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Sunny Forecast for New Cloud Computing Jobs

cloud computing jobs outlook

It’s a hot buzzword these days—this elusive and mysterious “cloud.” People are chatting about it, cloud computing jobs are popping up and everyone seems to be collectively murmuring about the advantages of this new strategy of storing things.

If you’re even remotely interested in pursuing a career in technology, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with this concept. Not only should you know about it, but you may want to consider making a career out of it. Experts say cloud computing isn’t going anywhere, so you may as well hang on for the ride!

We enlisted some IT experts to help us understand the bright future of cloud computing jobs. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the basics.

What is the cloud, exactly?

If you’re still not quite sure what the cloud is, you’re not alone! First off, you can rest assured that it has nothing to do with the weather. It’s not a mass of fog floating above your head and it certainly won’t put your computer files somewhere up in the sky.

"The best part about pursuing a cloud career is that jobs are out there & they are multiplying quickly."

Simply put, the cloud is a way to store and retrieve files and data somewhere accessible by the Internet instead of using space on your hard drive. If you’re storing files on a server in residence, it doesn’t count as the cloud.

This new way of filing and storing data allows users to collaborate online, check their email from anywhere with an Internet connection, store files and make notes—all on various types of devices and from any location.

You may not know it, but you’re already using the cloud if you access Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox, Gmail, Mozy and a host of other storage websites. Where do all these files and documents go when you store them in the cloud? They end up in a physical place (like a warehouse of servers) owned by the cloud company with which you’re storing.

Why are cloud computing skills in such high demand?

“It’s clear that 2015 is the year of the cloud,” says Aaron Ross, president of cloud computing company Ross Backup. He says there is no doubt we are seeing a huge shift towards the cloud because programs that typically would have run on your computer (Word®, QuickBooks®, etc.) will now be based in the cloud.

There was concern that this shift would eliminate thousands of IT jobs, but we’re seeing the opposite, according to Arham Khan, digital marketing executive at HighQ. He says the current cloud climate shows thousands of new jobs but not enough qualified candidates.

“Get your head in the cloud and you are sure to be on a successful career path,” Khan says.

What is the career outlook for cloud computing jobs?

You know the job market is hot for future tech pros, and if you’re at all interested in cloud computing, your career outlook is definitely on the sunny side. Companies are constantly faced with the dilemma of how to store all their data in a safe yet accessible way. On-site data storage systems have been key for years, but now that businesses are expanding what they store, external cloud computing services are become the ideal choice.

"Get your head in the cloud & you are sure to be on a successful career path."

A recent Forbes article reported that 3.9 million U.S. jobs are now affiliated with cloud computing. This number is poised to continue increasing, according to Khan. In fact, the Cisco® Global Cloud Index reports that by 2018, 78 percent of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers, meaning qualified personnel will be needed to meet the demand.

As Khan mentioned, the market is currently faced with a skills gap. He says employers are forced to offer higher salaries and more enticing benefits packages in order to attract top talent. This is seen in the above-average earning potential in cloud computing jobs, which was listed at $90,950 annually in the report from the aforementioned Forbes article. This is more than twice the average annual salary for all professions, which was just less than $45,000 in 2013.*

How can I get started in cloud computing?

Now that we have your attention, you’re probably wondering how one would get their start in the cloud computing industry. The field is actually in need of a wide variety of cloud computing skills, according to Vincent Palochko, HR director at Linode, a cloud hosting company.

Palochko’s advice to aspiring cloud computing pros is to be open to learning. Do some research, experiment and find the cloud niche that most interests you. Whether it be a specific programming language, system administration, security or something else, “the cloud needs them all.”

“Experiment,” Palochko recommends. “Build things. Break things. Read. Repeat. This is an ever-changing industry. Don’t get stale. Period.”

Convinced about the cloud?

If all this talk about tech and the future and the cloud is tugging at your technological heartstrings, consider developing this in-demand skillset.

“The best thing about pursuing a cloud career is that jobs are out there and they are multiplying quickly,” Palochko insists.

Looking for other ways to make your technology resume stand out? Check out our article, "5 IT Certifications That Will Launch Your Tech Career" to learn more about some of the top IT certifications employers want to see.

*Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.
Word is a registered trademark of Microsoft, Inc. QuickBooks is a registered trademark of Intuit, Inc. Cisco is a registered trademark of Cisco Systems, Inc.

Lauren Elrick

Lauren is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She enjoys helping current and potential students choose the path that helps them achieve their educational goals.

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