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Change is a constant in the IT industry, with much of that change revolving around cloud computing. And as cloud continues to gain ground in the enterprise, it's opening up new opportunities for IT pros.
"Companies understand that investing in technology enables them to attack new business opportunities and increase productivity,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, a human resources and staffing consulting firm.
While there are many possible career paths in cloud, there are particularly hot and emerging opportunities around platform as a service (PaaS), OpenStack and vendor-specific services, including those from Cloudera, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.
As evidence of cloud’s growing influence, two of the top five paying positions in a 2015 survey from IT job search site Dice.com involve cloud. One job was PaaS professionals, which ranked No. 1 with an average salary of $130,081 per year. The job site lists more than 400 open positions for PaaS professionals. Some employers are specifically seeking PaaS solutions architects who can architect, design, develop and assist with performance tuning of new cloud applications.
The second most popular position was for Cloudera professionals, which ranked number four on the list with an average salary of $128,816. Dice lists 290 open positions at Cloudera, which provides a Hadoop-based big data platform.
Calling all open source, AWS and Azure experts
In addition to PaaS and Cloudera experts, IT pros with knowledge of open source cloud technologies -- and especially OpenStack -- are in high demand. More than 500 businesses, such as Bloomberg, Fidelity Brokerage Services, The Walt Disney Company and Wal-Mart, have used OpenStack to build their cloud applications.
Online job site Indeed.com lists more than 3,400 open OpenStack positions, including some at IT vendors such as Red Hat and Rackspace. Estimated salaries range from $70,000 to more than $150,000. Employers are seeking OpenStack skills such as the ability to analyze gaps in existing data center management infrastructure, troubleshoot systems and deploy automation and orchestration workflows.
There are many opportunities for IT pros that are well-versed in a specific cloud provider's technology.
“Vendor-specific cloud solutions are becoming more popular and driving changes in the IT job market,” Reed said.
AWS jobs lead the pack with more than 2,200 open positions, including some internally at Amazon, according to Dice.com. Potential roles include an AWS solutions architect, targeted at candidates who can work with senior- and executive-level management in Fortune 100 businesses, and map customers' business needs to the right technology.
Microsoft is another leading cloud services provider, and its Azure cloud platform has been gaining momentum. Dice.com lists 845 Azure jobs, including an Azure cloud solutions architect. The person must have a number of skills, including:
- Experience with Microsoft Azure and a strong understanding of Azure capabilities and limitations;
- A thorough understanding of virtualization technologies, infrastructure as a service, PaaS and software as a service cloud delivery models; and
- Knowledge of the current competitive landscape.PaaS
Like AWS and Microsoft, there is high demand for IT pros with knowledge of Salesforce.com, the cloud-based customer relationship management application. Indeed.com has nearly 17,000 open positions related to or at Salesforce.com, including administrators. Desired skills for such a position include the ability to maintain and enhance visual layouts, workflow rules and business logic to streamline and enhance business processes. In addition, the administrator is responsible for improving overall user experience.
Businesses want to embrace cloud computing but often lack needed expertise. And, as corporations scramble to add necessary experience to their staff, demand and salaries for IT pros with cloud experience will continue to rise.
About the author:
Paul Korzeniowski is a freelance writer who specializes in cloud computing issues. Based in Sudbury, Mass, Korzeniowski has been covering technology issues for more than two decades and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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