6 Steps To Start Your Cloud Career

If you have no experience in Cloud-Computing, it can be difficult to know where to start, or how to get your foot in the door and kickstart your career. With many entry-level cloud computing roles requiring some sort of experience, it can be difficult to break in.

Cloud Guru have set out 6 steps, which will get you off to a good start.

1. Choose the right cloud computing certification

There are many providers to get certified with, but here are the top three public cloud providers.

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 entry-level cloud computing role.
  • AWS certifications are some of the highest-paying certifications in tech, appearing the most in job board search results for cloud careers.
  • There are four levels of certifications and specialties, with different scopes and prerequisites. Make sure to do your homework to know what is expected and determine which of the AWS certifications is right for you.

Microsoft Azure

  • 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 been using since the days before the cloud.
  • Top-paying Azure cetifciatons include Azure Solutions Architect Expert and the Azure Administrator Associate. There are more than a dozen Microsoft Azure certifications to choose from, and the Azure Fundamentals certification is the starting point for most.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

  • If you are looking 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 out there in cloud land. But focusing on other cloud providers ca mean great things for your career.
  • The Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification was the highest paying IT certification out there 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 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 make 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 this is a characteristic employers want. Redact any confidential information if you use a project from a previous employer or internship, and show your work. How you got there is just as important as the end result. Your certification proves you have knowledge — your online portfolio proves you can put it to use. Be sure and 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 coupled with a cloud certification and a strong portfolio can beat candidates with more experience.

4. Network 

Even if you prefer computer networks, your professional network can be more effective in landing you 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 on this). 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 a person’s skillset needs to change with it. 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 you 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 have the knowledge for cloud computing. Your hands-on experience, even if it’s not work experience, shows you can put it into action. 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 a certification doesn’t guarantee you’ll land your dream job, it will definitely 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 a point where some analysts have said a career in cloud may be almost futureproof. 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 6 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. 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.