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The Key to Choosing the Right Cloud Computing Training for You cover image

If you’re interested in reskilling or upskilling for the sake of a more rewarding career, it’s more than likely you have already checked some online articles and lists of the most relevant specialties. In 2021, barely any such piece can go without mentioning cloud computing: though it didn’t even exist merely two decades ago, it is now a booming industry with an ever-growing demand for certified specialists. The good news is that by selecting and following the right cloud computing training, You can become one in a few months' time!

Before You Make Your Choice

The choice of cloud computing online training programs and resources is pretty vast these days. It’s only natural: the demand is high, there are multiple distinct cloud service providers and platforms – plus, different learners look for different priorities. When choosing cloud computing training, make sure you consider:

  • Your primary goal: do you dream of becoming a professional cloud solutions specialist and architect or just want to learn to use a platform that your workplace is using?
  • Your aim: do you want to simply get to know cloud products and services, or are you planning to become a certified cloud specialist in the near future?
  • Your scope: are you interested in a single cloud platform (and if so, which one – is it AWS, Azure, Google Cloud training you seek?) or wish to start with vendor-neutral cloud computing knowledge?
  • Your learning style: do you prefer to study on your own, or are you more productive when guidance and structure are involved? Do you feel more comfortable learning in a group, or do you seek individual attention and mentorship?
  • Your willingness to invest: would you consider paying more for a stronger training program, or is saving money a priority at the moment?
  • The time you have: can you afford to spend years in a formal education institution, or do you believe good cloud computing training should prove effective fast?

Once you have clear answers to all these questions, the variety of appropriate options will decrease noticeably, and the decision process will get a lot easier. Let’s see which options for cloud computing training are best for various priorities, interests, and needs!

Formal Studies: For Those Who Can Afford Spending Time and Money

Some people firmly believe that there is nothing better than university studies when it comes to learning anything in-depth. There’s no shame in being, let’s say, a bit conservative – however, it’s an option that’s a lot pricier and time-consuming than others.

Enrolling in a college or university program to learn cloud computing might be right for you if:

  • You want to master the field in-depth instead of concentrating on specific platforms
  • You prefer to have a community of learners and educators to rely on anytime
  • You still feel there’s an unmatched value in university diplomas
  • You are in no hurry to start gaining actual work experience
  • You can afford to pay for multiple years of studies

Once you start looking for cloud computing training, you’ll notice there’s not a lot of universities and colleges that offer studies of this type. It’s understandable: cloud computing is a relatively new industry (AWS was the first cloud service provider – and it only launched in 2013!), and planning, building, and approving formal study programs takes time. Here’s a few options you should consider:

  • The University of East London offers BSc (Hons) Cloud Computing studies that are accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS) and include an optional one-year-long placement with a relevant company, letting you gain work experience while you study.
  • At the Torrens University in Australia, you can become a Bachelor of Software Engineering (Cloud Computing). This study program was created in collaboration with IBM and is now taught through an accelerated trimester system, shortening studies’ overall duration from three to two years.
  • Northern Virginia Community College offers a chance to earn an Associate degree in Cloud Computing and prepares you for obtaining various industry certifications – and its transfer agreements with four-year institutions let you go further and work towards a bachelor’s degree.

Don’t forget that even though most university studies are organized online these days due to the pandemic, this won’t last forever – and formal studies are a multiple-year commitment. This means that as you look for cloud computing training programs, you should remember to take the physical location of the institution into consideration.

Alternatively, you could look into IT studies with a focus on cloud computing. Not only are they a lot more widely available, but they also provide you with a much broader scope of job opportunities once you graduate.

Certification-Focused Training: For the Worker Bees

The cloud industry is piping hot now, and it’s not surprising a lot of people want to dive into it as soon as possible. Opting for cloud certification training is a great alternative to formal training if:

  • You want to become an employable cloud specialist as soon as possible
  • You have strong learning skills and motivation to keep moving forward without harsh deadlines
  • You don’t mind investing a little to make sure you get top quality and up-to-date educational content
  • You require little to none personal guidance as you grow professionally
  • You are interested in mastering an exact cloud platform (or a few)

Most cloud certification programs are offered by service providers themselves, which is great for learners: they can always be sure the exams are focused on the latest technologies, expert-made, and constantly updated. The best training for cloud computing certifications needs to have these same qualities – and be comprehensive, clear, and effective on top of that. Here are some of your best options, based on the platform you wish to master:

  • If you’re interested in Amazon cloud training (which is a smart choice, for AWS is an absolute cloud industry leader on a global scale), this AWS Cloud Practitioner certification training course is an excellent place to start. Not only is it comprehensive and made in collaboration with working AWS experts, but it also contains the most up-to-date information: the team launched the course at the end of 2020 and updates the content on a regular basis.
  • Those who are curious about Google Cloud training opportunities should definitely invest some time in this training course. Presented by the Google Cloud Training center and available in 7 languages (subtitles), it allows you to explore the platform in-depth, get ready to pass your certification exam, and advance your career at an incredible speed.
  • Interested in Microsoft Azure? This AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals 2020 is a nice introduction. Built in partnership with Microsoft, it includes all the latest changes to both the platform and the exam pattern, so you don’t need to worry about irrelevant or outdated information.

Understandably, it might get trickier if you start looking for the best training for cloud computing platforms that are smaller and take up a minuscule part of the global cloud market. However, you should be strategic about upskilling: why start with niche players when getting certified with the most widely used platforms can make your resume appealing to a much wider circle of recruiters and employers?

Free Extra Resources: For the Hobbyists and Curious Georges

Suppose you’re merely exploring cloud platforms in your free time without any plans to invest in your knowledge and master the topics on the professional level. In that case, your search for the right cloud computing training is likely to be based on very different priorities. If:

  • You’re not aiming for a cloud-related position in a company or organization
  • You are not planning to take any certification exams or obtain other credentials
  • You’re not sure whether cloud computing is something you’d enjoy
  • You simply like to be aware of the hottest technologies

...then you might just do with free resources found online. They’re far from the best cloud computing training options available, as they’re often incomplete and not as well-rounded, but they’re great for casual exploring and getting to know what’s what!

For your best chance at free cloud computing online training, take a look at:

  • Free Tiers: some cloud platforms, like AWS and Azure, let you use a certain amount of their services for free (resource limits apply, but they’re more than enough for learning). Exploring the platform on your own can be a great way to get to know its offerings – not every, let’s say, Amazon cloud training guide covers a whopping 85+ products and services!
  • Whitepapers (Google Cloud, AWS, Azure): while some believe the best training for cloud computing is practice, a solid theoretical foundation is definitely needed – and that’s where whitepapers step in. While they might feel a bit too dull for, say, daily readings as you prepare for a certification exam, they are a great source of technical information for an independent learner!
  • Forums and discussion boards: the choice is massive – from well-known StackOverflow, Quora, or Reddit to custom groups on social media, and the benefits are immeasurable. You can discuss the issues you face, participate in discussions, network, and even find job/gig opportunities once you feel you’re ready for them!

Make sure you also explore the social media profiles (YouTube, especially – but also Facebook, Twitter, etc.) of the platforms you’re interested in and various cloud computing training providers. They’re often gold mines full of free resources like tips, videos, readings, cheat sheets, and other useful content. If you’re lucky, you can even download free e-books or participate in webinars – talk about free cloud computing online training!

Ready to Start Learning?

You can find strong cloud computing training options for every set of priorities imaginable: the important thing is to clarify those before you begin and not postpone your studying once you pick a reliable source. Whatever your goal is, aim straight at it – we wish you good luck!

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Vaida Jėčienė