7 Cloud Computing Skills to Know

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Cloud computing skills are in high demand. Learn what the top skills are for this career path and where you can start learning them today.

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Cloud computing makes accessing data and services over the internet possible. As organizations have shifted operations and data to the cloud in recent years, they’ve been able to save money and space on data storage centers and servers. 

Cloud enables tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Docs, and more. Jobs in cloud computing are also increasing in demand–and tend to be well-paid as a result. Here, we dive into the skills you’ll need for a career in cloud computing, as well as online courses and certificates to get started today.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing refers to our ability to access software applications, data storage, servers, networking, analytics, and intelligence, over the internet instead of using physical servers located in an office. This advancement in technology offers companies the opportunity to innovate and scale quickly and with flexibility.

Cloud service providers currently dominate cloud computing. Big names such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure deliver this service to millions of customers.

7 cloud computing skills you should know

If you decide to pursue a career in cloud computing, these skills will be helpful to know.

1. Programming languages

The building block of an application for the cloud requires a deep understanding of the most popular programming languages. You’ll want to be able to write code to build and manage applications. Some common ones include Python, JavaScript, and R, all of which are suitable for cloud software development. To build database-powered applications, you’ll want to understand SQL and data structures, too.

Read more: What Programming Language Should I Learn?

2. Cloud service platform knowledge

It’s a good idea to get familiar with cloud service platforms like AWS, GCP, and Microsoft Azure. That way, you can understand the differences between the providers and be able to advise companies or teams on which one is best to run a specific application. Knowing the pros and cons of each can help give you a leg up in a cloud computing career.

Read more: What's the Difference Between AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud?

3. Database management skills

Within the cloud, databases are one of the more widely used software applications. Cloud databases provide companies with the ability to scale and manipulate data efficiently. There are several types of database services, such as NoSQL, relational databases, and data warehousing, which are all offered by cloud providers. You’ll want to understand database types and services very well, including what they enable and how they work together.

Read more: Relational vs. Non-relational Database: The Difference Explained

4. Linux

Cloud service platforms tend to benefit from understanding how to code on Linux, an open-source operating system. Linux offers a low- or no-cost OS for developing apps that are easy to customize and secure. For cloud professionals, learning how to build, design, and deploy on Linux OS (alongside the more common Windows and MacOS) is an in-demand skill.

Read more: How to Learn Linux for Your Career: A Beginner's Guide

5. Information security

Just like in any data-based environment, information security is important in cloud computing. You’ll want to understand access and identity management so that personal information stored on the cloud is secure and protected. Cybersecurity is an in-demand skill set and career path as cloud computing technologies continue to rise and evolve.

Read more: 5 Cybersecurity Career Paths (and How to Get Started)

6. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Software applications and services to interact with each other and exchange data with the help of APIs. These are widely used in modern software development, for both tangible and cloud-based computing. You’ll want to know how to build and link different workloads onto the cloud using APIs. Common APIs for use in the cloud include GraphQL and REST.

Read more: What Is an API? (+ How Do They Work?)

7. DevOps

DevOps means “development and operations” and describes support staff who are integrated into the development process. They work with developers to provide design, development, and production support throughout the development lifecycle. These roles are crucial to push out app projects faster and more efficiently. Understanding the fundamentals of DevOps can help you troubleshoot your own issues as they may arise.

Read more: What Is DevOps? A Guide to the Basics

Start learning cloud computing

Interested in developing your cloud computing skills? Start with IBM’s Introduction to Cloud Computing, a course where you’ll learn the basics, history, business cloud, and emerging technologies. 

Or, start preparing for an entry-level cloud computing job today by enrolling in the Microsoft Cloud Support Associate Professional Certificate program. In just two months, you can gain cloud support diagnostic skills and practice using industry-standard tools like Microsoft Azure while earning an employer-recognized certificate from Microsoft.

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