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How do I gain the skillset to work as a cloud and digital consultant for organizations today?

How do I gain just enough experience through exposure to a wide range of cloud and technological services and skills, without being too shallow in my understanding of or competence in all the respective fields of expertise to keep up with market trends. Do you recommend depth over breadth or vice versa.

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Alex’s Answer

Hello,

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the industry leader in cloud computing and its customers range from small to large (think Netflix). One great thing about AWS is that they offer cloud consultant training for free.

Good luck!

Alex recommends the following next steps:

View free training materials: https://aws.amazon.com/training/digital/
Consider joining one of the approved consultancy companies in support of AWS technologies: https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/consulting-offers
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Kanchana’s Answer

you can learn Google cloud , AWS or Cloud computing courses to become a cloud engineer
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vivek’s Answer

Cloud concepts is in high demands now a days so to gain cloud knowledge, you need to decide which cloud technology you are interested.
search over web browser and on Youtube gather information there are multiple cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud and MS Azure are having more job.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Vivek. I appreciate your help! Rose
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Pooja’s Answer

Speaking as a cloud practitioner who has worked with various digital products across various industries I would recommend you to start with foundational cloud courses and understand benefits of cloud, use cases of where various services offered by cloud providers can be applied and then keep upskilling your knowledge. Certification validates cloud expertise to help professionals highlight in-demand skills and organizations build effective, innovative teams for cloud initiatives.Choose from diverse certification exams by role and specialty designed to empower individuals and teams to meet their unique goals. You should explore role-based certifications for those in Cloud Practitioner, Architect, Developer, and Operations roles, as well as Specialty certifications in specific technical areas but kick off should be to deep dive in basic foundational knowledge of cloud concepts. Good Luck - Pooja
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Michelle’s Answer

What is most interesting to you? There are many opportunities on both sides. If you're just starting out, breadth of knowledge is best. This gives you exposure to all the many different areas available to dig in (technology, expertise, etc). Similar to the medical field, you start with general medicine and then have the opportunity (after exposure) to specialize. Once you get into the overall breadth of technology and you find a particular area that is of interest, then go for it!
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Lalitha’s Answer

While it is good to know a wide variety of topics, it's not possible to know about each topic in depth and to be successful, one needs to have in depth knowledge. In order to get started with cloud technologies, you can first start with beginner courses like Microsoft's AZ 900 which cover the basics of cloud technologies while introducing you to Microsoft Azure as well. A similar introduction can be found in other cloud service providers like Google cloud or AWS. This can serve as a good starting point and from there you can choose further topics and cover them as well. You can also refer to udemy or coursera for courses on latest technologies. Tech blogs of various companies will also give you a good idea on how different companies are leveraging cloud and other technologies to deliver their solutions. Wish you all the best!!

Lalitha recommends the following next steps:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/certifications/exams/az-900
https://www.udemy.com/course/cloud-computing-for-beginners-infrastructure-as-a-service/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxT233EdY5c
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Premal’s Answer

There are 3 major cloud providers AWS, Google and Azure. I would suggest pick one for example AWS.
1. Start with beginners course - There are so many videos on YouTube. Enroll in one of the course which provides hands on lab AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner)
2. Watch videos on various AWS services.
3. Depends on your interest you can go deep. There are various career paths
Application Developer
AWS Certified Developer – Associate
Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
Dev Ops engineer
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate
AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional
Data Science engineer
AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty
AWS Certified Database – Specialty
Security Developer
AWS Certified Security – Specialty

Someone already said depth is better than breadth
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Samala’s Answer

I prefer you to take related certification and so that you can have the network of peers to work along with to have more knowledge and explore teh opportunities.
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Joseph’s Answer

Hey Rose!

First - I commend you for considering this dilemma!
Second - I think the answer to this question will be highly dependent on how you are applying this knowledge.
Many solutions lean heavily on engineer experience - i.e. a consultant will recommend something that fits the expertise of their team.

Here's my answer from the time I have been in the career field - Depth is better than breadth to a certain extent. I would recommend learning deep into a solution (AWS) until you feel like you can't watch a YouTube video that gives you an AHA moment. Basically, if you feel you can teach an entry level class, look back into the field and see if there is another one to learn.

Right now, you really only need to focus on AWS, GCP and Azure, but tomorrow there may be more competitors in the space.

P.S. Never stop learning! Just keep looking toward the next big thing!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Joseph! That was really helpful Rose
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Phani’s Answer

In order to gain cloud knowledge, first you need to decide which cloud technology you are interested.

For example there are also 3 main types of cloud computing services.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) - Amazon AWS is market leader followed by Google Compute Engine, MS Azure
Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) - Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Redhat Openshift
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) - Salesforce

Once you decide on you path then you can gain knowledge by reading online tutorials/videos on AWS, Azure, Google cloud etc., Also you can take certification programs provided by online courses from Udemy or Simply Learn etc.,

Please note If you learn one of above clouds, more or less remaining or similar.


Phani recommends the following next steps:

AWS, Google Cloud and MS Azure are having more job demands compare to others
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much Phani! That was really insightful. I'll be sure to follow through with your advice Rose
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Jacob’s Answer

Becoming a proficient cloud and digital consultant for organizations involves a combination of breadth and depth in your skillset. Here's a step-by-step approach to gaining the necessary skills and finding the right balance:

1. **Foundational Knowledge:**
- Start with a solid foundation in cloud computing concepts. Understand the basics of cloud service models (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and deployment models (public, private, hybrid).
- Learn about major cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
- Develop proficiency in key programming languages commonly used in cloud environments, such as Python and JavaScript.

2. **Choose a Primary Cloud Platform:**
- Select one cloud platform to focus on initially. This will allow you to dive deeper and gain practical experience.
- Consider factors like market demand, your personal interest, and the industries you want to work in when making your choice.

3. **Certifications and Training:**
- Obtain relevant certifications from your chosen cloud provider. These certifications demonstrate your expertise and are highly regarded by employers.
- Take advantage of online courses, tutorials, and documentation provided by the cloud platform. Many offer free or low-cost resources to help you learn.

4. **Hands-On Practice:**
- Create your own projects or lab environments to gain practical experience. Experiment with deploying, managing, and optimizing cloud services.
- Participate in hackathons, open-source projects, or cloud-based challenges to apply your knowledge.

5. **Specialize and Deepen Your Skills:**
- As you become proficient with your chosen cloud platform, consider specializing in a specific area like cloud architecture, security, DevOps, or data analytics.
- Deepen your knowledge in your chosen specialization through advanced courses, workshops, and real-world projects.

6. **Stay Updated:**
- Cloud technology evolves rapidly, so commit to continuous learning. Follow industry blogs, attend conferences, and join relevant forums or communities to stay informed about the latest trends and innovations.

7. **Soft Skills:**
- Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills. As a consultant, you'll need to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.

8. **Client Interaction:**
- Gain experience working directly with clients or within cross-functional teams to understand their needs and deliver tailored solutions.

9. **Depth vs. Breadth:**
- The ideal balance between depth and breadth depends on your career goals and the demand in the job market. Early on, it's often beneficial to focus on depth in a specific area to establish your expertise. As you gain experience, you can broaden your skillset.
- Consider your long-term career aspirations. Specializing in a niche area can lead to higher-paying, specialized roles, but a broad skillset can be valuable in consultancy where you encounter various client needs.

10. **Networking:**
- Build a professional network by attending industry events, joining LinkedIn groups, and connecting with professionals in the field. Networking can lead to job opportunities and collaborations.

Remember that the cloud and digital consulting field is dynamic, and adaptability is key. Continuously assess market trends and your own interests to make informed decisions about whether to deepen your expertise in a specific area or broaden your knowledge across multiple domains. Balancing depth and breadth is a journey that can evolve over time to align with your career objectives.
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Maaz’s Answer

I would say it's first important to understand cloud computing as a whole. There are many domains within the cloud that might intrigue you more than others (Networking, Security, DevOps, Strategy, Storage). There are great fundamental courses on Udemy, ACloudGuru, and Whizlabs.

Then, I would conduct research within the main cloud platforms to understand them better. AWS, Azure, and GCP have majority market share, but there is also IBM, Alibaba, and more. Some specialize in certain types of services, while others provide services all across the spectrum. In your question, you asked about getting exposure across the landscape so I would recommend taking the introductory certifications across the big 3 cloud platforms (AWS - Cloud Practitioner, Azure - AZ-900, GCP - Cloud Digital Leader). This will provide you further insight into the fundamentals of cloud computing and each organization's approach. There are great Udemy courses on all of the above.

Having an employer who is using the cloud platforms mentioned above and integrating components of other technologies also helps you stay in the know-how of implementation. Once you get an understanding of the cloud, I would recommend finding a job with an employer who is emphasizing in the domain you are interested in. Conceptual knowledge is great, but practical application is where you really get that depth over breadth.

Lastly, in terms of staying up to date with the latest and greatest, each organization has whitepapers that they publish regularly as well as conferences where major technical innovations are announced. Reading those through and keeping up with announcements will help elevate the relevance of your knowledge.
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Rosita’s Answer

Hello Rose,

Many insightful responses have already pointed you towards a wealth of popular Cloud training resources and various Cloud technology providers such as AWS, GCP, and MSFT Azure. I concur that starting with a fundamental course like AZ-900 from MSFT can offer you a solid understanding of cloud technology. It's a great way to identify which specific area you'd like to delve deeper into.

But don't stop there! I also highly recommend the following resources to help you build a more comprehensive knowledge base:

Rosita recommends the following next steps:

1) Master Class youtube by John Savill if interested in MS Azure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkM_2vsHWA4 - Masterclass is better than some of the vendor training because it explains the reason why MSFT architected/design their Azure Cloud in a certain way - not just push this button to do that without explaining the concepts behind the feature
2) For having a single place for many types of tech training - check out https://www.whizlabs.com/ - the yearly price is reasonable and one can see all the popular certs offered with lots of labs and hands-on training
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