Plan and navigate your AWS Cloud career journey, no matter your starting point

TutoSartup excerpt from this article:
Are you at an inflection point and exploring how you might transition to a career in cloud? We’re an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect (Prasad) and Technical Trainer (Ashish) and we’ve been mentoring learners on their AWS Cloud career journeys since 2019… We’re passionate about h…

Are you at an inflection point and exploring how you might transition to a career in cloud? We’re an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Solutions Architect (Prasad) and Technical Trainer (Ashish) and we’ve been mentoring learners on their AWS Cloud career journeys since 2019. We’re passionate about helping people from all walks of life find their place in the cloud, regardless of their starting point. We recently co-authored a book, Cloud Career Journeys, and sought to tell the stories of individuals who started or advanced their cloud career in the hopes that it will help inspire you to get started or progress your own cloud career.

Whether you’re apprehensive about a cloud career because you do not have any IT experience, or you’re not sure how to take your IT skills to the cloud, you may find a relatable learner journey to spark your own career change and progression.

No IT skills and experience? Read about a Pathfinder who transitioned to AWS Cloud

A common myth among people is that you need to have a technical or IT background and education to build a career in cloud.

Daniel Gaina worked as a bartender and Uber driver before deciding to switch careers at age 29. When the pandemic hit in 2020, Gaina realized he needed a stable job. He had four requirements his career choice needed to meet: financial stability, future-proof, no degree required, and location flexibility. After some research, he decided to pursue a career in IT, specifically cloud computing.

Gaina was interested in the Solutions Architect job role because it combined technical skills with customer interactions. After four months of self-study, Gaina attempted the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate exam, but failed his first attempt. With more studying and hands on practice, he passed the exam in his second attempt two weeks later.

“I’d recommend starting with the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification for someone new to cloud, like me,” says Gaina. “Hands-on labs boosted my confidence. Seeing concepts applied practically was mind blowing.”

Gaina then earned the AWS Certified SysOps Administrator – Associate, a role-based, technical certification in cloud operations. This boosted his confidence further and he began applying for jobs on LinkedIn. Gaina worked with a LinkedIn influencer who was able to give his resume more visibility, landing him a job as a Network Security Consultant with a security company in Romania. Gaina went on to earn the AWS Certified Developer – Associate, and is now a Senior Cloud Engineer at Cloudsoft, an AWS Partner organization.

IT professional transitioning to cloud: Re-entering the job market after a long career break

After a 12-year career break, Parna Mehta was eager, yet anxious, to restart her career. Although she had a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and worked as a Java developer prior to her career break, Mehta was concerned that her tech skills were outdated and was unsure how to explain the long gap in her resume to recruiters. But she was determined. Mehta found opportunity during the pandemic. With schools closed, demand for online coding classes for kids in India skyrocketed. Mehta refreshed her programming skills on her own and landed a job as a part-time coding instructor, and then a full-time job teaching programming. Mehta then completed a full-stack developer bootcamp and was introduced to AWS Cloud.

Mehta expanded her network, connecting with other women through coaching programs like CloudUp for Her, which helped her earn the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification. She has also joined the free mentoring program run by AWS volunteers: Become a Solutions Architect (BeSA).

Mehta leveraged her teaching skills and connections to land a role at AWS as a Technical Trainer. Continuous upskilling and determination helped Mehta restart and fuel her AWS Cloud career.

Have an IT background but not sure how to get started with AWS Cloud?

Sammy Cheung started as a programmer before becoming a database developer. For over 20 years he progressed linearly to become a database administrator and database architect.

Cheung noticed a trend in 2017. “There were two parallel universes in my company: the cloud team and non-cloud team,” he observed. “The cloud team worked on the latest technologies and earned higher salaries.” Stuck in maintaining legacy systems, Cheung was eager to learn about the cloud.

Cheung started his journey by attaining three Associate-level AWS Certifications as well as the AWS Certified Security – Specialty certification.

As Cheung progressed on his certification journey, he expanded his cloud skills on the job, managing the AWS infrastructure, including data tier, networking, and security. Cheung also reviewed AWS cost usage in his organization, and was able to cut AWS operation costs in half.

Cheung’s dedication to earning and maintaining all AWS Certifications paid dividends when he joined an AWS Partner organization. Cheung is now also an AWS Ambassador, which recognizes influential AWS Partner employees. Cheung’s determination and tenacity helped him move out of legacy IT roles to build credibility and gain recognition as an AWS Cloud professional.

Why not you, too?

If any of these stories inspired you, why not you, too? We know you have what it takes to get started on a resilient, successful cloud career too!

No matter your starting point, there are training, support, and mentor resources to help you. We recommend starting with the 600+ free and low-cost digital training courses and AWS Certification exam prep resources on AWS Skill Builder, our online learning center. These include self-paced courses as well as 1000+ hands-on, interactive training options from AWS Builder Labs, to AWS Jam, and AWS Cloud Quest and AWS Industry Quest. When you’re ready, explore the available AWS Certifications to validate your cloud skills and build your confidence and credibility, and AWS Certification paths toward popular cloud job roles.

Not sure where to start? Learn about our free offerings and then explore the steps to start your certification journey. And you can read more learner stories in the Cloud Career Journeys book to get additional inspiration to plan your own AWS Cloud journey. You can read about “Pathfinders” who transitioned from non-IT backgrounds to cloud; “Undefeated” who overcame daunting circumstances to pursue and build their cloud careers; “Progressives” who took their IT background and skills to the cloud; and advanced cloud professionals who, having built strong cloud careers, now train and mentor others and share their expertise.

We wish you all the best as you get started in your cloud career journey!

Plan and navigate your AWS Cloud career journey, no matter your starting point
Author: Prasad Rao