The cloud plays a role in a huge number of businesses and industries, from gaming to financial services to retail and manufacturing. And all sorts of careers now depend on it as well, from system admins to developers.
If you’re curious about the cloud, you might be eyeing an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification and looking for ways to enter the world of cloud computing—or sharpen the skills you already have. Below are five great learning resources you may want to check out, no matter your skill level.
Started in 2015, AWS Educate is designed for cloud-curious learners like students and people in job-training programs. Students as young as 13 years old are eligible to register, and participants can take advantage of hundreds of hours of free and self-paced training, including over 50 courses and 10 labs that use the AWS Management Console for hands-on practice. If you’re completely new to the cloud, courses like Intro to Cloud 101 and Introduction to the AWS Management Console may be exactly what you need to get started. The program is rounded out with supplementary information like Twitch videos, blogs, and technical papers.
2.AWS Skill Builder
AWS Skill Builder offers a blend of free and paid educational services. You can take advantage of more than 500 digital courses, learning plans, and official practice questions to prepare you for AWS certification at no cost—and even play the AWS Cloud Quest role-playing game that lets you focus on the Cloud Practitioner role. Subscribe to an Individual subscription for $29 per month or $299 per year and you get access to five additional AWS Cloud Quest roles, including Solutions Architect, Security Specialist, and Serverless Developer, more than 100 AWS Builder Labs, three AWS Certification Official Practice Question Sets, and more. The AWS Jam Journey, for example, lets you build your cloud skills by participating in a collection of interactive, real-world scenarios that cover topics like networking, security, databases, and machine learning.
3.AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner
AWS Cloud Quest turns mastering cloud concepts into a game—an open-world role playing game, in fact. You get to roam a 3D city, taking on challenges that teach you to build practical AWS solutions using cloud concepts and exercises for the virtual residents of the digital city. Throughout the game, you’re presented with business problems that you can interactively solve using a collection of puzzles, lab exercises, and simulations running the gamut of AWS services, including storage, computing, database, and security. And it’s a real game, complete with mini-game diversions, in-game upgrades, and rewards that unlock additional character styles and gameplay modes. It’s designed for adult learners preparing for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam.
4.AWS Industry Quest: Financial Services
Take the helm of a financial services firm and guide it to success by implementing real AWS solutions. That’s the premise behind AWS Industry Quest: Financial Services, another cloud service training tool disguised as a game. Like AWS Cloud Quest, AWS Industry Quest is a role-playing game in a 3D world aimed at adult learners. The game tasks you with solving real-world problems across more than two dozen use cases, whether you’re preventing fraud in real time with machine learning algorithms or improving records retention systems using data warehouses and data lakes. And because AWS Industry Quest is a game, it keeps you engaged with in-game customization and rewards as your business grows. We’re launching additional industries soon.
5.AWS Skills Centers
If you live near Seattle, Washington or Arlington, Virginia you can take advantage of a unique, hands-on learning opportunity. Amazon operates a pair of free AWS Skills Centers where anyone can visit to experience interactive learning exhibits as well as join classes that teach about the foundations of cloud service technology. In addition to exhibits about machine learning, robotics, gaming, and other cloud computing topics, there are resources to help visitors earn an AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification—including taking live, in-person classes at the center. The “bite-size” classes are designed to be short and approachable.