Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced two free training initiatives that make it easy for individuals to get hands-on cloud computing skills training in a fun and engaging way. The first initiative is a new game-based role-playing experience, called AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner, ideal for early career or new-to-cloud adult learners. AWS Cloud Quest teaches foundational cloud computing concepts while learners zap drones and collect gems in their quest to solve challenges in a virtual city. AWS also launched a new, improved version of AWS Educate, with added interactive content and removal of the .edu email address requirement, making the program even more accessible. With AWS Educate, learners as young as 13 years old can access hundreds of hours of free, self-paced training, resources, and labs specifically designed for new-to-the-cloud learners.
These two initiatives support the development of foundational cloud computing skills, so anyone—from young learners to career professionals looking to build their cloud skills—can gain knowledge and practical experience that helps them prepare for jobs in the cloud.
When I had my first interview for cloud engineering, pretty much all the knowledge I discussed in that interview was based on what I learned from AWS Educate.
“AWS Cloud Quest and AWS Educate intentionally move away from passive content. We want to make abstract cloud computing concepts real through interactive and hands-on activities that immediately let learners turn theory into practice,” said Kevin Kelly, director of Cloud Career Training Programs at AWS. “These two offerings help individuals grow their skills and employability. We’re continuing to innovate how learners can build their cloud knowledge and practical skills, meeting them where they are and bringing knowledge within anyone’s reach by making these programs free.”
'AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner' game-based learning
AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner is an all-new 3D role-playing game, designed by AWS Training and Certification, to help adult learners gain practical AWS experience. To win, learners must complete quests that simultaneously build cloud skills and help citizens build a better city. Gameplay includes videos, quizzes, and hands-on exercises based on real-world business scenarios. Throughout their adventure, learners understand what the cloud is by exploring core AWS services and categories (e.g., compute, storage, database, and security services) and building basic cloud solutions. For learners looking to earn an industry-recognized credential, this program provides an engaging way to help prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. AWS Cloud Quest is available globally in English for personal computers through AWS Skill Builder.
AWS Educate: new content with greater reach
AWS also released a reimagined AWS Educate program worldwide, including new courses and hands-on labs, making it easier than ever for individuals as young as 13 years old to register. AWS Educate is designed for self-motivated, pre-professional learners who are not yet working in the cloud, such as students and job-training participants.
The program offers hundreds of hours of free, self-paced training and resources—including more than 50 courses and 10 hands-on labs in the AWS Management Console—so learners can practice their skills. New features include:
- Four new courses: Cloud Computing 101, AWS DeepRacer Primer, Machine Learning Foundation, and Builder Labs
- Ten new labs: help learners put theory into practice
- Redesigned website: guides learners to training content based on their knowledge, goals, interests, and age
- New online Explore section: features supplementary content, such as new courses, Twitch videos, blogs, and technical papers
Since the program’s inception in 2015, AWS Educate has reached over a million learners globally, helping individuals like Alfredo Colón, who lost his job because of Hurricane Maria and moved to Orlando, Florida, to rebuild. He completed more than 20 career pathways with AWS Educate and got an interview with Universal Studios Orlando, where he demonstrated his cloud knowledge and landed a job as a DevOps engineer.
“When I had my first interview for cloud engineering, pretty much all the knowledge I discussed in that interview was based on what I learned from AWS Educate,” Colón said.
Learners looking to validate their knowledge can earn AWS Educate badges and prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. AWS Educate also provides a bridge to potential employers through the AWS Educate Job Board, which features thousands of cloud computing job postings, where adult learners (18 years old and up) can explore and apply to in-demand jobs and internships.
AWS Educate is available globally in English, Chinese (simplified), Japanese, Korean, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Ultimate goal: provide free training to 29 million people worldwide
AWS Cloud Quest and AWS Educate are part of Amazon’s commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people by 2025—reaching people from all walks of life and all levels of knowledge, in more than 200 countries and territories.
Before the pandemic, the world was becoming increasingly digitized, but COVID-19 accelerated the trend. According to the AWS Global Digital Skills Study, 85% of workers report that they now need more technical knowledge to do their jobs as a result of changes in their work due to the pandemic. In addition, the World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025 half of the global workforce will need reskilling and 97 million new roles will emerge because of digitization.
“As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the need for individuals with technical knowledge has never been greater,” said Kelly. “We want to help address the tech skills gap, putting free skills training in the hands of anyone with a desire to learn more about cloud computing.”