Digital skills learning programs are essential tools to make use of if you want to expand your IT knowledge and experience, and two that have been receiving some serious attention and positive reviews from their users in the last few years are Cloud Academy and A Cloud Guru.
These types of platforms are designed to accelerate digital innovation through the use of learning paths, hand-on-labs and skills assessments to grant each of its users training on cloud computing and essential IT skills and techniques that can help you advance in a digital career.
With both of these programs you will be granted access to a great hands-on learning experience, however, they actually have several key differences that make them ideal for certain groups of people.
Therefore, so that you can know which is the best option for your needs, here is a full breakdown of Cloud Academy VS A Cloud Guru.
What Is Cloud Academy?
Cloud Academy defines itself as a ‘marketplace’ for cloud-related skills that is designed to help advanced and professional IT users expand and improve their cloud-related skills.
Cloud Academy makes it clear that they realize how big of a market cloud computing is, and how it’s only expected to grow even bigger in the future, while also realizing just how many people want to grow their knowledge in the space and to find what their own talents are and where they can improve.
Cloud Academy therefore allows an individual or company to experiment and learn in an AWS environment, without having to sign up or pay for an AWS.
What Is A Cloud Guru (ACG)?
ACG is designed to help primarily advanced IT enthusiasts progress their career in the cloud and in general digital skills through hands-on experience.
Most of the courses that users have access to are designed to prepare advanced users to take certification exams with a good range of tools, test labs and assessments.
Since its release in 2015, Cloud Guru has consistently been receiving updates to expand its features and has been receiving incredible amounts of support and backing with the program receiving $7 million worth of funding in 2017.
Key Differences Between Cloud Academy And A Cloud Guru
While both can be similar in what they teach and their content, there are enough differences between Cloud Academy and ACG that make them a little more suitable for different individuals, while also being specific in what they teach.
So that you can choose the one you feel you would get the most essential information out of depending on what you want to learn in cloud computing, here is a full comparison between the two.
The core to any of these programs is the educational content and specifically how well delivered the content is that will allow you to take your knowledge in cloud computing to the next level.
ACG’s selection of courses are extremely clear and concise, usually being around an hour each.
On top of this, they are incredibly well-paced with each topic and subject being timestamped, allowing you to easily jump between what you want to listen to at that moment.
It should be said however that the courses on ACG are not usually considered very beginner friendly and automatically assume that the listeners are already at least familiar with the basic cloud skills and have some experience to know the foundations of each subject and topic.
When it comes to the sheer amount of courses however, Cloud Academy wins in this department since it is constantly updated with more topics and subjects being added in all the time.
There are currently over 150 live courses on Cloud Academy and if you want to learn about something that isn’t currently available, you can be sure it will get added to Cloud Academy with a very clear and concise discussion style which is common in all of their courses.
Both ACG and Cloud Academy therefore provide a fantastic selection of digital cloud learning resources and courses that will put you on the path to becoming a cloud and IT professional in no time, however it’s important to keep in mind that ACG does have courses intended for more advanced users and contains less overall courses than Cloud Academy.
Ease Of Use
ACG features an incredibly easy-to-understand and clear interface where all the necessary sub-menus and tools are available from the moment you load the program up.
At the very top, you have a clear menu where you can browse for any courses, any labs you would like to take part in and a forums section to chat with other users, or use for customer support
There is also an incredibly useful side-bar that not only gives you a clear view of your progress in the lessons and labs, but you can even set your own personal learning schedule so that you can adjust how many hours a day you would like to learn.
One of Cloud Guru’s most popular features, the Learning Paths, were only added recently but they have made it far easier to learn a set number of courses depending on what you want to learn right there and then.
For example, you can choose the Python path which will teach you how to use that high-level program with a few courses centered towards that topic specifically.
Cloud Academy offers a slightly more streamlined experience, however this can be more suitable for others who want just a little bit of assistance getting to grips with cloud digital skills.
As soon as you load up Cloud Academy, you will be able to dive into the topics you want to learn about right away, and can then branch into the wide variety of other courses in your own time and when you feel comfortable.
Cloud Academy is very clear and concise, however admittedly, it can feel a little overwhelming if you’re a beginner.
Additionally, it can sometimes be a little troublesome finding certain courses that may not be on there, however the good news is that Cloud Academy is updated constantly, so you can be sure these will be on there before long.
While ACG receives occasional updates, unfortunately, these are quite small and often far between and don’t expand on the courses that are already on the program.
Additionally, more than a few users have reported that user support on the forums is extremely slow when answering queries with automated replies being very common.
In striking contrast, Cloud Academy updates its service consistently, usually going no more than a month or two before updating with new courses and tools for its users to utilize.
Alongside this, customer support is also a lot better than ACG with support that runs through nearly all hours of the day to provide you with answers to any queries or questions you may have so you won’t have to be waiting around if you run into a problem.
Considering that Cloud Academy is 2 years older than ACG, it has reached a point where its interface, user support and courses have been updated extensively to ensure you don’t run into any issues, making the entire learning experience as smooth as possible.
It should also be noted that ACG has been reported by many users to be filled with a lot more glitches and bugs than Cloud Academy, for example a common issue that has yet to be resolved is when clicking on one of their Learning Paths and then going back on the tab will take you to a ‘Sign up’ screen even if you have already paid and just logged on.
Both programs feature some incredibly unique extra tools and resources that can help you choose one or the other.
For ACG, the software really helps you track your progress and know what your next objective should be thanks to its Certificates of Completion which can be requested once you prove your knowledge in a particular course.
There are also discussion rooms which can be useful for when you just want a space on the platform that allows you to contact other users while also being able to find any questions that may have been previously answered.
In terms of Cloud Academy, one of their greatest features which many users will take for granted is how they will actively recommend courses depending on what you’re learning about at the time, and which courses can ease you into a new topic and learn new skills to advance your cloud and IT knowledge and experience.
Both ACG and Cloud Academy also allow you to track and test your progress in their hands-on labs and quizzes which can be a great way to measure how far you’ve come with learning a certain skill, and what might be best to learn next.
The quizzes are especially very varied on both programs and cover essentially all elements of IT and cloud computing topics there are, providing an excellent way to perfect your knowledge before moving on to the next course.
The price of these types of programs is incredibly important to take into account since there’s nothing worse than spending a large amount of money only to find that it doesn’t provide the courses and information that are going to benefit you, your team and your career.
Both ACG and Cloud Academy offer their own selection of plans, however they are a little different in the actual prices and what they offer.
The subscription plans ACG offers are:
- Personal Basic $348 yearly – This plan is designed to provide clear and concise courses to help you become fully prepared for certifications. There is a free trial with this version and it is intended to be used by just one individual.
- Business basic $420 yearly – This plan is designed to upskill teams through advanced hands-on learning that is perfect for teaching multiple people quickly and efficiently at one time. It requires a minimum of 2 learners to use, however the maximum number of users is entirely up to you.
- Business plus $588 yearly – Is similarly intended for educating multiple people at a time, however accelerates the amount of time it takes to learn new skills along with having a few more resources to make navigating to each course and using the interface much easier.
For Cloud Academy, they too offer plans for both personal use and businesses, however the prices are quite a bit different in comparison to ACG.
Here are the plans Cloud Academy offers:
- Individual $325 yearly – Designed for individual use, this yearly plan grants you access to all the courses, labs, forums, and extra tools that Cloud Academy has to offer. If you sign up for this plan with its yearly subscription rather than the monthly one, you even get the first 2 months free, saving you a lot of money in the long run.
- Small teams $50 monthly per user – Designed for teams that contain up to 15 members in total, this plan grants all the learning and training resources the program offers to each member who is part of the plan. You even have the option to try out a demo of this plan to see if it’s what you and your team needs.
- Enterprise – The price of this depends on how many people you have in the organization and company so you therefore would need to contact Cloud Academy to get an accurate price range. Needless to say, this plan is designed for when you want to create a learning atmosphere where a high number of people can be taught about cloud computing and essential IT skills simultaneously and with the programs full support.
Both the individual plans and company plans for ACG and Cloud Academy will grant users many of the same tools and resources, however there are a few that are exclusive to specific subscriptions.
For Cloud Academy for example, you will only be able to accurately quantify skills and compare learning records across multiple individuals if you pay for the Enterprise plan, since this is designed for more than one individual at a time.
For ACG, the only real difference is that with the Personal Basic plan, you will not have access to the Challenge Mode for the hands-on labs, however with this being said, every other feature including quizzes and practice exams are available on all platforms.
Finally, it should be noted that ACG does offer a free version of its service, though do keep in mind this only gives you access to a limited amount of courses, a specific amount of quizzes and the Learning Paths, so you will be missing out on the majority of features.
While both of these programs are going to provide you with enough information, experience and skills to take on beginner to advanced-level assessments and certifications, in many areas Cloud Academy is the better option.
It may not have the very simple and clear interface that ACG has, however it does offer an incredible range of tools to encourage its users to learn as much as possible with each and every session.
Whether it’s the recommendations for new courses or the fact that the program is updated on a consistent basis to provide new and fresh subjects to learn about every few weeks, these are just a few of the small details that make Cloud Academy not only very informative, but also fun and engaging to use.
It’s not just in the smaller details however, Cloud Academy also offers a tremendous amount of course options that you really can’t find anywhere else and while ACG does have a slightly more streamlined service with its Learning Paths which can avoid having to search for new courses manually, Cloud Academy also provides you with more detailed and longer courses that you can take on at your own pace.
The customer service, especially in the forums and user support tab, is also a lot better on Cloud Academy and while it is still there on ACG, it has been reported to be far less responsive and reliable when you run into any issues.
Finally, the pricing also differs slightly between the two as while Cloud Academy is a little cheaper for their personal plans, for business plans, ACG is slightly cheaper than its counterpart.
With that being said, because of the sheer amount of assistance and resources provided by Cloud Academy, we would still recommend paying that bit extra for their plans instead even if it’s for a business.
While ACG is still a reliable service that will teach you essential skills within cloud computing and IT, it is admittedly more tailored towards advanced users trying to test their knowledge and reach the next certification in their career path.
Therefore, if you want to be able to have access to the most amount of learning resources possible and don’t mind paying the price point, Cloud Academy is definitely the way to go over A Cloud Guru.