Five Key Skills You Need To Succeed In Cloud Computing

An IDC study suggests that 1.7 million cloud-related jobs worldwide went unfilled last year because of a lack of qualified candidates. If you want to lob into one of those roles, these are the five skills areas you need to work on.

Cloud computing picture from Shutterstock

The results from the IDC study, which surveyed 600 professionals across a dozen countries and which was co-sponsored by Microsoft, were presented in a press briefing at TechEd North America 2013 today.

“Any time there’s a paradigm shift there’s this inflection point when people are talking and experimenting with new technology, but then things begin to accelerate,” Ken Rosen, director of web marketing for Microsoft learning, said. “We’ve reached that point.”

“IDC concluded that there are 1.7 million jobs that have been posted that have been unfilled over the last year because hiring managers have not been able to find people with the right skills,” Rosen said.

The IDC findings weren’t such good news for non-cloud-related areas. “Almost all growth is going to come from cloud-related jobs,” Rosen said. “Non-cloud-related jobs remain almost flat through to 2016.”

If you do want those roles, you might need to be prepared to move; more than 40% of cloud-related roles are going to be in emerging markets, IDC calculated. Beyond that, the report identified five specific areas where skills are lacking:

  • Assessing risk and consequences of cloud computing
  • Assessing cloud impact on IT service management
  • Defining steps to successfully adopt cloud computing
  • Interpreting business and IT perspective of cloud computing
  • Recommending technical alternatives in cloud implementation
  • The common theme in all of those areas? “These are fairly sophisticated, high-level skills and they’re things that are hard to tease out in an interview process,” Rosen said. Those skills aren’t going to be easily acquired; certifications might help, but many will require hands-on experience. It’s the IT chicken-and-egg once again; employers want to hire people with skills rather than let them develop those skills on the job.

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