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Land cloud computing jobs: Cloud certifications and skills to get

Cloud leaders Prasad Rao, Ashish Prajapati, and Lucy Wang answer FAQs to help you learn cloud skills, earn certifications, and land cloud computing jobs.

Jul 1, 2024 • 6 Minute Read

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  • AWS
  • Cloud
  • IT Ops
  • Professional Development
  • Learning & Development

The cloud is so vast that there’s no shortage of topics to learn. But that can make finding your starting point all the more difficult. 

Luckily, Prasad Rao, AWS Principal Solutions Architect; Ashish Prajapati, AWS Senior Technical Instructor; and Lucy Wang, Founder of Tech with Lucy, are here to share their cloud career tips. They share their advice for earning cloud computing jobs, including cloud skills, certifications, and learning strategies.

Missed Tech Skills Day or need a refresher? Not a problem—watch the replay.

Table of contents

What is the basic knowledge required to learn cloud computing?

Start learning fundamental cloud computing concepts and skills before diving into niche topics or emerging technologies like AI. 

“Before jumping the gun, ensure that you have the fundamentals sorted, especially for people who are coming from non-technical backgrounds,” said Prasad. “Understand core services, compute, databases, networking, security. . . . Once you know these, then it will be easier for you to advance.”

As Ashish noted, “You can't build a tall building without having a solid foundation, and the same applies to a career, your knowledge, [and] your skills.”

Do I need specialized cloud skills?

As you learn cloud basics, you’ll uncover the areas that interest you most. This can help you determine your cloud computing career and direct your future learning efforts.

“Cloud is such a vast space that you have to pick and choose the kind of specialty you would like to go [into],” explained Prasad. “You might go into infrastructure management. In that case, you might think about IaC tools for automation. You might want to go into DevOps, then you need to choose [what to learn] accordingly.”

Focusing on a specialized area of cloud can also set you apart from other applicants when you’re ready to apply for cloud jobs. “Cloud skills are still in demand. If you can pair that foundational knowledge with something that you're interested in, for example, security, AI, anything like that, that can also help cloud learners stand out,” said Lucy.

What soft skills do I need for cloud computing jobs?

You’ll need soft skills for a cloud computing career, whether you become a cloud architect, cloud engineer, or cloud security specialist. The exact soft skills you need will vary depending on your role, but focusing on the customer will help you determine which skills to hone.

“There's so many things that can be done in the cloud, but understand what the requirements are for the customers and work backwards from there. Think about how you can add value. And that's where your problem solving and analytical skills come into the picture. That's where your communication and collaboration come into the picture,” said Prasad.

Ready to start applying for cloud jobs? Get tech job resume and interview tips.

Are cloud certifications worth it?

When it comes to cloud certifications, some people say they’re extremely important and some say they’re useless. What’s the truth? 

“Certifications do two things. They first provide you with a clear structured roadmap for you to learn everything you need to learn to build a good cloud foundation. But also, [they help] you with extra credibility,” explained Lucy.

“Sometimes when you're applying to companies, when they see that you have a certification, it could be a bonus for the resume, especially if you haven't had previous cloud experience.”

But don’t consider them the only option for landing cloud computing jobs. “If people rely too much on certifications, then they're focusing too much on the theory, which means that they might not have actually had experience with building things and actually implementing or seeing these services in the console at all,” added Lucy.

That’s why it’s important to augment certifications with hands-on experience. Build a web application or complete a hands-on project like the cloud resume challenge to showcase on your resume.

Which cloud certification is best?

If you’re a cloud beginner with a non-technical background, Lucy recommends earning foundational certifications in one of the three major cloud providers:

If you already have technical experience or want to challenge yourself, move to the associate level certifications.

Is it good to get multiple cloud certifications?

It’s always impressive when people hold multiple certifications. But the types of certs you earn—and how relevant they are to the cloud computing jobs you want—are more important than the sheer number you have.

Ashish advises starting with foundational certifications and then moving on to more specialized certifications based on your interests. “If I'm more into analytics, if I'm more into security, if I'm more into networking, I would look for those certifications rather than being in a rat race where I am just pursuing certifications without understanding what they are,” he said.

If you still want to earn ten cloud certifications in three months, go for it! Just consider the renewal process. “After three years, all ten will expire at the same time. Are you willing to renew those ten certifications in that time frame again?” asked Ashish.

Most of us have limited learning time. Maximize the long-term value of your certifications by focusing on those most relevant to your desired cloud role.

Get advice from folks who used certifications as a launching pad to a cloud computing career

Do I need a mentor to get cloud computing jobs?

A cloud computing career mentor isn’t necessary, but having one can help you make the most of your learning and offer support and encouragement.

“If you can, try to find a mentor along the journey,” said Lucy. “It's not completely necessary, but it definitely helps you try to figure out what to learn and what not to learn and how to just optimize your journey.”

If you can’t find a mentor, try to get involved in the cloud community in other ways. “You can go on to and then look at the different events out there. Different cloud companies also have summits and conferences throughout the year, sometimes in your local area as well.

"So that's something I would recommend doing, like going there and also trying to network and meet people who are at a similar journey and career stages as you potentially with similar goals,” said Lucy.

How important is social media for getting a cloud job?

Social media can be a valuable tool to showcase your skills to potential employers and connect with the cloud community. As you learn, share your progress on social media like LinkedIn. 

“The community is so supportive that if you are doing something right, they would be giving you a thumbs up and rallying behind you,” said Prasad. “Let’s say you've done a very basic three tier web setup, and you have shared the step-by-step process that you have done. People would be coming up with both a positive response and constructive feedback about what you can do better. 

“And that really helps. It helps not only for you to gain understanding, but also it helps you in [gaining] the visibility that would be required for breaking into the cloud. . . . Potential employers are watching you when you're sharing the little nuggets of wisdom that you have gained while you're on that journey. They would see that you're actually doing the practical hands on.”

Learn how Caitlin Carpenter used social media to share her upskilling journey.

How do I start learning cloud skills?

Start your cloud learning journey with a free trial of Pluralsight Skills. Gain access to hundreds of cloud courses, hands-on labs, and certification prep.

Want all of Prasad, Ashish, and Lucy’s advice for cloud computing jobs? Check out their session on demand.

Pluralsight Content Team

Pluralsight C.

The Pluralsight Content Team delivers the latest industry insights, technical knowledge, and business advice. As tech enthusiasts, we live and breathe the industry and are passionate about sharing our expertise. From programming and cloud computing to cybersecurity and AI, we cover a wide range of topics to keep you up to date and ahead of the curve.

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