In the world of IT, those skilled in the latest technologies have always been one step ahead of the rest in terms of career opportunities, market demand, and consequently, salary.
And as cloud solutions become more mainstream, the demand for cloud-skilled IT professionals is certainly increasing.
But instead of an opportunity simply to advance your career and remuneration, it should also be seen as a wake-up call to survive in an increasingly competitive jobs landscape.
IT professionals working in pioneering companies may have already had the opportunity to learn about the cloud, as their organizations made their cloud transitions by leveraging their existing IT employees and upskilling them for their new cloud business.
But if your company has not yet made the move, it would be a mistake for you to sit back and wait, expecting to learn these skills when your employer finally decides to go cloud.
Reason number 1: as cloud-based solutions become more complex and more pervasive, there will be a wider range of specialized external cloud consultants for enterprises to employ to make the cloud shift smoothly and risk-free.
Reason number 2: as these companies – the last to adopt the cloud – realize the business opportunities they are missing out on with every passing day, they will be more likely to leverage ready-made external consultants immediately, and not wait until their IT teams have ‘caught up’.
Reason number 3: cloud learning is not just about learning a new technology, it is about learning a new business paradigm. The cloud is changing the structure of the IT department and the job roles within it, putting some careers at risk.
Cloud-rich IT departments spend less time and fewer internal resources on operations and technical support of applications, systems, and servers. Their focus has instead switched to IT/business liaison, user adoption, vendor relationship management, and security.
Thus, where previously, IT success was measured in terms of uptime and performance or calls to the helpdesk, for companies adopting the cloud it is measured in user adoption of new capabilities and in business value derived from investment.
Embracing the cloud is, therefore, as much about developing cloud business acumen as technical skills.
This means the longer you wait to learn cloud skills, the more obsolete your current technical and functional skills are becoming – and the more likely you are to eventually be replaced by a ‘cloud-skilled professional’.
There are two main types of cloud computing careers emerging today, both of which are highly lucrative: IT pros with specific cloud skills, and IT admins with cloud architecture know-how.
At this point in time there are about 100 cloud jobs for each qualified candidate, according to technical recruiters.
The key word here being ‘qualified’.
While many companies may be desperate to fill cloud roles, nobody wants to hire an unqualified applicant - especially for a business-critical function.
Therefore, the best way for you to get ahead in the cloud, to advance your career today while safeguarding it for the future, is to acquire cloud certifications.
Armed with well-respected cloud certifications, you will be ready when your current company makes its shift to the cloud.
And if your company waits too long and goes out of business before that happens, well, there will be plenty of other enterprises eager to employ your services, and line your cloud career with silver.
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