In an era where digital transformation is the driving force behind organizational success, the demand for skilled professionals well-versed in cloud technologies has never been higher.
BMC Software predicts that the cloud computing market is expected to grow by 20% between 2023 and 2030. Cloud computing will also account for three-quarters of all IT needs for businesses by 2029.
With such numbers, it’s no wonder that a career in cloud computing is one of the best decisions you can ever make. The prospects continue to grow even bigger each year.
We have specifically created this guide for both seasoned IT experts looking to elevate their skills as well as beginners eager to embark on a transformative learning journey. This resource will serve as your compass in the dynamic world of cloud computing education.
Overview of cloud computing as a career
Cloud computing is a good career choice because it involves working with cutting-edge technologies. As an expert in cloud computing, you are equipped with skills that enable you to perform tasks such as designing cloud-based applications and implement cybersecurity strategies, among others.
Popular examples of careers in cloud computing include:
- Cloud engineer
- Cloud architect
- Cloud network engineer
- Cloud security engineer
- Systems administrator
- Software engineer
- Data engineer
- DevOps engineer
- Cloud consultant
If you are already working in a DevOps environment, please get a better understanding of how to enhance DevOps.
The top cloud computing courses
The courses described in this guide cover the three main cloud computing models, which are:
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
They also cover the three main types of cloud deployment, which are:
- Public cloud, e.g., Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure
- Private cloud, e.g., VMware and Rackspace
- Hybrid cloud, e.g., Azure Stack and IBM Cloud Paks.
These are the foundations of cloud computing knowledge that all cloud careers require for success.
Note: The salaries offered for cloud computing careers in this guide are sourced from Glassdoor, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Talent.com. The average salaries given are as of November 2023. As well, the course prices may be discounted from time to time so please bear this in mind if you find a different price from the one we have in this resource.
Get the full picture by learning the benefits of cloud computing in general. In addition to the cloud computing courses we are about to uncover, we have also featured the following courses that might interest you:
- Free Courses in Cybersecurity
- Affordable Cybersecurity Courses
- Software Development Courses
- Free Cybersecurity Certifications
- MSP Certifications
- Network Security Certifications
Let’s now proceed to the cloud computing courses. For clarity, we have divided the course into two categories i.e. beginner courses and advanced courses. We start with beginner friendly courses.
Cloud computing courses for beginners
Beginner courses in cloud computing range from free to paid programs that can take an hour, a day, or a few weeks to complete.
These are all online courses that you can learn at your own time. The courses below are aimed at technology enthusiasts and business professionals.
Once you complete any of these beginner courses, you’ll be in a better position to make better decisions about pursuing technology degrees. Examples of such degrees could be computer science, software engineering, or information systems.
1. Introduction to Cloud Computing by Coursera
The Introduction to Cloud Computing course by Coursera is offered by IBM. It takes 12 hours to complete at the student’s own pace. It covers cloud computing fundamentals, such as:
- Cloud computing models (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS)
- Deployment models (public, private, hybrid, and community cloud)
- Components of cloud computing (virtual machines, cloud storage, and data types)
- Cloud computing trends and best practices
- Cloud security strategies
These topics are covered over six modules, which include quizzes, practical labs, and a final project. Students also gain real-world insights into cloud computing and deploy their own serverless application on the cloud model of their choice.
This course is free and there are no prerequisites to enroll, but students have the option to pay $49 for the completion certificate. At the end of the course, students are in a better position to explore advanced cloud computing courses.
You can explore careers in software engineering and earn an average of $117,662 per year.
2. Cloud for Modern Business by Udacity
This is a short course lasting about 55 minutes. We particularly consider it the ideal introduction course for managers or entrepreneurs who want to understand how cloud computing applies to their companies.
The course covers topics such as:
- Evaluating cloud service vendors and models
- Calculating the return on investment (ROI) for cloud solutions
- Creating a cloud migration strategy
- Communicating with cloud vendors and technicians
- Business use cases for cloud computing
This Udacity course is free of charge and offers a completion certificate. There are no requirements for students other than an interest in cloud computing and a general background in business.
3. AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials by LearnQuest
The AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials course focuses on Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a cloud vendor. It takes one day to complete this course online as preparation for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. Although it is designed to help students qualify for cloud certification, any beginner can take this course to learn about the AWS cloud framework.
These are the key topics you will learn:
- The benefits of AWS
- Billing options for AWS cloud products
- Hybrid deployments with AWS
- How to monitor an AWS cloud environment
The requirements for the course are general knowledge in IT and business. It costs 550 EUR ($602). This course can set the foundation for a career as a systems administrator earning $106,946 per year.
4. Cloud Computing Fundamentals by Udemy
The Cloud Computing Fundamentals course covers the fundamentals of cloud computing. If you are a tech enthusiast who is curious about cloud computing, then this is a great course for you.
The course is also suitable for business professionals who are keen to familiarize themselves with cloud computing concepts. The course takes about three hours to complete and covers the following topics:
- Cloud solutions: AWS, Azure, Apache Cloudstack, Openstack
- Cloud service models: PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS
- Cloud deployment options: Private, public, and hybrid cloud
- Cloud computing challenges: Compliance, migration, multi cloud environments, etc.
- Cloud security challenges: Insider threats, data breaches, and account hijacking
- Cloud security strategies: Data encryption, vulnerability assessments, and access management
The course also contains a bonus tutorial about installing a cloud environment at home. It costs $49.99 for a certificate of completion and lifetime access to the course content. With additional training, students can become DevOps engineers and earn an average of $108,413 per year.
5. Cloud Computing for Business by Codio
This course is a highly interactive option for students who have some background in writing code. You get the opportunity to see how cloud solutions function in real time. It also uses easy language to break down the course content instead of specialized computing jargon.
The course content covers the following topics:
- SaaS applications and deployments
- PaaS environments
- IaaS providers e.g., Kubernetes, Docker, and Red Hat Ansible
- Cloud infrastructure configurations
The Codio learning platform includes auto-graded assignments which give immediate feedback for each module. The Cloud Computing for Business course also divides each module into smaller, manageable sections with practical demos.
Codio pricing starts at $10 per learner per month for business groups or teams interested in this course. However, individual learners are encouraged to request a quote. Given its hands-on teaching style, students will learn concrete cloud computing skills to pursue careers as cloud engineers, earning an average of $130,716 per year.
6. Cloud Computing Security by the University of Colorado
This Cloud Computing Security course is a massive open online course (MOOC). It is free for students to enroll and takes about 12 hours to complete.
These aspects of cloud computing are covered in this course:
- Creating AWS accounts and instances
- Planning AWS resources
- Load balancing on AWS for scaling applications
- Debugging cloud systems
You can enroll for this MOOC through Coursera. There are no prerequisites or requirements to study this course.
With this course as a foundation, you can pursue further learning opportunities to become a cloud security engineer and earn an average of $117,959 per year.
Cloud computing courses for professionals
This category of cloud computing courses is ideal for individuals with IT and business backgrounds.
You get deeper insights into the major cloud vendors. From vendor capabilities to pricing options and applications in the business context. If you are a developer, these courses can also help you to prepare for professional certification exams.
1. Cloud Computing with Amazon Web Services by Udemy
This advanced course is the more advanced option of the Cloud Computing Security course by the University of Colorado.
The course is designed for developers who want to create, test, and deploy their applications on the AWS cloud. It covers all AWS cloud services, including Lambda, Kinesis, RDS, ElastiCache, S3, EC2, and more. The modules teach the following AWS cloud computing skills:
- Cloud storage
- Computing resources
- Analytics tools
- Mobile app development
- Access management tools
- Cloud migration
Learn about the benefits of cloud migration, the best tools for cloud migration, as well as what data center migration entails. If you are already into AWS, take a moment and learn how to optimize costs in AWS cloud environment. If you work in a small business environment and are not sure if the organization is ripe for AWS, check this resource where we examine if AWS is suitable for a small business.
You will need about 10.5 hours to complete the course. It costs $19.99 including a certificate of completion and lifetime access to the study materials. By the end of the course, you are able to create mobile, web, artificial intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) applications on AWS cloud services. Students can use the skills from this course to find jobs as AWS software engineers, earning an average of $118,695 per year.
2. Cloud Computing Specialization by the University of Illinois via Coursera
The course is offered by the University of Illinois through Coursera. It is an intermediate level course that requires no previous requirements to enroll. Please note that the course is ideal for students with C++ programming skills and want to prepare for more advanced courses.
The topics covered include:
- Cloud computing concepts, e.g., algorithms and database design
- Python programming
- Cloud infrastructure components
- Machine learning and Big Data
- Cloud networking
This specialization course takes three months to complete, which can be done at 10 hours of study time per week. Since it is offered on Coursera, it is free to enroll. You can opt to pay $49 for a certificate of completion.
The University of Colorado offers a 6-part specialization series, of which this course is a constituent part. You can opt to take all the specialization courses to apply for the university’s Master of Computer Science Degree in Data Science. With this knowledge, you can pursue data engineering jobs and earn an average of $126,075 per year.
3. Cloud Architect Course Masters Program by Edureka
The Cloud Architect Course Masters Program is a comprehensive course with over 200 hours of content. It consists of both live online instructor-led classes and on-demand materials.
Some of the topics covered include:
- IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS
- Cloud virtualization
- Python scripting certification training
- AWS certification training
- Migrating applications to the cloud
- DevOps training
- Cloud architect certification training
This Masters Program costs $2,831, but at this time (November 2023) the fee is $1,299. It normally takes 16 weeks to complete this course, but students often take three to six months at their own pace.
The curriculum is based on thousands of cloud computing job descriptions, so it equips students with the latest skills that companies are looking for. Students can consider careers as cloud architects and earn an average of $135,846 per year.
4. Advanced Google Cloud Compute Engine by Pluralsight
The Advanced Google Cloud Compute Engine course by Pluralsight takes about 2.5 hours, but it is a deep dive into the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). You will particularly find this course valuable if you are a programmer who wants to compare GCP with Azure and AWS for business applications.
Here is what you will learn:
- Overview of Google Compute Engine (GCE)
- Creating and managing GCE virtual machines
- Load balancing in GCP
- Managing and updating Instance groups
- Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture in GCP
This course also gives insights into how GCP pricing models work, and how virtual machines are deployed and managed in a business.
The Pluralsight platform offers a 10-day free trial for all course content. However, students who prefer to access the course content after the trial period can subscribe at $9 or $14 per month.
You can take other Pluralsight courses to get more value for your subscription. The course can lead to a career as a GCP developer, earning an average of $102,874 per year.
5. MicroMasters Program in Cloud Computing by edX
The MicroMasters Program in Cloud Computing by edX includes four graduate-level courses that are led by online instructors.
The program is designed for professionals who wish to pursue an advanced degree or earn valuable skills to qualify for cloud computing jobs. The program takes eight months to complete and covers the following topics:
- Cloud computing for enterprises for increased business productivity
- Cloud infrastructure design and management
- Cloud engineering for risk management and compliance
- Cloud computing security to prevent and mitigate cyberthreats
The course costs $1,196, but at this time (November 2023) it is discounted at $1,076.40. There are no prerequisites specified on the edX platform for this course.
However, you should consider this MicroMasters program as a stepping stone to a complete degree. Upon completion, you can consider applying for the Master in Cloud Computing Architecture degree at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). If accepted, this course counts for 12 out of 36 credits for the master’s degree. These qualifications can lead to a career in cloud network engineering, earning an average of $109,040 per year.
6. Azure Cloud Fundamentals for Data Science with Python by FutureLearn
The Azure Cloud Fundamentals for Data Science with Python course is an in-depth look into Microsoft Azure. Similar to the Google Cloud Compute Engine course by Pluralsight, the Azure course is ideal for developers wanting to explore the various cloud vendors for business use.
This course covers the following topics:
- Core Azure solutions and services
- Azure pricing options
- Data science solutions, e.g., Azure Data Explorer and Azure Synapse Analytics
- Comparing Azure with AWS solutions
Anyone can apply for this course, but a background in data science is an added advantage. The course takes two weeks to complete.
FutureLearn offers an Unlimited subscription for all their courses which costs $39.99 per month. At this time (November 2023), the subscription is discounted at $27.99 for the first two months for new subscribers.
You can still access course content after the subscription period expires, which is ideal for future reference or refreshing your knowledge. On completion, you can consider becoming a cloud consultant and earn an average of $134,230 per year.
Cloud computing is a versatile career!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cloud computing field will grow faster than the average for all occupations over the next 10 years.
The most unique thing about cloud computing as a career is that it offers a wide variety of positions. Whether the job description includes the word “cloud” or not, most businesses require all IT staff to understand cloud computing. Essentially, cloud computing competence is critical for a successful career in many roles across the IT department.
You can also use these courses to comfortably prepare for computer and data science degree courses, or study for specialist certifications offered by the likes of AWS, Azure, IBM or GCP. The skills gained from these courses can also enable you to build a strong portfolio of cloud-based applications to boost your career prospects.
Before you leave, please check the best tech paying jobs in the world right now. Please note as well that loud computing will always have a huge element of ensuring cost efficiency. We have looked into this at great length under the best practices for cloud cost management plus a comparison of costs between the cloud and on-premise. If you are looking for providers, check the best cloud service providers.