A Career in Cloud Computing: What You Need to Know

Seeking career in cloud?

Cloud computing is undeniably transforming enterprise IT as we know it and one thing remains certain, the cloud it here to stay. As the cloud continues to evolve, so do the careers of IT professionals whose employers are now shifting their focus to cloud services. One of the major hindrances to enterprise cloud adoption is the lack of skills to foster this move.

There is a Skill Shortage

As the cloud continues to become more important to enterprises and IT departments all over the globe. Gauging whether you have the right knowledge or skill to compete in this new job market can be somewhat difficult. It is just as challenging for recruiters to find candidates with right set of skills.

Since the drastic rise in hiring demand has not been met with an adequate talent supply, these positions are getting harder to fill. It is therefore safe to say that hiring for cloud computing skills will continue to be high.

Research has shown that cloud computing skills have transcended expertise in application development knowledge, business intelligence, database management, network skills, virtualization, project management, and IT security to become the most sought after proficiency by enterprise IT. A study conducted by recruitment specialist, Robert Half Technology, revealed that CIOs and IT directors rated cloud knowledge as the most valuable in terms of career path and advancement, followed by security, project management, virtualization, network administration and engineering, application and mobile development, database management, c# development, business intelligence, and java development. The research also showed that the rise in the adoption of cloud computing initiatives is causing organizations to hire larger numbers of cloud experts.

A study released by analyst firm IDC in early 2012 revealed that roughly 1.7 million cloud computing-related jobs couldn’t be filled because the applications lacked the experience, training and certification required to work within a cloud enabled environment. The analyst firm also predicted that the demand for cloud-savvy IT professionals will rise by 26% each year until 2015, creating about seven million cloud-related job openings globally; it further warned that there is an urgent need to retrain IT professionals and encourage students to pursue cloud-related training and certifications.

Apart from hiring cloud experts, IT directors should also invest in training and education to bring their current IT teams up to speed on cloud skills.

What Skills Do I Require to Excel in the Cloud?

The emerging cloud environment has given IT professionals a chance to grow their portfolio of skills. Those looking to pursue a career in cloud computing should keep in mind that organizations and recruiters are not looking for any specific skill when hiring candidates to work on cloud projects. Rather they are looking for technologists who are familiar with various platforms and a variety of programming languages; candidates with experience in multiple areas are usually preferred over those with a laser-focus in a single discipline.

At virtually every IT event I go to, there’s this undercurrent of, ‘How do I change my skills to better adapt to this new cloud era? The first thing I say is to calm down. It’s not like a light switch is being turned on and suddenly everyone [in IT] will be in the cloud.
Tom Koulopoulos, President/Co-founder of Delphi Group.

The first thing IT pros need to realize is that the bulk of an IT professional’s skills remain relevant within a cloud environment. Such skills include

  • Business and financial skills
  • Technical skills (eg. System configuration)
  • Project management skills
  • Experience with enterprise architectures
  • Data analysis and integrations skills
  • Mobile application development and management

Dice.com provided an analysis of the top ten skills cloud computing recruiters search for

  1. Linux operating system (Unix is also important)
  2. Chef: an open source cloud infrastructure automation and systems management framework
  3. Puppet: an IT automation software that assists system admins to manage infrastructure; from configuration and provisioning to reporting and orchestration.
  4. Cloud, Legacy System and IT consulting
  5. SaaS Programming: Java is the most preferred programming language for SaaS
  6. Python
  7. Perl
  8. DevOps
  9. Shell scripting
  10. Ruby on Rails

Other skills recruiters search for include; JavaScript (JS), Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), and Extensible Markup Language (XML).

Cloud computing certifications are just as important.

Conclusion

The cloud has not only changed the way service providers operate, but it has also altered the structure of the IT department by placing new demands on employees who are now faced with re-inventing their careers as result of this evolutionary technology. IT pros should also consider where they are in their careers when deciding whether to invest in the cloud learning curve.
Author : Gabriel Lando

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