For much of the past century, if you wanted to work among the clouds, you’d join the Air Force and take it from there. Nowadays, however, working among the clouds can mean that you want to work with advanced computer systems that deliver computing, security, storage, and utilities to businesses and end-users from all around the world.
With the demand for secure cloud computing platforms skyrocketing, you are beginning to see a shortage of resumes from individuals with the expertise and inclination to work with these cloud computing systems. Since technician turnover is a major problem within the IT world, companies tend to work hard to keep the talent they have. In fact, in the United States alone, there are over 500,000 IT jobs that have remained open for over 90 days, suggesting a shortage of workers with the skills needed to do the job. This presents opportunities for people to come into an industry that is, remarkably, just starting a massive growth spurt.
A Career in the Cloud The cloud services industry is in the middle of a boom. According to Gartner, the cloud service industry will grow by over $38 billion in 2017, making it a $250 billion industry. With organizations of all types (and sizes) beginning to leverage these public cloud solutions, the industry has quickly seen that there aren’t enough people to do the work. If you want a career in the cloud, where would you start?
Obviously, the first step to take for any potential person that wants to work with this dynamic technology is to understand it. Going to school for Information System Management is the best start if you are just starting out. Here are the top 10 college programs from U.S. News and World Report. Most schools will offer a certificate, associate, or bachelor’s program that can get you started understanding the technology well enough to professionally manage and maintain it.
Once you have the training, you can then look for a job. Since the cloud is more than just storage, being able to understand how the cloud works, what types of clouds there are, what they are used for, and how businesses leverage them will allow you to access to a variety of businesses. Knowing where you’d make the best fit will go a long way toward bringing you job satisfaction and the elusive positive work/life balance.
Next, you have to understand the roles companies are looking to fill in regards to cloud computing. Four of the cloud-based jobs that are in the highest demand are:
Cloud administrator - Organizations need people that can work directly with the monitoring and management of their cloud solutions. A majority of the job is managing cloud infrastructure, so learning core cloud platforms and monitoring tools will be beneficial. Concepts like merging workloads to the public cloud and DevOps will be beneficial for the would-be cloud administrator.
Cloud security - Since network security is a priority for most businesses, it makes sense that organizations will be looking for someone to look after their cloud security. Cloud security professionals will be proficient and certified in management techniques, as well as more advanced security measures. Along with computing proficiencies, a cloud security professional will need communication skills, as much of their job will be working with employees and other staff to design and construct a security protocol that will legitimately and efficiently protect the organization’s cloud-based assets.
Cloud architect - By overseeing the complete cloud computing strategy for an organization, a cloud architect is constantly looking at the entire operation. From adoption plans, application design, organizational strategy, and even management, the architect of an organization's cloud computing platform has to take into account every aspect of the cloud computing construct. Most organizations need their move to the cloud to be cost-effective and efficient, so the cloud architect needs to understand how to mix and match platforms for the best results today, and in the future.
Cloud application developer - Programming is at the core of this career. Having a repertoire of several commonly used languages can be most advantageous for the up-and-coming cloud application developer, especially since many organizations use major cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft Azure. Like most application developers, the fit has to be right, so keep in mind that just any job may do.
By gaining knowledge and experience dealing with cloud-based systems and the implementation of them, you could find yourself with your head in the clouds sooner rather than later.