Cloud technology is a constantly evolving industry. If you don’t add new skills on a regular basis, you’re likely to get left behind. There’s no time like the present to get started—but how do you decide what to study? And how much time will it take?
This article will guide you to some of our top recommendations for broadening your cloud foundational skills, keeping up to date with short-form content, and areas to deepen your knowledge.
In this article
Choosing what to study
As an IT professional, you come to this platform with a lot of technical skills and understanding. This gives you valuable insight to how the underlying tech of cloud works and the business implications of features or restrictions. To build on that, you need to consider where to focus your efforts, and how much time you can afford to invest.
Whether you’re a total beginner, or versed in at least some cloud tech, many learners’ first inclination is to go deep with a vendor they're familiar with and become a specialist. Although this option may result in more lucrative career opportunities, it also brings the risk that you may become isolated if that specialty skill or vendor loses traction in your company or the industry.
Another option is to go wide. Become well-versed in multiple vendors' offerings so you can recommend the services that best support your clients' or company's needs.
A third option is to combine the two strategies and go deep in a particular service area across multiple vendors to best understand their pros and cons, and how to seamlessly integrate between them.
Whichever direction of study you choose, we recommend that you start with a broad overview of cloud technologies, as well as how to study. While these courses may seem a bit basic, it's important to reinforce your foundation and help put your understanding of the different vendors' services in context. Additionally, learning how to study and prepare for vendor certification exams will help you maximize your time investment and get the most value out of your courses.
A good foundational resource for improving your study efficiency and exam strategies is the AWS Certification Preparation Guide (opens in new tab). Regardless of where your cloud journey takes you, the techniques it teaches should help you prepare for any future certification exams you plan to take from any vendors in the industry.
Also, consider the following cloud foundational courses:
- Cloud Computing Foundations (opens in new tab)
- Introduction to AWS (opens in new tab)
- Introduction to Azure (opens in new tab)
- Crash Course on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) (opens in new tab)
When you’ve completed these courses, you’ll have a good idea of what cloud encompasses. This will put you in a good position to run though short-form material and follow the content.
With a solid foundation in place, you can self-pace with short material designed to help you keep up with the latest industry developments. Keep an eye out for product areas that are expanding. This is generally a good indication that cloud vendors see them as growth areas and are investing in new services to capture those markets.
Here are a few resources to brush up on cloud when you don't have a lot of time:
- See the course catalog (opens in new tab) for links to the latest courses.
- Check out a few cloud webinars (opens in new tab).
- Follow blog posts (opens in new tab) from industry experts.
- Take the Mastering the AWS Well-Architected Framework (opens in new tab) course.
- Check out our hands-on labs library (opens in new tab) to get more hands-on experience.
- Become familiar with the Help Center and Community Forums (opens in new tab).
Deeper technical content
Ready to take a deep dive into cloud? Whether you take a learning path, pursue a certification, or use the ACG course catalog as a technical library to access individual lessons in a variety of areas, the choice is yours for where to focus next. Here are just a few suggestions to consider:
- Study for and take any Associate-level exams you haven’t completed yet.
Practice Hands-on Labs (opens in new tab) to solve real-world cloud challenges in a risk-free environment.
- Red Hat Certified System Administrator (opens in new tab) or Linux Professional Institute (opens in new tab) certifications to build your Linux skills.
- DynamoDB (opens in new tab).
- CloudFormation (opens in new tab).
- Docker (opens in new tab).
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional (opens in new tab) (advanced).
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional (opens in new tab) (advanced).
- Azure learning paths (opens in new tab).
- Google Cloud Platform learning paths (opens in new tab).
- AWS Specialty exam courses (opens in new tab).
No matter where your studies take you, good luck on your cloud journey!
If you need help, please contact Pluralsight Support.