I am a Data Scientist, should I also learn cloud?
Great question. I find this question intriguing because it’s the same question I asked myself a few months back.
The short answer is actually yes!
Learning cloud will give you an advantage over everyone else in the industry especially because everyone is likely to have the same skills as you have, cloud will set you apart. But that is beside the point. Truth is, learning even the different tools present on most cloud platforms helps your mind and skills move beyond the usual jupyter notebooks and .py files to learning about the wonderful game-changing technologies available for us data scientists some that even involve no code, to be able to carry out the usual mundane tasks easily.
There are so many cloud platforms to explore such as AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP(Google Cloud Platform), and Microsoft Azure, and others, so which one should I explore?
The answer is any can do. You can also be biased toward whichever your workplace uses as well.
I have personally interacted the most with AWS, first when I obtained an AWS Machine Learning Engineer scholarship with Udacity and I have been exploring the platform ever since. From ML transcribing services for audio and video files to GroundTruth for Data Labelling to using AWS DeepRacer for reinforcement learning models, AWS Deepcomposer for using AI to generate an original song(so cool!), and finally Amazon Quicksight for Business Intelligence Insights, just to name but a few.
AWS also has wonderful introductory courses on their cloud platform. I especially found this course on cloud essentials helpful in navigating my way around the platform and gave me a quick heads up in understanding what is used where and why. The course is also free of charge and is only 6hrs!
Should I aim to be certified in these technologies too?
A certification will act as proof that you are knowledgeable especially when applying for jobs, I am however of the opinion that it all depends on your goals especially because these certifications are not free and will involve some investment on your end. Some people actually end up switching careers to cloud specialties because it really can be interesting stuff.
There are however scholarships available and some organizations even pay for their employees’ education on these platforms. I advise that you explore these options first.
If you have some extra time on your hands, stay curious and get some hands-on knowledge on cloud essentials via a platform of your choice!