According to a 2013 IT Services report by Gartner – which looked at the forecast for the state of Cloud computing – it's expected that adoption of the cloud will hit $250 billion by the year 2017, with the overall global IT services market expected to exceed $1.1 trillion. A more recent report on the State of the Cloud – published this year from Bessemer Venture Partners – shows that the cloud computing market is actually growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.8 percent, reaching $127.5 billion by 2018. While the numbers vary, both predictions are founded on very real, tracked growth in Cloud computing; apropos of this trend in the industry, it's inevitable that an increasing proportion of today's careers shift to adapt.
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What Exactly is Cloud Computing?
Before you rush off and try to find a job in Cloud computing, it's obviously necessary for you to know what Cloud computing even entails. With deep roots that can be traced all the way back to the 1950s, Cloud computing involves the storing and accessing of programs and data over the Internet as opposed to via a computer hard drive. Increased accessibility to the Internet in the late 1990s to today have led to a major shift in the way we think about storing this kind of data; whereas, at first, we saw some experimentation in cloud architectures, the past couple of years has seen a significant increase in actual deployment of Cloud computing programs and services.
Why is it Important to Start Exploring Careers in Cloud Computing?
Looking at 2014 numbers, there were approximately 3.9 million jobs (open and taken positions combined) in the United States alone that were affiliated with Cloud computing. A significant number when you consider that the latest number of overall job openings in the United States reached 5.4 million. And that number is only expected to increase – according to WorkWave CEO Chris Sullens, as the technologies supporting cloud computing become more advanced, more companies will start to adopt Cloud-based services: “Businesses continue flocking to the Cloud, and it's not just large enterprises – small businesses, even the likes of many in the field service market, are also embracing Cloud-based solutions.”
And therein lies one of the most important reasons for looking into Cloud computing careers or, at the very least, developing the IT skills necessary to help keep up with the ever-increasing demand of Cloud-based services: the Cloud's scope of influence has become significantly much more broad in the last year alone. Rather than simple storage uses of the Cloud, companies spanning a wide variety of industries – from robotics to lawn services – are increasingly turning to Cloud computing to enhance their business performance. Indeed, since 2011, Software as a Service (SaaS) adoption has increased from 11 percent to a staggering 72 percent in 2014.
5 Cloud Computing Careers to Consider
According to InfoTech CEO John Penland, there's an endless number of possible career options that open up as result of Cloud computing. Because of the innumerable applications of the Cloud, there really aren't any limitations as to the kind of careers that can result.
“Cloud services are an explosive industry and the careers associated with cloud services have never been in more demand,” said Penland. “Cloud solutions require three items in order to be successful: a need, a service, and reliable Internet connections.”
To give you an idea, though, here are 5 Cloud computing careers to consider:
- Cloud Storage Specialist: Provides Cloud storage solutions to customers of all sizes, balancing ease-of-use and advanced technical requirements to offer customers with a great product.
- Cloud Operations & Infrastructure Specialist: Manages the commercial relationships with various Cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, or Google, as well as advices dev teams on the cost of utilization for apps. Provides advice on which options are best for which purpose and business goal(s).
- Cloud Security Specialist: Provides security services and software to protect customers from malicious and unauthorized access. Also provides clients with security recommendations, assisting them with minimizing cyber threats and data loss.
- Disaster Recovery/Backup Specialist: Offers disaster recovery solutions to customers, giving them the tools to help them prevent the loss of and ease the recovery of data.
- Big Data Analyst: Pulls together information from various sources to provide businesses with the right set of recommendations to help them make the best decisions.
And, while these careers may not sound that appealing for some, it's important to remember that the applications of Cloud computing in different industries can make the nature of these job roles more interesting. Take, for example, the Las Vegas, NV-based designer & manufacturer of drones, Skyworks Aerial Systems, who recently constructed a drone whose open source software platform is entirely Cloud-based. So, basically, training for a Cloud computing career could find you interacting with drones on the daily.
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