The last twelve months have seen cloud computing come to the rescue of many organisations worldwide, with the technology allowing us to continue to work, learn and socialise safely from home. Expenditure on cloud-based computing has never been higher, and, as we look ahead to what 2021 may bring, most computing experts agree that our dependency on the cloud will continue.

A Skills Shortage

Unfortunately, the speed of the adoption of cloud-based computing has been outstripping the capacity of our existing workforce to gain the skills necessary for fully exploiting this technology. The cloud computing industry looks set to become a stalwart of technology sector employment in the future, with this year alone predicted to see the public cloud infrastructure market reach a value of $121 billion, a dramatic increase of 35%, according to a Forrester Research report.

The positions needed to support the rapid expansion of cloud-based services are many and varied. They include roles such as software engineers, DevOps engineers, full stack developers, and software architects. The demands of cloud computing technologies such as SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) require highly-trained specialists, able to design these applications and deploy them across public, private and hybrid cloud environments. It’s an increasingly competitive field, with more software companies wanting to take their share, so applicants able to fill “build the cloud” roles will be highly sought after.

The cloud also brings plenty of entry-level opportunities, too. And international retail and software giant Amazon wants to provide that valuable introductory training for almost 30 million people in 200 countries around the world, including the UK.

Amazon Is Going To Boost UK Cloud Training

Run by the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) division, there has been a commitment to training for some time now, but 2021 sees a significant acceleration in this provision. No longer solely concerned with hosting websites and applications, AWS now wants to spearhead a focus on plugging the cloud computing skills gap worldwide, at no inconsiderable expense.

AWS plans to provide a training library with flexible learning materials, for 500 different courses, alongside intensive virtual training days and interactive labs. Participants can gain AWS certification as evidence of their new skills, which can help them in their transition into cloud-focused roles. Five UK cities with the greatest need for entry-level cloud workers will see AWS support in the form of its re/Start program, too: Blackpool, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Participants will be drawn from a range of backgrounds, with the AWS re/Start program aiming to see an increase in under-represented communities gaining positions in the cloud sector. Candidates will include young job seekers, veterans, and those made redundant from jobs in other sectors, and seems likely to be of great benefit to those struggling to find work in these challenging times.

The re/Start program will provide twelve week intensive training and support for such candidates and includes not only vocational cloud computing skills, but valuable employable qualities such as effective communication, time management and interviewing. Computing training will cover Python coding, Linux, networking, security and relational database skills, enabling graduates of the scheme to apply for roles in areas such as infrastructure support, cloud operations and site reliability. No wonder the scheme is being praised by the UK government’s Minister for Digital and Culture.

It’s certainly looking bright for a cloud-based future, but it’s clear too that the skill shortage must be addressed quickly in order for UK businesses to make the most of the technology. Investment from Amazon is undeniably a boon to this sector, and will hopefully lead to further UK training initiatives being rolled out in the near future.