Rancher Labs today launched Rancher Academy, a free training program through which IT professionals can be certified on a range of technologies the company provides on top of various distributions of Kubernetes.
Shannon Williams, president and chief revenue officer for Rancher Labs, says Rancher Academy represents an effort to increase the number of IT professionals that have specific expertise with Rancher products and services. Today there are plenty of Kubernetes training programs being offered by organizations such as the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Rancher Academy will be focused on the tools and platforms Rancher Labs provides to manage Kubernetes platforms, he says.
For example, the Certified Rancher Operator certification is based on a self-paced set of courses that take place over five weeks. Scheduled for later this year, the courses are focused on how to deploy and manage Rancher in addition to how to deploy and manage Kubernetes clusters from any provider.
Williams says Rancher Labs is trying to democratize access to Kubernetes training at a time when many IT organizations still can’t find IT staff with appropriate skills, even in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. A recently released Dice 2020 Tech Job Report found there has been an 82% increase in job demand for individuals with Kubernetes skills over the past year alone. Dice predicts that the demand for Kubernetes skills will enjoy a projected growth rate of more than 67% over the next 10 years.
Of course, the Dice survey was conducted prior to the pandemic. However, Williams says demand for Rancher offerings has remained consistent through the second quarter, which suggests organizations are continuing to invest in emerging open source platforms such as Kubernetes. With so many IT professionals working from home, there might never be a better time to attain certification, he says.
Given the current state of the economy there are many IT professionals looking for their next job. IT organizations have always shown a preference for job candidates who have current skills. That way they can rely on them to be able to manage both their legacy IT environments as well as any new platforms the organization adopts. A growing number of organizations appear to be realizing that legacy platforms are not as flexible and resilient enough to support large numbers of employees working from home. As such, many are investing in cloud-native platforms that make it easier to scale applications up and down as required. Kubernetes provides them with the ability to deploy those applications on a public cloud or on-premises IT environment as business conditions warrant.
As Kubernetes is the foundation on which those applications are built, IT professionals with Kubernetes expertise have the opportunity to make more money simply because most organizations will pay IT professionals who have current skills more than those who don’t. At the very least, IT professionals with current skills are much less likely to become unemployed at a time when many organizations have to cut back on IT staff.
Whatever the motivation, gaining certified Kubernetes skills is for the foreseeable future a savvy investment in time and effort for any IT professional to make.