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AWS Cloud Skills Training Aims to Help Close IT Talent Gap

AWS Training and Certification launches highly interactive, challenge-based digital training to help both individuals and organizations improve their cloud skills.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Training and Certification has launched two digital subscriptions aimed at helping organizations and individual learners deepen their cloud skills.

An Individual subscription bolsters cloud skills through interactive, challenge-based learning in live AWS environments; a Team subscription provides administrator functionality for assigning training and accessing built-in reports to monitor course progress.

The subscriptions allow individual learners, customers, and AWS Partners to gain deeper cloud expertise with premium training resources that are highly interactive, challenge-based, and hands-on.

Related: AWS Announces Availability of New Cloud Services

The resources include three new technical roles for the role-based game called AWS Cloud Quest, open-ended AWS Jam Journey and AWS Jam event challenges, more than 100 AWS Builder Labs, and full-length AWS Certification Official Practice Exams and exam preparation courses.

Scott Barneson, general manager of AWS Training, said the company chose to offer individual learners and organizations two subscription options for its AWS Skill Builder digital learning center product to build upon the free training they already have.

This includes:

  • more than 500 digital courses
  • learning plans
  • 10 AWS Certification Official Practice Question Sets, with 20 exam-style questions each
  • AWS Cloud Quest: Cloud Practitioner role, which launched in March 2022

"Our customers have been asking for this type of hands-on, interactive training in a digital modality in order to scale their training to employees around the world," he said. "In addition, customers and partners with the Team subscription can assign training to more than 50 employees and track their progress with administrator functionality."

Making Cloud Skills Training Fun

Barneson calls AWS Cloud Quest a "first-of-its-kind skills training game" for the cloud.

"We designed it for learners who want an interactive learning experience, giving the opportunity to get hands-on with the AWS Management Console and AWS services in a way that increases understanding and retention of skills," he explained.

AWS wanted to inject some fun into the learning process with this course, Barneson added.

"In March, you saw the first iteration of the game with cloud practitioners, and with a subscription, learners can explore three new role-based games — solutions architect, serverless developer, and machine learning specialist," he pointed out.

The idea is to make it easy for anyone with a desire to learn about cloud computing to access the tools to make that happen — whether they are new to the cloud computing industry or experienced professionals looking to advance their skills or transition to a cloud career.

"We know that there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to training — people learn in different ways and with different goals in mind, so we're constantly innovating new ways to make training accessible," Barneson said.

Related: Cloud Computing Sustainability: How Green Is the Cloud?

The program offers learners a variety of training modalities and price points, and in addition to free self-paced digital training, AWS offers in-person and virtual classroom training for those learners who value in-person, live instruction.

Bridging the Cloud Skills Gap

The demand for cloud continues to accelerate, with Gartner predicting global public cloud spending will grow 22%, from $396 billion to $482 billion, this year alone.

However, this growth is outpacing the available IT talent pool, with IDC predicting that by 2025, 90% of organizations will find that their available digital talent falls short of their transformation needs.

This shortage will cost more than $6.5 trillion in delayed product releases, reduced customer satisfaction, and loss of business by 2025.

Barneson said business and technical leaders can address the cloud skills gap in their hiring and recruiting motions, or take a more strategic, long-term view in building cloud talent internally.

"Not only does investing in training and certification increase productivity, retention, and job satisfaction among organizations' employees, but it also can lead to increased on-the-job efficiency, effectiveness, job security, and higher earnings for individuals," he said.

He noted that when an organization commits to doing business in the cloud, the best investment it can make is in its people to help them deliver on their cloud goals.

"The long-term benefits can help you power business transformation that leads to long-term success for all involved," Barneson said.

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