How to get rich in the cloud

The demand for these three positions will rise as cloud computing grows

Tech jobs are coming back, and cloud computing skills are at the top of the list; a well-placed bet in a cloud computing skill could lead to good paydays in the next few years. However, cloud computing as a term is so overused that you need to be much more specific about your area of focus.

To get rich in the world of cloud computing, you first need to focus on a skill that's in high demand, which is the kind that will pay very well. Second, work for an organization that provides some return on equity around the use of those skills. Typically, that means a hot technology startup or perhaps a small publicly traded technology company that's now moving to the cloud. Wait a few years, sell your stock, move to beach, then repeat.

[ In the data center today, the action is in the private cloud. InfoWorld's experts take you through what you need to know to do it right in our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Also check out our "Cloud Security Deep Dive," our "Cloud Storage Deep Dive," and our "Cloud Services Deep Dive." ]

What are the hot cloud jobs to aim for? Here are the top three.

Cloud service architect: This is someone who knows that "multitenant" does not mean building systems in an apartment with five roommates. A cloud servce architect understands how cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Rackspace can autoprovision and autoscale, and he or she can apply that knowledge to other areas, such as cloud-based applications and infrastructure.

Very few of these people are out there. Most are self-taught, given that many of these architectures are created as you go. I've built several such architectures and can vouch that no two are the same.

Cloud migration specialist: This is someone who can take your aging legacy application and successfully relocate it to the cloud, taking full advantage of the economy and elasticity of the cloud computing platform. This person needs to be a good architect, have vast experience with SOA architectural patterns, and have deep knowledge of cloud computing platforms.

Cloud security specialist: We all know that clouds aren't secure. Well, they aren't secure if they don't have the right security architecture, and that's why everyone will be looking for a good cloud security specialist. This person understands the differences between identity and encryption, and they know how to lock up your data, both in flight and at rest.

Now all you have to do is develop these skills!

This article, "How to get rich in the cloud," originally appeared at Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.