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How to use cloud certifications to resolve the skills gap

Only 8% of technologists have extensive experience with the cloud. Learn to build cloud certification pipelines to upskill your workforce.

Jun 08, 2023 • 6 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • Learning & Development
  • AWS
  • Business
  • azure

Technology leaders are defaulting to the cloud but don’t have the cloud talent to make their cloud plans a reality. Only 8% of technologists say they have extensive experience with cloud technology, and 64% say they’re looking for introductory training. You can’t hire your way out of this cloud skills gap. You have to create the talent you need.

But that’s easier said than done. Successful upskilling programs need executive sponsorship, clear processes, and a team that’s open to developing cloud skills.

Table of Contents

Survey says: You’ve got cloud novices. You need cloud gurus. Download our 2022 State of Cloud report to learn why you need to close the cloud skills vs. expectation gap, like, yesterday.

Why has demand for cloud certifications increased?

Leaders are looking to digital transformation to keep their organizations relevant and competitive. That means more cloud migrations and a shift toward cloud native development. Organizations of all sizes compete with software development businesses for cloud talent. Unfortunately, there's not enough talent—and not for a lack of trying.

According to our 2022 State of Cloud report, technologists want to learn. Employees are 94% more likely to stay with an employer if the company invests in skill development. So why do we still see such a massive skills gap for cloud talent? Several reasons, including:

  • Budget constraints and cost
  • Not enough time
  • An emphasis on hiring rather than upskilling
  • Lack of necessary tools
  • Too many distractions
  • Lack of support from employers

The only solution for leaders is to become creators, not consumers, of talent. They need to develop internal skills through cloud certifications and courses instead of competing for the few qualified candidates.

To achieve cloud goals, organizations need to create cloud talent

How do leaders create talent for the cloud?

Leaders should use the cloud skills gap to highlight their cloud certification programs as a competitive advantage. As a side benefit, they’ll develop the cloud talent they need to meet internal demand.

Upskilling programs look different among organizations, but the goals are similar: address skills gaps, build tech fluency, and drive internal talent pipelines. Success requires leadership to change how they view talent. The most valuable skill a technologist has is adaptability. Without it, they’re dead in the water after a couple years.

Technical skills can be taught. What's not so easy to teach? The drive to learn, the ability to adapt, and the willingness to lead a project. When leaders view top talent with this lens, their pool of cloud candidates explodes.

How do leaders drive cloud certifications?

Leaders must build cloud certification programs that allow their technologists to learn most effectively. Leaders should lean on three pillars to build a certification program.

1. Determine which cloud skills you want your team to learn

There are many cloud certifications and courses available to technologists. Leaders should define exactly which skills employees need to learn based on overall goals, current technology, and current skills gaps.

Popular cloud certifications by platform

Organizations developing a multi-cloud environment should focus on courses across all providers, while those using a single cloud should focus on cloud certifications for their specific provider. Leaders should take advantage of basic- and expert-level cloud certifications offered for the major platforms:

  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Google Cloud Certification

Other cloud computing courses and learning opportunities

Upskilling providers, such as A Cloud Guru, offer on-demand learning pathways. These courses prepare technologists for cloud certifications and strengthen other cloud skills. The most popular courses for AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud platforms are:

Besides provider-specific courses, ACG also has provider-agnostic courses like:

The goal is to help learners pass cloud certification exams and apply their skills more effectively.

2. Make cloud certifications a business priority

Leaders assume employees will spend off hours doing training. They shouldn't. Upskilling, especially for cloud skills, is a business necessity. Leaders should set aside protected learning time each week when employees can sit through courses, take practice exams, and complete cloud certifications. Leaders can also build programs around growth paths to create cloud skills pipelines and partner with employees to set specific OKRs for completing cloud certifications.

Need an accurate read of cloud competency across your organization? Start with a cloud training needs analysis to identify skills gaps. Try our Skills Assessment to position your team for further cloud success.

Screenshot of Cloud Migration Patterns webinar

3. Lead by example

Leaders who believe in the power of an upskilling program lead by example. They attend courses, complete resource guides, and take exams alongside their employees—and they encourage their teams with resources to help them succeed. This increases engagement and provides insights for the leaders building the programs. It also helps them identify obstacles in their programs and adjust as necessary.

Learn how Pluralsight's SVP of EMEA marketing lead her team to cloud certification success!

Beyond cloud certifications: How to develop cloud fluency

Cloud-fluent teams know why the cloud matters to their organization, how it’s applied, and how it works with other technologies. They can have high-level conversations about its impact on work across the organization. 

Leaders shouldn’t restrict cloud upskilling to technical teams. Programs that are open to all employees are 5.4 times more likely to generate high revenue growth over time. Nearly 70% of organizations are considered a great place to work by their employees, 68% lead their peers in customer satisfaction, and 62% lead their peers in innovation. 

Organizations have big ideas for cloud transformation but lack the tech talent to make those ideas a reality. The most effective solution? Create talent through cloud upskilling programs, which starts with building a workforce that’s adaptable and willing to learn new things. These programs help leaders develop a cloud-fluent culture, find cloud talent within their organizations, and drive real change in the cloud.

Ready to uplevel your company’s cloud?

Create a culture of cloud innovation with accelerate cloud success with hands-on learning at scale. Upskill or reskill 10 or 10,000 with the most comprehensive and up-to-date learning library, assessments and sandbox software.