

In determining what cloud computing is, understanding that it isn’t a single technology is helpful. Rather, it comprises a series of technologies, such as networking gear, databases, and storage equipment, as well as software for managing it all.

3 Type of Clouds

Cloud computing environments are divided into three types: private, public, and hybrid.

  • Private clouds are operated for specific customers. A company can have its own data center or rent a set of servers dedicated to its use and operated by a third party.
  • Public clouds offer cloud services over the internet to anyone who wants to sign up to use them. Third parties that provide the cloud infrastructure operate them.
  • Hybrid clouds combine features of private and public clouds. A company might rely on its private cloud for information with high-security requirements while using a public cloud for public-facing services.

An entity that wants the most control over its cloud would use a private cloud, which requires more technology, more people, and more money to operate. A public cloud outsources all that to a third party. Other organizations split the difference somewhere along the private-public cloud continuum.

3 Types of Services

Cloud computing delivers three types of services to users.

  • Software as a service (SaaS) offers software applications through the cloud. Users access and work with the applications from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) delivers a range of services — from storage to operating systems — over the internet, usually on an on-demand basis. The model offers flexibility to clients that can scale up or down as needed.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) provides customers with tools and software for developing software over the internet. As with other cloud offerings, software developers can access the tools from anywhere.

Uses and Benefits of Cloud Computing

The seemingly unlimited uses of cloud computing have led to big companies, small businesses, organizations, government agencies, and other entities adopting it. A small list of what they can use cloud computing for includes the following:

  • File storage
  • Big data analytics
  • Data backup and archiving
  • Disaster recovery
  • Software testing and development
  • Communication
  • Social networking

In addition to those uses, cloud computing has become a dominant area of technology because it offers organizations productivity gains (workers across an organization can work from anywhere, a point that COVID-19 has driven home) and greater security (protocols built into cloud computing systems enhance data security). Other benefits of cloud computing include the ability to quickly ratchet up computing capacity with just a few clicks and energy efficiency, as cloud computing service providers generally build and run data centers to be energy efficient.

Why Learn Cloud Computing?

Technology forecasters predict that cloud computing is just getting revved up. Cloud service providers are adding elements like artificial intelligence and machine learning to their offerings, and client companies are moving more of their operations to the cloud. For information technology (IT) professionals, it’s a good time to learn cloud computing for various reasons.

  • Flexibility. Although each cloud system is different, some universal ideas can be carried from one cloud to another. This offers IT professionals in cloud computing latitude to choose who to work for and where.
  • Remuneration. Cloud computing programmers and engineers command healthy salaries. The proper skills can land salaries of $100,000 and higher for experienced professionals.
  • Job availability. As more companies move operations to the cloud, more jobs will be available on the client and provider side of the cloud equation.
  • Challenging work. Getting cloud computing services isn’t just plug and play; a lot of problems need to be solved along the way. Developers who relish exacting work can find it in the cloud.

Cloud Computing Training Options and Skills

As you explore options for how to learn cloud computing, the following is a list of recommended cloud computing skills to seek:

  • Programming
  • Databases
  • Security and privacy basics
  • Agile development
  • Operating systems
  • Networking basics

Institutions throughout the technology education universe offer cloud computing training. They range from community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities to graduate programs, cloud computing providers, and independent providers.

Tutorials and Videos

If you want to get a taste of cloud computing, then online tutorials and video presentations can offer you information about it. They range from short videos to video series that amount to courses in cloud training. You can spend as little or as much time with these courses as you want. However, there might be little chance for feedback on what you’re learning.

Formal Education

In a more formal education setting, classroom instruction is available as part of a general college curriculum. Many institutions also offer short courses and bootcamps to get students up to speed on cloud computing. However, all of these options may be expensive and time consuming.

Technology Education Providers

Companies focused on the education technology market offer a range of programs that include training in cloud computing and other skills. They usually offer instructional options that can fit many lifestyles, such as people looking to bolster their tech skills or seeking a new career.

With Revature’s model, individuals receive customized training from experts while getting paid to learn skills that are in high demand with employers. Following training, Revature associates are placed in positions with partnering tech companies. Individuals at every level, including those who’ve already completed their college education, can participate to help with their job search or career switch.

Cloud Computing Service Providers

The major cloud service providers, including AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure, offer some education and training in their cloud systems. Most of this content is available on their websites.

Certifications

Cloud service providers also offer certifications in their systems and offer their own certification programs. Some certifications can be gained through independent sources as well, such as via Revature’s training programs. Certifications confirm that the holder is proficient in that technology.

Major cloud provider certifications include the following:

AWS

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner. This is a certification for those early in their cloud career; it provides a broad perspective of AWS cloud offerings.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate. This certification is for those with experience in producing web applications as well as those who’ve used AWS services for at least a year.
  • AWS Certified Developer -Associate. This certification is for programmers and developers who produce cloud-native applications. It provides training in AWS central services, architecture, development, and deployment.
  • AWS Architect Professional. This certification is the highest and most difficult AWS certification; it requires a strong background and understanding of the AWS cloud.

Microsoft Azure

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals. The certification offers the basics of Microsoft Azure’s concepts.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert. This certification is aimed at programmers with experience as well as developers and DevOps professionals. It demonstrates an ability to work with networking, storage, security, and other elements of Microsoft Azure.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate. This certification enables IT administrators and support to gain an understanding of cloud components such as storage and security.

Google

  • Google Associate Cloud Engineer. This certification enables IT pros to run applications, track operations, and manage cloud functions.
  • Google Professional Cloud Architect. This certification enables workers to gain an understanding of cloud architecture and GCP.

General Cloud Technology

  • CompTIA Cloud+. This vendor-neutral certification is designed for workers with several years of cloud computing experience. It covers cloud resource management, deployment and configuration, cloud security, system maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Job Outlook and Pay

Employment in computer and IT is projected to grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average growth for all jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That works out to a total of about 667,600 new jobs. Cloud computing, big data storage and analysis, and information security are the leaders in creating the high demand for IT workers.

IT jobs outpaced the overall average in salary as well as job growth. The median annual salary for experienced IT workers was $97,430 in May 2021, according to the BLS.

A 2022 technology jobs survey from Robert Half listed network/cloud architect and network/cloud engineer among the highest-paying IT jobs.

Establish a Career in Tech

Companies of all sizes around the world are spending heavily to move to cloud computing or expand their cloud capabilities. Gartner forecasts spending on public cloud services to reach more than $495 billion in 2022, a 20% increase from 2021. Spending is expected to reach almost $600 billion in 2023.

This is a great time to learn essential tech skills such as cloud computing and consider a technology-related profession.

Revature centers its attention on enabling a diverse range of job seekers to find their paths to meaningful careers. With Revature, associates can learn the tech skills that are in demand, as well as critical soft skills, while earning compensation. Discover Revature’s innovative process that equips the next generation of tech professionals with the right tools.

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