Cloud computing is transforming modern business practices. Instead of managing piles of paper records or purchasing expensive onsite servers to store information, businesses are increasingly “moving to the cloud.” Cloud computing delivers computing services like servers, databases, software, and more—online and offsite, rather than on a local device. Cloud computing is a complex and technical field managed by intelligent and educated technicians.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is like renting a storage unit instead of buying a bigger house—but the storage unit in this case is digital. Rather than purchase expensive hardware, companies can purchase digital storage space for their data at a much more affordable price.
Cloud computing provides the necessary speed and agility for scalable growth, as companies can steadily increase storage as needed, or scale down their storage when demand is lower.
Who is Responsible for Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing specialists are essentially specialized software engineers who design, develop, and maintain cloud systems. A deep understanding of cloud architecture is necessary to ensure the efficacy of the business processes taking place out of sight. As a relatively new technology, formal education is standard for those hoping to master the cloud.
Aside from the technical skills and know-how gained in a formal degree program, college can help develop graduates into well-rounded individuals. Attending a university for cloud computing could impart more than just computer-savviness, as courses could also cover:
- Logical decision-making processes
- Problem solving & conflict resolution
- Oral & written communication skills
- Customer service skills
- Ethical & professional best practices
Do I Need a Degree in Cloud Computing?
There are many different paths to every destination, but a degree is sort of like a map which allows you to find the most direct route—the highway. Without a map, you could end up lost in a bad shortcut or drowning in a sea of irrelevant knowledge. By taking the most efficient path and earning a degree, you put yourself on the highway to success.
Cloud computing experts typically have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science and information technology, with a focus on cloud computing. A bachelor’s degree in Cloud Computing could equip students with the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed for a future in cloud computing—not to mention the documented evidence of their subject mastery (the degree).
Cloud computing students are typically exposed to the critical areas of systems administration, network security, and of course, cloud computing. Coursework may also include:
- AWS Academy Foundations
- Network Virtualization Foundations & Labs
- Advanced Linux Administration & Labs
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine Learning
- Edge Computing
- Ethical Hacking
While it may be possible to teach yourself, it will take infinitely longer and with no demonstrable proof of your knowledge (no degree), that shortcut may turn out to be a dead end.
You’re better off taking the college degree highway!
What Else do Cloud Computing Professionals Need to Know?
Know the Lingo
Not only are technophiles infamous for their incomprehensible-unless-you're-part-of-the-club slang, but computers and software have their own languages. Everyone knows about binary (01000110 01110101 01110100 01110101 01110010 01100001 01101101 01100001 00001010, amiright?) but we’re talking specifically about software and programming languages:
- ... and many more!
You won’t necessarily need to know all of these, but any quality cloud computing degree program should introduce Java and Python at the very least. These two are extremely popular choices for the IT crowd—and of course, the cloud crowd.
Safe & (Cyber) Secure
As with most technological professions, cloud computing experts experience a significant amount of overlap with other technologies. While cloud computing handles the storage of data, cybersecurity handles the protection of data.
It would serve aspiring cloud computing professionals well to study up on cybersecurity foundational knowledge, as it could help you better communicate and collaborate with cybersecurity colleagues.
It’s no secret that technology is continuously evolving. While it may seem like a difficult task to keep up with all the latest innovations, the abundance of high-quality certifications available in this industry can help make it manageable. Organizations like Cisco, Microsoft, and CompTIA offer a variety of industry certifications for computer science, information technology, and cloud computing professionals.
Certifications can help you stay in the loop or give your resume a boost right after graduation. A well-recognized industry certification is like a shiny gold star on your resume or portfolio—it demonstrates that you are knowledgeable about and committed to your field, as well as dedicated to your own ongoing professional growth.
Where Should I Study Cloud Computing?
Choosing the right college for your lifestyle and goals is important. Not all universities are created equal, and you’ll want to research all your options before investing in a college degree.
Here are five questions to ask yourself while you shop for schools:
Do I have time to earn a degree?
This is the most important question to consider. Four years is the traditional length of time to earn a bachelor’s degree—but it is not the only option.
Select universities offer cloud computing bachelor’s degree programs at an accelerated rate, meaning that you could graduate in as little as 2.5 years, instead of four.
How can I go to school (even for 2.5 years) if I work full-time?
Life is such a balancing act. For aspiring students with jobs, families, and other obligations, some universities offer classes during the evenings or weekends.
If you can give up a few hours on weeknights and every weekend, you could be well on your way to a bachelor’s degree in cloud computing (and getting your weekends back) in as little as 2.5 years.
Do I want to study online or on-campus?
In today’s remotely connected world, this is a key question to ask yourself. Consider the following:
- Would you perform better in a classroom or your living room?
- Do you have the discipline to arrive on campus, on time, and with all the required materials?
- Do you have the discipline to manage your studies at home and keep track of deadlines on your own?
These are questions only you can answer—and there are no wrong answers. Everyone works differently.
Cloud computing courses are available both online and on-campus at many modern universities, providing convenience for students with full schedules. Choose whichever environment makes you feel comfortable and focused.
Does the cybersecurity degree program offer practical activities or interactive labs?
Hands-on learning is especially important for complex technical fields such as cloud computing. A great degree program in this field will offer classroom learning supplemented with hands-on experience and practice.
Everyone makes mistakes when starting a new endeavor, and a hands-on degree program gives you the opportunity to make yours in a safe environment, where you can learn from them.
Is the school or its cloud computing degree program recognized by any official organizations?
This can come in the form of institutional or programmatic accreditations, or designations by major governmental institutions, such as SACSCOC or the Department of Homeland Security.
This sort of endorsement demonstrates the legitimacy of the university or the educational programs it offers—which is why it is so important to consider. Be sure the degree you want to earn is valid by checking accreditation status before enrolling and investing your time and money.
Once you’ve addressed these questions, you’ll likely have a few of your own. Maybe you’d like to swing by an open house event to see the facilities and speak to an instructor. Whatever you’re pondering can likely be addressed by an admissions representative.
Narrow down your options to a short list and pick up the phone! You’ll never know if you don’t ask.
Are You Interested in a Degree in Cloud Computing?
ECPI University offers an Accelerated Cloud Computing degree program that is convenient, hands-on, and available on-campus or online. We’d love to tell you more and give you a tour of our facilities.
Contact our friendly admissions department and ask for more information on the Bachelor of Science in Computer & Information Science, with a Major in Cyber & Information Security – Cloud Computing Track. The degree title may be a mouthful, but it could be the BEST decision you ever make!
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