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Google is addressing the shortage of cloud computing skills with free training courses in AI, Kubernetes, and multi-cloud services.
Participants will have the opportunity to work their way through four skill challenges: ‘Getting Started’, ‘Data Analytics’, ‘Hybrid and Multi-cloud’ and ‘Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning’.
Each challenge has been designed to give participants a greater understanding of the subject, and a chance to earn a Google Skill Badge to prove their knowledge and competency.
The courses are being run on QwikLabs, the learning platform Google acquired in 2016 to help people get to grips with Google Cloud.
‘Getting Started’ requires learners to demonstrate core infrastructure skills, such as writing cloud shell commands and running applications on Kubernetes. ‘Data Analytics’ encourages participants to expand their skills into AI and machine learning, covering everything from BigQuery and writing SQL queries, to building forecasting models.
‘Hybrid and Multi-cloud’ is designed for more advanced learners who want to showcase their skills with Google Kubernetes Engine and Anthos, while the final challenge, ‘Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence’, is aimed at engineers ready to demonstrate their competency with CloudSpeech API, AI Platform, and Cloud Vision API.
In a blog post announcing the program, Google Cloud customer engineer Murriel Perez McCabe said: “Each track will give you a chance to earn different skill badges such as the Foundational Infrastructure skill badge or Foundational Data, ML, and AI skill badge, which you can share with your network. To earn a skill badge, complete a series of hands-on labs on Google Cloud labs to learn new cloud skills and take a final assessment challenge lab to test your skills.”
In a survey by Logicworks released last year, some 86% of IT leaders reported that the shortage of cloud computing skills would slow down their cloud projects.
Participants in Google Cloud’s skill challenges need to register their interest by January 31st, and will have 30 days of access free of charge.
Google’s initiative follows a similar move by Amazon Web Services; in December 2020, the company pledged to offer free cloud training to 29 million people in a bid to bridge the skills gap highlighted by the effects of COVID-19.