Here's Why Training Will Get You a Job in the Cloud
Standing in the way of the cloud’s expected growth isn’t technology, but a growing shortage of tech professionals with the right skills, hiring managers say. Currently, companies are struggling to fill an estimated 1.7 million open cloud jobs—more than 24 percent of the 7 million positions expected to be available by 2015. In a study conducted for Microsoft, researcher IDC said the number of workers needed to fill those positions will grow by 26 percent each year during that period. Cushing Anderson, an IDC vice president, calls this skills gap a “harsh reality” that companies face. The solution, he says, lies in getting more tech professionals the training and certifications they need to handle cloud-related jobs. Because cloud technologies require new skills, he sees this as a more challenging staffing problem than tech managers usually face. “There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing,” he observes. Thus, training and certification are “essential” for preparing candidates to work in cloud-related positions. In particular, during 2013 companies will seek developers and engineers who can create software for the cloud, as well as infrastructure experts who can oversee data migration, vendor performance and other first-generation projects, says David Foote, CEO of researcher Foote Partners in Vero Beach, Fla. Companies also want next-generation enterprise architects who understand how the cloud fits into their existing structure, along with cloud administrators and resource planners who can estimate enterprise-level needs for computing capacity. Security specialists will continue to be in demand, but they’ll need the ability to identify and mitigate cloud-specific risks. Foote believes that cloud hiring slowed in 2012 for another reason: Some companies had to address architectural, cultural and organizational issues that got in the way of data sharing, analysis and effective migration. With many of those resolved, he expects hiring for cloud-related positions to ramp up in 2013.