By Glenn Ferrell – IIT Alum and owner of gfWEBsoft LLC (http://www.gfwebsoft.com/)
Timing is everything, and students focusing on Information Technology and Management seem to be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to take advantage of significant growth in cloud computing jobs.
7 Million New Cloud Computing Jobs by 2015
According to a Forbes review of an IDC report, sponsored by Microsoft, demand for “cloud-ready” IT workers will “grow by 26% annually through 2015. IDC expects that as many as 7 million new cloud-related jobs will be available worldwide by that time”. The author of the IDC report (Cushing Anderson) says that “Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven’t been needed in the past.”
Cloud-Related Positions Going Unfilled
According to the Forbes article, “lack of training, certification or experience” are the top three reasons cloud positions go un-filled. Anderson says several skill sets are key to building and maintaining cloud capabilities within organizations. These are listed in the table below, along with projected openings for 2015:
|Job Type||Openings by 2015|
|IT systems and operations||630,414|
|Project and program managers||555,591|
|Help desk and end-user support||549,241|
|Application development and maintenance||525,829|
|Network, telecom, security, and web development||481,411|
From IDC Report as Reported in Forbes 12/21/2012
In an earlier article Forbes’ writer Joe McKendrick suggested what IT professionals (future and present) should be learning in order to succeed in cloud-related jobs. His list seems to be right in line with the IDC report:
- Business and financial skills: Know how to make a business case and calculate an ROI for cloud.
- Technical skills: Java, .NET framework skills and knowledge of virtualization are important, and familiarity with open-source tools and languages is also valuable.
- Enterprise architecture and business needs analysis: Be able to build a “roadmap” for which services should be provided by IT and which by an outside provider. Learn to speak the language of business as well as the language of IT professionals
- Project management skills: Managing scope “creep”, contracts, service agreements and risk exposure are just some of the project management skills critical to implementing cloud. Cloud computing can cause end users to “run wild” with feature and service requests, so scope has to be contained. Also, remembering that cloud is supposed to cost less than equivalent on-premises services, skills in negotiating cloud vendors’ contracts, service level agreements and availability are critical to success.
- Security and compliance: Understanding security protocols is important in all types of cloud deployment. Additionally, regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA have made navigating data-handling laws more complex. IT professionals with an understanding of both can be very valuable.
- Data integration and analysis skills: Inside we have ERP systems, data warehouses, etc. Outside we have cloud-based services. Those who can analyze both sides and implement sound data integration between the two will be in high demand.
- Mobile app development and management: The rise of mobile devices of all kinds has been key driver for the expansion of cloud solutions. A sound understanding of the basics is a valuable skill in cloud-implementation.
So how does the future look for those with a solid grounding in Cloud, Information Technology, and Management? All in all, it looks anything but cloudy.