Cloud is a buzzword for quite a while and if you are a fresher or an IT professional with no prior experience in the cloud, you must be wondering – how to get into a cloud career? I keep on getting questions like – How do I start learning cloud? Where do I start from? And many more such questions through various platforms.
How are you going to put your foot into the cloud without cloud experience? Is it possible to get into a cloud career with the help of certifications and no experience? Short answer – Yes, if you do it right! How? – Read long…
Here are few suggestions that you should consider in terms of using cloud certification to land a cloud computing job without having the required work experience. But before I get into details, let me answer few questions that is frequently asked.
Why should you start career in the cloud?
Simply, because cloud computing businesses are exploding exponentially and hence the need for skilled cloud professionals is also growing at a rapid pace like never before.
As Google Cloud Reports –
Cloud roles are among the top 10 most in-demand IT roles for 2020.
Cloud salaries are 29% higher than the global average IT salary.
Comprehensively-trained cloud organizations are nearly 3x more likely to achieve their innovation goals.
Every business be it small, medium, or large is considering moving to the cloud if not in whole then at least in parts because of its very nature of elasticity and other significant reasons. CEO Satya Nadella in #MSIgnite said – “The past year has brought the most significant change in our society in modern history.” And – “The cloud has been key to helping the world not only adapt but also innovate.” We have witnessed how the pandemic was a disaster for many in terms of job and financial crisis.
I have frequently seen in my LinkedIn feed about people losing jobs from all sorts of domains however rarely from cloud domain. Yahoo Finance reports, cloud as a future-proof job. “Cloud computing is an incredibly lucrative pillar of the modern economy and has the intense focus of the tech giants of the world,” Sudarshan Sampath, director of research at PayScale.
Even though there is a huge demand of skilled-cloud professionals, we can not ignore the fact that there is huge unemployment too. It’s challenge for employers to sort the right candidate out of thousands of applicants. Not only learning the right skill but standing out in front of recruiters out of those thousands applicants is also your responsibility.
Its your job to make your recruiters work easy, Stand Out! How? Read along…
How to get cloud certification?
Remember! Skills need hands-on practice to master and Cloud is nothing but a hardcore skill. You may pass some cloud certifications even without doing lots of hands-on practice but would that be enough to grab a job! I do not think so. All cloud providers make that task easy for you, by providing free tier services so that you can practice. I am going to discuss the strategy in detail. In short – Learning by doing is the key!
Choose the right certification –
I will contradict myself If I say no cloud certification is wrong. Then what’s the point of saying – choose the right certification? In order to take maximum benefit of limited-time free tier resources/services provided by the cloud service provider, you should choose one at a time, but which one first? It depends on where you are in terms of your career- Are you a fresher student with no IT and cloud work experience OR are you an IT professional having few or many years of experience in other domains but you are new to the cloud.
My answer to both is different but before that here are some common facts about 3 world-leading cloud service provider-
Amazon Web Services
AWS was introduced to the world in 2006 and it is so much bigger than its competitors. AWS has around 33% cloud infrastructure market share followed by its nearest competitor Microsoft Azure around 19%. Not only did Amazon offer one of the first major cloud computing platforms widely available, but it also means that AWS has had a decade to refine and perfect its product as well as build a solid customer base. What do these facts mean to you? This means, bigger the share, the greater the number of employable opportunities and hence good for those getting into entry-level cloud computing jobs.
AWS offers 4-level certifications, starting from foundational, Associate, Professional, and Specialty, all with different scope and prerequisite. If you choose AWS to start with, then I would suggest starting with the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam. AWS learning resources are an awesome and great place to start learning free.
AWS Certifications are some of the highest-paying certifications in the tech domain. You can do simple research by going to job portals and search for AWS openings, you will see the enormous openings there.
The gap between AWS and Microsoft Azure is closing every year. Azure business value has increased like never before in the last year.
Though Azure started publicly in 2010 later than AWS, however, it has been historically the preferred choice for business because of so many obvious reasons. Since most of the enterprises already have some kind of services/agreement with Microsoft, they get easy adoption and discounts when they choose Azure as a provider to adopt cloud.
Microsoft has been extensively working on its certification patterns and it has come with some of the greatest role-based certifications including great free learning resources at Microsoft Learn()
Google Cloud Platform
Starting to learn with AWS and Azure is tempting, however, this also means you that this is tempting for everyone and hence there are plenty of applicants for each requirement. However, if you go with GCP, you are one of the relatively few candidates to specialize in the field.
Keeping the above fact in mind, here are my suggestions –
For Fresher Students –
I would suggest trying with AWS Foundation and Azure Fundamental courses both free from their website and whichever makes you feel comfortable continue with that and leave the another for later learning.
When you choose one, whichever you choose, align few hours of time for daily learning dedicatedly.
Set your free tier lab and try to make maximum out of free benefit that you get from a cloud provider.
For working professional with some IT Experience –
You should check which cloud your organization is using and if you can be part of some shorts of tasks, so that you can align yourself accordingly, and once you have the right skill and there is an IJP(Internal Job Posting). It may be faster or easier ways of jumping into the cloud or sometimes it could be a long exhausting process too.
You can also check with your managers/team to get a corporate subscription to AcloudGuru, Pluralsight, or Udemy. If they provide you access, you can get some of the best premium resources paid by your organization.
But remember, getting internal movement is secondary considerations, gaining skill must be the primary focus.
Certification Paths – Below is the list certification page link of various providers, you can get more details about the certifications(exam cost, course outline, etc.)
How to prepare
Now, coming to the most important part of this article where do I start the training from? Are free resources enough? Should I join some institute to get trained?
Here is my piece – there are two ways of achieving your target – One is free of cost however another is paid and fast-paced.
Learn from Free resources, courses, and free tier Lab
Is it possible? Yes, quite possible. It will require a lot of reading, learning, practice, consistency, and perseverance. Here are some of the greatest free resources that you can start learning-
Microsoft Azure – Microsoft Learn
Microsoft Azure Youtube Channel – For all latest thing in azure
Free Codecamp course Youtube channel – This channel has other courses too, you can look for cloud courses.
Cybrary – Some courses at cybrary are free
Infortified Youtube Channel – This is our channel, not much stuff as of now. Stay connected for upcoming courses coming very soon.
Learn from Paid Resources/Online Courses
• Udemy – Udemy has thousands of courses at affordable prices. You may choose the course having the highest number of enrolments/highest ratings. Here are some of my personal favorite trainers – Ryan Kroonenburg, Stephen Maarek, and Zeal Vora. I have personally learnt a lot from their courses, they are awesome.
• Pluralsight – PluralSight has really good courses, it’s a subscription-based platform. You can start with a free trial.
• LinkedIn Learning – You can find some really nice courses.
• AcloudGuru – If I can refer you to one platform out of all the above, It will be ACloudGuru, only if you can afford it. You may choose if you are a working professional and have enough money or if your organization can sponsor. As a student, you may check for some free courses available.
Get Trained live/virtual from highly qualified trainers/ Microsoft Certified Trainers (Paid)-
You can get trained with exactly what you need to land a job in the cloud domain. Professionals/MCTs(Microsoft Certified Trainers) with their several years of training and industry experiences, help you achieve what you need in a timely manner.
You can check the wide range of classes available on infortified training page.
To schedule a class, Click here
Strategy to get Job
Master the cloud skills supported by your projects –
Learn and do everything that is recommended in the certifications course outline at least. But do not limit yourself from playing on the cloud ground, exploring all the services, features smartly.
Do not forget to switch off or shut down the services as soon as you are done with them in order to get an unnecessary bill from the cloud provider.
Read articles, latest news, trends, and happenings in the cloud. In short BE, AWARE!
Pass the necessary certifications-
Once you have chosen the path, pass at least one role-based certification exam.
Fundamental followed by associate level exam – For example, if you choose Microsoft Azure – then prepare for Azure Fundamental and then one role-based(Developer Associate, Solution Architect Associate, etc.) exam whatever track you are interested in. You can refer to the certification dashboard links mentioned above.
Create a professional Resume
This is the place to show your work! Refer to several resumes, put all the necessary keywords that you have acquired.
Refer to job portals, Naukri, LinkedIn Jobs, and look for the job descriptions. Match your skills with keywords in the JD and put those keywords into your resume. This is how recommendations systems in job portals work, it searches for keywords in JD and looks for matches into your resume, and filters your resume if keywords are matched. This technique will help you stand out from millions of applicants, however, you will get the job only if you have the right skills.
Keep all your social network profile very professional –
This is the information age and your social profile tells a lot. It takes only a few seconds for the recruiter to google and finds out a lot about you. So Build your presence and build it well. Work on every minute detail, be it a photo, headlines, key skills, resume, recommendations, everything matters!
Build Professional Network Connection
Connect with those people on LinkedIn, who are already doing what you want to do. Read their profiles, see closely what they have achieved, what was their journey, check their blogs, channels, podcast, and understand how they did it!
Try not to DM(Direct Message) them for silly questions. It’s not a good practice. If its that urgent, reach out to people with clear cut, crisp and to the point questions(I can not emphasize more).
YOU SHOULD NOT SPAM THE INBOX OF PROFESSIONALS ON LINKEDIN.
Look for Internship/Work for free temporarily
If you are fresher there is nothing wrong in working for internship/or short time free work. This will help you understand real projects and professional environments. If you have the right skills, in most cases internship gets converted into a full-time job offer.
See, it’s not easy to put this much effort, but that’s the point. It’s the highest paying job in the industry, so it will take your efforts in the same proportion. What I can say that if you are ready to put the efforts with consistency, which requires a lot of patience, the result will be rewarding! I wish you all the best in your career endeavor!