Demand for cloud jobs is now stratospheric

The small pool of experienced cloud talent will pose a challenge to employers and opportunity to IT pros

A funny thing happened to cloud computing over the last few years: Though everyone talked about cloud computing, the demand for cloud skills was healthy but not overwhelming, and certainly not in sync with the hype -- until now. The demand for cloud talent has officially caught up to the hype.

A recent survey by Wanted Analytics shows that more than 2,400 companies in a 90-day period were seeking candidates with cloud computing skills. Moreover, hiring demand increased by 61 percent year over year for cloud-savvy IT people. Tech-heavy San Francisco and San Jose topped the search for cloud experts; New York and my home of Washington, D.C., display healthy cloud job growth as well.

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Two factors are driving this trend. First, money is finally freeing up in IT budgets, and the dollars are being directed at cloud computing. Second, the hype has led to real projects that need real people, so companies are now staffing up for those efforts.

The trouble is that only a select portion of prospects have deep cloud computing expertise and direct experience with the technology. Thus, we'll be in a familiar pattern, where new technology emerges with too many jobs chasing too few qualified candidates. The rise of the PC and of the Web were both examples of this cycle.

Those looking for jobs (or, more likely, job upgrades) will begin to "cloudwash" their résumés. That will make it difficult for recruiters and HR departments to spot the difference between real experience and pure spin. Thus, mishires will be rampant until they get smart about spotting the cloudwashers.

Still, this is good news for IT overall. At the core of this cycle is acceptance that we're accelerating the migration of some business applications and infrastructure to cloud computing. Now, you just need to find the right people to do the work -- or become one yourself. That's the tough part.

This article, "Demand for cloud jobs is now stratospheric," 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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