Let’s face it, change is the new constant! Think back to life 20, 10, or even just 5 years ago. The iPhone wasn’t introduced until 2007. Look how much that has changed our lives! Or remember when Netscape Navigator was the web browser of choice? How about life before Uber, Alexa, Instagram and Spotify? Do you remember when we watched TV shows at a set day and time determined by the networks vs. the on-demand way we watch today? Honestly, it’s shocking how much change we’ve experienced in the past few years, all driven by technology.
That constant change has affected technology careers too. As technology evolves, so too do the jobs. And that’s why it’s risky to rest on your laurels when you work in IT. Think about it: The world no longer needs Windows admins, COBOL programmers, or network engineers—or at least not many. And while today it’s IoT developers who are all the rage, in a few years, it will be some other technology that’s driving job demand.
That’s why I like the saying “Learn or churn.” It sums up life as an IT professional in a nutshell, and now more than ever.
So if technology keeps changing and jobs right along with it, what’s a smart career move at this time? Cloud computing.
The Future Is Bright in the Cloud
Cloud computing is an excellent career choice because businesses need cloud professionals—and they need them right now. The cloud skills gap is costing businesses over $250 million every year. And it’s a gap that’s growing. The results of one survey show 46 percent of firms see the cloud skills gap growing primarily because 96 percent of workers lack advanced skills.
The jobs are out there. Cloud and distributed computing topped one list of sought-after skills in 2016 and in 2017. Cloud is said to be the second biggest driver of demand for technology skills. Over 11,000 job listings on Dice mention cloud computing on any given day, while Indeed.com has 25,000 job listings related to AWS.
It’s the employees that are in short supply.
Those employees who are qualified (and hired) make good money. According to one survey, salaries for networking and storage specialists rose faster than for any other IT job—but only for those well versed in the cloud. The average salaries for cloud engineers and architects are well over $100,000 annually, and BusinessInsider lists 12 cloud computing job skills worth over $113,000 per year. Still not convinced? Then read this Forbes article that says cloud computing skills will earn you more money than other IT job.
Different Types of Jobs in Cloud Computing
The need for qualified candidates is one reason it’s easy to get started in cloud computing, and the variety of roles is another. The most common jobs you’ll see listed include:
- Cloud administrator
- Cloud application developer
- Cloud architect
- Cloud engineer
- Cloud integration specialist
- Cloud security manager
In addition to the usual cloud computing jobs, you’ll also find cloud-related jobs posted for unusual ones such as cloud technology broker, jobs around customer service or sales, and jobs involving DevOps. In addition, if you want to work from home or you don’t want to relocate, plenty of cloud computing jobs are posted for companies willing to hire remote workers.
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How to Transition into Cloud Computing
Do you like the sound of that job market and lucrative pay? If you’ve decided a transition into a cloud computing career makes sense for your future, you might be wondering how to make the move. Your first step is deciding what type of job you’d like. Take a look at the kinds of jobs that are posted on Indeed.com and Glassdoor.com, and the requirements they list. You’ll also have some previous IT experience you’re can build on, because you won’t want to start from scratch, so that experience might determine your cloud path.
Next, you might want to choose a vendor to focus on, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure (keeping in mind the strengths and weaknesses of each), or you might decide that you’d rather be a generalist, given the increasing popularity of multi-cloud solutions.
After you choose a direction and determine the requirements for getting qualified for that job, get qualified.
Getting Cloud Certified
Certification is the easiest way to launch your cloud computing career, and you have plenty of certifications to choose from based on your previous knowledge and career aspirations. A certification such as AWS Technical Essentials or the Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Training can get you started, as you learn the fundamentals of these popular vendors and cloud providers. If you already have a solid foundation in cloud computing, you can move on to more advanced certifications, such as AWS Solution Architect, AWS Developer Associate, Azure Developer, or full-fledged cloud architect training through 16 courses. In addition to those types of certifications, you can enhance your skillset with shorter courses such as AWS Lambda knowledge nuggets, or you can learn particular tools like Kubernetes.
Look for a certification you can earn on your own time, anywhere, anytime learning, and you’ll be able to prepare for your new career while still working in your existing one.
You can also learn more about cloud computing certifications with this on-demand webinar.
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Jobs in Cloud Computing Will Change
Going back to our earlier point about change is the new constant, also keep in mind that cloud computing jobs will evolve and change as well. For example, newer technologies such as blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and serverless computing are getting more popular, and jobs in those roles will as well. But if you’ve already transitioned into cloud computing, you’ve laid a foundation you can build on as these other technologies come to the fore.
The key to future-proofing your IT career is a move into cloud computing to start, then staying on top of the inevitable changes by continuing to learn new skills to stay relevant. Remember, it’s learn or churn. Choose to learn.