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How the Cloud Can Build Careers


Thinking of adding some skills to improve an IT resume? Cloud computing skills may be the way to improve your career. 

According to Gartner’s Forecast Overview, $110.3 billion was spent on cloud computing services last year, a number that is expected to increase by 2016. The demand for cloud services also means a demand for employees with cloud skills. A study from Wanted Analytics last year found that “hiring demand for cloud skills has grown drastically, up 92% versus February 2011 and 400% compared to the same time in 2010.” That echoes an IDC report that stated cloud computing could result in 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015.

“Indeed, there are about 50 to 70 jobs chasing truly qualified candidates at this point in time, according to technical recruiters,” David S. Linthicum wrote in a SearchCloudComputing article. “And there are two categories of cloud computing careers that seem to be emerging in the space: positions seeking IT pros with specific cloud skills and positions looking for IT admins with cloud architecture know-how.”

A good place to start to build cloud skills is with certifications. According to Linthicum, some of the top cloud computing certifications include IBM Certified Solution Advisor -- Cloud Computing Architecture, IBM Certified Solution Architect -- Cloud Computing Infrastructure, Google Apps Certified Deployment Specialist, and Certified Cloud Professional (CCP).

Someone wanting to improve their cloud skills should have a strong working knowledge of open source tools and languages, since many of the platforms used within the cloud are open source. In addition, InfoWorld suggested having programming skills in specific areas such as Hadoop, Service Oriented API Protocol, languages like Python and Ruby, and .Net/Java. Or consider skills as a storage engineer, which InfoWorld stated, “are typically responsible for installing and configuring the storage system for their employer.”

Cloud architecture skills include the ability to define the cloud, from the business-related concerns to the deployment. Developing cloud architecture for a company requires a lot more skills than technical skills. Professionals need to understand how layout the roadmap for the cloud infrastructure, be able to work with hosting vendors, understand compliance regulations and how those regulations will affect the way you can use your cloud, and even have some experience with mobile app development. For someone looking to move into an IT administrative position, cloud computing skills require a uniquely well-rounded employee.

Having cloud computing skills makes an IT employee more valuable to his or her company, in part because it means the company will save money by not having to provide extra training for the skills he already has. For the organization that is in the early stages of cloud deployment, an employee’s skills can aid in the transition rather than bring in outside expertise, again helping to cut down on costs.

“If you already have a firm grip on the cloud storage concept, you will be able to be a productive employee almost from day one,” Robert Stanely wrote in a Jackalope Jobs blog post.

The advent of big data and the need to facilitate storage of that data will only make the employee with cloud computing skills more valuable and more necessary.

This is a guest post by Sue Poremba. Sue is a freelance writer focusing primarily on security and technology issues and occasionally blogs for cloud service provider Rackspace Hosting.

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