cloudOkay, so what’s all this about Cloud Architects – some buzz job in the world of IT? This position sounds make-believe, more like a character in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Quick, call the Cloud Architect! We need a re-design, it’s raining moon pies!

Well actually, it is a real gig and not a bad one, at that. Cloud Architects are very much in demand as we move to cloud systems of data storages on the internet rather than on personal hard drives. Remember, though, just like an actual Architect, a Cloud Architect doesn’t build but rather designs the systems.

There is a lot of overlapping in IT jobs; you can get certified to do several jobs. More than half of U.S. businesses use the cloud, and even globally it is advancing. Some experts predict the cloud computing market will be worth $19.5 billion by 2016. Suffice to say, now’s the time to jump on this bandwagon!

Education

You need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or other related program. Some advanced engineer positions will require a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

If you are bent towards more technical aspects of computer science, check out a degree in information science or electrical engineering. These are Cloud-related positions, but more geared toward, say, a System Administrator career path. Your task will be basically troubleshooting IT issues.

Certifications

Many online schools have certification options for becoming a Cloud Architect; you may also look into product vender certifications as they are popular in the IT world of education.

IBM offers 2 different certifications: cloud computing architecture and cloud computing infrastructure. You can also look into becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert or completing the Google Apps certification to become a Certified Cloud Technology Professional. So lots of options here!

Of course, as expected, venders will be promoting their own products; sure, they will provide the basics of cloud computing architecture, but just keep that in mind as a less biased program may be a better fit and help you market these new skills.

Job Expectations

Cloud Architects are not lone cowboys; you need to be a team player. You will work with other IT professionals making sure the architecture of a company’s web presence is in line with their business requirements. As a Cloud Architect, you will need to make sure that their cloud service is stable, safe, and always available. You will have to understand the basics of enterprise architecture and know how to shape together information technology for the needs of a particular company.

Outlook

There is an explosion in the demand for Cloud Architects or other professionals in the IT world with cloud computing experience. According to Forbes, 7 million cloud-related jobs will become available worldwide by 2016. This demand will increase by 26% each year. The financial projection also is looks healthy- most Cloud Architects have salaries ranging from $100k to $200k annually, depending on location.