Even though the pandemic has accelerated cloud adoption through 2020 into 2021, the leading cloud providers recognised the potential and benefits of the cloud long before the events of the last twelve months; they have been planning for some time now. They are preparing the future workforce is ready to help them realise the potential of their cloud, in a competitive landscape.
So, how are they doing that?
AWS, Microsoft, and Google all have education programs, to train those who aspire to work, research, teach or learn in the cloud. As a leading cloud provider, why wouldn’t you cultivate and prepare a workforce in skills and competencies for your cloud? Gartner predicts that worldwide spend on public cloud for 2021 to be $304 million, in 2019, pre-pandemic, it was $242 million – a 26% increase. Clearly, the demand for skilled cloud personnel is already there, and as the cloud updates and its adoption expands year on year, the demand for skilled employees and users of their cloud infrastructure is only getting bigger. In 2013 a McKinsey study predicted that the following industries would disrupt the world’s technologies and transform our lives, businesses, and the global economy:
- Automation of knowledge
- Internet of things (IoT)
- Cloud technologies
During the pandemic lockdown, the world shifted to a virtual workplace and adopted virtual learning applications such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Moodle, and many other applications. I think now after this year, even when we look to a future, where we hopefully can once again meet face to face, we will still rely on and use these remote collaborations and learning tools. 2020 is looking like a seminal year for the mass adoption of the cloud.
Even before the pandemic, the leading cloud providers AWS, Microsoft, and AWS had already predicted the growth of cloud tech and they have been preparing learning and career pathways for students and educators to help them achieve it.
The cloud providers are offering courses and materials to make a pathway to specific cloud skills that students, teachers, researchers, and technologists will need in those areas e.g., infrastructure engineering, machine learning, or data science to name a few. They provide assessments and tests, which results in recognisable accreditations and can even lead to opportunities to apply for roles in their organisations.
Cloud Role-based certifications are a credible endorsement of skills and knowledge, even if they cannot replace experience and aptitude, they help start careers in the cloud and help established employees move further along their career paths.
Here are some examples of what the main cloud providers are doing around the training for cloud careers:
Google for students provides career development playlists, and hands-on labs, a career readiness program for advanced training, certification discounts, and employment opportunities through a guided, 16-week curriculum. Google also offers programs such as The Google Summer of Code (GSoC) program.
AWS Educate offers cloud career pathways where students can follow pathways aligned to in-demand job roles such as Data Scientist or Cybersecurity. AWS even partners with academia to integrate cloud-related learning into the institution’s curriculum for a cloud computing degree or certificate.
Microsoft Imagine Academy offers courses that lead to certifications to prepare students for college and careers with on-demand, industry-recognised courses and certifications in IT, computer science, productivity, and more. It also provides educators with the latest technology curriculum, guidance, resources, and complimentary certification exam vouchers.
As cloud technologies continue to grow and evolve, I can only see cloud education offerings like these play a more integrated role in societies learning streams. Our skill sets will need to adapt and evolve in preparation for the cloud of tomorrow.