IT Technician with a Laptop Computer and Black Male Engineer Colleague are Talking in Data Center while Walking Next to Server Racks. Running Diagnostics or Doing Maintenance Work.
Image: Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock

The global cloud computing market is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.7%, according to market researcher Research and Markets. Meanwhile, IT career site Zippia reports that 94% of the enterprises it surveyed in 2022 use the cloud in some capacity.

It’s no wonder that many IT professionals see a bright career future with a cloud services company. At the same time, cloud services providers want to impress their clients and prospects with excellent service levels and product offerings.

Clients and prospects want 24/7 uptime and resiliency from their cloud services providers. If a cloud services provider specializes in a particular niche or industry sector, such as credit card processing, clients expect in-depth knowledge of the space from their provider.

SEE: Hiring Kit: Cloud Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Sound security and governance are also important as are the hardware and software platforms and stacks that clients need and the experts at the cloud provider who can capably support and, if need be, run for the client.

Given this environment, cloud services providers look for “best in class” people to fill job openings.

Top cloud-based career opportunities for IT professionals in 2022

Cloud consultant

Companies are eager to move to the cloud, but they have different reasons for doing so. In a software-as-a-service environment, for example, a company might be looking for a cloud-based system, but it might also be looking for cloud experts in the industry vertical they are in.

An example of this is a community bank that decides to onboard a cloud-based banking system. Such a system needs a cloud consultant with hands-on banking and technology experience who can help ensure the bank is properly implemented on the cloud with the right resources and services.

In other cases, corporate clients might need help selecting and configuring the combinations of hardware, software and security they need. These clients are likely to be unfamiliar with cloud configuration tools, so they will need to be trained or assisted.

A cloud consultant with a broad knowledge of cloud technology infrastructure and tools has the  ability to do this. The consultant works with the client company to assess cloud needs, assist the company and even help manage cloud activity for the company.

A cloud consultant must be knowledgeable of the cloud’s entire technology stack, and how to best match it to each client’s needs. They must be able to sit down with clients to point clients to the best combination of cloud resources and services for their specific use cases. Cloud consultants also manage cloud-based activities and client relationships.

When a cloud services provider seeks out a consultant, it is looking for technology knowledge  breadth, management skills and the ability to deal with people. Individuals with MBAs and degrees in IT or computer science are favored, but applicants with proven managerial and technology experience can substitute.

A cloud consultant has broad knowledge of cloud technologies and provides guidance to companies looking for cloud-based tools. Typically, this expert assesses a company’s needs and suggests software and services to best meet that company’s technical and budgetary requirements.

The average cloud consultant salary in the U.S. is $124,171.

Cloud software engineer

Cloud clients want a broad assortment of hardware and software. They also want systems that are reliable and current. Tuning hardware and software and maintaining current levels of releases are the domain of cloud software engineers.

These individuals usually specialize in a particular software stack and have deep vertical knowledge of the stack. A software engineer might focus only on the IBM mainframe, and another software engineer might strictly work on distributed Intel platforms.

As more artificial intelligence and big data platforms appear, there are also needs for computer scientist software engineers who understand how to run the parallel processing of large data on platforms such as Hadoop.

Cloud software engineers often have a degree in computer programming, computer science or computer engineering. Ideally, cloud providers look for someone with at least three to five years experience because of the highly sophisticated technical issues they are expected to solve.

The average cloud engineer salary is $120,719.

Cloud security analyst

In the last 18 months, 79% of companies have experienced at least one cloud data breach. Breaches are serious business if you are a cloud services provider, so you want cloud security analysts to assure the most secure environment possible.

Cloud security analysts install firewalls, monitor for viruses and malware, and secure the  periphery of the cloud and subsets of IT assets and networks within the cloud. These analysts review new security offerings, install, monitor and manage them, and mitigate any security threat or breach at its onset. The goal is to intercept a security threat before it affects a client.

The educational requirements for cloud security analysts are a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a computer science or IT degree with a specialization in security.

The average salary for a cloud security analyst is $110,407.

Cloud data analyst

Cloud data analysts and administrators specialize in certain database niches. In the cloud, a majority work with SQL and NoSQL databases. However, there are also graph databases for big data and proprietary databases such as IMS or IDMS that can be found on the IBM mainframe.

Database administrators and analysts are required to have in-depth knowledge of the databases that they work on. They must coordinate with analysts in the end business to ensure their clients can blend and transfer data from a variety of databases to support data repositories and applications.

It can take years to develop into a highly competent and highly compensated data administrator, but for those entering the profession, the fundamental education requirements are  a degree in computer science or IT with a database or database architecture concentration.

The average salary for a data analyst is $81,779, but highly skilled data administrators can earn well over $100,000.

Cloud network engineer

The cloud network engineer designs and implements solutions that meet functional, informational, security and compliance client needs. The network engineer works hand in hand with consultants and security analysts to ensure cloud resources configured for each client deliver expected results and performance.

The average cloud network engineer salary is $90,000.

How to start a career in cloud computing

Opportunities abound in the cloud, and there is no reason why they can’t find you.

First, obtain the type of experience and/or education in your field that is likely to be a good fit for the cloud. If you are a technology professional with extensive experience in a particular industry vertical, that is a combination that is attractive to cloud providers.

Finally, test yourself on your customer service skills. It’s important to remember that the cloud is a customer platform, not an end-user platform. Cloud providers expect you to always be responsive, conscientious and diplomatic with their customers.

Subscribe to the Cloud Insider Newsletter

This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays

Subscribe to the Cloud Insider Newsletter

This is your go-to resource for the latest news and tips on the following topics and more, XaaS, AWS, Microsoft Azure, DevOps, virtualization, the hybrid cloud, and cloud security. Delivered Mondays and Wednesdays