In just a few steps, IT professionals can build valuable cloud computing skills and improve their chances of getting ahead.

If you’re a network engineer with cloud computing skills, you have a big advantage in the job market. According to a survey by Softchoice, 53 percent of businesses have struggled to find job candidates with the skills to handle cloud computing. In fact, most organizations show no signs of slowing down when it comes to adding cloud to their IT mix. At least 90 percent of enterprises use at least one cloud service; the average employee uses 36.

What does it all mean? Simply put, the traditional network monitoring days in which you watched over local traffic and communications between on-premises data centers has become the exception, not the rule. Now you’re expected to ensure users can access cloud resources and to help leaders as they plan cloud initiatives.

Get a free trial of ObserverLIVE, a SaaS-based solution designed to help level up your cloud monitoring capabilities.

Learning about the cloud isn’t just a way to become more competitive once you decide to look for a job. Without cloud skills, you’re not going to remain relevant in the job you have.

Earn Some Certifications

If you have limited cloud experience, CompTIA’s Cloud+ certification is a good place to start. It’s designed for people experienced in networking, data center, and network storage. Once you have the basics under your belt, move forward with certifications based on your organization’s preferred cloud platform. Options include the following:

  • MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, which expands your Azure skillset to include the skills needed to run a modern data center, including network virtualization and using a network traffic monitor, storage, and systems and identity management. Before starting this certification, you’ll need Microsoft Certified Solution Associate (MCSA) certification in Windows Server 2016 or 2012, Cloud Platform or Linux on Azure.
  • VMware VCP6-CMA certification gives you the skills to use vRealize automation tools. You need a recommended six months of experience with vSphere 6 and vRealize before getting started.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect certification is ideal for network professionals with two or more years of experience designing and deploying AWS cloud environments. You can earn up to four certifications, including Solutions Architect, Developer, SysOps Administrator, and DevOps Engineer as your skillset evolves.
  • EMC Cloud Architect certifications are available at the associate, specialist, and expert levels. You can earn associate-level certifications in cloud infrastructure and services (EMCCIS) or start directly on the Cloud Architect (EMCCA) track.

Google, HPE, IBM, and Oracle also offer and/or are developing cloud certifications. But keep in mind that certifications, while they give you foundational skills, don’t always evolve fast enough to keep up with the latest technology.

Boost Your Skills

Especially if you live in an urban area, you can often find local meetups of AWS or cloud security professionals. Get to know these people and attend conferences and workshops so you can expand your professional network.

View and participate in online webinars like 6 Steps for Maintaining Control in the Cloud, from VIAVI and Ixia.

Also, familiarize yourself with emerging tools like Docker or container-clustering tools like Kubernetes to ensure you have the latest, most marketable skills.

As you grow, don’t jump headfirst into hunting for a new job. Instead, look for ways to get involved in cloud projects at your current workplace. That way, you proceed to the job interview from a position of strength with a proven track record of cloud experience.

One good project could include deploying a more comprehensive network monitoring solution for visibility into your existing environments, including on-premises and cloud, so that you can better optimize traffic flow and data transfer between those environments.

Get Ready to Interview

With an average salary of $90,950 waiting for IT pros with cloud computing experience, the money you spend on certifications, and the time you spend building your skills outside of work, is almost guaranteed to be well spent.

Look for jobs like “cloud architect” or “cloud solutions architect” when you begin your search. With a slate of certifications, experience with cloud projects, and professional connections, you’ll have a good shot at getting a position in a world in which there are too many jobs and not enough cloud pros.

Learn more about what makes VIAVI Solutions unique in the world of network performance monitoring and diagnostics with a complimentary copy of the 2018 Gartner Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics (NPMD) Magic Quadrant Report.

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