Cloud computing jobs – everything you need to know.
As IT departments across various industries are finding new levels of control and scalability over technological resources like data storage and processing, web hosting, software distribution, and analytics, job seekers are displaying an increased willingness to learn cloud computing – the on-demand, pay-as-you-go distribution of IT resources over the internet.
Yet, while several universities and private computer schools offer courses and certificates in cloud computing in addition to IT degree programs that feature coursework in marketable cloud skills, the number of institutions offering formal cloud computing certification is actually quite limited.
Cloud computing courses are usually tailored around the most popular careers in the cloud sector: Cloud Architect, Cloud Developer, or Cloud Support Specialist.
Cloud architects are responsible for planning the infrastructure and distributed applications that will run in the cloud. Candidates for cloud computing jobs in the architecture field should have at least a bachelor’s degree in information systems, network engineering, computer science, or a similar discipline. Cloud computing, systems analysis, agile development, serverless architecture, and database management are high-value courses to look for in a cloud architecture degree program.
The position of Cloud Architect is often a senior post that requires strong business acumen and some level of personnel management skills. For this reason, many employers look for applicants with a master’s degree or MBA. This might be in areas such as Management Information Systems (MIS), Business Intelligence (BI), or Technology Management.
Cloud developers combine traditional programming skills with specialized knowledge in one or more of the leading cloud platform development environments, to implement the coding and software engineering that brings the cloud architect’s vision to life. Cloud developers must build, deploy, and optimize cloud-based applications.
A bachelor’s degree in software engineering, data science, computer science, or a related discipline is usually required for cloud development training. Courses offering computer programming languages widely used in cloud-based development, such as Perl, Python, Ruby, PHP, Java, or .NET are highly valued. Study options for machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), DevOps, database development, secure software development, and application life cycle management (ALM) are also desirable.
Cloud support specialists are engineers who tend to work for the actual cloud service providers – especially the “Big Three” (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud). Specialists are typically responsible for on-boarding new clients, troubleshooting, and maintaining cloud computing solutions.
Entry-level educational requirements for cloud support specialists tend to be lower than for cloud architects or developers. Candidates with a bachelor’s degree or a highly focused associate degree with relevant certifications are often successful in getting cloud support positions. Courses in network and systems administration, information security, cloud computing, virtualization, and technical writing are considered valuable in cloud support training. However, real-world experience is often the key to landing a cloud support specialist job.
More broadly, candidates wishing to prepare for careers in computer network architecture or cloud computing might consider earning a Master of Science (M.S.) in Cloud Computing Architecture, or an MS in Information Technology or Computer Science with a specialization in this field. Many of the institutions that offer these programs have online study options.
Courses in Distributed Computing Systems are typical of such a program. Here, students cover the architecture of distributed systems, including distributed data storage, load balancing, and redundancy. They also learn about the benefits of cloud computing and study-specific technologies such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
A Cloud Management and Services course component might cover the procurement and contracting services required for cloud deployment in various businesses, the different technologies involved, and methods of assessing their relevance and value in various applications.
Ensuring the end-to-end security of cloud solutions is a vital component of deployment at all levels, and a Cloud Security course might cover issues concerning secure financial access, virtual local area networks (vLANs), and backup recovery techniques.
In addition to their coursework, students in these programs may be expected to complete a capstone project, where they have to assume the role of a cloud architect and deploy a range of features on a cloud platform.
Pursuing A Career in Cloud Computing
Cloud computing jobs – are they right for you?
As distributed technology assumes an increasing role in enterprise IT, a career in cloud computing offers an attractive and lucrative prospect for viable candidates. Careers in IT are often highly specialized and generally offer high salaries, even at the entry-level. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for computer systems analysts is around $90,000. The top 10% earn more than $147,000 per year, while the lowest 10% earn around $55,000 per year. This variance depends on job location and the size and nature of the organizations employing such professionals.
Largely due to the increasing need for organizations to enhance their information technology systems and implement more effective technology, the rate of employment of computer systems analysts is expected to grow at 9% in the next several years.
Cloud computing salary levels are on a similar scale. The BLS reckons that the average salary for cloud systems administrators is around $83,000 per year. The lowest 10% of these workers earn an average of $52,000 per year, and the highest 10% earn more than $132,000 per year.
Cloud systems administration careers are anticipated to grow 5% in the next ten years. This is on a level with the national average for job growth. And as more organizations opt for cloud systems, the demand for these positions will continue to grow.
Cloud architects are responsible for overseeing their organization’s cloud computing strategy, analyzing in-house systems for a potential migration to the cloud, and estimating the potential costs, benefits, and return on investment (ROI) of cloud computing adoption. They also need to understand key cybersecurity concepts, be able to manage a mix of cloud environments, and have a working knowledge of emerging technologies such as machine learning and AI, which are relevant to cloud computing. It’s a demanding role, and the median salary for a Cloud Architect in the US is currently $141,000, according to LinkedIn figures.
Cloud developers have to develop, launch and debug cloud-based applications (often requiring them to reverse engineer in-house programs and repackage them into cloud-native apps) using current cybersecurity best practices, and a working knowledge of leading cloud programming languages such as Python, R, Ruby, Java, and .NET. They may also require database development skills in platforms like SQL, MySQL and Hadoop, and familiarity with container management platforms like Kubernetes and Docker. The average salary for a Cloud Developer is $125,000, while a DevOps Architect earns $137,000.
Cloud support specialists are tasked with helping clients with the day-to-day management of their cloud-based solutions, and the resolution of technical support tickets by phone, chat, email, or in-person visits. Besides an understanding of popular operating systems such as Linux, OS X, and Windows, they also require a working knowledge of cloud-related technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics. Basic programming skills are a plus, while exceptional verbal and written communication skills to assist clients are a must. A Cloud Support Associate currently earns an average salary of $85,000.
Clearly then, cloud computing jobs are both varied and lucrative for candidates with the right mix of skills, temperament, and education.
Cloud Computing Education, Jobs, Salary
Several universities and private computer schools offer courses and certificates in cloud computing in addition to IT degree programs that feature coursework in marketable cloud skills, the number of institutions offering formal cloud computing certification is actually quite limited. Cloud computing courses are usually tailored around the most popular careers in the cloud sector: Cloud Architect, Cloud Developer, or Cloud Support Specialist. The average salary for cloud systems administrators is around $83,000 per year. The lowest 10% of these workers earn an average of $52,000 per year, and the highest 10% earn more than $132,000 per year. Cloud computing jobs are both varied and lucrative for candidates with the right mix of skills, temperament, and education.