Cloud computing has now achieved mainstream deployment in the UK, and 2015 is looking to be a solid year for cloud. A recent study by the Cloud Industry Forum revealed 78% of UK-based organisations had adopted a minimum of one cloud-based service, and figures show the UK government has spent around £250 million on G-Cloud in 2015, so far.
As a result, business demand for IT pros who can demonstrate cloud-based skills has never been higher. Wanted Analytics found that at the end of 2014 there were nearly 450,000 UK cloud-related jobs currently advertised, with over 1.2 million available in Europe, and nearly 4 million in the US – admittedly not all of them in IT. Additionally the jobs available are on the whole highly paid, according to ITJobsWatch the average advertised salaries for an IT Pro with skills in Azure is around £50,000, with top end salaries peaking at a £100k+.
So which skills are in most demand in 2015 and what certifications should you be concentrating on obtaining to get one of those top jobs? To help you decide we have compiled the top four most in demand cloud skills and the certifications you need:
According to a recent study from BT, security is the number one concern for businesses when implementing cloud solutions, and will remain a high priority once the implementation is complete. With IBM reporting the UK’s average cost of a single data breach at £2.37 million, it is easy to understand why.
Professionals who can demonstrate cloud security skills, therefore, remain top of the agenda for businesses. For security professionals looking to develop and demonstrate these skills, (ISC)2 and the Cloud Security Alliance’s collaborative Certified Cloud Security Professional credential is the ideal choice.
Virtualization skills remain a top priority for businesses looking to optimise their use of server capacity. A critical activity whether that server is on-premise or sat in the cloud - virtualization eradicates the need for multiple servers running at sub-optimal capacity by running multiple virtual workloads on a single server.
The MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certification or VMware’s Certified Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization (VCP6-DCV) credentials, provide a solid foundation in virtualization for those looking to develop the required skills.
As more and more businesses have bought into the benefits of the cloud, demand for IT pros with skills to migrate on-premise infrastructure to public, private or hybrid cloud solutions has sky-rocketed. This is reflected with Microsoft’s Specialist Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions certification becoming one of their most popular products as professionals seek to demonstrate their skills. Similar interest has also been show in Amazon’s AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate and Professional certifications.
The recent ‘End of Life’ of Windows Server 2003 has further fuelled the demand for migration skills as the financial implications posed by end of support encompassing maintenance, security issues and loss of compliance has forced businesses to replace their old systems and think about migrating other configurations and naturally many of these organisations will turn to cloud technologies like Azure and Amazon AWS.
There’s an ever increasing need for Linux expertise. Figures from Microsoft reveal more than 20% of Azure virtual machines running on Linux and according to research from the LPI 93% of UK employers are planning to hire a Linux pro in the next 6 months.
If you’re looking for a good start in Linux then the LPIC: Linux Server Professional Certification is an ideal credential to seek out, as you’ll develop and validate critical skills installing & configuring a system running Linux alongside maintenance tasks with the command line.
So, there we have it, the most in-demand cloud skills in 2015 and how to develop and demonstrate them. Of course, the industry moves quickly. Today’s skills could soon become legacy. We are already seeing growing demand in new cloud skill sectors as software and system integration becomes prevalent in Azure and Amazon AWS.
If you’re considering cloud skills for 2016, skills like Python and cloud-based Java could be important investments for the developer pros among us. Good luck.
Ed Jones works for Firebrand Training and has a background in the training, cloud and technology fields, and is Microsoft professional with skills in Windows Desktop OS, Windows Server, and SharePoint. Ed is also an active member of the IT community writing for a range of renowned technology publications.