Professionals with cloud expertise are some of the most highly prized hires in tech. As companies work to migrate their digital assets, databases, and applications from onsite data centers into the cloud, the demand for jobs such as Cloud Engineer and Cloud Architect have grown to huge levels.

According to industry data, cloud computing, security, and architecture are the top skill set needed by IT departments.  But it appears that in line with many other tech roles, the demand for cloud professionals is outstripping supply; one-third of managers asked said these professionals are the most challenging to find in the hiring market.

The most in-demand cloud roles.

The research asked tech leaders to name the cloud jobs most needed by their teams.

60% named Microsoft Azure engineer/architects as being their most needed role, closely followed by Amazon Web Services (AWS) engineers/architects (57%). Google Cloud Platform Engineers were named crucial by 55% of respondents and Oracle Fusion Engineers were identified by 33% of tech leaders.

The must-have cloud qualifications.

Many companies’ infrastructures are built using one of the above, and roles will be advertised accordingly – so a qualification and experience in at least one of these is vital if working in cloud services is your ambition.

The must-have cloud certifications are specific to the three big hitters: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

However, there are additional certifications that will help to market yourself as an A-Grade candidate. Some of these include

CompTIA Cloud+

This is a global certificate that covers all major aspects of cloud computing. It is ideal if you are looking to develop across multiple products and systems.

VMware Certified Professional – Cloud Management and Automation

This certificate demonstrates you can configure and administer a VMWare vRealize environment.

Salesforce Certified Development Lifecycle and Deployment

High-end specialists in this cloud-based CRM software are highly sought after. This certification will certainly boost your employability.

Employer development programmes.

The tech talent shortage has required organisations to relook at the strategies they use to fill workforce gaps.  Many have taken the decision to upskill their current employees and are offering training programmes to those seeking professional development.

Data from surveys conducted over the lockdown suggest that candidate priorities have shifted. Training and development is high up on their priorities so employers who can offer these opportunities are at a huge advantage when it comes to both attracting talent and retaining an established workforce.

If this is something that appeals to you, you may like to approach your employer about the possibility of taking part in an upskilling program offered by companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Oracle.

Alternatively, you may wish to ask for cloud computing stretch projects that take you out of your comfort zone.

Stand out from the cloud.

If you are a cloud professional who really wants to stand out from the crowd, you should also look to upskill in some of the following.

Frameworks and methodologies.

Many employers look for experience in methodologies like Agile, DevOps and Scrum.

Cloud security.

Cloud security is critical. Employers will want to ensure you understand the common risks and vulnerabilities of cloud architecture.

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

The main cloud platforms: Azure, AWS, Google Cloud et al, offer tools and services that provide access to cloud-based AI and machine learning applications. Getting on board with these is a great way to stand out as a progressive and eager.

Cloud migration.

With so many organisations concentrating their efforts on data migration, it’s desired that candidates will already have experience in this process.  Should you have an opportunity to get involved, do so. Your efforts will be well rewarded.

Communication.

Soft skills are critical to cloud professionals. The job requires a high level of collaboration with a diverse set of stakeholders as well as inhouse and external teams.

In sum.

There has never been a better time to be a Cloud candidate looking for a new job. A vibrant market and an abundance of demand mean that employers are going the extra mile to attract and retain the best tech talent the UK. Not only are starting salaries the highest they’ve ever been, but employers are going above and beyond, providing an abundance of learning opportunities to train and retain their A Players in cloud technologies.

Digital transformation is offering cloud professionals scope to get involved in exciting and dynamic projects that have the potential to change the nature of businesses forever. Cloud technology experts will continue to be in high demand, but even for these tech professionals there remains a need to develop. By embracing professional opportunities and gaining industry-respected qualifications, they will always top the list of tech’s most employable.

Are you interested in learning more about becoming a cloud professional? Our blog, “Fancy becoming a Cloud Engineer?” may help!

About the author: As a founder of Ignite Digital Talent, I lead our brilliant team to ensure we deliver time and time again for our clients. I also stay closely networked with industry influencers to ensure we are well placed to understand the issues and challenges our clients face.

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