Today, we’re kicking off a series of three blog posts about career pivots—more specifically, how organizations and individuals succeed at building cloud skills that propel careers and business transformation.
In December, AWS announced we will help 29 million people around the globe grow their technical skills with free cloud-computing skills training. As AWS Training and Certification, we’re committed to supporting the future workforce—and that workforce is projected to grow. Burning Glass Technology, a labor-market analytics company, forecasts jobs that require cloud skills in the US will see a 28% growth in the next five years.
We’ve seen some inspiring stories over the past year of organizations investing in upskilling their workforce and individuals taking steps to prepare for a cloud-related role. Learning and building new skills is how these stories start. Often, the learner then pursues external validation of skills through industry certification, which is both a motivator and a means of recognition.
AWS offers 11 cloud-related certifications to individuals with experience in areas like cloud architecture, cloud-based application development, operating systems, networking, machine learning, cloud security, and more. The number of individuals investing time in building AWS skills and then validating those skills with an AWS Certification has grown significantly. As of August 2020, more than 400,000 individuals hold active AWS Certifications—a number that grew more than 85% between August 2019 and August 2020. And yet, companies are still looking for cloud talent: a report from 451 Research shows that 90% of IT decision-makers report cloud skills shortages.
AWS customers, such as National Australia Bank, BP, and VNR, have trained their teams and supported them in achieving AWS Certification as part of cloud initiatives, migrations, and upskilling programs. AWS Partners, such as Accenture, World Wide Technology, and CloudCheckr, have built their cloud-based teams and achieved AWS Competencies through focused learning and certification programs. Higher-education institutions, such as Miami-Dade College, have implemented a cloud-computing curriculum from AWS with milestones for certification built in to help their students prepare for cloud-related jobs.
At the same time that organizations are upskilling their teams, we’ve also noticed individuals stepping out on their own to build cloud skills and pioneer a new path for their careers. Motivated by a desire to get staffed on a cloud project at their company, find a new job after a layoff, or future-proof their IT resume, aspiring builders can also use AWS Certification as a milestone on their way to achieving their personal goal.
Here are two examples of AWS Certified individuals who set out on a mission to pivot to the cloud.
J Dana Eckart, now a senior solutions architect at Vistra Corp., started his AWS journey after being laid off in April 2020 due to the pandemic: “I quickly realized that the job market was going to be real tight. With lots of extra time on my hands, it was the perfect opportunity to learn more details about the cloud. I chose to focus on AWS because I figured it would provide the most opportunities in my job search.”
Dana started learning and set goals to earn specific AWS Certifications as milestones. “Each time I passed an AWS Certification exam, I really found that things had clicked for me,” said Dana. “Everything just fell into place, and my confidence in my own knowledge grew. Ultimately, the AWS Certifications I got played a big role in finding my current job.”
For others, like Maciek Trzeciak, AWS Certifications can be motivating as a personal challenge. Maciek says, “I wanted a career change. While I was exploring possible paths, I quickly realized that cloud technologies are rapidly becoming the way to go for businesses in almost all industries. Cloud felt like a natural career choice for the years to come and getting certified sounded like a fun and achievable challenge to take up.”
Maciek used the AWS Free Tier to get some hands-on experience with the AWS Cloud while learning. A few weeks after earning AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, he was offered the cloud job he was looking for. He’s now in a DevOps role at an AWS Partner organization, kreuzwerker. Maciek noted, “Getting certified was a game-changer for me.”
If you’ve been wondering if now is the time to build your fundamental cloud knowledge for free with AWS Training and Certification, we encourage you to ask, “Why not?” By starting to build your cloud knowledge now, you can grow with the cloud as more companies, from startups to large enterprises to government agencies and more, move to the AWS Cloud to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster. You can earn one (or more) of the 11 industry-recognized AWS Certifications to highlight your achievements along the way and be ready for your organization’s next cloud initiative—or even that next job interview.
If you’re considering your own career pivot, check out the AWS Cloud Pivot Playbook or sign up for our Global Kick-Start: Get AWS Certified Challenge.
TAGS: AWS Certification, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, AWS Cloud, AWS Cloud Pivot Playbook, AWS Free Tier, cloud careers, Cloud Practitioner, cloud skills, cloud training, digital training, Free training, Get AWS Certified Challenge, on-demand training, Solutions Architect, Twitch, Virtual Training