AWS Training and Certification Blog

Organizations future-proof their workforce with AWS Training and Certification

Editor’s note: Each year, Global Knowledge, an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Training Partner, conducts a worldwide survey of IT leaders and professionals to share changes and trends within the technology industry. There were more than 9,300 respondents this year from North America (45%), Latin America (6%), EMEA (28%), and APAC (21%). This year’s results offer insights about the recognized value of training and certifications for organizations and individuals alike.

Digital transformation has become a priority for many organizations as the race to the cloud has accelerated over the past 18 months. As a result, IT professionals with the necessary skills are in high demand; however, in the 2021 Global Knowledge IT Skills and Salary Report, 76% of IT decision makers reported an IT skills gap, which is a 145% increase since 2016. Organizations simply can’t find candidates with the necessary skills, leaving many jobs unfilled. In fact, 54% of the surveyed IT decision makers reported they’ve been unable to fill at least one position, and 38% report having three or more roles unfilled in the last year.

The report validated AWS Training and Certification as a primary tool to help individuals develop and validate cloud skills to help close skills gaps. We summarized some of the key report insights for you to reference as you’re looking to build your cloud skills—and those of your organization—throughout 2022.

Solving the skills gap with training

The skills gap continues to be a persistent barrier for organizations. Nevertheless, 90% of IT managers reported having a plan in place to address the skills gap, and 56% believe the answer is training existing staff. IT staff crave learning and development for personal growth and are using multiple learning methods. In 2021, 73% of IT professionals worldwide actively participated in web-based, on-demand training sessions and 38% of training was delivered by a live instructor in a virtual format. Not surprisingly, in-person classroom training was the least utilized means of professional development because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We heard from our customer, Choice Hotels, that their technology team has a diverse group of talent with varying degrees of cloud skills and fluency. Though some were hesitant to learn something new after 10 to 20 years of traditional IT experience, Choice Hotels recognized they could help develop their workforce if more employees were familiar with the latest AWS services and offerings. Brian Kirkland, chief information officer at Choice Hotels, said, “Choice Hotels wants employees to have a career path and do new, exciting things. Training helps us level the playing field by meeting them at their level and developing their cloud skills.”

On the flip side, employees who aren’t getting learning and development opportunities from their employer may move on. The survey found more than 50% of IT professionals reported that a lack of learning and development is the main reason for changing employers. To address both the skills gap and employees’ desire to learn, leaders and organizations are providing just-in-time and ongoing training to upskill their workforce.

IT certifications boost value for both individuals and organizations

Individuals didn’t stop at training and invested time to get industry certified. For instance, 92% of IT professionals reported holding at least one AWS Certification in 2021, which is up from 87% in 2020. Further demonstrating the value of certifications, 48% reported an improvement in the quality of their work post-certification, 32% felt more engaged at work, and 27% felt they were faster at performing their job.

The survey also suggested that organizations see the value of AWS Certifications. About 50% of IT decision makers believe that certifications close organizational skills gaps, and 64% of IT decision makers say certified employees deliver $10,000 or more in additional value compared to non-certified employees.

Case in point, until early 2020, EPAM, a global AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, had been training engineers using an intensive internal education program. But as the industry changed, certifications were in higher demand. As a result, EPAM created a plan to upskill its engineers and exhibit their expertise using Associate- and Professional-level AWS Certifications. “Though we weren’t facing challenges in meeting our clients’ needs, we knew it would be important to demonstrate our technical prowess through certification,” said Dmitry Tikhomirov, vice president and cohead of cloud and DevTestSecOps at EPAM.

AWS Certifications are in demand

AWS offers 11 industry certifications, ranging from role- and solution-based certifications to introductory, advanced, and specialty certifications. In 2021, we learned that three AWS Certifications are in the top 10 IT certifications IT professionals plan to pursue. These include AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, and AWS Certified Solutions Architect –Professional. We also learned from survey respondents that AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate was the number-one paying certification in EMEA, number seven in Latin America, and number 10 in APAC.

The bottom line

It’s clear organizations aren’t slowing down their investment in cloud technologies, and they recognize the importance of including a bigger emphasis on upskilling existing staff in their overall cloud transformation strategy. If you’re ready to get started training your staff in cloud, we can help.

Learn more about AWS Training and Certification.