Cloud computing workers wanted

Jennifer Scott News
9 Jan, 2012

A business intelligence firm claims more than 10,000 jobs requiring cloud computing skills were posted in the past three months.

The job market may be tempestuous in the current climate, but it seems cloud computing jobs are on the rise regardless.

A report from WANTED Analytics – a business intelligence firm focused on the recruitment sector – claimed over 10,000 new jobs advertisements had been posted online over the past 90 days looking for employees with cloud computing skills.

The firm said this was a 61 per cent increase compared to the same report last year, showing the increased use of cloud technologies within companies worldwide.

Of the 2,400 companies posting the ads, the most common roles requiring cloud skills were still very techie roles – either computer specialists or programmers.

Yet, less technical positions also cited cloud as a requirement due to the continued infiltration of cloud software into the corporate environment. These jobs included marketing managers, sales managers and customer service representatives.

Unsurprisingly, San Francisco was the area with the most cloud computing job ads. However, despite still having high demand, San Jose – in the heart of Silicon Valley – showed a 12 per cent drop in the number of ads it posted online.

Although the figures 2011 look reassuring, the large scale increase of jobs won't last forever.

Robert Rutherford, managing director of IT service provider and consultancy QuoStar, claimed growth wouldn't continue as such but demand for at least the next three years would be strong. For the UK though, this brings its own problems.

"We'll  certainly find it difficult within the UK as we have a skills shortage already," he told Virtual Clouds. "The fact that there's also a big slump in graduates entering IT isn't going to help, not just the IT industry but UK business in general."

However, Clive Longbottom, founder of analysis firm Quocirca, thinks the ads are just another part of the infectious cloud buzzword taking hold.

“Part of it is down to hype,” he told Virtual Clouds. “I remember when Java had been out for a few months, and I saw an ad for a job requiring ‘five years Java skills.’” 

“I think the same is taking place here – the job may well not require any cloud skills, but by putting ‘cloud’ in the job ad, the company or agency running it hope that they will get more and better candidates.”

He added: “A job ad for a data centre manager, a systems admin, a systems architect or a coder will probably have ‘cloud’ dropped in just because it is seen as being the cool thing to do – and I reckon that this will cover a large part of the rise.”

Both Rutherford and Longbottom did offer advice to those in IT looking to acquire the right skills to ride the cloud job market whilst it is booming though.

"It's all about the back-end," said Rutherford. "In short - virtualisation, storage and networking. As always you need experience primarily, but certifications will count."

On top of the technical skills, Longbottom added: “Really get to understand what the organisation will be doing at a business level over the next couple of years, ensure that you know what technical functions there are available and working in the existing data centre environment and then do a gap analysis to identify what will be needed to meet the business’ requirements over the next two years.”

“Advise on whether these bits of functionality should be hosted in-house (on physical servers, clustered, servers, using virtualisation or private cloud), or whether they should be hosted externally (co-lo or public cloud).” 

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