Considerations When Hiring a Cloud Engineer or Cloud Architect

“Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “These occupations are projected to add about 546,100 new jobs. Demand for these workers will stem from greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.”

Organizations across the country are battling to find skilled technologists with experience in cloud computing. Further, organizations want cloud specialists to have an aptitude for their specific industry, especially highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

Organizations of all sizes and industries are adopting cloud computing for some or all of their IT environment. In the process, organizations are struggling to decide whether to hire cloud specialists internally or partner with cloud providers who employ these cloud specialists.

While these skilled, specialized cloud technologists seem to be few and far between, we wanted to share some tips, job responsibilities and statistics for a Cloud Engineer or Cloud Architecture Specialist.

What it’s called

There are several titles for this position, but some of the most popular are:

  • Cloud Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • Network Architect
  • Cloud Infrastructure Engineer
  • Database Administrator
  • Cloud Solutions Analyst
  • Cloud Migration Specialist

Qualification Requirements

Cloud computing has really taken off in the last 5-10 years, which means the higher education and training market is just now starting to respond to it and train students in the specific areas of cloud computing. Here are a few requirements to look for when hiring your Cloud Specialist:

  • Demonstrated experience with scripting, automation and orchestration tools (PowerShell, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, Jenkins)
  • Demonstrated experience provisioning, configuring and maintaining cloud computing services such as Microsoft Azure or AWS
  • Demonstrated experience administering, monitoring, and maintaining both Linux and Microsoft server-based operating systems
  • Hands-on experience with a combination of the following: .NET, C#, Groovy, Python
  • Experience with virtualization technologies (VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V)
  • Experience supporting Microsoft technology, including, but not limited to: Windows Server and Client OS, Active Directory, Remote Desktop Services, SQL, IIS, Exchange, DNS, and DHCP
  • Experience with installation, support, and monitoring of Microsoft SQL server
  • Experience with Remote Monitoring & Management (RMM) tools such as Kaseya
  • Operational understanding of IP-based computer networking within LAN and WAN environments.
  • Operational understanding of security best practices and standards around cloud computing and access management
  • Operational understanding of regulatory compliance, including, but not limited to HIPAA, HITECH, and PCI-DSS
  • Microsoft Certifications a plus, such as MCSA, MCSE

Wages and Benefits

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $86,320 in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $38,640.

In addition, benefits typically account for another estimated 10% of salary, which means your Cloud Engineer’s annual salary would be nearly $95,000 per year. 

When you’re evaluating your options for partnership vs. hiring internally, it’s vital to incorporate this salary into your calculations.

The job outlook for Cloud Specialized Technologists is incredibly strong. The market, however, hasn’t kept up with the demand, which is leading to a shortage of qualified technologists who meet these standards.

Finding and partnering with cloud providers who staff entire teams of cloud professionals is an effective way to gain access to a variety of skills, without having the overhead of hiring, training, and employing these specialists internally.

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