- Amazon Web Services plans to provide a slew of free training, certification and other programs to 29 million people worldwide by 2025 as part of the company's campaign to upskill technical cloud knowledge, AWS announced Thursday at a re:Invent session.
- The launch invests "hundreds of millions of dollars" into cloud instruction initiatives. The investment includes digital training and exam prep for AWS certifications and an expansion of its re/Start program engaging people from underrepresented communities for tech jobs.
- Fearing a cloud skills gap, three of the major cloud vendors — AWS, Microsoft and Google — have launched free upskilling and training programs in recent years.
For businesses facing tight IT budgets, the allure of free cloud training provides an opportunity to bring new skills to their portfolios. But the need for cloud skills stretches beyond entry level or a single vendor.
Similar to the recent AWS push for free cloud training, Google and Microsoft offer free digital skills programming for their in-house cloud platforms. For companies using these services, certifying employees in these skills can improve usage. A need for versatility between services, however, is on the rise.
By 2023, half of infrastructure and operations personnel dedicated to the cloud will be "versatilists," holding multiple roles throughout the organization, according to a survey result cited by Ross Winser, research director at Gartner, during the Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference Monday.
"Specialists are of course still important, but versatility will be really valuable, especially where you're working with new technologies," Winser said.
Businesses and providers build many emerging technologies, from the internet of things to big data processing, across hybrid or multicloud environments. Free training programs may create vendor-specific specialists while failing to account for the growing reliance on multiple cloud service providers.
While 80% of respondents trained on AWS and 70% of administrators identified AWS as their primary cloud platform, a similar number of respondents reported that their organization utilizes multiple cloud platforms in a recent A Cloud Guru survey, according to Katie Bullard, president at A Cloud Guru, in a statement to CIO Dive.
"This implies that Azure or GCP [Google Cloud Platform] fills a secondary, yet crucial, role in about three out of four cloud strategies, and employees will have to be well-versed and certified in more than one cloud environment," Bullard said.