Engineering Expertise Choosing a Cloud Computing Certification By Jennifer Martin | September 20, 2021 Cloud computing is indisputably one of the most important aspects of modern computer science. However, the importance of cloud computing is only rivaled by its complexity. People who are interested in the subject often find themselves unsure how to proceed. What’s the best way to learn about cloud computing? Likewise, which certifications will best demonstrate that understanding to potential employers? The simplest answer is that an Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification is the best way to highlight your understanding of cloud computing. Studying for AWS certification is also one of the best ways to gain a solid understanding of the subject. To fully understand why that’s the case we’ll need to delve a little deeper into the nature of cloud computing. The Nature and Importance of Cloud Computing We can best understand cloud computing by thinking about a traditional computer. A computer primarily consists of a processor, memory, storage, display and input devices. We also must consider all the software-based options. This includes the most notable and complex example of an operating system. However, a computer typically has many other complex components as well that work with software of their own. For example, a graphics processing unit is almost a computer unto itself. And a computer’s bios is in large part what enables the functionality of modern operating systems. This might seem like a large leap in subject matter, but we can now consider a cloud. Like computers, clouds are made up of many separate components. Clouds typically consist of water droplets in liquid or frozen states along with miscellaneous elements such as dust. We also find one extremely important element of this system that isn’t seen very often in other large objects. A cloud can easily grow or shrink in reaction to its environment, and a cloud isn’t any less a cloud when water is removed from it. Nor is a cloud significantly changed by adding more water. The fundamental nature of a cloud is just dynamic internal modification. And here’s where we can see a link between clouds and cloud computing. Imagine if a computer could function in the same way as clouds in the sky. What if adding or removing storage space, processing power or memory could happen without needing to make any change in the system? Imagine if a computer could grow or shrink depending on our needs. That’s exactly what cloud computing is. Most aspects of a computer are reimagined as a software-based system. We can think of this as a cloud drifting through the substrate of digital networks rather than the sky. Of course, this brings up an important question from the perspective of someone who might be studying it. How is cloud computing used within the modern computer industry? Cloud Computing in the Business World The public’s first major introduction to cloud computing came from smartphones. At one point the average smartphone had a robust internet connection but was seriously underpowered in terms of basic operating system and hardware functions. Apps tended to offload much of the processing to remote servers on the other side of a network connection. Cloud computing became the norm within this relationship. The phone handled the management of graphical elements such as buttons, but the cloud system on the other end would handle most of the app’s actual data processing. This has changed a little as smartphones have become more robust. Modern smartphones have far more powerful processors than they used to. However, mobile apps and cloud computing still go hand in hand. The impact of cloud computing tied to smartphones can’t be overstated. People were suddenly able to use powerful programs on relatively underpowered devices. They could even comfortably transition between mobile apps and desktop programs thanks to cloud storage’s ability to share data. But the impact on cloud computing was even more significant in the business sphere. The Interaction of Company and Cloud Of course, all these apps needed to connect with a server. And this is where we start to see why cloud computing changed the way companies operate. We can imagine a small developer who’s created an app. The developer doesn’t expect many users or much profit at the very beginning. But under a traditional computing model they would need to purchase server space comparable to what they hoped the service would grow into. Cloud computing changed all of that. Remember that we noted storage space can be dynamically allocated within a cloud server. In this example, the app developer could simply scale up their storage space as newfound popularity gave them more funds. This is true of almost anything that an app developer, or any type of developer, would need. Developers will often host the entirety of a program on cloud servers. This is an entire subcategory of cloud computing known as SaS, or software as a service. And these are only a few examples of how people are leveraging cloud computing in the business world. Likewise, this is what we’ll need to understand to earn AWS certification. It’s clear that cloud computing is a profitable area of study. And we’ve noted that AWS certification is the best way of displaying skill within that discipline. So how do we go about studying for and earning AWS certification? Cloud Computing Certification Programs As we’ve seen, the subject of cloud computing is extremely complex. Cloud computing involves reimplementing most aspects of advanced computing within a semi-virtualized environment. This means that standard computing is a basic prerequisite upon which we also need to add a whole other layer of study. The sheer complexity of cloud computing suggests that it’s usually best to tackle AWS certification through a full certification program. This program provides several powerful benefits. One of the most significant benefits comes simply from the fact that the instructors have also been through the accreditation process. With accreditations this complex, the exam can’t realistically cover every subject in the same amount of detail as a full certification program. Instructors who’ve been through the testing process themselves and experienced it along with you can give a wealth of information about your overall progress preparing for it. For example, you might worry that you don’t have a solid enough background in Software as a Service. In this situation an instructor could work with you and quickly gauge how prepared you actually are to earn the certificate. We’ve also seen just how varied the career path for someone with an AWS certification can be. Cloud computing is a huge subject, and the job market is equally expansive. Taking a certification course gives you the ability to speak with someone who’s worked within that job market. Doing so also gives you a chance to decide on your professional direction before you earn the certification. A certification program makes earning an AWS certificate far easier. The Benefits of Planning Ahead A certification program also provides a lot of options that aren’t directly related to an immediate career opportunity. This can involve opening the door to other, related fields. For example, an AWS certification provides additional credits. This can be of immense benefit when getting an idea of the industry. Computer science is in many ways defined by rapid and continual development. Working on a certification gives you the perspective to look over the industry as a whole. You can see elements related to the certification that interest you. For example, when studying cloud computing you may be intrigued by aspects of hybrid technologies. The understanding of cloud computing naturally transitions into the larger whole of hybrid designs. This also plays into the importance of on-site learning with real hardware. Getting a Handle on the Hardware We’ve seen how cloud computing mimics computer hardware. But at some point, we need to host it on something physical. This aspect of the industry is much harder to work with since the underlying hardware is quite expensive. One of cloud computing’s benefits comes from the way it can scale pricing to meet demand. It’s quite cost effective for someone to have cloud computing accounts, rather than working with the actual hardware. However, when we work through a certification program, we do have the opportunity to work with actual cloud computing hardware. This helps to round out the educational experience and ensure true expertise. This is a huge help when finally taking the AWS certification, but it’s also an important part of learning about the industry as well. Final Thoughts Now that you know more about cloud computing, it is time to work toward a certification that will put you in charge of managing this indispensable tool that your organization will utilize. Knowing the ins and outs of cloud computing will help you advance your IT career, and the first step in this new career is getting certified in cloud computing. Fortunately, the University of Silicon Valley can help. Take the time to learn more about the certification in cloud computing and become an indispensable part of your IT team. Ready to learn more about the certification offered at University of Silicon Valley in cloud computing? Our comprehensive Computer Science & Engineering degree programs are taught by entrepreneurs who are in the thick of the industry. At University of Silicon Valley, the certificate of cloud computing offers students industry-driven training in computing, with a focus on concepts, techniques, and technology relevant to cloud computing. The program offers an introduction to fundamental concepts in computing and information technology. Students learn valuable skills derived from industry-leading cloud providers including Amazon Web Services. Graduates of this certificate will be ready for the AWS Academy program and the Silicon Valley workforce. University of Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.