How to Become a Cloud Engineer: A Complete Guide

By now, it is quite clear that cloud computing is changing the way businesses function, creating a new paradigm of choice to deliver and manage data and applications. Today, you can see that many companies have invested in and shifted to cloud computing for various reasons.

A report by IDC predicts that global spending on public cloud infrastructure and related services will reach around $500 billion by 2023—up from $229 billion in 2019. And, as is the case with any technology that’s growing that fast, so are related job opportunities.

In this article, we will discuss how you can become a cloud engineer. Before learning how to become one, however, you must first understand the fundamentals of cloud computing, and why you should think about becoming one.

What is Cloud Engineering?

Cloud engineering encompasses devising, managing, and maintaining resources of computer infrastructure. With growing technology, the importance of Cloud engineering is gaining momentum. Cloud technology has enabled you to stream your favorite shows online and listen to songs with unlimited access. It uses engineering principles to design systems, and everybody wants to know how to be a cloud engineer.

Cloud engineers solve the computing problems of an entity or consumers. The services provided are software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). As a cloud engineer, you will be in charge of storing, managing data, and proceeding with timely software updates. In totality, you will supervise the cloud system running smoothly without any obstacles.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to services like storage, databases, software, and analytics that are made accessible via the internet. According to Gartner, the cloud tech services market is expected to grow from $175.8 billion in 2018 to $206 billion in 2019—a rise of 17.3 percent in a single year.

As of 2020, it is expected that 90 percent of all organizations in the world will be using cloud services in some form. Today, various companies and organizations claim that cloud computing services have helped their employees perform better and experiment more, especially in fields like machine learning and artificial intelligence.

What Does a Cloud Engineer Do?

Below mentioned are some of the day-to-day cloud engineer tasks:

  • Transferring an organization’s computer system data or infrastructure to their cloud systems.
  • Systematizing cloud infrastructure elements like networking and security services.
  • Creation of applications and databases that function on the cloud.
  • Monitor the cloud management and data storage services.
  • Assuring the safety and security of the data.
  • Registering, overseeing, and providing client services in case of cloud-based issues.

What Are the Career Paths of a Cloud Computing Engineer?

A cloud engineer is an IT professional responsible for all the technical aspects of cloud computing like planning and design, maintenance, and support. A cloud computing engineer can take up several different career paths, including:

  • Cloud developer
  • Front-end/back-end developer
  • Solutions architect
  • Cloud architect
  • Data engineer
  • Security engineer
  • Development operations engineer
  • Full-Stack developer
  • SysOps administrator

Major Cloud Computing Roles

Solutions Architect

Solutions Architects are responsible for analyzing the technical environment, requirements, and specifications. These professionals are required to select appropriate technologies that meet business needs. They estimate and manage usage and operational costs of the solutions they provide and support project management, development, and operations teams.

SysOps Administrators

SysOps Administrators deploy, manage, and operate highly scalable and fault-tolerant cloud-based and hybrid systems. These professionals select an appropriate service based on computing, security, or data requirements. They estimate and manage infrastructure and services usage and operational costs. They are also experts on how to migrate on-premises workloads to the cloud.

Skills and Qualifications

Here are the steps you must undertake to become a cloud engineer:

Complete your bachelor’s

A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field is required to become a cloud engineer. Carefully choose a bachelor’s program that concentrates on the technical perspective of software, computing, and system framework. For further specialization, you can pursue a master’s degree for a bevy of opportunities.

Expertise in Programming Languages

Learning programming languages is a must to become a cloud engineer. Java, Python, Ruby, and so on are essential languages to add to your portfolio. Get acquainted with cloud services like Azure, AWS, GCP, Oracle, and Hadoop.

Learn skills

Familiarize yourself with cloud security, machine learning, and cloud deployment. Advanced certifications and additional technical knowledge always go a long way. A combination of program management, Network+, Security+, and other certifications helps build your portfolio.

Hard Skills

  • A deep understanding of operating systems like Linux, Ubuntu, and Windows is required.
  • Clarity in networking concepts is crucial for the development of a secure and scalable computing system.
  • A cloud engineer must be aware of terms like Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS), Virtual private network (VPN), Internet Protocol (IP), Domain name system (DNS), and others.
  • Devising an unassailable network and having knowledge of numerous security protocols is vital.
  • Cognition of open standards is required for tagging, driving, and describing the data.

Soft Skills

  • Cloud engineers should excel in communication as they frequently collaborate with IT professionals.
  • Remarkable leadership skills are important since you might handle a team of tech professionals. As a leader, identifying a team’s strengths and weaknesses helps produce distinctive outputs.
  • Having a keen eye for detail is appreciated in a cloud architect. From design to troubleshooting, everything falls in your arena. So, being vigilant is important.
  • A relentless drive and hunger to learn new things and experiment will make you stand out from the rest.

Types of Cloud Engineering Roles and Responsibilities

Let’s dive deeper into the job descriptions of each of them.

Cloud Developer

As the name suggests, a cloud developer is responsible for coding and devising applications. They must possess knowledge of Cloud architecture. From the development of applications to the deploying and debugging of cloud-based apps, cloud developers must know it all. They write, correct, and debug code modules.

SysOps Engineers

SysOps Engineers compute potential issues that are likely to arise in the functioning of applications. They contemplate a backup strategy for unpredictable circumstances and have accurate access controls for maintaining the probity of the organization’s data. They act as the system administrators after the development of the application. They must have prior background in monitoring and auditing systems.

How to Become a Cloud Engineer: Steps to Enter the Field

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Having a formal education is extremely important in a technical field. If you would like to become a Cloud Engineer, then attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in computer science or related field is definitely your first step. In addition to looking great on a resume, they also offer a broad scope on the theory of the subject. They can also be a criteria by most companies for hiring. Most Cloud Engineers graduate with a cloud computing certification/engineering.

Step 2: Gain Proficiency in a Cloud Computing Platform

The first and foremost step to becoming a cloud engineer is to be proficient in at least one of the three major cloud computing platforms—AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). There are many resources that you can find on the internet, like YouTube videos, educational articles, and virtual or physical training, to gain a basic understanding. Once you’ve done that, you can move on to can get certified in any of the respective environments.

Step 3: Having Experience in at Least One Programming Language

Unlike general-purpose programming languages like C and C++, cloud computing requires more data-oriented programming languages, such as Python, Java, and Clojure. To learn these, you can use blogs, videos, online/offline classes, and other free resources.

Step 4: Earn Relevant Certifications

Having professional certifications are a must for cloud engineers to help showcase their knowledge and skills. Popular certifications include:

  • AWS certifications – Cloud Practitioner, Solutions Architect, Developer, SAP on AWS, and SysOps Administrator.
  • Google Cloud Platform certifications – Professional Cloud Architect, Professional Cloud Developer, and Professional Cloud Security Engineer
  • Microsoft certifications – Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate and Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals

Step 5: Specializing

Apart from gaining knowledge in cloud computing platforms and being experienced in at least one programming language, you will also need some understanding of key concepts like:

  • Storage and Networking: With storage, you need to know the different ways you can store data and where you can access it from. It is also vital that you have some experience with the services Azure and AWS provide, like AWS S3 and Azure Storage in Microsoft Azure. You also need to have a strong understanding of the fundamental concepts of networking.
  • Virtualization and Operating Systems: While you are leveraging physical infrastructure in cloud data centers, most of what you will be configuring and managing are virtual machines (VMs) that run on the hardware. You also need to understand how those VMs work on virtual networks in the cloud. Public clouds are also OS-agnostic, so you should have a good grasp of Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • Security and Disaster Recovery: Data, applications, and infrastructure must be protected from cybersecurity threats and malicious attacks. You should be prepared for any unexpected circumstances by making sure that your systems are safe and regularly backed up to circumvent any data loss.
  • Web Services and DevOps: Do you have a strong understanding of how cloud computing can provide a centralized platform, on which you can perform testing, deployment, and production for DevOps automation? Moreover, with DevOps, do you understand the synergy needed between the operations and the development teams? In today’s agile, dynamic world, this is a must.

Step 6: Internships

Internships are a great way to gain experience in the cloud industry. They are also a great way to get your foot in through the door and also provide you with a hands-on approach to what the actual job will entail. You can start applying for internships while studying or for choosing your specialization.

After working in the field of IT for over 30 years, Jerry Stark was laid off during the 2020 pandemic. He then enrolled in the Cloud Architect Masters Program and was able to land a job soon after the course. Read about his success story in our Simplilearn Cloud Architect Review here.

Why Learn Cloud Computing?

The importance of tech and cloud computing is no longer unknown to the world. The cloud is constantly changing the way people perceive and consume things. Everything is now based on the cloud, from streaming unlimited shows to running a business. With growing necessity, the demand for professionals who will handle the cloud is skyrocketing. There is a whopping boost in the number of cloud engineers. It reduces operation costs and negates the probability of human error. It is reinventing the medium of entertainment, knowledge, and work.

Career Outlook

Recent studies at The Bureau Of Labour Statistics show a whopping demand hike for Cloud Computing engineers. Between the years 2020 to 2029, it is expected to rise by at least 5%. The arena of opportunities is high in the cloud computing sector which makes me all the more in demand. Below mentioned are a few roles:

  • Front-end/Back-end developer
  • Data Engineer
  • Cloud Developer
  • Security Engineer
  • Solutions Architect

Cloud Engineer Salary

Cloud computing engineers fetch high salaries, too. According to Payscale, in the United States, they earn an average of around $116,800 annually, and in India, a cloud computing engineer is paid approximately ₹ 6,66,800 per year. In fact, the more experience you gain in cloud computing, the better chance you will have of earning a higher salary.

Who Can Become a Cloud Engineer?

With the right amount of qualifications and hands-on practical and technical experience, anyone can become a cloud computing engineer. Thorough knowledge and familiarity with tech terms are essential. As the experience grows, you become proficient and advanced. Narrowing down your specialization can help you further in the long run.

Benefits of Being a Cloud Engineer

Secure Career

Cloud computing is for the long run, and the world knows it. Not only is it the backbone of many IT organizations, but also essential for day-to-day work. With cloud computing, accessing data has become so easy. Hence, it will only boom shortly. Cloud computing is reaching new heights each day without giving any indications of its downfall. According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of the children in primary school will have a career that does not exist today.

Respectable Profession

Besides being the most in-demand, Cloud architect is also one of the most highly regarded professions. It is revolutionizing the face of IT, and you will be the martial to lead the generation into the new light.

Constant Motion

In Cloud Computing, you will be witnessing new inventions and modulations on a day to day basis. You will be moving forward and will not be stagnant. The specialization of skills will always keep you in demand and never go out of fashion.

Handsome Pay

IT companies are spending an unimaginable amount on Cloud computing. The average salary of a cloud architect in India is approximately 9 lakhs to 11 lakhs. It will automatically put you above half of the population.

Choose The Right Cloud Computing Program

This table compares various cloud computing programs offered by Simplilearn, based on several key features and details. The table provides an overview of the cloud computing courses’ duration, skills you will learn, additional benefits, among other important factors, to help you make an informed decision about which course best suits your needs.

Becoming a Cloud Engineer Today!

Cloud computing is rapidly changing how businesses function. That’s not going to change. This has led to almost 80 percent of organizations running some part of their business on cloud computing platforms, like AWS and Azure. While this has created many opportunities for cloud engineers, the skill gap in the industry is concerning.

If you are interested in becoming a cloud engineer or want to start your career in cloud computing, now is the right time. By following the steps mentioned above and earning the proper certifications, you can become a successful cloud engineer. You can also enroll in online certification courses, like Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing, to learn the nuances of cloud technology. What are you waiting for?

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