Cloud Architect Requirements Are Evolving, Can You Keep Up?

Image of cloud architecture visualization.
A cloud architect doesn’t just build the cloud, they imagine it.

The global need for cloud architects is at an all-time high. Yet, even those who have an AWS, Azure, or Google certificate are struggling to find employment in the new job market. However, companies don’t just want the certificate. Rather, they want an agile, problem solver cloud architect.

Large corporations such as IBM and Citigroup have very specific job requirements for cloud architects. Even federal institutions do, too. From these postings, we can see 3 requirements that pop up all the time:

  1. Solution orientation
  2. Cybersecurity competency
  3. Sales proficiency

This means these companies are not looking for a techie who will follow the rulebook. Rather, they want a complete employee who will operate beside upper management. For those aiming for the highest positions, versatility and people skills are critical.

Thankfully, these requirements do not go as far for all cloud engineers who will work on a project. That means anyone with a certificate can still find a job. However, those looking for top positions will need to show more results. Otherwise, they will not even get into the door.

Rise in Need for Cloud Architects

The pandemic has caused an explosion in digitalization as a phenomenon. This has forced a steep rise in the need for all jobs that can execute that digitalization effectively. That includes cybersecurity analysts, cloud architects, and networking engineers.

At the moment, the market visibly lacks talent. As a result, companies now need to pay top dollar to get those with sufficient competence. Additionally, this may not be enough to attract those who are at the top of the industry.

Cloud architects, in particular, are in very high demand. Namely, this is a sector where a lot of education and a lot of experience is necessary. A cloud architect also needs to keep that experience current at all times. This expertise was valuable even before the pandemic. Now, it has become virtually priceless.

Since so much is at stake, all companies require their top specialists to have a complete set of secondary skills. These employees should be able to present solutions and cooperate together. They also need to be familiar with security protocols and standards.

Seeing the Big Picture

A cloud architect should not focus on the technology in use now. Rather, they should see technology as a tool to solve a problem. It should be just one of many pathways to help achieve the client’s goals easier, faster, and more efficiently.

A cloud architect needs to see the big picture. They should focus on why something is done, not just how. This is also one of the key proficiencies needed for the job. In many cases, the cloud architect needs to explain to the clients and the company what needs to be done and why. For that, it is necessary to have someone who can imagine and describe the big picture.

Image of a woman walking on large tile design.
Being able to zoom out and see the bigger picture is crucial.

Focusing on Solutions

Cloud technology is regarded as novel. Understandably, many new specialists believe that novelty and futurism alone will gain them employment. Regretfully, that is not the case.

In fact, the higher echelons in many companies do not realize the advantages of cloud services. As a result, the cloud architect must showcase the solutions that will be practical and evident directly and relatively quickly.

A desirable cloud architect needs to be able to present relevant KPIs and acceptable time frames. Even those who are not in the industry should be able to recognize these. Only then will they be at ease to agree on the high salaries that top talent can receive.

B2B Communication

The market is undergoing many changes. As a result, many companies are now rushing to modernize and integrate cloud technologies into their model. That includes companies that are exclusively concentrated on Business to Business (B2B) sales.

In these industries, companies frequently call upon their experts to discuss their offers. They also discuss how to supply it to the customer. That also includes the cloud architect. Those who can accomplish this feat can secure a position with many industry leaders.

Critical Tech Skills

Cloud competency is enough for those who want to be a part of a bigger team, usually led by the cloud architect. But, for those who want the top position, knowing the software in use will not be enough.

Most companies, and especially industry giants, employ a hybrid system between public and private cloud systems. They also have on-premise servers. In those cases, the cloud architect must be familiar with virtualization, networking, VPNs, and (V)LAN systems.

In most situations, a networking engineer will be present. This engineer will have a deeper knowledge of these subjects. However, that does not exempt the cloud architect from knowing about them. They still need to understand what is possible and why they should implement it.

Image of a person typing on a laptop.
Cloud skills alone are not enough for the top jobs.

Drawing Talent from New Places

The requirements placed in front of future cloud architects are significant. However, one aspect is very reassuring for both companies and future experts. Before, top positions were only available for those from classical academic backgrounds. Today, that is no longer the case.

AWS, Azure, and Google certificates are available through multiple schemes. Some employers even provide them as a bonus. Additionally, some certifications can be obtained online, completely for free.

For example, Microsoft offers free certifications for both security data management and cloud solution architecture. It requires the applicant to go through the materials themselves. True, this is not an easy task, but it is achievable for those who are dedicated.

Options for free certification are not limited to strict fields such as cloud architecture. They are also available in data engineering, networking, and cybersecurity. In turn, those without prior education in the field can learn and acquire these documents. After that, many doors will open for them across the tech industry.

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