Demand for cloud skills in APAC expected to triple by 2025: advice for workers looking to build skills
AlphaBeta, a strategy and economics firm, investigated the current and future state of digital skills in the APAC workforce. The AWS-commissioned report, “Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches,” analyzes the digital skills applied by workers in their jobs today and projects the digital skills required by workforces over the next five years in six APAC countries (Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea).
In my role as the Head of AWS Training and Certification in Asia Pacific and Japan, I work every day to help workers across the region build cloud skills. Our mission is to equip diverse builders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge they need to leverage the power of the AWS Cloud.
In fact, Amazon recently pledged to help 29 million people around the world grow their tech skills by 2025 with free cloud computing skills training. All workers, regardless of role or experience level, can take advantage of free training designed by AWS to build their cloud knowledge and keep pace with technology advancements. Free offerings include digital training courses, interactive labs, virtual day-long training sessions, instructor-led webinars, and job-based learning paths. Learn more and start your cloud journey with free upskilling resources here.
In this blog, I’ll share some insights from the AlphaBeta report, as well as specific advice for four types of workers who are looking to build their cloud skills.
Key report findings
In its report, AlphaBeta predicts that by 2025, the average worker in the APAC region will need to gain seven new digital skills to keep pace with technological change. Digital skills span across a range of competencies and proficiency levels. This includes basic skills, such as the use of data analysis tools, and advanced skills, such as the ability to create large-scale data models and database technologies. According to AlphaBeta, there are four types of APAC workers who need to develop new digital skills: current digital workers, current non-digital workers, future workers (today’s students), and disenfranchised individuals. The following chart describes each classification of worker and recommendations for developing digital skills in the future.
In particular, cloud computing skills will grow in importance over the next five years. The following chart illustrates the advanced digital skill needs in 2020 and how those needs are expected to grow and change by 2025. I was struck by the prediction that the need for advanced cloud computing skills in APAC is expected to triple by 2025—the greatest increase forecasted across all digital skill competencies.
Advice for current digital workers
For many digital workers, including both technical and non-technical professionals in a range of industries, cloud computing is an area of opportunity as demand for these skills rises. AlphaBeta recommends that current digital workers “deepen expertise in data and cloud skills, as these are likely to see the greatest increase in demand.”
- For non-technical digital workers or individuals who don’t yet have experience using the cloud, building foundational cloud knowledge can help you understand the possibilities of cloud computing and help you make decisions and recommendations. AWS offers more than 500 free, on-demand online courses, with many courses available in multiple languages, such as Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. Our most popular course, AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials, gives learners who are new to the cloud a six-hour overview of AWS Cloud concepts, including AWS services, security, architecture, pricing, and support. This is a fantastic starting point for many digital workers who are looking to get started with the AWS Cloud.
- For workers with some cloud computing experience, deepening those skills can help advance your career. In particular, the AlphaBeta report found that cloud architecture design skills will be critically important for APAC workers over the next five years. The following chart shows projected growth rates for the top 10 digital skills, with the number of workers required to design and refine new cloud architectures in APAC expected to grow 36% per year from 2020 to 2025, the highest across all digital skills.
- Aspiring cloud architects should focus on learning how to design resilient, high-performing, secure, and cost-optimized cloud architectures. We have both digital and classroom training courses to help workers build these skills. For example, our free, online AWS Well-Architected curriculum teaches workers how to make informed decisions about architecture in a cloud-native way and how to understand the impact of design decisions. In our three-day classroom course, Architecting on AWS, workers have the opportunity to learn about cloud architecture from expert instructors who teach using a mix of presentations, discussions, demonstrations, and hands-on labs. Workers can also validate their in-demand expertise with the AWS Certified Solutions Architect associate and professional exams. Check out our Architect Ramp Up Guide for more learning resources related to designing applications and systems on AWS. In addition to cloud architecture training, we have similar content for other topics, such as data analytics, security, and machine learning.
Advice for future workers (today’s students)
According to AlphaBeta, “To improve their chances of securing employment when they enter the workforce, students today will need to be educated in digital skills that could see the largest growth in demand by 2025.” As demand for cloud computing skills continues to rise, today’s students should consider how they can build these in-demand skills before they begin their career. This could be through a formal program at a higher-education institution or a self-paced learning goal. In addition to our library of free digital training courses, we also offer content specifically designed for students:
- To help upskill future workers, AWS collaborates with higher education institutions to help students build in-demand cloud skills prior to entering the workforce. Over 150 higher education institutions across APAC are delivering our ready-to-teach AWS Academy curriculum on topics such as cloud foundations, cloud architecture, machine learning, and data analytics.
- Students interested in free, self-paced learning can complete any of our 12 Cloud Career Pathways and explore hundreds of hours of free content with AWS Educate for roles such as data scientist, application developer, and software engineer.
Advice for disenfranchised individuals and non-digital workers
AlphaBeta predicts that “learning basic digital skills are likely to be crucial for non-digitally skilled workers to increase productivity in their current jobs, and for disenfranchised workers to secure new employment opportunities by 2025.”
While the primary focus for these groups should be on learning basic digital skills, for a subset of these workers, building foundational cloud computing competencies can help them launch a new career. AlphaBeta recommends that APAC governments develop public policy approaches to skill these populations and improve the diversity of digital workers.
- Our AWS re/Start program focuses on training unemployed or underemployed individuals, including indigenous populations, military veterans, their families, and young people. The free, full-time, classroom-based skills development and training program prepares individuals for careers in the cloud and connects them to potential employers. A technology background is not required to apply. AWS re/Start operates in more than a dozen countries across the globe, including Australia, with more planned for 2021.
Take the first step: advice for anyone looking to get started with cloud
At AWS, we recognize that addressing the skills gap will require intentional, sustained efforts by both private and public sectors, and we’re investing hundreds of millions of dollars into this effort. Workers should look for opportunities in their countries to build both basic and advanced digital skills, including cloud computing. And, if you’re looking for a place to get started, you can check out our library of more than 500 free digital training courses.
About the research
AlphaBeta, a strategy and economics firm, investigated the current and future state of skill skills in the APAC workforce. The AWS-commissioned report, “Unlocking APAC’s Digital Potential: Changing Digital Skill Needs and Policy Approaches,” analyzes the digital skills applied by workers in their jobs today and projects the digital skills required by workforces over the next five years. The research is based on a survey of 3,196 workers from six APAC countries: Australia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and India. AlphaBeta developed an “APAC Digital Skills Framework” to comprehensively map all the digital skills applied in the workforce and to assess digital skill utilization in the six focus countries. This framework includes eight competence areas, four proficiency levels and 28 specific digital skills. Read the report for more details.