How to stand out as a cloud engineer

Technology never stands still. Always in a state of perpetual motion and constantly evolving, few industries are as dynamic and exciting as tech. One of the biggest evolutions in recent years has been the emergence of the cloud, particularly the burgeoning field of cloud engineering.

As businesses worldwide undergo a digital transformation boom, they constantly strive to enhance their scalability, security and efficiency. As such, companies across all sectors are rapidly pivoting from their legacy, on-site hardware to more dynamic and scalable cloud-based solutions. However, this rapid cloud transformation has caused a significant demand for skilled cloud engineers who can turn an onsite-reliant business into a cloud-native enterprise.

But, what is a cloud engineer? Whether you are just beginning your tech journey or are looking to enhance your skill set even further, this article will teach you all you need to know about the profession and how to stand out as a cloud engineer. We’ll take you through the steps of becoming a cloud engineer, salary expectations and where to find cloud engineer jobs. Read on to learn more.

What is a cloud engineer?

A cloud engineer is an IT professional overseeing the infrastructure of cloud-based platforms. Cloud engineers are essential for developing scalable, secure and efficient cloud infrastructures, utilising AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platforms. These roles typically encompass a variety of disciplines, including cloud architect, cloud software engineer and systems engineer.

The primary responsibilities of a cloud engineer often involve designing, planning, managing and maintaining cloud systems. Depending on the organisation’s needs, a cloud engineer may also be required to deploy apps in cloud environments, manage cloud infrastructure and ensure data security across networks. As such, the role often necessitates a versatile skill set that could encompass system architecture, software development and database management disciplines.

Why are cloud engineers important?

Our research shows that 77% of IT organisations in the UK report difficulty finding the talent they need. While IT and most tech roles are in demand, cloud engineer jobs, in particular, are especially sought-after due to the rapid acceleration of the move to the cloud following COVID-19. As illustrated in the Flexia 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 90% of respondents said that their cloud usage was higher than initially planned following the effects of the pandemic.

The ongoing shift to the cloud has made cloud engineers key players in IT departments, especially as businesses seek to innovate and maintain competitive advantages in digital spaces. Cloud engineers enable companies to leverage cloud technologies that enhance operational efficiencies, help to reduce IT costs and increase system scalability and reliability.

How to become a cloud engineer

Transitioning into a cloud engineering role often requires a blend of formal education and hands-on experience.

Educational pathways

Most cloud engineers start with a degree in IT, computer science or related fields. This academic background provides the theoretical knowledge necessary to understand complex computing systems. Relevant subjects that often prove essential include network security, computer architecture and database management.

Essential skills and certifications

Practical skills in programming languages such as Python, Java and SQL are crucial to becoming a cloud engineer.

Along with familiarity, obtaining vendor-specific certifications such as the AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate or Google Associate Cloud Engineer can enhance your credibility and showcase your expertise to potential employers. The mainstream cloud providers all offer significant learning portals where you can access the tools to attain their certifications.

Acquiring practical experience

Lastly, while skills and certifications are a must, we also value experience at Experis. As such, we advise those applying for cloud engineering jobs to gain hands-on experience through internships and working on real-world projects.

For students, we advise contributing to open-source cloud projects or, if you’re already working in IT, take the reins and implement cloud solutions in your current IT role. Practical experience is crucial for understanding real-world cloud deployment challenges and solutions.

How to stand out as a cloud engineer

Adopting a focused and strategic approach is essential to truly distinguish yourself as a ‘must-hire’ cloud engineer. One effective method is to specialise in a niche area. Whether your interest lies in security, DevOps or enterprise cloud solutions, developing deep expertise in a specific domain can make you an indispensable asset to any organisation. As cloud technology continues to evolve, the demand for specialised knowledge that can address complex and unique challenges is on the rise.

In addition to specialising, a commitment to continuous learning is crucial in the field of cloud technology. This sector moves at a brisk pace, with new advancements and methodologies emerging regularly. To keep up, it’s important to engage actively with the latest industry trends, technologies and best practices. This can be achieved through various means, such as attending workshops, participating in webinars and visiting conferences.

By staying updated, you not only enhance your own skill set but also ensure that you remain adaptable and equipped to handle the ever-changing demands of the market. These efforts will not only help you excel in your current role but also pave the way for further advancements in your career.

Cloud engineer salary insights

Cloud engineer salary expectations vary depending on the applicant’s location, experience and specialisations. For example, entry-level cloud engineers typically start with salaries ranging from anywhere around £40,000 to as high as £60,000 annually.

As cloud engineers gain experience and further specialise in high-demand areas like cloud security or enterprise solutions, their earning potential increases significantly. An experienced cloud engineer salary can be as high as £90,000 per annum, and those in niche specialisations or senior positions may command even higher wages. This reflects the critical importance and growing demand for skilled cloud engineers in today’s tech-driven economy.

Advance your career as a cloud engineer with Experis

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the role of the cloud engineer becomes increasingly critical to the infrastructure of businesses worldwide. Through understanding the core responsibilities, acquiring the right skills and committing to ongoing education, you can not only enter this dynamic field, but truly excel and set yourself apart from your peers.

At Experis, we are dedicated to empowering IT professionals like you to realise your potential in cloud engineering. With our deep connections across the UK’s tech industry, we provide unparalleled access to the top cloud engineer jobs and cutting-edge projects in cloud technology. Whether you are starting your journey or looking to elevate your career, Experis is your partner every step of the way.

Ready to transform your professional trajectory and stand out in the cloud engineering landscape? Explore the exciting opportunities and resources available at Experis and take the next step in your career today.

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