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Booming job market increasing AWS career opportunities

AWS-specific jobs are on the rise, and IT professionals need the skills and certifications necessary to compete for them. Here are several ways to accelerate your AWS education.

The rapid enterprise adoption of the cloud infrastructure generates considerable AWS career opportunities -- as...

long as candidates have the requisite skills.

Companies posting jobs related to an AWS career continue to grow at 50%, compared to other IT jobs over the last year, according to Indeed.com, a job search service. And IT professionals seeking these positions must understand the types of AWS skills and certifications companies want.

IT job seekers need to know what are the most popular and lucrative jobs in tech. Taking a quick glimpse at the most popular IT job trends helps job seekers identify the context of important tools -- and perhaps even figure out which new AWS skills an IT pro must master to become more valuable to IT departments.

There are more than 50 other certifications for cloud IT skills, Cloud Certified Professional Certification, CompTIA Cloud Essentials Certification and the Cloud Security Alliance's Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge. There are also five AWS certifications to focus on, including:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Professional
  • AWS Certified Developer - Associate
  • AWS Certified SysOps Administrator - Associate
  • AWS Certified DevOps Engineer - Professional

The certification payoff

Is getting that certification worth the hours of studying and prepping? It could be, if you want to earn the big bucks. PayScale, a salary assessment service, lists the average salaries for various cloud computing jobs. Solutions architects, for example, top the list -- earning $121,000 annually, followed by DevOps engineers at $96,000 a year and software engineers raking in $93,000.

Solutions architects require good communication skills and an understanding of architectural best practices relevant to AWS. They must be familiar with security practices, building hybrid IT systems, data management and managing all compute components of the AWS ecosystem.

Developers require knowledge of picking the right AWS product for an application. They also need to understand how to use AWS SDKs, write code that is optimized to run on AWS and include code security into AWS applications.

Is getting that certification worth the hours of studying and prepping? It could be, if you want to earn the big bucks.

SysOps, system operations staff, need to understand how to deploy, manage and operate fault-tolerant systems that run on AWS. They should also be able to estimate AWS usage costs and figure out strategies for containing costs while maintaining performance.

DevOps engineers need knowledge and understanding of continuous delivery systems and methodologies. They also need to be able to design tools to automate operational processes. This means understanding configuration management tools, issue tracking and deployment tools, such as Hudson, Jenkins, Chef and Puppet.

Popular AWS career skills and development languages

Having a mastery of certain programming languages helps job seekers further their careers as AWS admins or architects. According to the TIOBE programming language Index, Java, C, C++, C#, Python and PHP remain the most popular programming languages. On GitHub, the most popular languages being used in public and private repositories are JavaScript, Java, Ruby and PHP. There are also a couple of indexes of the most popular AWS instances.

In IT Jobs Watch's AWS-focused job trend report, the most common IT skills associated with AWS include Linux, Agile, Web Services, DevOps and Java. MySQL is the most popular database used and Puppet is the most popular deployment tool -- followed by Chef.

Terms associated with the more lucrative jobs in DevOps ranked much lower than programming languages alone. Agile software development ranked at 40%, followed by DevOps at 29%. And interest in specific DevOps and Agile tools was much lower with Puppet at 23%, Jenkins at 14% and Hudson at only 1.48%. In essence, the most popular skills are not necessarily the most lucrative.

But getting the best jobs does require at least a basic understanding of all of the components involved in building AWS applications and associated software development processes.

Next Steps

AWS Educate informs future cloud pros

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Fast track your AWS career

This was last published in February 2016

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What are the most important cloud skills in your IT team?
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We are currently spinning up a rather large cloud migration, so one of the most important cloud skills right now involve understanding the services offered by the cloud provider and being able to use those services to construct viable, efficient, and well-architected solutions that address the problems we encounter.
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