If the tech industry’s most recent round of quarterly financial results made anything clear, it’s that cloud computing and services are surviving—and perhaps even benefitting from—the impact of COVID-19. Apple, for example, is enjoying increased revenue from digital services and subscriptions; Google and Facebook have reported expanded use of their services, although that’s coming at the expense of curtailed advertising revenue.
Microsoft, meanwhile, reported strong demand for its cloud computing services, including the apps and platforms that allow employees to engage in remote work. “As COVID-19 impacts every aspect of our work and life, we have seen two years' worth of digital transformation in two months,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on the company’s most recent earnings call.
In other words, demand for cloud computing only increases during a crisis such as COVID-19, which hints that cloud-based skills can boost technologists’ job security and prospects even at the worst of times. But what does the long-term landscape look like for cloud-computing skills, salary, and job growth?
If we consult Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, the overall picture for cloud computing skills looks pretty good: Occupations that leverage the cloud are expected to increase 14.7 percent over the next decade. The median salary for cloud-computing roles is $107,000, which is notably higher than the average tech salary of $94,000 (the latter number according to the most recent Dice Tech Salary Report).
Burning Glass collects the following skills into its “cloud computing skills cluster”:
- Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.
- Cloud Architecture.
- Cloud Builder (different companies offer different versions, such as VMware).
- Cloud computing.
- Cloud-based design and manufacturing.
That’s in addition to mastery of AWS and Microsoft Azure, which provide cloud infrastructure to an overwhelming number of companies large and small.
According to Burning Glass, here are the top professions requesting cloud-computing skills. As you might expect, developers, engineers, and architects dominate the list:
What’s surprising about this breakdown? The relatively low percentages of jobs actually asking for cloud-computing skills (for example, such requests pop up in 10.9 percent of data engineer job postings, which leads this particular field). However, the projected growth in demand for cloud-computing skills is quite robust; in coming years, more and more employers will want you skilled in some aspect of the cloud.
Just to make things a little bit more interesting, here are the skills that “co-occur,” or appear alongside, cloud-computing skills in job postings:
Again, relatively few surprises here—Java, Python, and SQL are vital to the infrastructure of most companies, so it’s logical that employers would often want developers, engineers, and architects to know them in addition to cloud-computing skills. Fortunately, many technologists are already well-versed in Java, Python, and SQL.
And as Kevin Kelly, Director of Certification and Education Programs at AWS, pointed out in a recent Dice column—you can’t forget “soft skills” in this mix. A successful cloud architect or developer needs to have great time management, communication, and decision-making skills—as well as an aptitude for flexibility and learning. Combined with your technical knowledge, those skills can make you a prime candidate for a cloud-related job… no matter what’s going on in the larger world.
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