4 steps closer to your AWS Cloud career
I always knew that I wanted to work with computers. From an early age, I was building computers and troubleshooting systems with my dad. When it came time to find a career, the choice was obvious for me: information technology (IT). I started in the desktop support field ten years ago before moving on to a few different system administrator positions around the Seattle, Wash. area. For the past four years, I’ve been a Senior Technical Trainer with Amazon Web Services (AWS). While I was very fortunate to know what I wanted to do, that’s not always the case for everyone. If you’re reading this and thinking about a career with the AWS Cloud and aren’t sure where to start, keep reading! I outline four steps you can take to sharpen your skills and make your resume stand out.
1. Be curious
One of the most sought-after skills in IT is not specifically an IT skill, but a desire to continually learn and explore. Tech is always changing, and AWS is constantly releasing new services and features. It’s challenging to know them all, and it can feel overwhelming to start. If you’re brand new to the AWS Cloud, you can find more than 500 free digital courses from AWS Training and Certification to help you increase your understanding—from foundational, to intermediate, and advanced.
The most popular course, AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials, is a great place to start. This six-hour, self-paced course provides a detailed overview of AWS cloud concepts, services, security, architecture, pricing, and support, and helps you prepare for the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam. This certification—and the knowledge gained—provide a roadmap to determine what interests you, which leads me to my next point …
2. Find your niche
We all have subject matter that we’re naturally drawn to. For me, it’s operations. I can’t get enough of anything related to automation, DevOps, or system administration. Sit me down in front of a command-line interface, and I’m in heaven.
Take some time to reflect: what’s your niche? You might know what it is right now, or maybe it’s something you need help discovering. The best way to find it is to start immersing yourself in new subjects. Again, I’d point you to the fundamental digital courses across all AWS Cloud domains—from machine learning to storage, security, databases, and more, as well as our role- and solutions-based learning paths.
Whatever your passion is, find it, embrace it, and I’m willing to bet there’s an opportunity to leverage it in the AWS Cloud. Having broad knowledge about general core competencies, as well as a specialty, will set you apart from other candidates. Go explore!
3. Build a personal project
There’s no substitute for hands-on experience. This is one of the easiest ways to build your cloud skills, and one of the best ways to study for your AWS Certification. While watching digital content or taking a live class taught by an AWS expert can be a great way to get your feet wet, you’ll need to dive into the technology headfirst. The best way to do that is by building a personal project on the AWS Cloud. If you haven’t created one already, now is the best time to sign up for a free AWS account.
Now, find that pet project you’ve been meaning to work on and get started! As an AWS trainer, this is something that I work on daily. We have to be up-to-date with the latest AWS knowledge, and creating and working with AWS services is the only way I can teach this content to my students. Not sure what to build? Check out this free application tutorial.
4. Stand out
Studying for, and achieving the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification is an excellent way to stand out when applying for early level cloud roles. It is an industry recognized credential that validates your overall understanding of the AWS Cloud. You can even take it from the comfort of your home. As if that’s not enough to convince you, according to Global Knowledge, AWS Certified professionals can earn salaries up to 29 percent higher than the norm for certified staff, and 10 percent higher compared to other cloud certifications.
Now let’s put the finishing touches on your resume. A strong, updated resume plays a large role in earning a phone screen or interview. Make sure you avoid spelling errors, awkward sentences, poor formatting, or anything else that doesn’t cast you in a positive light. I’ve included a sample resume template at the end of this post.
While these reminders may seem obvious, I’ve seen these errors on resumes that have come across my desk, and it’s always unfortunate. Take your time to proofread, ask a trusted friend or colleague to review, and take pride in your resume! While it’s not a complete representation of your professional history, it’s your chance to stand out to recruiters and land the interview.
Don’t worry if all these suggestions feel overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time. Remember that whenever you need a hand learning a new AWS Cloud skill, AWS Training and Certification has your back. Best of luck, and happy learning!