For a cloud career, learn to operate at the edge

The rise of public and private clouds is fueling demand for IT jobs that may not seem cloud-related -- but they are

Cloud computing jobs are on the rise, no matter what analyst firms you ask these days. Of course, "cloud computing jobs" can mean many things, ranging from architects to operators. However, the demand seems to be for those who have development experience with specific public clouds and those who have experience operating specific clouds, both private and public.

Say you don't want to learn OpenStack anytime soon but still want to cash in on cloud computing, or you don't have the hands-on cloud experience in high demand. What are your options? Consider focusing on a job whose demand is rising because of cloud computing but is not directly related to cloud computing. These secondary jobs are being created through the use of cloud-based platforms. They may not directly deal with cloud technology, but are nonetheless driven by it.

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For example, you might not think a network engineer is a cloud-related job, but it's becoming just that. Organizations that use cloud platforms have to upgrade their network systems to support the increased load, which is driving many businesses to improve enterprise networks and, in turn, hire the talent to do so.

Another example is the database specialist. The rise of cloud computing has driven an interest in cloud databases, such as Amazon Redshift. The interest in databases powered by cloud computing is rising with the cloud itself, which is creating the need for anyone who can design, build, and deploy databases.

A final example is the data center operator. Look at the growth stats around data centers these days -- they are exploding. Even though public cloud computing is all about shutting down data centers, the reality is that most enterprises are building private clouds. They are adding more servers to the racks, so they need people to maintain them.

There's no doubt that getting skills in cloud technology will boost your career. But much of the job growth will be for positions that are indirectly affected by the rise and use of cloud platforms. Talent will be needed there, and taking advantage of that fact is a good career strategy.

This article, "For a cloud career, learn to operate at the edge," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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