Study: IT departments struggle to fill cloud computing jobs

While IT jobs are expected to be plentiful in the near future, workers skilled in cloud computing will be among the most in-demand. What will companies do to fill those cloud computing jobs? 

Right now, 25% of IT positions are currently unfilled, according to a new study from Microsoft and IDC. And among those, 28% are related to cloud computing.

Nearly two-thirds of companies are using or plan to use cloud computing, according to the survey, and half say cloud computing is a top priority for their organizations. That’s why, according to IDC, the demand for cloud computing skills will grow six times faster than the demand for IT skills overall.

The report, based on interviews with 600 IT hiring managers, estimates that there are 1.7 million cloud computing jobs open right now, with approximately 7 million expected to be available by 2015.

Millions of cloud computing jobs open

The good or bad news, depending on your perspective: There are far fewer than 1.7 million people currently with the cloud computing skills those empty positions require. For IT pros with skills and experience with the Cloud or those willing to get some extra training, that could mean new job opportunities and higher pay. But for IT managers and others charged with filling those cloud computing jobs, there could be significant challenges ahead.

To beat the skills shortage, some experts, such as David Foote of forecasting firm Foote Partners, say the right approach is to find the best IT employees, and invest in cloud skills training for them.

Employees in cloud computing jobs typically need skills in other areas, such as infrastructure, development, networking, etc., so it makes sense to find people who specialize in those areas and offer them cloud training.

And for IT job seekers: Hiring managers surveyed said they want candidates with IT certifications in cloud computing and related areas. Cloud certifications available now include CompTIA’s Cloud Essentials and the Cloud Security Alliance’s Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK). While those are both fairly basic, they’ll likely be prerequisites for more advanced cloud computing certifications that become available in the future.

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