Natasha is writer and blogger, currently interested in cloud computing, virtual servers and other popular tech related trends
Cloud computing is the now trend, and of all technology industries, it's the one that will be hiring most aggressively this year. In 2012, if you know cloud, you can expect to be hired. Of course, that's an oversimplification. The truth is, some skills will be in more highly sought after than others.
So what skills will be in greatest demand for cloud professionals as this year unfolds?
Cloud-oriented skills will be in demand outside of the IT arena too, not just within it. Going forward, companies need employees that understand cloud hosting and aren't afraid to access a VPS. Even if you're looking for a job in a non-Cloud-oriented field, you can make yourself much more attractive to prospective employers by possessing those coveted Cloud-computing skills.
With the enhanced demand for Cloud professionals and interest in this field of technology, cloud-computing certifications are becoming increasingly popular and easily available. HP has introduced the Cloud Architect certificate, which will enable you to demonstrate to an employer that you can not only manage but also design and implement cloud infrastructures. The other certificate generating interest at the moment is Cloud Integrator, which is indicative of an IT professional’s ability to integrate new elements into established cloud systems.
In recent years, basic knowledge of virtual private servers and Cloud computing was enough but now employers will demand integration skills. Most businesses now have complex internal Cloud solutions that they must upgrade, expand and connect to external solutions, so cloud professionals must understand these technologies intimately enough that they can create and manage the relationships between them.
Another essential skill will be automation. As Cloud solutions become larger and more complex, automation platforms become necessary to avoid the overall system becoming too expensive and unwieldy. Based on their Tivoli Service Automation Manager, IBM offers one of the most accept automation certifications. Hatsize in collaboration with Certification Partners has created a versatile certification program that in addition to IBM's Tivoli includes Juniper, Sun Microsystems and Symantec.
In the year ahead, employers will also need professionals with specific understanding of Cloud-based applications. Soon, the Cloud field will look much like the database field does now. There will be a dozen or less commercial enterprise-level platforms that businesses can custom tailor to their specific needs. Cloud professionals can gain competitive advantage by gaining familiarity with all popular platforms and staying abreast of changes.
Of course, Cloud professional should not focus solely on Cloud-specific skills. Interpersonal relations, financial literacy, management, marketing, negotiation and process management are also important to succeed in the IT profession. In order to have the best opportunities, a Cloud professional should be able to go where the work is and since the entire business world uses Cloud computing, the greater the flexibility the person has, the greater the opportunities.
Lastly, don't ignore technical chops. With the Cloud model, it's easy to overlook the technical aspects. IT managers need to stay sharp in this regard because if they fall behind the cloud curve they might find they've become dinosaurs. Likewise, those who work directly with the Cloud can make themselves more valuable by having the technical skills as well. Many small businesses can't afford IT departments, so a versatile employee can be quite valuable.
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