How to become a cloud architect

Cloud architects are in demand.

If you're considering a career in information technology, you've no doubt heard of cloud computing. It's been one of the most transformative innovations in the technology industry in years, and is completely changing what it means to be an IT professional. Fortunately, the introduction of cloud computing means a boom of new career opportunities for IT professionals, one of which is that of a cloud architect.

What is a cloud architect?
Cloud architects differ from the people who actually design clouds in that they work with the designers to help companies and organizations secure their cloud computing platforms. Cloud architects also work with the existing cloud to develop more efficient and profitable uses of the technology for the company. In other words, cloud architects use their IT skills to help businesses manage their cloud networking spaces so they can meet their goals. Cloud architects also have a key role to play in preventing security breaches and minimizing information loss.

What certifications do I need?
In addition to earning an IT degree, there are a variety of certifications you can obtain to make you a more desirable candidate for a position as a cloud architect. IBM offers two different certifications - one for cloud computing architecture and one for cloud computing infrastructure. You can also become a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert, complete the Google Apps certification program, or become a Certified Cloud Technology Professional. Each program has something different to offer, so find the one that most closely aligns with your career goals.

Should I have experience?
It's always a good idea to have job experience, and cloud architecture is no exception. Because the field is relatively new, you may not need as much on-the-job experience as you would in other IT fields, but it's a good idea to have some training under your belt before begin to look for a job. You should also work on cultivating other skills, such as communication and customer service, before setting off on your job search.

What is the job outlook like?
Cloud architects are in huge demand. According to Forbes, as many as 7 million cloud-related jobs will become available worldwide by 2015, with demand increasing by 26 percent each year. The financial outlook for cloud architects is also bright - most make approximately $100,000 per year.

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor's and master's degree programs in IT. To find out more, please visit our website at

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