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How to start your cloud career

Last updated:November 2019

Editor's note

The cloud has opened a lot of doors for IT pros looking for new employment opportunities. Cloud jobs range from architects and developers to data scientists, admins and more -- each of which requires a specific skill set.

Honing your IT skills is crucial to landing that next job or promotion. For example, if you're able to script or automate -- among other skills -- it will take you far in the tech space, according to Justin Benigno, network infrastructure and security recruiter at TEKsystems, a technology staffing company.

If you're planning to work with cloud services, the education never stops. "A lot of the time, [candidates] only have skill sets of what they're exposed to in previous positions. That doesn't mean that they're not a coachable person," Benigno said. Therefore, if IT pros want career longevity, they must adapt and look to expand their current skills with additional training and certifications. 

However, there isn't a single clear path to follow when it comes to the cloud -- it's up to each individual to find their own way through the everchanging IT landscape.

1Prepare for your interview

Interviews, in general, are a stressful experience for any job candidate -- let alone for those seeking a high-demand cloud computing career. These interviews can be more complicated than the average job screening, with topics that range from your technical expertise to your management skills. In order to start -- or continue -- down a cloud career path, you'll need to put your best foot forward.

2Examine in-demand skills

Working in cloud computing requires specific knowledge and skills. And with the competitive nature of the current IT job market, it's important to distance yourself from other candidates. When hiring managers consider a candidate, 70% of their analysis pertains to the candidate's technical skills, while the remaining 30% is all about their soft skills, TEKsystems' Benigno said. However, soft skills are just as important -- for example, innovative ideas can go to waste if a job candidate is unable to communicate well with peers. With that said, it's crucial to keep all your skills up to date and expand your knowledge about the cloud, as well as related tools and technologies.

3Get the right cloud certifications

Move up the ladder in IT by staying ahead of the technology learning curve and keep an eye on relevant training and certifications that can advance your career in cloud computing. The tricky part is deciding whether to obtain certifications from a cloud service provider or a third-party vendor. Weigh your options and see which programs will be most beneficial in the long run.

4Take a close look at cloud engineering opportunities

The role of cloud engineer is a desirable position for many IT pros, but not everyone has what it takes. The job itself can be split into multiple roles, ultimately leading job candidates down different cloud career paths. Capable and successful engineers are responsible for the planning, building, management and maintenance of workloads on the cloud. If these types of responsibilities are in your wheelhouse, you might have what it takes to be a cloud engineer.

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