Michael Carey has worked in the field of Information Technology for over three decades, and became Long Island’s first CNE in 1988. He recently became an accredited instructor for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud. Michael is an instructor for Nebula Academy’s AWS Cloud Foundations courses. We asked Michael a couple of questions about the program as someone with IT experience, as well as having recently completed the course and now being an instructor.
What’s the value to you personally in getting certified in AWS?
My work centers around web services infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure is extremely important to what I do. Everything I do runs off of that. It’s very important to me to get very knowledgeable on Cloud offerings. I chose AWS and I’m happy with my choice. The certification has given me exposure to and knowledge of other technologies that AWS offers, of which I was not aware but going through trainings, It opened my eyes to other really cool things. To me, this technology, and this learning experience, are absolutely necessary components for what I do.
How do you feel the content prepares you for real world applications and exam certification?
As a student, the organization of the materials is fantastic. The content is quite comprehensive. There is a lot of material but the organization of it makes a lot of sense. There’s a discussion of the theories, then there are application examples as well as lab exercises which allow you to bring it all together to apply what you’ve learned. This process helped me in my preparation for the exam. Each topic is organized in the same format, so you get used to it as you undertake the material. I also have experience with other methods for preparing for exams, but nothing has come close in terms of coverage and quality of material that Amazon has to offer.
As an instructor, I appreciate the organization and structure of the content and the learning experience. It makes my job easier to convey in a repeatable pattern for each topic even though the topics are very different. To be able to discuss theory, show practical examples and get students in the lab, helps me to get feedback of the students’ understanding of the material.
In you experience for employers, how much do they value certifications and why?
When an employer is looking for someone who has a specific skill set, in this case it would be IT infrastructure, making applications and building solutions in the Cloud, they need to know the specific experience that you have. A certification demonstrates a minimum standard of knowledge wherein you know that the applicant is sufficiently exposed to the material. That combined with work experience will determine if the applicant is a good fit. Without a certification, you put yourself at a disadvantage for the employer, which has to rely on your version of your own story. You need a certification and work experience to be as marketable as you possibly can, especially in today’s highly competitive professional landscape.
What can students expect to be challenged with when taking this course?
A basic IT background is probably a requirement. Amazon-related knowledge is not at all a necessity. Everything is covered in the material. However, it would be helpful to the students to have general knowledge of a server, computing, accessing things remotely, firewalls, etc., but nothing too in-depth. One of the challenges to be expected is the amount of learning the students have to do in a small amount of time. You don’t need Amazon knowledge to begin but you come out with a lot of information. There’s a lot of material on topics that are covered, and the challenge is to stay on track. The design is good; it’s broken up over time for people to digest the material and be able to demonstrate their understanding in labs. The labs are helpful in addressing the challenge in assimilating all the connections. Nevertheless, the volume of information is what challenged me. So, I advise students to stay on track during the course.
Additional comments about AWS Cloud Foundation
There’s a big demand for it. Everything is cloud based now. You have to listen to a business challenge and develop a plan to build something virtually. That is where we are at today and where we will keep going in the future. There is a huge market for it. Software runs on this infrastructure, and anyone with an AWS Cloud certification is very well marketable.
Want to learn Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud? Learn more and sign up here for Nebula Academy’s AWS Cloud Foundations program. You may even get a chance to meet Michael!