Prepare for the big cloud-driven job shakeup

In a recent survey, Gartner found what early adopters already know: The cloud is changing IT careers in a big way

Prepare for the big cloud-driven job shakeup

It's pretty obvious which technologies -- cloud computing, in particular -- are changing IT and, thus, IT careers, says Gartner. According to Gartner, in the next 18 months, we'll see cloud computing drive some jobs out and other jobs in.

In Gartner's survey of IT professionals, respondents identified the cloud as the technology that will have the single biggest impact on their career in 2016. "Emerging technologies in fields such as cloud computing, mobility, and data and analytics, in addition to security and risk management, are permeating nearly every aspect of the IT landscape," said John Hagerty, a Gartner vice president.

Of course, this is no surprise to anyone already in cloud computing. Indeed, I've gone from getting a few calls per month from recruiters to several a week. What's changed is that employers are now very specific as to the skills they're seeking. A few years ago, they were simply looking for "cloud people." (I always got a laugh out of that.)

Today, employers are looking for Amazon Web Services developer talent, cloud architects, and the hard-to-find devops and cloud specialists. The specific nature of the job requirements is a result of enterprises finally moving applications into the cloud, which means they now are figuring out the exact skills they need.

To land on the right side of the coming IT jobs shakeup, you need to align yourself with the needs of the cloud market. Yes, that means getting the right certifications, but mostly it means learning on your own. You need to understand the use of the cloud in the narrow, such as AWS database administration, as well as the use of the cloud in the wide, such as cloud selection and strategy. Though some of this is new, most cloud skill sets are based on existing IT concepts such as capacity planning and platform requirements. In other words, you can -- and should -- build on what you already know.

If you're looking to propel your IT career to the next level, the cloud could be a shot in the arm. However, it is going to take extra work on your part, meaning spending nights, weekends, and training days to prepare.

If you're willing to learn, chances are you could end up making 50 percent more in the next few years in the post-cloud-shakeup IT world.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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