Cloud Jobs: 7 Million In 3 Years, IDC Says - InformationWeek

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Cloud Jobs: 7 Million In 3 Years, IDC Says

Microsoft-sponsored IDC report says there are currently 1.7 million open cloud positions just waiting to be filled.

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Cloud computing, and related areas like virtualization and data management, will create 7 million jobs over the next three years, according to a new study published by Microsoft and IDC. The study also claimed that currently there are 1.7 million open cloud jobs worldwide that organizations are having a tough time filling.

"Despite modest growth in the IT sector overall in the U.S., cloud-ready jobs are increasing as we head into 2013," said Cushing Anderson, a program VP at IDC, in a statement. "With this increase comes the harsh reality that workforces around the world are steps behind when it comes to attaining the skills necessary to thrive in the cloud computing industry."

The study's authors contend that cloud computing will drive demand for individuals with a hard-to-find mix of business and IT skills, given that many of the new jobs will involve architecture, design, advisory, and transitional services as opposed to just hands-on tech functions.

"Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven't been needed in the past," said Anderson. "There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing. Therefore, training and certification is essential for preparing prospective jobs candidates to work in cloud-related jobs."

The study found that worldwide, almost two-thirds of businesses plan to implement, or are already using, cloud technologies in their operations, with the U.S. accounting for 62% of spending on public cloud infrastructure. It also found that lack of training, certification, and experience are the top three reasons cloud positions are not being filled.

[ Does the U.S. need to import more foreign tech help? New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks so. Read NYC Mayor: U.S. Needs More Foreign Tech Talent. ]

To address the problem, Microsoft recently announced that it has revamped many of its certifications to take into account cloud computing technologies and methods, including forthcoming certifications for Windows 8 specialists. Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 are designed to work in concert with Microsoft cloud services such as Azure and Office 365.

The study is bound to create some controversy. Microsoft has long claimed that there are worker shortages in a number of key IT areas, and has been pushing the U.S. government to increase the number of H-1B visas available to foreign tech workers. Currently, the number is capped at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 available to foreign graduates of advanced STEM programs at U.S. colleges and universities.

Redmond also wants Congress to pass legislation that would make it easier for U.S. companies to procure permanent resident status (or green cards) for foreign tech hires. Under one plan floated by Microsoft, private businesses could pay up to $15,000 to procure green card approval for a foreign hire.

Critics of such proposals, including The Programmers Guild, argue that U.S. tech companies should focus on retraining older IT pros, many of whom have been laid off in recent years, in cloud and other new skills before hiring foreigners.

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User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2013 | 4:34:57 PM
re: Cloud Jobs: 7 Million In 3 Years, IDC Says
Ok, with the data, but are you sure that there will be "7 millions of NEW jobs"?
I think that this is true if you consider just Cloud Computing, but if you look at the whole IT market, a great amount of jobs will disappear. This is good if we consider the gain in efficiency companies will get, but very bad if this mean to cut the IT pros of the "Data Center Generation".
This is why I agree with all those who consider to re-train the current work-force in the new environment, instead of simply fire them, and hire new young "low cost" guides...
Melanie Rodier
Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/2/2013 | 12:36:10 AM
re: Cloud Jobs: 7 Million In 3 Years, IDC Says
Interesting to read about the massive growth in jobs in this area, but especially interesting to see the areas that the jobs will focus on, such as architecture, design, etc rather than strictly tech functions. It's good to open up the jobs to qualified foreigners, but I hope that U.S-based technicians get the chance to re-train as needed and will be able to compete for these jobs on an equal footing.
User Rank: Apprentice
12/26/2012 | 4:45:54 PM
re: Cloud Jobs: 7 Million In 3 Years, IDC Says
Most of the jobs aforementioned will never be seen here in the US as most employers won't even look at any person without "Cloud" knowledge. Now ask an individual what the cloud is and most will say "You know, the cloud."

US employers are looking for in almost all cases the "exact" duplicate of the person who just left, or the other person who is currently holding down the crumbling fortress at the moment. Most of the rest of us who are trained across such wide areas of expertise to do the most with the least are becoming a new breed of unemployable techies.

Again we are reminded that we all have such a wealth of computer literate and very tech savvy people in the US who can never ever get a job here because of a bias of some type. When we look at the job postings for certain disciplines, you have to be the person who wrote the language to even inquire about it. Most of the jobs mentioned in the article will require specialized training which is impossible to get without having a job in the field and without the experience you can't get the job.

Jobs like this will go overseas as they will take the time to introduce the new technology to a larger base of people who will then use it day in and day out thus gaining expertise. Just my two cents.
User Rank: Apprentice
12/24/2012 | 5:59:02 AM
re: Cloud Jobs: 7 Million In 3 Years, IDC Says
That is great news to read about, all future job markets with positive growth is great news. This particular field of growth should not be a shock , what is more of the shock is the amount of growth. It looks like cloud computing is here to stay and from the outlook going to support a large number of jobs along with it. Any idea how many of those jobs are going to be located here in the US?

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