6 Steps To Start Your Cloud Career
Firstly, if you have no experience in Cloud-Computing, it can be difficult to know where to start. With many entry-level cloud computing roles requiring some sort of experience, it can be difficult to break in.
Cloud Guru has set out six steps to get you off to a good start.
1. Choose the right cloud computing certification
There are many providers to get certified with, but the top three public cloud providers are.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- The demand for cloud skills is high and outweighs the supply. This is good news for those wanting to get into an entry-level cloud computing role.
- AWS certifications are some of the highest-paying certifications in tech
- There are four levels of certifications and specialities, with different scopes and prerequisites. Make sure to do your homework to know what is expected and determine which AWS certifications are right for you.
- AWS may be the public cloud frontrunner, but the gap is closing. Over the past couple of years, Azure adoption has been increasing in enterprises while AWS adoption remained relatively flat. Businesses continue to adopt Azure as Microsoft pushes hard into the enterprise space.
- Azure has historically been the preferred choice of hybrid deployments and integrates easily with Microsoft solutions businesses have used since the days before the cloud.
- Top-paying Azure certifications include Azure Solutions Architect Expert and Azure Administrator Associate. There are more than a dozen Microsoft Azure certifications, and the Azure Fundamentals certification is the starting point for most.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
- If you want to start a career in cloud computing, it can be tempting to go with AWS as it is the closest thing to a household name in cloud land. But focusing on other cloud providers can mean great things for your career.
- The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification was the highest-paying IT certification for 2019 and 2020.
- GCP certs range from foundational level basics for beginners to role-based certs that tie to some of the most in-demand jobs in the cloud.
Whichever way you choose to go, don’t worry about being locked into a single path. Multi-cloud skills are in high demand, so there’s no problem hopping around between cloud providers and making yourself even more desirable to potential employers.
2. Build your cloud portfolio
Create a portfolio using projects from your training experience. Make sure your work is consistent from one project to the next, as employers want this characteristic. If you use a project from a previous employer or internship, redact confidential information, and show your work. How you got there is just as important as a result. Your certification proves you know — your online portfolio proves you can put it to use. Bring a digital and physical copy of your portfolio to your interview.
3. Have reputable references
Compile a list of former or current supervisors, mentors, and colleagues who can vouch for your knowledge, character, work ethic, and drive. Strong references, a cloud certification, and a strong portfolio can beat candidates with more experience.
Even if you prefer computer networks, your professional network can be more effective in landing a job. Making human connections is a good way to get a sense of what potential jobs might be like, so you’re not throwing your hat in the ring for a gig that you’re going to end up being miserable at.
You’ll also want to start reaching out to people you know. Let them know you’re interested in career opportunities in the cloud and are pursuing training. They can help you find the best training programs, introduce you to other contacts who can help you in your job search, act as references, and help you find projects to expand your portfolio.
If you don’t have a deep network or many contacts in the cloud computing field, proactively find people in your desired field and ask for advice or a meeting (see the video above for more). Build those relationships with a focus on your mutual interest in cloud computing. If you can prove your value to those contacts, they will help you land a job.
5. Be curious enough to play in the cloud
Cloud technology changes so often that a person’s skillset needs to change. Curiosity is an important trait for cloud engineers and can be a bigger asset than experience because it means you’ll take the initiative to grow your skills.
Earning your cloud certification already shows initiative and curiosity. Let curiosity lead you into hands-on experience playing with cloud applications and services.
There are plenty of opportunities to do this for free or with minimal cost. The more hands-on experience you have, even if it’s just playing around, the more you’ll be able to discuss the elements of cloud applications and services. Highlight your curious nature in your interview, and discuss how it led you to gain cloud experience.
6. Show Determination
Don’t give up if you get rejected a few times or fail to land interviews. Commit to your goal and let those rejections drive you to work harder.
As you wait for the right opportunity, stay on top of the latest cloud trends as they are ever-evolving, and keep your skills sharp with cloud labs and exercises. The more you immerse yourself in the cloud community and practice using cloud technologies, the closer you’ll be to landing your ideal job.
Earning a certification proves you know about cloud computing. Your hands-on experience, even if it does not work experience, shows you can implement it. The best cloud engineering jobs are always tough to land, and you will face stiff competition. Earning certifications can give you a competitive advantage, and taking the right steps to ensure you put your knowledge into practice will advance your career. While certification doesn’t guarantee you’ll land your dream job, it will get you closer to it than you are right now.
How can you jump-start your cloud career?
Entry-level cloud Career FAQs
Why should you start a career in the cloud?
Cloud skills are in high demand, to the point where some analysts have said a career in the cloud may be almost future-proof. The future may not be certain, but the path to the present tells a convincing story: cloud computing has been one of and often the single most in-demand hard skills for six years running, according to LinkedIn.
What are the most in-demand skills for cloud computing?
Cloud skills are in high demand across the board, but you can look at some of the top-paying certifications in IT to get a good sense of what employers are (literally) valuing the most.
How to get your cloud certification?
Study! And get hands-on with cloud technology. Learning by doing is key to understanding the cloud. Most cloud providers make it easy to get started with free accounts to play around with. Or, if you’re using a skills development platform like A Cloud Guru, Hands-on Labs and Cloud Playground make it easy to learn by doing without any fears of breaking anything or racking up a huge cloud bill. When you’re ready to get certified, you can now take your exam online or in person, making getting certified on your time easier than ever.
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