Amazon has announced that it will be providing free cloud computing skills training to hundreds of thousands of IT professionals through an initiative with the EC-Council, the world’s leading IT security and certification body. Through this initiative, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will be providing self-paced training programs to help IT professionals who are interested in learning more about cloud computing skills, and how they can use them to advance their career or start a new one as part of the IT industry.
Amazon Web Services is cloud computing at its most basic level. It’s Amazon’s set of cloud-based technologies that allow developers to build websites and applications that can easily scale to meet heavy traffic demands. The service has become an incredibly popular way for companies to build, manage and scale their applications on a pay-as-you-go basis. AWS offers software development kits (SDKs) for languages including Java, NET, PHP, Python and Ruby on Rails; it provides a comprehensive dashboard for monitoring usage; it can handle both relational databases like MySQL as well as non relational databases like MongoDB; it supports Amazon S3 storage services which can be used to host static files and simple queues via Amazon SQS.
The cloud computing skills training initiative kicked off with a partnership between Amazon and ACMT, an online education provider. The first course, entitled AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate is offered through ACMT. AWS has also teamed up with Pearson VUE to offer other courses covering security, Big Data and DevOps. One of these courses is now being offered by Lambda School, an online coding bootcamp that offers free-of-charge curriculum and doesn’t charge tuition until students secure full-time employment as a developer. To date, there are over 90 university partners across North America offering some type of AWS training but so far they’ve been limited to students with relevant computer science degrees or professional experience already working in tech.
Which AWS certification is right for you? Amazon currently offers several in its cloud training portfolio, which include: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate, AWS Certified Developer Associate, AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional. The most popular certification by far is AWS’s associate-level developer course; it covers everything from introductory to advanced development on Amazon Web Services. You can test out of that exam if you have a degree in computer science or related field, along with at least three years of IT experience (which includes programming). If you are just getting started and don’t have extensive training yet, it might be worth your time to earn an associate-level certification from Amazon before taking their professional exams.
Amazon committed to investing hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training through Amazon Web Services University, a self-paced online learning environment with more than 600 interactive courses and nearly 100 labs. Amazon is also committing $1 million to provide scholarships for AWS Educate Scholars, full-tuition scholarships for up to 1,000 students at accredited universities and vocational schools in computer science, information technology, engineering and mathematics. The company will also provide on-the-job mentoring from certified AWS engineers as part of its AWS Technical Mentor program. While many people view cloud technology solely as a threat to IT jobs, particularly those within information security or network administration, trends like cloud computing are actually creating new kinds of employment opportunities within every industry segment.