If you’re already working at one of the many cloud computing jobs, you’re in a very good place, with plenty of job stability. Cloud computing will only expand, and the need for skilled employees right along with it. But maybe you’re also ready for what’s next, so you can move up that cloud computing ladder and let someone else take over the entry-level job? Then it’s time to talk about your cloud computing career opportunities and how you can level up.
Cloud computing jobs are plentiful regardless of your experience and skillset. LinkedIn reported that “cloud and distributed computing” topped the list of sought-after skills both in 2016 and in 2017. Job postings grew by 121 percent between 2013 and 2017, according to Burning Glass Technologies. And the money is there for those who are qualified for the jobs. BusinessInsider lists 12 jobs in cloud computing, all paying over $100,000, and the average salary for a cloud engineer is $120,751, according to Indeed.
All that job growth means one thing for you, the cloud computing professional: opportunity.
If you’re ready to take advantage of this opportunity and tackle the next step in your cloud computing career path, we have seven tips for you to follow to position yourself for that career move and future success.
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1. Get the Right Mindset to Level Up in Any Career
Before we go into the specifics of leveling up in your cloud computing career, let’s first talk about general career advice, because it applies to your cloud computing career path. An article at Forbes lists five hacks anyone can use to level up in their career, even cloud professionals. They are:
- Get up early in the morning. This is advice you’ll see again and again when researching how to get ahead, how to succeed, how to be more effective, etc. Getting up early is obviously key!
- Plan tomorrow before you finish today. Plan for your next day’s goals the night before and you’ll be mentally prepared to tackle them—and more successful when doing so.
- Focus on smaller, more attainable goals. Speaking of goals, the article says to do less in order to accomplish more. When we have 50 small items on our to-do lists, we are overwhelmed. If we can focus on the important ones instead—those that move our careers forward—and accomplish those, we will slowly move the needle.
- But also do more. The advice says in addition to doing less, do more. Work for your new career position by also taking on bigger goals, pushing yourself and constantly learning.
- Have a clear and focused goal. Know what you want as well as why you want it, and get laser-focused on that goal in order to avoid distractions that can get you off track.
These five pieces of advice apply to anyone in any career, but they are a solid place to start before you get into the specifics of advancing your cloud career. Take them to heart.
2. Decide Where Do You Want to Work
Deciding where you want to work is your next step in plotting out your cloud computing career path. Do you want to work for a global giant, with all the stability that comes along with that kind of a job? Or would you prefer to work at a startup, trading stability for constant change? Do you want to work for a nonprofit that’s making a difference in the world? Or perhaps you want to move to a different part of the world, meaning where you want to work has more to do with geography than the type of business. Knowing where you want to work will help guide your other decisions as you level up in your cloud career because it will help you determine what to learn (and do) next.
3. Expand Your Cloud Computing Knowledge
Speaking of learning… If you know Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Azure, you’re off to a good start if that’s the knowledge needed, but keep learning. Multi-cloud solutions are on the rise as organizations strive to create best-in-breed solutions and eliminate relying too much on one vendor. This could mean using both AWS and Azure, as well as a combination of public and private clouds, or combining software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) cloud offerings. In addition, although employers are looking primarily for AWS skillsets, they want plenty of other technical knowledge too, including Python, Java, Azure, Agile, Puppet, Chef, Ansible, Docker, and VMware, to name only a few.
How can you tackle all these topics? Certifications. And there’s an added bonus: Certifications can help you grow in knowledge but also give your career a boost as they increase your credibility. And they are easy to pursue. From fundamentals to advanced knowledge, cloud computing certifications are available in a range of topics including but not limited to AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. With certifications, you can learn much more specific information about any of the major cloud vendors, as well as other critical skills such as Apache Maven, Ansible, Git, and Blockchain.
4. Learn a New Approach
Cloud computing has shaken up IT and the traditional ways of doing things and it will continue to do so. Therefore, learning these new approaches will help you advance your career in cloud computing. For example, the silos of old are now regarded as inefficient as organizations strive for closer ties between development and operations. Hence, approaches such as DevOps are being implemented to improve communication and collaboration between development (Dev) and operations (Ops). This, in turn, reduces production cycles and leads to faster time to market—and a competitive edge. The cloud computing professional with knowledge of DevOps or something similar will also have a competitive edge when moving up the career ladder.
5. Improve Your Communication Skills
In addition to closer collaboration with other teams, cloud computing professionals are also engaged in meetings and problem-solving discussions like never before. For example, a cloud architect will likely spend a significant amount of time in meetings with sales staff, department heads, or their own team. Externally, you could be dealing with any number of vendors, and possibly be involved in negotiations with them. Your communication skills will, therefore, come into play in a range of cloud computing jobs, and you’ll need to be both a good listener and a good communicator. As you look to level up, make sure your communication skills are what they should be.
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6. Broaden Your Understanding of Business Requirements
In addition to learning more about cloud computing technologies and new approaches like DevOps, learn more about the business side of things too, if you want to advance your career in cloud computing. Move out of the IT-centric mindset to see the bigger picture of a business’s strategy and goals. Strive to understand the reasons behind the requests and how cloud computing initiatives are tied to a broader business agenda.
7. Get Analytical
Finally, consider adding analytical skills to your skill set to advance your career in cloud computing. Analytics isn’t just for the data people anymore. Just about everyone involved in a business is going to need a basic understanding of data and analytics as we collect more and more of it and put it to use to make data-driven decisions. When you’re the cloud computing professional who can both understand and report on data such as usage, costs, and performance, you’ll stand out.
Cloud computing jobs are growing at a remarkable rate, opening up opportunities for people entering the field but also giving experienced professionals opportunities to level up to the next promotion, pay raise or challenge. Position yourself for this next step up the cloud computing career ladder by putting these seven tips to work.