How to become a Cloud Computing Professional

With 42% of Australian businesses now migrated to the cloud (a number only set to expand) – it’s no wonder the industry has become a hotspot for new, aspiring tech professionals.

Our industry is currently facing a surging demand for specialised skills in cloud computing, with expertise in cloud security, data management, and Microsoft Azure leading the list of popular industry skills.

Opportunities continue to expand across the globe, with potential salaries reaching as high as six-figures in engineering roles. There’s never been a better time to explore the field, and online training options are plentiful.

Below, we break down the essential steps to becoming a Cloud Computing Professional, and how AIICT’s course can help.

Build the right tech skills and knowledge

The first step to pursuing a cloud computing career is to familiarise yourself with the relevant skills, concepts, technologies of the field. Tools and techniques in the field are rapidly evolving, so it helps to extensive research on current trends and innovations.

As of now, the cloud industry values skilled experts in programming, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, automation, database management, and networking.

It also helps to stay up to date on the latest, most commonly-used platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud. With their worldwide reputation, experience in these environments will likely grant your skills more credibility. Skills built across multiple popular platforms will also grant you the versatility you need to compete in the job market; as well as tend to businesses who often juggle a dynamic mix of cloud vendors, services, and platform types.

Lastly, build yourself a solid grasp of cloud computing fundamentals, these including concepts surrounding virtualisation, deployment models, architecture, and service models. Online courses, such as AIICT’s Cloud Computing Certified Professional program, can come in handy at this stage, equipping you with the necessary expertise through months of in-depth training.

Pursue a certification

Certifications are essential to building credibility as a cloud professional. Once you’ve built the necessary skills and knowledge, earning certifications can verify your experience to potential companies – boosting your employment opportunities.

While certification options run plenty, aim for reputable vendors and industry associations, these including credential programs by Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and CompTIA. Some training providers may already offer set learning paths towards specific certification exams, helping you build your skills and get certified faster.

Plenty of certification programs offer practice tests and study materials to help individuals with their exam preparation. AWS, for example, provides students with detailed exam guides, sample questions, white papers, and “Exam Readiness” training; equipping them for a passing grade and a pleasant test-taking experience.

According to CIO, the most valued cloud certifications of 2020 included Google’s Certified Professional Cloud Architect, AWS’ Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, and Microsoft’s Certified Azure Administrator Associate.

It’s important to note, however, that certifications alone do not guarantee employment. A successful cloud computing career requires plenty of extensive, varied experience – as well as the right business contacts to acquire your desired role.

Build your experience and portfolio

Crafting a substantial portfolio should start in the early stages of training, though it’s never too late to pursue various projects and experiment with new skills after certification.

When setting out your job hunt, a portfolio is necessary to demonstrate your skillsets, industry experience, and creative ideas to potential employers. Degrees and credentials may prove your knowledge, though a quality portfolio proves your application of such concepts.

Pursue as many practical opportunities as possible, and don’t be afraid to venture into new specialty areas. As mentioned, cloud technology evolves quickly – so to maintain your competitive edge, it helps to adapt your skills and experience to these changes. Indulge your curiosity across multiple applications and services, carving yourself a more well-rounded understanding of the elements, processes, and concepts that comprise such systems.

Internships can also help build your network of contacts in the industry, while expanding your practical real-world experience. Additionally, you’ll get to work and learn alongside cloud computing veterans, who may offer more valuable insight into the industry culture and workplace expectations. This also helps you build a list of reputable references who can vouch for your skills, character and work ethic.

Network with other professionals

Tedious as the process may be for many, networking with other cloud professionals is an effective way to expand your business contacts, gain new insights, and build your reputation in the field. Additionally, the process is often key to critical job opportunities, with statistics claiming that 85% of job positions are often filled by networking.

Those new to networking can start out by getting in contact with people they already know. These could include managers or supervisors from past internships, former course mates, and friends or acquaintances in relevant industries. Let them know of your experience and credentials in cloud computing, and ask about opportunities they may have for your skills. Even if they don’t, they’ll likely be able to refer you industry contacts or opportunities elsewhere. If anything else, they add to your list of references for future job applications.

Of course, conferences and networking events are a classic option for getting out and meeting others in your field. You’ll also get the chance to hear the best experts speak, helping you build your knowledge on new cloud computing trends and technologies.

According to Conference Index, Australia is set to experience multiple cloud computing conferences in early 2021; including the International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Computer Engineering (ICCCTCE) and the International Conference on Cloud Computing and Data Management (ICCCDM).

Strengthen your soft skills

Finally, it’s important to hone your soft skills for a successful cloud computing career – these including your interpersonal, leadership, and critical thinking abilities.

Cloud professionals constantly deal with both internal and external stakeholders, making sharp communication skills a necessity. Those in the field must have the management and leadership skills to motivate employees, encouraging them to make quality choices throughout projects. They help colleagues understand the cloud-based needs of an organisation, and assist them with strategic planning and financial decisions.

Additionally, cloud experts with strong negotiation skills are more likely to achieve the best deals with vendors – making this a popularly desired trait among prospective employers.

Critical thinking and analysis skills are also highly sought after, allowing professionals to insightfully measure business costs, application performance, and other business-focused analytics. Such ability helps them make better, faster decisions to drive company growth, as well as improve management and work processes for future projects.

Seeking a career in the cloud?

The cloud computing field is only set to expand, as our country grapples with a currently growing skills gap. There’s therefore no better time to pursue a career in the field – one with plenty of high-paying opportunities and job stability.

The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers a Cloud Computing Certified Professional program to help you get a head start in the industry. Providing students with a comprehensive training experience, the course aims to equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to start pursuing a fulfilling cloud career.

Best of all, the program is delivered completely online – helping you tailor your studies according to personal needs and schedule.

Dive into in the growing world of cloud computing, and enquire with us today!