Amazon Web Services launched a subscription-based course for employees to learn about cloud computing called AWS Skill Builder Individual and Team. (Photo by Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced AWS Skill Builder Individual and Team subscriptions for employees at organizations to learn about cloud computing and get more practical experience with hands-on training.

The new subscriptions-based courses offer a wide range of exclusive content aimed at helping students enhance their cloud security skills and more effectively prepare for AWS Certifications.

Part of the new subscription program features AWS Builder Labs where students receive a sandbox AWS account for the duration of the lab. Students learn how to configure S3 buckets to host a static website and move on to more complicated tasks, such as building a serverless web app using Amazon DynamoDB.

Many organizations that try to foster and build in-house expertise in cloud and cybersecurity often are limited by budget, said John Yun, vice president, product strategy at ColorTokens. Yun said cloud resources account for a significant part of an organization’s budget and allocating a portion for training purposes often becomes prohibitive. By offering the sandbox as part of an official training, Yun said any related cost would typically come from a company's IT budget rather than the business unit or part of the bucket that’s allocated to cloud resources and operations for business. This will go a long way to help organizations plan their training strategy to better support their business. 

“The availability of real-world scenarios and examples will also greatly assist organizations,” Yun said. “While we take on-the-job training as the norm these days, cloud and related cybersecurity projects take this concept to a new level. Many analyst experiences in real-world scenarios come from jumping from one fire to another. While that may accelerate one through the learning curve, it often results in burn outs and not being able to sufficiently analyze the learnings to apply to future projects."

John Bambenek, principal threat hunter at Netenrich, added that the AWS program builds on a growing trend by tech companies to find ways to develop coding talent around the higher education system.

“Certainly with the level of student debt involved, coding can operate more like a trade,” Bambenek said. “What we really need is secure coding skills. More coders making insecure code will only give security teams much more to be worried about. That said, I’ll probably have my high schooler start this in the coming months.”