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4 steps for students to get from the classroom to a cloud career

The secret to starting a cloud career isn’t in any particular degree. Here are 4 ways to set yourself up for success and go from the classroom to the cloud.

Jan 05, 2024 • 4 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Learning & Development

The secret to jump-starting your cloud career isn’t in pursuing any particular degree. But as a student, how do you plot a path to a career in the cloud? 

Here are four ways to set yourself up for career success and go from the classroom to the cloud.

1. Figure out what’s in demand in your market

Consider A Cloud Guru student Thad McMullen. Thad doubled his salary in 3 months going from a help desk job to cloud career with ACG. 

How did he do it? 

He started by learning the ins and outs of cloud with ACG — and doing his homework to figure out what skills would be most worth investing his time in learning.

“I looked online for in-demand skills in cloud engineering and architecture and put myself out there and contacted people I knew to get my finger on the pulse of the market,” Thad said. 

Between his research, looking at job postings, and sitting in interviews, he came to the conclusion that containers and container orchestration tools were the most commonly assessed skills in his market, followed by having a strong base and understanding of Linux.

Check out lists like the most popular DevOps skills people are learning or look at job listings at companies you’d like to work for. By doing a bit of homework, you can see what skills and specialties are in demand in your market. 

2. Get your hands dirty cloudy

Getting hands-on with the cloud is the only way to really learn cloud. It can also be key to landing your first cloud job.

See what you can do for free with AWS, Azure, or GCP. Try out some of ACG’s Hands-on Labs. Tackle a Cloud Guru Challenge. Or experiment risk-free in ACG's Cloud Playground to get your private playground in the public cloud. 

With Cloud Playground, you can gain invaluable experience working directly with today’s leading cloud platforms. Cloud along with courses, use Cloud Playground to support class assignments, or go off-script and free-range your way to new skills. Use real AWS, Azure, and GCP environments to build and test, take new features for a spin, and break stuff without having to worry about the consequences. 

Whatever you do, just get out there and play with cloud. Because first you’re playing with cloud, and then you’re getting paid to cloud.

3. Begin building a network

When you look at companies you’d love to work for, see if you know anyone who works there. (Or someone who knows someone.) Talk to those people. 

If you don't have any connections to those companies — or don’t have many contacts in cloud period — try connecting with people you don’t know (yet) in your desired field. 

Don’t beg for a job. Build bridges. Take people out for coffee. Let them give you advice. Share a project (perhaps something you’ve done for a Cloud Guru Challenge) and ask for feedback.

Check out our lists of builders you should follow (and connect with) in DevOps, AWS, Azure, and GCP. Or read more about how building up a network is one of the best ways to find a cloud job.

4. Keep up to date on all the things

Cloud changes all the time. Keep up with cloud trends and stay up to speed on the latest in all things cloud for free with ACG’s original series, including:

Set yourself up for career success with the ultimate cloud learning at an unbeatable price

Whether you’re looking for the best AWS training for beginners or a library of hands-on learning to build DevOps skills, A Cloud Guru has you covered.

Want to audit ACG for a bit and see if it’s right for you? Check out our current list of free courses. Or start a free trial and hit the cloud running with full access to our massive library of hands-on cloud learning.