The top five in-demand cloud skills for 2016

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Now acting as the technological cornerstone for businesses across the globe, the growth of cloud computing continues at a phenomenal rate – and as a result, the employer demand for cloud professionals has exploded.

In 2015, there were an estimated 18 million cloud computing jobs globally, according to WANTED Analytics, and it’s a number that is only set to increase with LinkedIn reporting ‘cloud and distributed computing’ as the number one hottest skillset to get you hired in 2016.

With that in mind, it’s worth breaking down this skillset into the five most popular skills required of the modern cloud professional – and how you can go about developing those skills.

Migration

Despite the widespread adoption of cloud, millions of businesses are still contemplating, or in the process of, migrating their on-premise infrastructure. This continues to create significant demand for professionals with the skills to facilitate this migration.

Cloud professionals overseeing migration projects will need a sound knowledge of the different cloud deployment models available to businesses. They’ll also need to understand the existing infrastructure of an organisation, whilst having the knowledge to map applications and workloads running on existing servers and relocate them to the cloud equivalent.

For individuals considering Microsoft’s public and private cloud technologies, it’s worth taking a look at the MCSE: Private Cloud and Specialist: Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification courses. These courses focus on developing the skills to manage and implement the Azure and System Center cloud computing technologies. You should also consider the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 course, which can be deployed across both public and private cloud offerings.

Security

Security is always a major concern for businesses when it comes to technology, and cloud is no exception; a 2015 study from BT claims business leaders rate security as ‘the number one concern for cloud computing’. It’s a concern which is unlikely to disappear with organisations continuing to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons following high profile breaches.

Cloud security skills are critical for any business adopting the technology, especially since the UK average cost of a single data breach is reported to be a terrifying £2.37 million. IT pros who can demonstrate these skills will be hot property in 2016.

If you’re looking to develop cloud security skills, then (ISC)2’s Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) credential should be your number one target. A collaborative effort between (ISC)2 and the Cloud Security Alliance, the credential builds skills incorporating data security, platform and infrastructure security and compliance, amongst others.

Database

In an interconnected world, we now create 2.5 quintillion (30 zeroes) bytes of data every day. Companies are desperate draw insights from this invaluable information, fuelling demand for professionals with the skills to store, manage and access this data. With these databases increasingly hosted on cloud platforms, now is the time to invest in learning a database querying language and an associated database platform.

SQL is the de-facto standard language to learn. Then, if you’re considering developing skills around a database platform, it’s worth looking at Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle Database or an open-source platform like MySQL, Hadoop or Mongo DB.  

If you go searching for SQL querying courses, they’re a dime a dozen. As for the platforms, there exist established certification tracks for Oracle and Microsoft. For the world of open-source there’s the MongoDB university, while Oracle cover MySQL training and Hadoop courses are available from Cloudera.

Programming language

Cloud adds a new dimension to the world of development. Developers can now build, deploy and manage applications quickly that can scale to unlock the full capabilities of cloud. These type of developers are hugely valuable to businesses.

In recent years, we have seen new programming languages like Python, Perl and Ruby rise to prominence in the cloud application development ecosystem. While traditional languages like .NET, Java and PHP continue to be popular.

If you’re starting out, choosing a programming language like Python or Perl is a good starting point. They are high level languages, making them easier to learn. Codecademy is an excellent resource with free courses including Ruby, Python and Java. For those looking to stand out, learning a second language will increase your employability, especially if it’s a mainstream language.

Linux

Demand for cloud professionals with Linux skills is huge right now. More than 25% of servers powering Azure are Linux based, a percentage that’s only set to grow as Microsoft continues to embrace the open-source market. Businesses are increasingly on the hunt for professionals with the skills to design, architect, build, administer and maintain Linux servers in a cloud environment.

For those wishing to seek out Linux skills, the Linux Foundation Certified Systems Administrator will develop the skills to administer a Linux Server. While Microsoft’s MCSA: Linux on Azure develops the skills to create cloud-enabled Linux solutions that leverage the full capability of the Azure platform.

Conclusion

These are in our opinion the top five cloud skills to get you hired in 2016 and beyond. Whichever area you choose, you’ll be opening the door to new and exciting opportunities. It could be a new project, a coveted raise or even a whole new career direction. What are you waiting for?

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Sridhar Sahoo
6 Oct 2016, 3:49 p.m.

Awesome article !!

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