What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a critical part of the digital economy, offering a variety of cloud computing services. Learning AWS can open up a range of careers in a variety of industries, including cybersecurity, data analysis, and machine learning.

Key Insights

  • AWS is a versatile cloud computing platform used by organizations ranging from Bloomberg and Netflix to the NFL and NASA.
  • AWS offers over two hundred cloud computing services, from hosting and storing vast amounts of data to training machine learning programs.
  • Learning AWS adds an in-demand skill set to any professional in computer science, data science, or cybersecurity, and is particularly valuable for aspiring computer programmers or data scientists.
  • AWS is the world's most commonly used distributed cloud computing platform, holding about 33% of the international market share, indicating a wide range of employment opportunities for professionals trained in AWS skills.
  • Job roles that utilize AWS applications include Cybersecurity Engineer, Data Analyst, and Machine Learning Engineer, with salaries depending on the specific role and level of expertise.
  • There are several ways to learn AWS, including live courses, on-demand skills training courses, and free training resources provided by Amazon. Noble Desktop offers professional training services both in-person and online.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a distributed cloud computing platform that allows individuals and organizations to rent Amazon server space and computing power. Released to the public in the mid-2000s, AWS has become the most commonly used distributed computing service in the world. AWS is used by industry leaders ranging from Bloomberg and Netflix to organizations like the NFL and NASA. Whether used for data storage, processing, machine learning technology or any of the hundreds of services offered, AWS is becoming a vital part of the digital infrastructure that undergirds our economy. In this overview, you’ll learn more about what AWS is, what it can do, who uses it, and how to learn it to determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

What Can You Do with AWS?

Given that AWS is a collection of over two hundred different cloud computing services, there are an almost endless number of different things you can do through AWS. On an enterprise level, AWS allows organizations and businesses to host and store huge amounts of data and utilize Amazon’s various data analysis tools to interpret, catalog, and use that data. AWS also allows groups to take advantage of Amazon’s computer infrastructure to train machine learning programs or assist in web development. AWS is also a common-hosting platform for web applications.

AWS is also used in a wide variety of different contexts outside of the world of business. It is such a versatile service that companies and organizations have found ways to tailor AWS services to their needs. The NFL uses AWS for advanced statistical analysis and data-driven sports science, and MI:6 uses the same platform to store classified information of vital national security interest. The versatility of the services offered by AWS lets the same users building machine learning algorithms host those tools for companies wanting to perform significant data analytics projects. As the AWS cloud computing platform grows, so does the scope of projects it can handle.

How Do You Download/Get AWS? How Much Does it Cost?

AWS is available through Amazon. Users will need to sign up for a subscription to the service and begin receiving estimates on the cost of their usage. AWS uses a pay-as-you-go subscription model in which users are required to pay a fluctuating monthly fee based on their usage, the size of their organization, and other factors, including what services they are using and how they are being utilized. This means that the cost of using AWS will vary for each user. However, since AWS is optimized for large organizations and corporations, the cost to individual users will generally be very low. For instance, using AWS, hosting a simple webpage will only likely cost users between one and three dollars per month.

There is also an expansive free tier available for AWS users that includes significant discounts on select services and lengthy free trial periods that make computing free up to a certain usage threshold. Given the number of different uses, for AWS, the applicability of the free tier will vary depending on your individual needs. Still, it is worth considering for individual users.

What Are the Benefits of Learning AWS?

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Given that AWS encompasses over two hundred distributing computing services ranging from API development tools to cloud computing to data analytics and cloud storage, almost any professional in computer science is likely to use some element of AWS. Whether it is for data storage, cybersecurity, cloud computing, or advanced development assistance, there are many professional reasons to learn how to utilize AWS. Learning AWS will add an in-demand skill set to your repertoire regardless of what you aspire to do in computer programming, data science, or cybersecurity. The versatility of the applications offered through AWS makes it an ideal choice to learn for anyone who wants to work in an advanced computer-related career path.

Since AWS uses a metered, pay-as-you-go system individuals and small organizations interested in taking advantage of these services can also use AWS. This makes it a valuable skill to learn if you are an aspiring computer programmer or data scientist looking to learn essential tools they can expect to regularly use in their regular professional lives. Individuals can use AWS to vastly expand the computing power they have access to for developing things like applications and databases. Smaller organizations or start-up businesses can take advantage of Amazon’s massive server farmers to purchase access to a level of computing power they would never be able to access without these services. 

Read more about why you should learn AWS.

AWS Careers

AWS is utilized across a wide range of industries and professions. Given that the AWS client list ranges from Bloomberg to the NFL to NASA, there is no shortage of employment opportunities for professionals trained in AWS skills. As of 2022, AWS is the world's most commonly used distributed cloud computing platform, holding about 33% of the international market share. Since hundreds of different tools are available for AWS users, it also covers a wide range of career titles and sub-fields. No matter what your career path is, if you emphasize computer science, data analysis, or information technology, learning AWS will pay dividends. A small sampling of the jobs that utilize AWS applications include:

Cybersecurity Engineer: Given that AWS is utilized by thousands of organizations ranging in size from small startups to multinational corporations, the data and information stored in the cloud must be properly protected. Cybersecurity Engineers are specialists who make certain that systems are functional and protected. These computer science experts will be tasked with building systems infrastructure, running tests on the stability of their systems, and keeping up-to-date on security threats. Cybersecurity Engineers are in high demand, particularly for systems running on AWS platforms, because those firms and organizations tend to collect and store vast amounts of sensitive information.

Data Analyst: The flipside of this massive amount of data is that firms using AWS are employing large amounts of data scientists and analysts to collect, organize, and interpret this data. Many Data Analysts will work in business firms hoping to track customer behaviors, predict market trends, or analyze exploitable market failures. This kind of analysis is in high demand in the financial sector, meaning that experts can find high-paying jobs in several major American cities. Other employers, such as professional sports organizations, entertainment companies, and public-sector utilities and advocacy groups, are pivoting towards increasingly data-driven models for optimizing performance.

Machine Learning Engineer: A newly emerging career field that is becoming increasingly connected to AWS is the field of machine learning. As more and more data is collected every day, it is becoming virtually impossible for human beings to interpret it at a reasonable pace. Thus, more and more firms are relying on machine learning algorithms to automate learning from individual behaviors and translate that information into usable recommendations. This can be for things as mundane as recommendation algorithms on streaming services to processes as significant as automating trading decisions that move millions of dollars in the stock market without human oversight. As machine learning technology improves, partly due to the tools available through AWS, these specialists will continue to grow in demand.

How to Learn AWS

Students looking to learn AWS will have some different options available to them. Students can learn from live courses or purchase on-demand skills training courses from professional instructors. Each of these courses will have different affordances and limitations, and students should read on to learn more about the differences so they can make a more informed decision about the route they want to take for their AWS training. Students interested can learn more about the options available to them for AWS classes using Noble’s Classes Near Me tool.

Most students find that the best way to learn a new skill is through live instruction since these courses ensure that students will be able to work with expert instructors who can guide them through the process of learning AWS. These classes are taught both in-person and online in private digital classrooms using applications such as Zoom. These classes tend to be the most expensive options but also ensure that students receive guided instruction and assistance through practical, hands-on AWS training.

Students enrolled in in-person training courses can receive face-to-face, potentially one-on-one instruction from expert instructors in a dedicated classroom environment. Students will be in a classroom setting with a cohort of like-minded students, offering them valuable networking opportunities and students will be able to take advantage of a training center’s onsite computer labs. The drawback to these classes is that they are highly region restricted, as students will only be able to attend the training centers that they can physically commute to. This isn’t a major problem for students who live in a major metropolitan area, like NYC or San Francisco, but it can be a problem for students who live elsewhere.

Students enrolling in a live online course won’t be restricted to the courses offered near them which will greatly open up their options for AWS training. These courses let students learn from the comfort of their personal workstations and let them work on the devices they will do most of their work on. These courses still provide students with the same guided instruction and hands-on training, so students aren’t sacrificing quality in education to move online. The drawback is that these classes will require students to supply and maintain their own hardware and software, which can add up and mitigate the financial advantages of eliminating a commute.

Some students will need increased flexibility in their scheduling, since they may have work or family obligations that prevent them from attending a regularly scheduled training course. These students can enroll in on-demand training classes that let them work at their own pace, picking up and putting down their lessons on their schedule. This makes the courses ideal for students who need to spread out their training or who want to quickly learn a specific aspect of the AWS suite of applications. The drawback is that these classes lack live instructors, which can cause problems for students who run into challenges or roadblocks during their training. They are also the courses most likely to contain out-of-date information since the AWS platform updates so frequently.

Finally, students who aren’t ready to enroll in a full-time AWS training course may consider taking advantage of free training options. Amazon offers students a wide range of free training resources designed to help ease them into the AWS platform in preparation for professional skills development training. These free resources aren’t enough to prepare students to use AWS professionally, but they are ideal places to start to become comfortable with cloud computing services.

Read the full guide on how to learn AWS.

A Brief History of AWS

Amazon Web Services began as a means of expanding upon Amazon’s ecommerce marketplace Merchant.com in the early 2000s. In 2002, Amazon.com Web Services was launched to give all users access to Amazon’s platform. By 2003, Amazon had identified ways to process databases, storage, and distributed computing technologies through the platform.

In 2005, Amazon launched its S3 Cloud Storage system and began the process of migrating all of its online marketplace data to the new platform. In 2012, Amazon officially split AWS from its online retail space and began treating the two entities as separate financial companies. At this time, AWS was the only major cloud computing provider and began picking up contracts with industry leaders such as Netflix.

Since this shift to cloud computing services, AWS has become an industry titan, working with clients like NASA, the NFL, and the DoD. In 2021, Amazon reported that AWS accounted for nearly 40% of the 42 billion dollar web computing industry.

Comparable Platforms

AWS’s primary competitors are the two other major cloud computing providers, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. These three companies currently control upwards of 70% of the market share for cloud computing service providers, so anyone working in a computer or data-related field will likely utilize one or more of these providers. Each provider offers different advantages and disadvantages, but the ultimate difference lies mostly in industry adoption and what industries a student hopes to work in.

AWS is the oldest cloud computing platform and therefore has a significant head start in terms of features and adoption. As of the time of writing, AWS offers about 200 unique services, whereas Azure offers a bit under 100 and Google Cloud offers only about 60. While the other two platforms are consistently expanding their service offerings, there are very few features offered by other cloud providers that AWS doesn’t offer. The price of each service will vary based on what it is used for and how much data is being used, but in general, Azure is slightly cheaper for data storage and AWS is slightly cheaper for distributed computing. However, the difference can be measured in fractions of a cent, so the differences will only become visible for the highest volume users.

Each service has been adopted by major corporations and public-sector organizations, meaning that no matter what skill you learn, you can expect that many prospective employers will already be using the platform. Students won’t be restricted to a specific platform if they have professional aspirations. However, AWS is the most commonly used of these platforms since it is both the most expansive and has been on the market the longest. 

Students interested in learning more about Azure and Google Cloud should consider exploring the Noble Desktop Learn pages for those platforms

Learn AWS with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Those interested in learning how to utilize AWS and the various computing processes available through the service may want to receive guidance on using these tools. Anyone looking for this guidance can find it through the professional training services offered by Noble Desktop. These classes are available in-person at Noble’s Manhattan campus or online in private digital classrooms. Regardless of how you take these classes, students will be taught by expert instructors who have years of experience working with AWS. Class sizes, even those online, are kept small so students won’t have to worry about competing with their classmates for their instructor’s attention. Plus, anyone enrolling in a Noble training course can retake the class any time within a calendar year for free. This will ensure that students have even more time to practice their AWS skills.

People who are interested in an overview of the tools offered by Amazon and their basic functions will want to enroll in Noble’s Cloud Computing with AWS course. This class will teach participants how to build enterprise-level cloud computing environments for various professional purposes. Students will learn how to use cloud infrastructure for building networks and databases and receive practical, hands-on training in these skills to be ready to apply their training once they enter the professional world. This is an excellent course for those who want to work with AWS tools but aren’t sure that they want to specialize in a specific aspect of the program suite.

AWS is vital to modern cybersecurity infrastructures because many major institutions and organizations utilize the platform. If you’re interested in entering this important and growing career field, you will want to enroll in Noble’s Cybersecurity Bootcamp. In this immersive, career-focused training program, students will learn how to analyze and engineer cybersecurity systems for Python, Linux, and cloud computing databases like AWS. As more important and sensitive data is stored on cloud systems, businesses will become more invested in their cybersecurity infrastructure. In this class, students will learn techniques for monitoring, analyzing, and planning cybersecurity systems, how to discover weaknesses and potential exploits in a system, and how to recognize attackers and security breaches. This is an ideal course for any student who wants to enter into a new career in the in-demand field of cybersecurity. You may also wish to explore their other options for cybersecurity classes and bootcamps through Noble Desktop.

Key Insights

  • AWS is Amazon’s cloud computing platform that allows users to functionally rent out Amazon’s servers and computing resources for tasks ranging from web hosting to data analytics to server storage.
  • AWS is the leading provider of cloud computing services, accounting for nearly forty percent of the forty billion dollar industry.
  • The cost of using AWS will vary from user to user as they operate on a pay-as-you-use system determined by usage, location, and services.
  • AWS has been an industry leader since its shift to a cloud computing infrastructure in the early 2010s. At the time of writing, AWS provides users with more than 200 different services.
  • To learn more about how to utilize AWS and its wide variety of services, students may consider enrolling in a comprehensive AWS training course at Noble Desktop. These courses are offered in person at Noble’s Manhattan campus or in live online classrooms.
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