If you’re starting 2013 on an IT staffing job hunt, the great news is that the market has rarely been hotter – especially if you have experience in cloud computing. Analysts have predicted that IT support services will be among the fastest-growing fields, fueled by rapid advances in technology and companies’ increasing recognition that technology can drive business growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, IT staffing jobs of all sorts grew at a rate faster than for other occupations, even through the recession. From 2010-2020, the number of database administrators is projected to increase by 31 percent. For systems analyst, the forecast calls for 22-percent growth.
Looking into the future, there’s big demand for skills in cloud computing as more companies move their legacy data to the cloud and free up IT staffs for projects that drive revenue. A quick look at online job listings shows plenty of need for software engineers, technical sales specialists and development operations engineers, to name a few, with skills like Linux/Unix system administration, DevOps, SSL and Amazon EC2 commonly listed.
A 2012 study commissioned by the analyst firm IDC found that public and private IT cloud services would generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide between 2012 and 2015. There’s a good reason for that: Revenues from IT innovation enabled by the cloud could reach $1.1 trillion a year by 2015, the report found.
John Gantz, a senior vice president who wrote the white paper, said the shift reflects enterprises’ realization that cloud computing reduces the amount of IT time and budget needed for legacy systems and therefore increases the budget for innovation.
“When IT innovation happens, business innovation is reached, which then supports job creation,” Gantz said.
The IDC white paper, titled “Cloud Computing’s Role in Job Creation,” said that more than a third the new cloud-created jobs would be in banking (1.4 million), communications (2.4 million) and manufacturing (1.3 million).
Some other findings in the report:
- Cloud-related jobs in Dallas area, for example, were expected to grow 64 percent, from 14,415 in 2012 to nearly 24,000 in 2015. Similar growth was projected in cities including Houston, Phoenix, Denver, Boston and Atlanta, among others. New York will lead the way with 99,000 new cloud-related jobs by 2015.
- Nationwide, cloud-related jobs were projected to grow from 664,000 in 2012 to nearly 1.1 million in 2015.
- Cloud-related jobs will grow at companies of all sizes, although small- and medium-sized firms – less constrained by existing legacy investments – would likely be quicker to jump on board.
- The number of new jobs will be roughly proportional to the size of each industry, but industries including professional services and retail will have higher adoption rates. Some sectors, such as banking, may be slowed somewhat by security issues, but they could opt instead for private IT clouds.
So, what technical skills are at a premium when it comes to the cloud? That depends on how much of the cloud is built and managed in-house. However, those who are comfortable quickly building web apps (read: Java, .NET Framework) that can live in the cloud will have a leg up, as well as those who are experienced in virtualization and open-source tools and languages.
It’s also essential to have an understanding of security protocols (Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, etc.), mobile app management and data integration and analysis in a cloud environment.