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Cloud engineers are the professionals responsible for managing cloud-based systems and processes. They play a crucial role in the world today, as our society becomes more and more reliant on technology and a cloud-based system where files can be accessed at any time.

If you want to pursue a career in cloud engineering, this is a perfect time. The demand for these experts is on the rise and this is expected to continue well into the future. If you are wondering how to become a cloud engineer, this guide will provide all the information you need.

What Is a Cloud Engineer?

Cloud engineers are IT professionals that develop and maintain cloud infrastructure. In essence, these professionals manage the cloud-based storage of an organization but may have responsibilities in more specific areas like development, cloud architecture, or administration.

Cloud engineers make it easier for companies to reliably store and back up data. They also ensure that updates for cloud-based software are available when required and users can access their data from any device. These experts work behind the scenes to ensure that all cloud-based processes run smoothly.

How Does Cloud Engineering Relate to Data Science?

Cloud computing is critical for the development and maintenance of databases. It enables access to services like servers and software. In addition, cloud computing has greatly facilitated and simplified the job of data scientists by making artificial intelligence and data analytics tools more powerful and accessible.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Cloud Engineer?

The time it takes to become a successful cloud engineer depends on several factors. It takes around three to five years if you choose to enroll in a computer science degree program at a college or university. In some cases, you may require a certification, which can take up to several months to acquire.

Today, you can also attend a coding bootcamp to learn cloud computing. This route is significantly shorter and cheaper than getting a college degree. The average length of a coding bootcamp is six months. They cost around $10,000 to $15,000.

Where to Study Cloud Engineering

There are a lot of options to consider if you plan to study cloud engineering. The educational path that works best for you depends on your specific career goals. For example, some senior and executive roles require a university education.

However, if you don’t want to spend four years on a degree, you can attend a coding bootcamp. This learning path offers affordable programs that provide the skills needed to land a job in the tech field in a considerably shorter time.

Cloud Engineering Community Colleges

You can start your education journey with an associate degree program in cloud computing at a community college. These programs teach the in-demand IT skills that companies are looking for and are cheaper than university degrees. They also prepare students for certifications that enhance their employability.

Cloud Engineering Universities

Universities are a great way to receive the training you need to become a cloud engineer. There are several majors you can consider, including computer science and software engineering. A bachelor’s degree lasts four years and covers topics like server visualization technology, cloud and virtual systems, and cloud technology fundamentals.

Cloud Engineering Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps can help you get a job in cloud computing. These programs often use hands-on learning methods to cover the fundamentals. Students take part in live coding sessions and have access to community learning and lectures. When they graduate, students have experience with the tools required to work with cloud infrastructures.

Cloud Engineering Online Courses

Online courses can supplement your training. Some online classes are very affordable, and some are even free. You can learn about deployment models like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Some courses cover virtualization and cloud computing architecture. You can also learn about identity, cloud security, cloud encryption, and access management.

Man at work at a computer. How to Become a Cloud Engineer

How to Become a Cloud Engineer: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are many educational paths when it comes to cloud engineering. You can opt for a degree, attend a coding bootcamp, or even learn at your own pace through online courses. Let us walk you through the most common path, earning a degree.

Get a bachelor's degree

Many employers require a bachelor’s degree, so enrolling at a university is a wise decision. Choose a program that focuses on systems infrastructure, software, and computing. Majors that can help you become a cloud engineer include information systems and technology, computer science, or software engineering.

Master programming languages

Programming languages are important in cloud engineering. Some programming languages you should learn are Java, Python, and C++.

Consider a master's degree

Some cloud engineers may decide to further their education to gain access to new job opportunities. You can consider a graduate degree in programming, information technology, or development to enhance your cloud computing expertise.

Gain hands-on experience

Real-world experience is always important. You can accumulate experience on the job by working on open source projects or interning in an organization. This will also help you build a portfolio and learn valuable skills that will make you more employable.

Learn to work with popular cloud services

As a cloud engineer, learning the ins and outs of Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other mainstream cloud services should be at the top of your priority list.

Earn a certification

Passing certification exams will help you build technical skills and prove your expertise. Certification helps you stand out and raises your salary potential. There are a lot of certifications for this line of work including Google’s Associate Cloud Engineer Certification and AWS Certification.

Entry-Level Cloud Engineer Job Requirements

The job requirements for entry-level positions can vary widely. Most entry-level jobs in the field require knowledge of programming languages, a bachelor’s degree, and knowledge of cloud-based platforms. Some may also ask for certification.

Cloud Engineer Salary and Job Outlook

Cloud engineers earn significantly more than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cloud engineers earn a median salary of $116,780 per year. The national median annual wage in the US is just $56,310.

In addition, the demand for experts in this field is growing as information technology networks expand. The job outlook is impressive, with employment in the sector expected to grow by five percent from 2019 to 2029. This is a lot faster than the average percentage for all occupations.

Example Cloud Engineer Job Interview Questions

  • What kind of issues have you encountered during cloud implementation and how did you resolve them?
  • What sort of relationships have you developed with cloud service providers?
  • How well do you work with other members of the IT team to solve cloud-related issues?
  • What web development tools are you familiar with and which do you prefer to use?

What Does a Cloud Engineer Do?

The role of a cloud engineer may differ slightly depending on the size of the organization and the industry where it operates. However, we can highlight the most common responsibilities associated with the cloud engineer role.

Cloud Development

Cloud development is a major part of this job. Cloud engineers create functions, databases, and applications that rely on the cloud. Their job is to ensure that these applications have fast load times, don’t use too much memory, and are supported by all kinds of browsers.

Cloud engineers also need to ensure that apps respond well when databases are accessed from different locations. These professionals also need in-depth knowledge of how to run queries and functions.

Cloud Engineering

This important part of the job involves assessing the technology infrastructure of an organization and exploring available options for moving data to the cloud. If an organization chooses to move its data to the cloud, the engineer takes charge of the process, including data migration and the maintenance of the new system.

However, before this process starts, cloud engineers need to negotiate with vendors of cloud-based systems. Cloud engineers are also responsible for recommending the most suitable system and communicating with senior management about the cloud migration project.

Cloud Administration

Cloud engineers also take charge of cloud administration. This is similar to system administration, but focusing exclusively on cloud-based services. Cloud engineers develop and implement policies to manage requests for new technology and the use of cloud services.

These experts are also responsible for establishing a secure cloud environment. Cloud platforms rely on different protocols that implement a host of security measures. The cloud engineer is responsible for developing and maintaining the security system to ensure that it is not accessible by unauthorized parties.

Essential Cloud Engineering Skills and Certifications

Essential Cloud Engineering Skills and Certifications

There are some important skills you must have to thrive as a cloud engineer. A great way to prove you’ve mastered these skills is by earning certification. Certification credentials will help you stand out among your peers and will give you an advantage during the job search.

Cloud Engineer Skills

Programming Skills

Programming is important for cloud engineers. They are required to build, deploy and maintain applications for cloud-based systems. Cloud engineers can benefit from learning Python, SQL, .NET, and XML. These languages help with data description, creation, processing, manipulation, and analysis.

Networking Skills

Networking is an important part of cloud computing because centralized computing resources are often shared over the cloud. Cloud engineers are responsible for ensuring that the network is responsive. They develop automatic adjustment procedures to ensure that the network operates smoothly. To do this, these professionals need to understand virtual networks and networking fundamentals.

Database Skills

You also need database skills to ensure the smooth operation of cloud-based systems. Today, organizations collect data to gain insights that can improve business performance. This data needs to be stored and managed and the cloud offers a low-cost and convenient way to do so. Hadoop and MySQL can come in handy when performing these tasks.

Cloud Engineering Certifications

The field of cloud computing is brimming with professional certifications. As a cloud engineer, a sure-fire way to climb up the corporate ladder is to secure a respected certification. Below we take a close look at some of the professional certifications you should consider.

Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) Cloud

CCNA Cloud is an entry-level credential. It targets IT experts that work as cloud engineers, network architects, cloud administrators, or similar roles. This certification validates the ability of the candidate to work on cloud-based solutions such as those offered by Cisco Systems.

Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Cloud

CCNP Cloud is for more advanced and experienced cloud practitioners. The candidates are expected to understand cloud-related technologies like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Cisco Intercloud.

CompTIA Cloud+

The CompTIA Cloud+ certification is well-known and respected around the world. It proves you have the skills needed to automate and deploy cloud environments. This is a performance-based certification for experts working on cloud-based infrastructure, regardless of the platform.

Reasons to Become a Cloud Engineer in 2021

There are a lot of reasons to become a cloud engineer. Demand for cloud engineers will continue to rise because a lot of organizations are moving to the cloud and need these professionals to manage the process. This means there will be even more jobs available in this field in the future.

As a cloud engineer, you will be providing a critical service: helping companies move their data, services, and operations to the cloud. You will also be in charge of developing cloud applications and protecting them. This all makes for an exciting career path. If you are thinking of pursuing a tech career, cloud engineering is definitely worth considering.

Cloud Engineer FAQ

How do I become a cloud engineer?

You can become a cloud engineer by getting a degree from a university or a college. You can kickstart your career with a bachelor’s or associate degree. Alternatively, you can opt for a coding bootcamp to learn everything you need to work in the field within weeks.

Do cloud engineers get paid well?

Yes, they do. According to ZipRecruiter, cloud engineers earn an average yearly salary of $128,837. This means they make $62 per hour. Depending on the organization, their salary could be even higher.

What skills do cloud engineers need?

As a cloud engineer, you need a combination of technical and soft skills. You will liaise with members of the IT department, management, and vendors of cloud-based platforms. This requires strong communication skills. Important hard skills include programming, networking, and database management.

Can you become a cloud engineer without a degree?

Employers generally prefer candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree. However, a growing number of companies are hiring students with non-traditional educational backgrounds as long as they have the necessary expertise. More and more companies are hiring graduates from coding bootcamps and other alternative educational pathways.

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