A Degree in Cloud Computing from Malaysia’s Top University will Set You Apart
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Many students choose their courses without thinking and when they graduate, they realise that they cannot find a job easily or they have to choose a job from a totally unrelated field out of desperation because they cannot get a job.
Nowadays employers seek more and more IT professionals that know their way around cloud computing and can help them implement a cloud environment into their infrastructure as seamlessly as possible.
The Cloud Computing market is booming, and many companies in Malaysia as well as globally have been switching to cloud services from their on-premise data centers. With increased data usage, and automation the cloud computing industry is set for a great future. Naturally, this will open up many job opportunities for cloud computing graduates. Students who do their research on future job demand will have the advantage in having chosen a course that has future job demand.
By taking a recognised Cloud Computing degree programme and the certification courses, you would be one step further than the competition and one step closer to a job you are super qualified for thanks to the key concepts, latest trends and best practices you have learned in the course.
You may also be interested to read:
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- Find Out the Difference Between the Top 3 Computing Courses in Malaysia – Information Technology (IT), Computer Science & Software Engineering
- Top 10 Diploma in Computer Science, Diploma in Software Engineering or Diploma in Information Technology (IT) Course at Top Universities in Malaysia
- Malaysia’s Best Foundation in Information Technology (IT) / Computer Studies
- Computer Science vs Software Engineering Degree Courses at Top Private Universities in Malaysia
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Which are the Top Private Universities in Malaysia for Cloud Computing?
Based on data extracted from the LinkedIn Talent Insights (LTI) platform, skills that are high in demand in Malaysia as well as Southeast Asia include analytical skills, software development, various programming languages and cloud computing.
As for secondary school leavers or pre-university students who are wondering what courses to pursue in university, these trends suggest promising career opportunities in digital technology-related disciplines like Cloud Computing.
Not many private universities in Malaysia offer a computing degree programme that specialises in Cloud Computing. However, the 2 private universities that do offer this specialisation are top ranked and have won many awards in the IT field.
What is the Education Pathway to a Career in Cloud Computing in Malaysia?
Students after high school who are interested in a career in Cloud Computing can start with the Foundation in Computing & IT and then continue on to the degree programme. The Foundation course is 1 year and students will need to have at least 5 credits in SPM or IGCSE O-Levels including Maths to enter.
Another pathway is to take the Diploma in Information Technology (IT) for 2 years and then enter into Year 2 of the computing degree programme for another 2 years.
Students can choose from the following computing degree programmes in order to pursue a career in Cloud Computing. During your degree studies, you should take the Certification Courses related to Cloud Computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more—over the Internet (“the cloud”).
Companies offering these computing services are called cloud providers and typically charge for cloud computing services based on usage, similar to how you are billed for water or electricity at home.
To illustrate the example, we all consume electricity at home. We turn on our fans, lights, computers, TV, washing machines, etc with the click of a button. We press the buttons and electricity runs through our home appliances. We do not have to worry about who supplies this electricity to our homes. Nor do we have to worry about how it is supplied or how it is maintained. Tenaga Nasional (TNB) takes care of all these issues. What we do, at the end of the month we get a bill saying that these are units of electricity consumed and this is the amount we need to pay.
Well, Cloud Computing is like your electricity board. But instead they provide cloud computing services to host all our data. Cloud Computing enables on-demand services like computing, storage, networking, etc which can be accessed through the internet and the user is not required to manage these resources
Cloud Computing Careers
Cloud Computing was rated as one of the most wanted hard skills in 2020. A statistic by LinkedIn States that Cloud Computing ranks second in the of most sorted Hard skills that are looked after by the employers across the globe. It even ranks about above the popular skills like data science and artificial intelligence.
Another statistic that talks about most sort after tool or platform that employers demand for are, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, that closely follow Python and other skills. From this it is evident that Cloud Computing is here to stay and people will chase this career path.
Cloud Computing Service providers have come up with role based certifications. These roles based certifications ensure you have a well-defined path that you choose to make a career in this area of specialty.
Cloud Platforms primarily divide these roles in these three paths:
- Cloud Solutions Architect
- Cloud Administrator
- Cloud Developer
Cloud Solutions Architect
These are the professionals who are expected to design blue prints of Cloud Solutions. Just as an architect designs blueprints of Buildings they build. Solutions who have built and designed software solutions will be able to relate Cloud Solutions Architect role.
This is a very important role as these people are involved in design of applications on cloud platforms or even in planning of migration of application to Cloud platforms.
These are the job responsibilities for a Cloud solutions architect:
- Design and deploy applications that are dynamic, scalable, always availability, fault-tolerant and reliable in nature
- Have clear and deep understanding of cloud services
- Should be able to select relevant services on cloud so that process of designing and even deploying applications becomes easier and they meet the requirements that were defined
- Migration is another key area, because we may have to migrate existing infrastructures that cannot be discarded right away. So it is important you have technical knowhow on how this migration happens and in optimised manner
- Designing and deploying enterprise wide scalable operations on cloud platforms
- You should have knowledge on how to optimise costs of your architecture on cloud
Once the Solutions architect designs a blueprint we know what needs to be built. A cloud developer one is expected to bring these blueprints to life. So Cloud Developers are ones who design and develop Cloud applications. As a Cloud Developer you would be expected to know the best practices one needs to build architectures.
Cloud Developers are also expected to involved in practices that concern, developing, deploying, and even debugging cloud applications. Here are some skills a cloud developer is expected to know or get involved in:
- As a developer you would be expected to know at least one programming to core
- Skills that help develop, deploy and debug cloud applications
- Understanding Software development lifecycle management practices
- DevOps is slowly becoming an integral part of software development these days
- Hence understanding of DevOps practices is also important
- Ability to build CI/CD pipelines
- Stay involved in essential security practices
- Ability to write and debug codes at stretch
- Understanding of how containers work
These professionals are also known as Cloud Operations Engineers. They are involved technical operations that concern cloud applications. Additionally, they are deeply involved in managing and monitoring cloud applications.
They have to interact with the developers to understand how these applications would work in Production environment and also be involved at a customer end to understand how the application is performing in the production environment. Here are some of those skills or responsibilities you should have as a cloud administrator or operations engineer,
- You should relevant experience as a system administrator and should knowledge about system operations
- Virtualization is very important from a cloud perspective and it important you know virtual machines or virtualization
It is important to know auditing and monitoring of resources
- You should have knowledge about networking concepts
- As an administrator it is important to have knowledge of DevOps practices as well
- It is important to know and understand data flow from a particular service to another
- Ability to understand how networks work and how to keep data safe and secure over this network
- Understand of monitoring and management services on cloud platforms
- Ability to be involved in discussions with solutions architects to plan and implement cost optimization practices on cloud
AWS Certifications and Careers
Students can go for the Certification courses during their degree studies. The certification courses are:
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect
- AWS Certified Developer
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator
To get the certifications just mentioned, people who are starting fresh with Cloud Computing, should start with AWS Cloud Practitioner Certification. This is the certification that prepares you to the fundamentals of Cloud Computing and Amazon Web Services.
Once you have this you should think of stepping up and choose a path or a role mentioned above. The roles or certifications mentioned above are similar in nature when compared with three cloud career roles we discussed in previous bit.
One thing you need to know is once you have the foundational certification, the next step is to opt for an associate level certification. The expects you to have one year of experience in Implementing cloud solution AWS cloud platform or relevant experience that tells you are practically adept for this role. So can opt for associate level certifications for AWS Architect, AWS Developer or AWS SysOps Administrator roles.
Once you have these certificates you can try for jobs in this domain. These certifications are valid for two years post that you may require to retake the exam if AWS decides to discard these certifications or change them majorly.
If you have worked in the domain and have experience over two years. You will be eligible to professional level certifications. These advanced certifications and you tested on your technical and advanced level skills in your domain or role. As an AWS Solutions Architect you can opt for Professional certificate for AWS Solutions Architect. If you are a AWS Certified Developer or AWS Certified SysOps Admin you can opt for a professional certification that is AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional.
What are the Skills Needed to be a Cloud Computing Specialist?
Some must-have skills for people willing to break into the cloud computing sector are:
Knowledge of Cloud Platforms
When you start learning cloud computing the paramount topic is the knowledge of cloud platforms. This includes knowledge as well as how different cloud platform providers work. The different cloud service providers are AWZ, Azure, and Google Cloud. They all offer end-to-end services like databases, computational capabilities, storage capabilities, data-migration, and Machine learning capabilities. Understanding how these cloud service providers work becomes crucial.
Choosing which platform to study can be tricky, the popular choice right now is AWS, but there can be a shift anytime towards other platforms like Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). So it is always better to go for a course that teaches all the three platforms in-depth.
Data Storage on the cloud
Data Storage is defined as the storage of data online on the cloud. Data is the driving force behind cloud computing, and it is vital to understand where and how data is stored. Storage is always defined based on a company’s needs, there a few types of storage one can choose from
- Private cloud storage
- Public cloud storage
- Hybrid cloud storage
It is essential to learn and understand data storage in order to have a complete idea of how data is being dealt with inside a cloud environment.
Networking on the Cloud
Centralised computing resources are being used and shared over the cloud platforms this has led to a rise of network management functions inside the cloud. Better network management functions result in fewer customer devices needed to manage the network.
Increasing internet access and more reliable WAN bandwidth are 2 other factors that have led to a need for network management functions. These 2 factors have also increased the demand for cloud networking as companies are increasingly looking for network access using cloud-based services.
A cloud engineer is also responsible for designing networks that are always responsive to the demands of the customers by building automatic adjustment procedures. A cloud engineer needs to understand networking fundamentals and virtual networks that are important for managing networking on the cloud.
Security is the most important thing for any company when working on the Cloud. Initially the adoption for the cloud was slow as many organisations were skeptic about using cloud security. The safety protocols around the internet were bad a few years ago, people were concerned about the safety of cloud storage around sensitive data. Although today’s worldwide web is safer than before, cloud security is still the primary aspect for developers and cloud engineers to learn.
Organisations use cloud security tools like Bitglass, Skyhigh networks, Okta, CipherCloud, etc., to secure their data. In addition to having security tools, professionals who will be responsible for the security are expected to have in-depth knowledge of these tools.
Data Management on the Cloud
Data is the most essential factor when it comes to the cloud. Cloud is used by the public to store data like their photos, videos, documents etc.. and on top of all this, companies store a lot of sensitive information on the cloud.
A Cloud needs to be effective in collecting, storing, maintaining, and providing access to the data on the cloud. Given how important data management is, obtaining data management skills becomes important in cloud computing. To be better at data management, one needs to learn and understand database-oriented languages like SQL and Hadoop.
Understanding Serverless Architecture
Serverless architecture offers a lot of advantages over the traditional cloud-based or server-oriented infrastructure. It offers better scalability, flexibility, and speed while reducing the cost. Developers do not need to worry about purchasing, managing backend servers, and provisioning.
Cloud these days consist of industry-standard technologies and programming languages that help in moving serverless applications between cloud vendors. The many advantages that serverless architecture holds, learning and understanding serverless architecture is non-negotiable.
Cloud Computing Service Models
Base on the way a Cloud Service is provided to a consumer, we classify it in three main categories,
- IaaS(Infrastructure as a Service)
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
These are called as Cloud Service models. We will describe them briefly:
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Here the user is provided with Infrastructure as a whole, where he or she can get involved in the configuring the infrastructure right from data, applications, middleware and operating system as per the need.
Your vendor on the other hand manages, all the application needs that concern, virtualization, storage, servers and networking. In simple words infrastructure is provided to in the form of service. And hence we rightly call it as infrastructure as a service. Amazon EC2 service which is a computation service is a fairly good example of IaaS form of service. Virtual Machines by Microsoft Azure is an equivalent to Amazon EC2 in terms of IaaS service. IaaS services require user configuration but are suited to users who want control over the configuration part. This was about IaaS Service model.
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
As the name suggests, here vendor gives the consumer Platform in the form of service. Here the only thing the user has to bring on the table is the data, or the applications. For example, you have your code or data ready but just need an environment where you can place or use this data. Then Cloud Services will provide you with a platform in this case where you can run the applications you have or build newer ones in the environment provided to you.
The vendor controls runtime concerns, middleware, operating systems, virtualization, servers, storage and even networking. A good example for this Amazon Web Services catered service called as Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. Amazon Elastic beanstalk provides your applications or data a perfect environment or platform to run. It lets you deploy and scale your web applications or services.
It supports Java, .net, PHP, NodeJS, Ruby, Docker and even Go. It also supports quite few servers in the market. All you have to do load your data. Elastic beanstalk will be managing, spawning instances, auto scaling, deployment, loading balancing and even resource monitoring.
So you actually a get platform in real terms.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
As the name suggests in this offering a complete software is given to the users to actually go ahead and use in the form of a Service. Here the only thing you manage as the user is your data. Your vendor manages the application, middleware, operating systems, runtime, servers, storage, virtual machines and networking.
The vendor in simple words gives a software to use. A common example would GMAIL. Yes, here as a user what you will do is login with your credentials. And use this email software in the form of a web application. You do not have to worry about any servers, outages, disasters and in this case you don’t even have to download anything.
Another example would be Facebook. You just login and start using this social media service where you can post your pictures communicate with people etc.
Summary of the 3 Services
These services are similar to getting Pizza.
If made from scratch, it is more of an Infrastructure as a Service. Because you will make your own dough, use the sauce and other ingredients as per how much you need.
Ordering it on home delivery is more of a Platform as a service. Whereas going out and eating it is more of a SaaS as a Service.
This was about the popular service models of Cloud Computing. Let us now go ahead and understand what type of Deployment Models cloud computing offers us.
Cloud Deployment Models
We deploy are applications to Cloud Servers. While doing so we consider various factors while doing that. Like what location should the data reside, how to manage latency issues and even what kind of security we want. Let us go ahead and understand different deployment models that cloud platforms have to offer. These are the types of deployments Cloud Computing offers,
- Public Cloud
- Private Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
- Community Cloud
As the name suggests this cloud is available to people publicly. Here you rent the services and servers from a third party vendor. These services can be operated or accessed through the internet over the network. Here you share software, hardware and network devices with other clients that take services from the same service provider.
In public cloud, we as a consumer will rent all the services. This means the user does not have to worry about configuration and managing these services. The vendor takes care of management, manages cost and maintenance, all we do is pay for the costs or rent details your vendor gives you.
This deployment appeals most in terms of investment, freedom of scalability and no need to bother about buying expensive servers or resources.
- It reduces time
- It is highly cost effective
- Gives flexibility in terms of Scalability
There are higher security risks since we put our applications and data on Public Cloud which is used by others
Network performance problems occur with spikes in usage
The Private Cloud are specifically designed for single organization usage. This Cloud Deployment model may be physically located at the company’s on site datacenter or can be managed by a third party provider.
If you talk about the functionality of public and private clouds, they are very similar to each other. The only difference as suggested is your private cloud will have a separate server and resources for your own organization. Again regardless of their location, no matter these resources are located, they will always a separate private network for them to function.
People are afraid that public clouds do not provide enough security to the level of Private Cloud and hence we see, quite a lot of organizations wanting to move to private cloud.
Since we are talking about dedicated resources, users have more customization opportunities, that meet particular needs. It also ensures customizations more aptly because the resources are designed from that a company’s business perspective. Meaning, the scaling and changing of resources is easier here. Let us point out some advantages and disadvantages before we move to the next bit of this topic,
- More Flexibility and Customization in terms of scalability and changes
- More secure, reliable and gives more authority to the owners
One major and important drawback is the pricing; it is costlier compared to public cloud meaning all the benefits are costlier
As the name suggests, this deployment model gives a Hybrid approach to dealing with Cloud Deployments problems. Here the platform lets you best have capabilities of all Public, Private and Community Cloud. Here you can move relevant resources into respective deployment functioning to suit your business needs. Evening when it comes to pricing, depending where you have put your resources decide your optimized costs accordingly.
- Balance of Pricing
- Reasonable flexibility and security
- Good privacy at a multi-organization level
This cloud again is similar to the model we discussed before this that is the Private Cloud. In private cloud we have resources dedicated to one user. Here we will be having more than one business or companies under one cloud. The point to note here we share the resources with companies that working for a common goal. For if multiple organization wish to work on a common project they can do it under the umbrella of Community Cloud. In terms of pricing all the resources are shared by organizations using it.
- Cost Reduction compared to Private Cloud
- Good Security
- More options in terms data sharing
- Costlier compared to Public Cloud
- Limited Bandwidth for resources used
What are the Popular Cloud Service Providers
Cloud Service Providers are the vendors that provide Cloud Computing Services. There are many services providers in the market that provide these services. Some of the popular ones are:
- Amazon Web Services
- Microsoft Azure
- Google Cloud Platform
- Amazon Web Services