It’s not difficult to see where the popularity of cloud engineering stems from. After all, the benefits of cloud computing for businesses are numerous:
- Reduced costs: Cloud providers offer hosting services at far lower rates than traditional dedicated hosting.
- Flexibility: Cloud services can be accessed when and where needed best, not just during prescribed hours of operation.
- Scalability: Cloud allows for rapid provisioning with no downtime or interruption in service to the end-user.
For these reasons and more, organizations are willing to pay well for services from professional cloud developers. And, as a result, the cloud computing industry is expected to grow from a $250 billion industry in 2021 to a whopping $832 billion by 2025.
However, when it comes to learning cloud computing, there are more high-quality options available on the market than ever before. Thus, making an educated decision as to what cloud computing course to take can be a daunting task.
That is why in this article, we’ll introduce you to a range of the very best cloud computing courses on the market. Each of which has a unique purpose and target audience. We have years of experience reviewing online courses and we hope that with our experience, we can help you make an educated decision.
Without further ado, these are the top 7 best cloud computing courses for 2021:
- Best Overall: Cloud Developer Nanodegree (Udacity)
- Best for Certification: Cloud Computing Specialization (Coursera)
- Best for Credits: Cloud Computing MicroMasters (edX)
- Best for Microsoft Azure: Cloud Developer using Microsoft Azure Nanodegree (Udacity)
- Best for Google Cloud: Preparing for Google Cloud Certification: Cloud Architect Professional Certificate (Coursera)
- Best for AWS: AWS Cloud Architect Nanodegree (Udacity)
- Best Crash Course: Cloud Computing: The Big Picture (Pluralsight)
Best Overall: Cloud Developer Nanodegree (Udacity)
This is the most in-depth, project-filled, and career-supportive cloud computing course on the Internet.
Udacity’s “Cloud Developer Nanodegree” course is a superb cloud development course that’s designed to take students with a basic understanding of programming principles and turn them into full-fledged cloud developers.
Within the four-month syllabus, students:
- Learn how to deploy simple static websites to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
- Create their own version of Instagram by using Node.js, AWS RDS, and S3.
- Develop four hands-on projects together with one large capstone project.
- Get access to career services that include LinkedIn and Github profile optimization.
Thankfully, though, Udacity also offers students two beginner-level programs, the “Front End Web Developer Nanodegree“, and the “Introduction to Programming Nanodegree“, which cover all the prerequisite skills needed for this higher-level cloud computing course.
With this offering of courses, Udacity has made it very easy to get started on a cloud developer career path. And, that is why we felt their Cloud Developer Nanodegree was more than deserving of the #1 spot in this review of the best cloud computing courses. By the end of your student journey, you’ll have various student projects in your portfolio, your CV and LinkedIn profile will be up to standard, and you’ll be all set to start your professional career. For building a career, there’s no doubt about it: this program is the best there is.
Best for Certification: Cloud Computing Specialization (Coursera)
This is a university-led series of cloud computing courses that are part of an online master's degree from the University of Illinois.
The “Cloud Computing Specialization” on Coursera is a series of six online courses led by the University of Illinois. The series starts off with an introduction to the basic concepts of cloud computing, followed by more advanced lessons on cloud systems, applications, and networking. At the very end, all students also complete a final project that requires the students to take all the theoretical knowledge they have acquired and put it into practice.
Now, let’s talk about the creators of this course – the University of Illinois.
Ranked as the #5 U.S. graduate school for computer science, the University of Illinois is one of the best schools in the country to learn cloud computing. Not only does the high ranking make the certificate of completion more valuable to employers, but it also means that you’re getting a top-level university education at a bargain price.
However, the syllabus in this cloud computing course is not always perfect. Some students have complained that key topics were not explained thoroughly enough, and many also found that the practical assignments did not come with clear enough introductions. For these reasons and more, the course is left with a rating of 4.3 – lower than many other Coursera courses.
Despite these shortcomings, this is still a superb online cloud computing course and well-deserving of a place in the top 3 of cloud computing courses. If you want a course that’s led by a respected university, this might just be the best online cloud computing class for you.
Best for Credits: Cloud Computing MicroMasters (edX)
This an 8-month series of four graduate-level cloud computing courses led by the University of Maryland.
The “Cloud Computing MicroMasters” on edX is another one of the best cloud computing courses for many reasons.
Firstly, it’s led by the University of Maryland, ranked #15 among graduate computer science programs in the U.S. While it’s not the highest-ranking university, you’re still getting a university-level education for a cheap price by taking this course.
Secondly, this course allows one of the best opportunities to turn your cloud computing course certificate into a full-fledged master’s degree. Finishing this course gives you 1/3 of credits for the MS in Cloud Computing Architecture degree from the University of Maryland, meaning that while taking this course, you’re potentially already working towards a real master’s degree.
However, similarly to most traditional degrees, the lessons are instructor-paced, meaning that the study time is not up to you, but rather the teachers. While it’s not a massive disadvantage, it’s certainly worth highlighting because normally one of the major advantages of online learning is that it’s self-paced. In the case of this course, though, you’re at the mercy of the schedule of your instructors.
Despite that, though, this cloud computing course is an excellent way to get university-level education for a cheap price. And, the possibility of transitioning the certificate into a cloud computing degree makes the deal even better.
Best for Microsoft Azure: Cloud Developer using Microsoft Azure Nanodegree (Udacity)
This is the best cloud computing course for mastering Microsoft Azure: one of the quickest-growing cloud platforms.
“Cloud DevOps using Microsoft Azure” on Udacity is the best cloud computing course for developers with a very specific purpose: mastering cloud development on Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure is the world’s second-biggest cloud infrastructure provider, grabbing a market share of 20% compared to the 32% of Amazon’s AWS and the 9% of Google Cloud.
It’s worth highlighting, though, that Microsoft Azure’s revenue is growing considerably quicker than Amazon’s, meaning that right now is an excellent time to learn the ins and outs of Azure. As more businesses switch over to Azure, cloud developer with Azure expertise will grow increasingly in-demand. By taking this program, you’ll be all set to benefit from its’ meteoric rise.
Microsoft offers numerous Azure certification exams to developers, beginning from fundamentals exams such as the AZ-900, going up all the way to expert exams such as AZ-400 “Azure DevOps Engineer” certification. This course is specifically aimed at the AZ-204 “Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure” exam, but it’s just as good at teaching you the must-knows of Microsoft’s other Azure exams.
This is why if you’re interested in getting certified as a cloud developer by Microsoft, we recommend “Cloud DevOps using Microsoft Azure” as the best cloud computing online course for you.
Best for Google Cloud: Preparing for Google Cloud Certification: Cloud Architect Professional Certificate (Coursera)
This is our favorite online course for learning cloud development on Google Cloud: another one of the world's top cloud providers.
If your end goal is to get certified as a Professional Cloud Architect by Google, you’re in for a treat. “Preparing for Google Cloud Certification: Cloud Architect Professional Certificate” on Coursera is an online course dedicated to helping students crush this very exam, and it’s one of the highest-rated cloud computing courses on the Internet.
While Google Cloud is not as popular as AWS or Azure, it still holds a respectable 7% market share in cloud infrastructure services. It’s also the #1 provider for cloud hosting services, powering more than 38 million live websites.
Now, considering that Google Cloud is not as popular as Azure or AWS, why would you want to invest your time and energy into it?
Well, for one, Google Cloud architects have one of the strongest average salaries out of all cloud developers. With an average salary of $178,000 per year, you can rest assured that you’ll always have a high income by choosing to become a Google Cloud architect. Another good reason to become a Google Cloud architect is its’ rapid growth. Google Cloud is growing fast, with revenues increasing by 46% year-over-year, and this growth is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
If you’re interested in becoming a cloud architect on Google Cloud, this will be the best online course for you.
Best for AWS: AWS Cloud Architect Nanodegree (Udacity)
This is the best cloud computing course for developing and deploying applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Udacity’s “AWS Cloud Architect Nanodegree” is our pick for the #1 cloud development course for AWS. As of 2021, AWS continues to be the world’s top cloud provider, and despite the quick growth of Microsoft Azure, AWS is not yet showing any signs of losing its’ top position in the cloud computing market.
The students best prepared to succeed in this cloud architect program have experience with web development, object-oriented programming, cloud development, and are familiar with concepts related to hosting and web applications. While not exactly beginner-friendly, this syllabus provides a unique opportunity for developers familiar with the fundamentals of cloud computing to take their skills to the next level.
However, keep in mind the course covers just one cloud provider, AWS, so those who are interested in other providers such as Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud will have to look elsewhere for an online program that best suits their needs. For Amazon Web Services, though, we consider this the very best cloud development course on the Internet. It goes deeper into the the technicalities than most other courses, and this makes it ideal for programmers with already existing cloud expertise.
Best Crash Course: Cloud Computing: The Big Picture (Pluralsight)
This is a short online cloud computing course designed to give you an elementary overview of the cloud computing industry.
“Cloud Computing: The Big Picture” on Pluralsight is the seventh and final course in this review of cloud computing courses. It’s led by David Chappell, a published author, engaging instructor, and keynote speaker, who has taught cloud computing to vast amounts of people.
This course is much shorter than all the others on this list and it’s best suited for those looking to get a more general overview of the industry and does not go into detail about any specific topics. This is also a good course for non-technical students who are only interested in learning the fundamentals, rather than going deep into programming concepts.
For this reason, we recommend “Cloud Computing: The Big Picture” as the best crash course if you’re just starting out in cloud computing or need an introduction to the field. The syllabus is nowhere near enough to get you to develop and deploy cloud applications by yourself, but it will give you a general idea of what cloud computing is all about. Sometimes, all you need is a short overview of a particular field, and this course offers just that: a basic overview of cloud computing.