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Helping teach a community cloud skills with Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification

July 28, 2020
Evan Jones

Technical Curriculum Developer, Google Cloud

“Unconventional” doesn’t begin to describe Joy Payton’s career path in technology. Before becoming the Data Education Supervisor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an adjunct faculty member at Yeshiva University, Joy spent 10 years working as a full-time volunteer in prisons, schools, and homeless shelters across Spain, Bolivia, and El Salvador. 

While Joy was always interested in tech, her time volunteering showed her the power of education and its ability to change people’s lives at every level.

“I came back to full-time work because I love technology and I love education,” Joy said. “I’m lucky enough to combine the two.” 

But Joy still has that passion for helping underserved communities. She recently earned her Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification to grow professionally, but is also excited to use the skills she’s learned to help everyone she’s teaching—from a wide variety of backgrounds—work with the latest technology so they can thrive in a cloud-first world.

“It’s exciting knowing that I have the skills in Google Cloud Platform and can help other people at all levels,” Joy explained. “I can really help someone grow their skills that will help them make a living, to help them provide for their families, and also improve a lot of organizations in under-resourced areas that are doing really important, good things.” 

With her certification, Joy has inspired others outside of her work to earn their own Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification and change their career path. And these certifications have measurable results. An independent third-party research organization found that almost one-in-five certified individuals were able to switch to a job that better utilizes cloud skills. In fact, 70% of Google Cloud certified individuals who applied for jobs received at least one job offer, with 42% percent receiving two or more. Additionally the Google Cloud certification impact report found that 17%, or almost one-in-five, of individuals received a raise at their existing job after becoming certified. 

“I had a conversation with someone who has a lot of information science experience but is not a programmer... and she said, ‘Can I pursue this?’” Joy recalled. “I said, ‘Absolutely. This initial associate-level exam is a great overview of lots of different things... If nothing else, this will give you a chance to learn a lot, figure out what parts you like, and what parts you don’t.’” 

Joy also wants to use the skills she’s built with her certification to help nonprofit organizations that serve under-resourced communities. 

“At the end of the day what I would love to do is go back into some of these lower-resourced areas and say, ‘Hey, NGOs [non-governmental organizations], I would like to help you boost your signal. Let’s take a look at your data.’’’ Joy explained. “‘And not only can I help you, NGO, can I help the community you serve? What’s the population you serve? What are they like?’ Because the wonderful thing about technology is not the formal degrees you have, it’s what you can do.” 

Want to learn more about Joy’s story? Watch our full conversation below: 

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If Joy has inspired you to learn more about the Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification, register for our no-cost “Next Steps: Associate Cloud Engineer Certification (ACE)” Cloud Study Jam session at Next ‘20: OnAir on July 29. 

Ready to start preparing for your Google Cloud Associate Cloud Engineer certification? Sign up to receive a six-week learning path designed to help you prepare.

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