The cloud computing job market is growing rapidly, but it’s not keeping pace with global cloud innovation.
Cloud vendors continue to grow their product offerings and expand their engagement with advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Cloud users continue to increase their cloud usage or migrate their workloads to the cloud for the first time. In all of these cases, more cloud professionals are needed to manage cloud solutions, but the supply of these skilled workers continues to fall short of the demand.
Whether you’re looking to hire a cloud computing professional or get hired for a cloud role, it’s important to know the conversations that are happening in this market and how expectations for cloud work are changing. Read on to learn about five of the trends experts are seeing in the cloud computing job market today.
Trends to Watch in the Cloud Computing Job Market
- A growing need for cloud security and zero-trust knowledge
- Looking for cloud professionals with supplemental technical training
- Company-sponsored learning and hands-on experience
- Combining cloud knowledge with business acumen
- Increasingly sourcing global talent
Also read: Top Trends in Cloud Computing
As more companies move their legacy applications and infrastructure to the cloud, it becomes crucial to assess and refresh security for the new environment.
Many cloud platforms offer software-as-a-service (SaaS) and third-party security solutions, but companies are increasingly hiring cloud professionals with security skills as well.
Dan Lohrmann, field CISO at Presidio, a cloud infrastructure and security company, said cybersecurity and zero-trust knowledge are fundamental skill sets for cloud candidates to possess.
“Cloud architects, specialists, and analysts with experience in cloud security, identity management, and data backups are crucial,” Lohrmann said.
“Zero-trust edicts in the public sector and desires to move in this zero-trust direction in the private sector are driving a demand for skills to configure various toolsets securely.”
Learn more about cloud security: Top Trends in Cloud Security
Cloud professionals are expected to gain additional technical strengths they can bring to the company.
Mattias Andersson, senior community training architect and instructor for A Cloud Guru, a Pluralsight education company, believes additional skill sets in security and data are helpful for a cloud computing professional looking for a secure career path forward.
“Because cloud is becoming more integrated into systems, more positions are becoming cloud plus and requiring experience with both cloud and some other part of IT,” Andersson said. “Some examples include cloud plus development, cloud plus data, cloud plus operations, and cloud plus security.
“Software developers who can leverage cloud services without the help of architects or operations teams are particularly valuable. Because cloud services are becoming even more efficient and accessible as they trend toward higher abstractions, any experience with serverless anything is quite valuable.”
Andersson also explained the value of getting experience with multiple major cloud platforms and experience with setting up and running a multicloud environment.
“Companies are looking for people with multicloud skills, if they can find them,” Andersson said. “Even if they’re not already using multiple clouds right now, many companies are looking toward that multicloud possibility and want to onboard multicloud expertise.
“Sometimes, companies have concrete plans around various clouds, but even if multicloud skills are not written into the job posting, multicloud skills are on many hiring managers’ minds. And they would love to gain an in-house resource they could consult on multicloud ideas they’re considering.”
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Cloud computing professionals are looking for a company that will help them advance their cloud learning and try new skills.
Paul Haverstock, VP of engineering at Cloudways, a managed cloud hosting platform, explained how some cloud specialists want to hone their skills with a particular cloud platform, while others want to expand their reach into other major platforms. All of them, he said, want the opportunity to continue their learning on the job.
“Often developers have in-depth knowledge and understanding of one of the cloud platforms — AWS being the most prevalent by far,” Haverstock said. “Many developers who have developed expertise in a given cloud platform want to continue to work in that environment. They want to maintain and increase their investment in the platform they know best, as this increases their value in the market.
“A smaller percentage of developers want to branch out from the platform they know the best to learn another.
“In all cases, candidates want the chance to learn more and take advantage of training to increase their cloud computing expertise. They want to learn and use the latest services, so their pace of learning and experience matches the pace of innovation of cloud services.”
Leon Godwin, principal cloud evangelist at Sungard AS, a digital transformation and infrastructure company, explained why cloud employees are most drawn to companies that give them hands-on opportunities to lead and learn through projects that contribute to the business.
“Cloud talent knows the supply and demand paradigm that exists in the marketplace,” Godwin said. “This enables them to be more selective.
“Salary is always going to be a key driver, but beyond that, talent is looking for organizations where they can make a meaningful contribution, while also growing their career. This requires giving them both authority and responsibilities.
“Empowering your talent is the foundational building block of a cloud culture. Additionally, they are looking for their contribution to be valued and for their voice to be both sought and heard.”
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Especially because cloud specialists are in such short supply, those with in-depth cloud knowledge are expected to share cloud products, progress, and needs with a wider business audience.
Knowing how the cloud works and explaining it to others are two different skill sets, but candidates who can do both will have the biggest opportunities for career growth.
Godwin from Sungard AS believes the right mixture of skilled cloud expertise and wider administrative and sales proficiency is the key to getting hired for top-level cloud positions.
“Delivering and managing cloud outcomes requires an understanding of the target platforms, systems administration, and infrastructure as code,” Godwin said.
“Experience is a significant advantage. However, this specific mix of skills is hard to come by, as third-line people may have the administration skills but often lack coding or platform knowledge. Likewise, people with a programming background often lack an understanding of systems administration or the nuances of a cloud platform. Modern cloud talent should have a deep breadth of knowledge and should be comfortable liaising with customers and communicating complex challenges in easily understandable terms.”
Learn more about the greater cloud market: Cloud Computing Market
Cloud infrastructure already makes it possible for companies and their workforces to be more globally distributed, and more companies are expanding their cloud recruiting efforts to new global markets.
Amitabh Sinha, CEO of Workspot, an enterprise SaaS and desktop cloud platform, said companies are looking in new places for full-time and contract talent to fill cloud team gaps.
“To address the talent scarcity, many are extending their hiring searches to a global scale, creating global collaboration platforms and augmenting teams with contract resources,” Sinha said.
“As the phenomenon continues, we can expect to see more global collaboration, with companies increasingly hiring talent from South America and Eastern Europe, for example.”