Over the past couple of decades, there’s been an increased focus on cloud computing.
Many businesses and organizations have moved their data to cloud platforms for enhanced security, scalability, and mobility.
This need for a well-built infrastructure is a primary reason why cloud engineers are in high demand worldwide.
It’s also why they’re some of the highest-paid experts in the information technology (IT) industry.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll tell you how to become a cloud engineer, the kinds of jobs available, and what you can expect to earn.
Keep reading for more.
- An Overview of Cloud Engineering: A Primer
- What You’ll Need to Become a Cloud Engineer [& Associated Costs]
- Is It Hard to Become a Cloud Engineer?
- How to Become a Cloud Engineer in 5 Simple Steps
- Reasons to Consider Becoming a Cloud Engineer
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Similar Gigs to Check Out
- Wrapping Up
An Overview of Cloud Engineering: A Primer
It’s no secret that our lives and all of our information are now safely tucked away in a vast cloud network of remote servers around the globe.
These servers are linked in a way making it possible for them to operate as a single system.
This new functionality has created new media to deliver, receive, and manage data and applications.
It’s no wonder why so many companies are investing in cloud computing. This shift has opened up a new job prospect: cloud engineering.
Unlike a software engineer who works primarily on software applications, a cloud computing engineer, aka a cloud architect, is responsible for storing, and managing the data of an entity or customer in cloud-based applications.
These cloud computing professionals also work to systematize various cloud infrastructure elements, such as cloud applications, networking services, and cyber security.
They’re also responsible for keeping track of any needed software updates and cloud solutions..
These practices are essential for keeping the system running smoothly and the cloud infrastructure is always up-to-date.
Other duties of a cloud engineer include:
- Design and implement cloud computing technology and services
- Sustain the cloud-based framework
- Integrate private and public cloud computing services to ensure operations are secure
- Optimize cloud environments and monitor their performance
- Troubleshoot various application issues
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams
How Much Do Cloud Engineers Make?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average national salary for a cloud engineer is a little over $120,000.
Low-entry positions start at around $80,000 while top-tier engineers with a master’s degree and over 10 years of experience can earn as much as $184,000 per year.
The exact amount varies depending on a number of factors including:
- Geographic location
What You’ll Need to Become a Cloud Engineer [& Associated Costs]
Explore the various education requirements to become a successful cloud engineer.
- Bachelor’s degree: The most common degree for this job is in Computer Science or another relevant field, which costs around $33,000.
- Coding/programming boot camp: Mastering coding and computer languages makes you a more versatile candidate for employers. These boot camps usually cost $5,000–$30,000 depending on what and where you’re studying.
- Master’s degree: While this isn’t a requirement, it certainly opens doors to better-paying positions. Tuition fees for computer science graduate programs are approximately $26,000
- Cloud computing Certification: This also isn’t a requirement, but it can help advance your career and make you stand out among your peers. Depending on the type of certification program you pursue, you can expect to pay between $60 and $4,000, sometimes more.
How Much Does It Cost to Become a Cloud Engineer?
To launch your career as a cloud engineer, you need a minimum of $40,000. This includes your bachelor’s degree, coding/programming boot camp, and cloud computing certification.
Considering that this job market is sure to increase in the coming years, think of it as a worthy investment in your future.
Is It Hard to Become a Cloud Engineer?
Compared with many other occupations, it’s not difficult to become a cloud engineer.
That said, this type of job requires a wide range of hard skills that may not come easily for some candidates.
These skills, like those listed below, require a high level of focus and a deep understanding of cloud computing platforms and how they operate
Take a look.
- Cloud architecture
- Cloud storage
- Cloud security
How Long Does It Take to Become a Cloud Engineer?
For most people, it takes a minimum of four years to complete their bachelor’s degree program before they can qualify as a cloud engineer.
Yet, there are other ways to launch your cloud engineering career in less time. Several options include attending a boot camp program, taking an online class, and boosting your knowledge in the required skills.
How to Become a Cloud Engineer in 5 Simple Steps
These are the steps you can take to become a cloud engineer.
Step 1: Get a College Degree
The first step is to earn a Bachelor of Computer Science or a Bachelor of Science in information technology.
Whichever one you go with, make sure you pick courses that focus on the technical aspect of computing, software, and system framework. Learning everything about IT fundamentals and applications is also a must.
Other areas of study include:
- Software engineering
- Information systems
- Cloud computing and architecture
- Security testing
- Systems administration
- Web development
- Network security
- Data management
Step 2: Learn Programming
While learning a programming language or two isn’t a requirement, it’s a great way to boost your credentials and make your resume stand out.
Common languages like Python, Java, C++, and Ruby can make your job easier and more seamless.
In addition, it can also help you gain a better understanding of mainstream cloud service providers like Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and Apache Hadoop.
Your bachelor’s program will probably offer some introductory classes on these topics.
However, if you’re interested in further developing these skills, you can search online for coding courses, websites, or boot camps.
Step 3: Gain Practical Experience
A cloud network engineer must have some sort of hands-on experience before they begin working full-time.
You can do this through open-source projects in the comfort of your own home or in a professional real-world setting.
Another option is to enroll in an internship program at an organization or tech company.
These opportunities are a great way to build up your work portfolio and make you eligible for high-level jobs based on your expertise.
They also help you gain practical experience while collaborating with fellow cloud engineers.
Finally, the best advantage of enrolling in an internship is probably getting to meet people and developing your network connections.
Step 4: Become Certified
Along with practical experience, you also need to earn a cloud computing certification.
Although some employers don’t necessarily require it, becoming certified will definitely be looked upon as an asset.
It shows that you took the time and effort to go the extra mile. Plus, you’ll have gained a deeper understanding of the various cloud-based disciplines.
There are several cloud computing platforms that offer a variety of certifications. So, you have to do a bit of research to find the one that best lines up with your interests and career goals.
Despite offering different credentials, all certification programs require a short training period followed by an exam.
Step 5: Apply for a Job
With all that education and hands-on training, you’re now ready to apply for a full-time position and become a qualified cloud developer.
Even if you opt to work part-time, the flexible work conditions and ample job opportunities make this one of the most lucrative side hustles on the market.
Step 6: Consider Getting a Master’s Degree
Like in other industries, a Master’s degree in Computer Science or a Master of Science in cloud computing is great to advance your career.
Some people choose to pursue a master’s degree in a specialized technical field. Others seek out more in-depth aspects of IT development and programming.
Either way, continuing your studies can help promote your career advancement and provide you with additional job opportunities.
Not only that, but a master’s degree also ensures you’ll earn more.
Reasons to Consider Becoming a Cloud Engineer
Still not convinced that this job is right for you? Here are a handful of reasons that can help tip the scales.
- The huge demand for cloud engineers: Businesses of all sizes and scales around the globe are relying more and more on people with the knowledge and expertise for effective cloud migration.
- The global cloud computing market is on the rise: It’s estimated that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for this niche will increase from $570 billion in 2022 to over $2,000 billion by 2030. The increase is due to the rise in cloud-based systems and enhanced internet connectivity.
- Cloud engineers make more money: That high demand creates a skills gap, which results in competitive salaries for cloud engineers.
- Flexible work schedule: As the sector expands, it opens up new job opportunities and more flexible work options for employees. Even working as a freelancer or part-time makes cloud engineering a great second job.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Learn Cloud in 3 Months?
Three months isn’t enough time to learn all there is to know about IT, cloud computing, and programming skills.
Most people take about 2–4 years to master these skills.
That said, there are boot camps that offer courses that last a minimum of 3–9 months. Yet, you still need to finish your bachelor’s program before you can find work as a qualified cloud engineer.
What Coding Is Required for Cloud Engineering Positions?
Some of the common programming languages you should be proficient in are:
- Python: Develops and organizes huge amounts of data
- XML: Creates data description
- PHP: Used to automate websites
- SQL: Used to store, analyze, and manipulate data
- ASP.NET: Used to provide dynamic web pages across browsers
Similar Gigs to Check Out
Cloud computing is such a vast industry that you can easily find other roles besides cloud engineering.
It’s worth noting that for each one of these jobs, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in their relative field.
For example, software engineers and developers pursue degrees in software development, computer science, or another relevant field.
Alternatively, data analysts need a degree focusing more on analytical and statistical skills like math, information systems, or statistics.
So, if you enjoy working in the IT industry, here are a few more options to consider:
- How to Become a Software Engineer: After earning a bachelor’s degree, the next step is to apply for an internship, then become certified before entering the job market or finding work as a freelance web developer.
- How to Become a Software Developer: One of the key components of being a software developer is your knowledge of coding as well as several programming languages. Next, become a licensed developer and look for internship programs to help you gain real-world experience.
- How to Become a Data Analyst: To land a good entry-level job, you should consider becoming certified. Continuing your education and earning a master’s degree can also help advance your career.
Living in this hi-tech age of data, knowing how to become a cloud engineer can be priceless.
This is a job market that has been growing steadily for the past couple of years and is expected to increase even further in the future.
So, are you ready to embark on this exciting career path?
Let us know what you think in the comments below, and don’t forget to share.