SolarWinds reports, ‘More than half of tech pros have concurred on the fact that cloud and hybrid IT is a vital IT strategy today, as nearly all organizations move their workloads to the cloud.’
Sounds fascinating, right?
If you are yet to start your Cloud Engineering journey or are stuck somewhere in the middle, then go through this blog. It emphasizes on the path that you should follow to become a Cloud Engineer and, thus, will help you jump over all the hurdles in your way.
This blog covers the below topics:
- Why should you go for Cloud Computing?
- Who is a Cloud Engineer?
- Salary of a Cloud Engineer
- Cloud Engineering Career Path (Based on the Experience Level)
- Certifications for Cloud Engineers
- Interview Questions
- Resources to Learn Cloud Engineering
Why should you go for Cloud Computing?
You should opt for Cloud computing as a career because, in today’s technology-laced world, data has become the fuel that powers companies. Organizations, across verticals, are ingesting massive volumes of data to drive improved decision-making. Consequently, the load on their server infrastructure is on the rise. Also, the present market demands immediate fulfillment of requirements, asking for a reduced time to market. In the wake of this cumbersome situation, organizations are migrating their systems to the cloud. Cloud addresses all their predicaments and at the same time helps maximize profitability and boost revenue streams.
Hence, in your Cloud Engineer career path, you will be exposed to numerous jobs, along with getting heavily paid, no matter where you settle down in the globe.
Who is a Cloud Engineer?
Cloud Engineers are IT professionals responsible for all technical tasks related to Cloud Computing. These tasks include design, planning, support, and maintenance. The job role of a Cloud Engineer may vary from working as a cloud architect/network and software engineer to being a cloud security expert, which requires learning advanced concepts. All these positions are important milestones in the career path for Cloud Engineers. Thus, having the necessary skills will help a professional deliver cloud services or scale up the existing services into the cloud.
For more insights, you can read my blog on Cloud Engineer Roles and Responsibilities!
Here’s an interesting fact:
Forbes reports, ‘9 million jobs are associated with Cloud Computing, and the demand for Cloud Engineers is most likely to increase multifold.’
Salary and Job Roles of a Cloud Engineer
Cloud Engineer Salary
With cloud having carved a lasting niche in the market, the demand for Cloud Engineers is increasing exponentially. Such is the demand of Cloud Engineers that companies are willing to pay thousands of dollars to those who can architect and maintain their cloud-hosted systems.
Let me give you some more statistics on the salary of a Cloud Engineer.
- The average annual salary of a Cloud Engineer in the US is around US$118,586 – Indeed
- In India, the mean salary of a Cloud Engineer is ₹900,000 per annum – Glassdoor
In India, the salary of Cloud Engineers ranges from ₹300,000 to ₹4,000,000 PA. You must be wondering about the reason behind this difference in salary. Well, the salary of a Cloud Engineer depends on years of experience, expertise on technologies, and on the cleared certifications. Based on their experience, Cloud Engineers can be classified into:
- Entry-level Cloud Engineers
- Mid-level Cloud Engineers
- Senior-level Cloud Engineers
The job roles differ in terms of these levels, and hence the variance in salary.
Cloud Engineer Job Roles
Entry-level Cloud Engineers have a limited set of job roles. For this particular reason, proficiency in technologies of any one cloud provider (say AWS) is more than enough to embark on the Cloud Engineer career path. Below are a few screenshots from Google that summarize all requisites for the entry-level Cloud Engineering job role.
By going through the contents of these screenshots, you will understand that:
- The background of an applicant is not relevant.
- If you are skilled enough, you will bag the job.
- Specific certifications are not required. However, it is great to clear the AWS Solutions Architect Associate-level certification exam.
Entry-level Cloud Engineers are often tasked with jobs that require a basic understanding of any one cloud provider, maintenance, and configuring applications.
The salary of an entry-level Cloud Engineer can be anywhere between ₹300,000 and ₹800,000 PA.
Mid-level Cloud Engineers gather requirements, design, code, and integrate and implement solutions in the cloud. These solutions are required to be productive and at the same time fool-proof. They also support business functionalities and the underlying infrastructure that is essential for deploying solutions in the cloud. Owing to these requirements, mid-level Cloud Engineers are paid hefty amounts.
In general, mid-level Cloud Engineers have around 3 to 4 years of experience and must be certified as Associates. Considering the demand for AWS, it is advised to clear the AWS Solutions Architect Associate-level exam if you want to proceed in your Cloud Engineer career path. The following screenshots will help you gain more clarity into the job roles of mid-level Cloud Engineers:
To work as a mid-level Cloud Engineer, you are required to have a brief understanding of technologies that pertain to the cloud, and also you must be able to play around them with ease for achieving goals in time.
Mid-level Cloud Engineers earn in the range of ₹1,100,000–2,000,000 PA.
Next come senior-level Cloud Engineers.
These engineers are responsible for many things. They contribute to and support the corporate Enterprise Cloud Strategy, standards, DevOps methodology, Agile project management, and the best practices associated with all aspects of cloud offerings. Also, they are responsible for providing expert-level designs and engineering support for meeting deadlines.
On top of that, senior-level Cloud Engineers develop and implement internal systems, processes, and the best practices to be used by other teams for boosting productivity. They ensure that the solutions are designed for successful deployment, security, cost-effectivity, and high availability in the cloud.
Additionally, they design, implement, and test disaster recovery and business continuity architecture. Moreover, they create and implement automation in the form of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for cloud platform solutions and ensure that all infrastructure components meet compliance, capacity, and performance standards.
Have a glance at the following screenshots to understand the job description of a senior-level Cloud Engineer better:
Owing to these diverse requirements, an expert-level AWS Solutions Architect certificate is a must-have for every senior-level Cloud Engineer. They are required to have an experience of at least 5 years in the cloud domain and, on top of that, they must be proficient enough in multi-cloud deployment and relevant technologies.
The average salary of a senior-level Cloud Engineer ranges from ₹2,400,000 to ₹4,000,000 PA.
Now, what are the skills that you must develop to start your Cloud Engineer career path as an entry-level Cloud Engineer and speed-past levels to end up as a senior-level Cloud Engineer?
Skills that are a must!
Most companies today are taking a multi-cloud approach. They, therefore, are in pursuit of individuals who are adept with multiple cloud technologies. Pertaining to this trend, professionals who are skilled in the technologies of only one particular cloud provider are losing their hold in the marketplace.
To quote the same, ‘A professional’s depth of technology doesn’t matter these days but width does.’
As a starter, you can gain proficiency in any one cloud provider, learn Linux, and you will be up and running as an entry-level Cloud Engineer. However, in due course of time, you should build on your skills.
After thoroughly analyzing the skill requirements of some major tech giants, I can say that the following skills are a must-have for every Cloud Engineering candidate who wants to make it big in the cloud arena.
- Cloud Migration and Multi-cloud Deployment
- Cloud Security and Disaster Recovery
- Serverless Architecture
- Web Services and APIs
- Linux and Other Programming Languages
- Containers and Virtualization
If you can flaunt these skills on your resume, along with the relevant AWS Solutions Architect Certification, there is nothing that can stop you from landing up on a senior-level Cloud Engineering job within 5 to 6 years of total experience.
To know more about these skills, refer to my last blog on AWS Solution Architect Professional training.
That’s a brief overview of the Cloud Engineer career path. Now, you must be eager to develop the required skills and start your journey.
How to develop the required skill set?
Well, the aforementioned skills are undoubtedly diverse but not impossible to master. Numerous course materials are available on the Internet that can help students learn the technicalities involved in becoming a Cloud Engineer.
After completing the tutorial, you may opt for YouTube videos on Cloud Computing to enhance your understanding.
Here’s a video that can help you revamp your basic cloud skills:
Henceforth, you can take some time to understand why and how the offerings of major cloud service providers (such as Azure, AWS, and GCP) are different. You may refer to videos to understand how they are different in terms of the services they provide.
Here’s a video that will neatly explain the difference between AWS, Azure, and GCP:
These materials will help you attain a theoretical understanding of Cloud Computing. Further, you can dive deep into these concepts by implementing them practically. The concepts including compute, storage, database, networks, load balancing and scaling, cloud monitoring, and application migration will make you an expert in Cloud Computing.
You can learn all these on your own by simply signing up with us for our dedicated AWS Solutions Architect Training Program. This program is mentored by subject-matter experts who have more than 10 years of experience in the industry. The course covers various concepts of Cloud Architect from scratch and includes apt practical demonstrations and hands-on assignments. Upon completing the training, you will be well-versed to appear for the official AWS Cloud Architect Certification exam.
If you are aiming for other Cloud Engineering job roles, we have more courses for you. Grab them here.
What’s next? Cloud Certification of course!
Cloud providers offer relevant certifications for validating the skills of an aspiring candidate. Clearing these official certifications will put you in a different league when it comes to appearing for Cloud Engineering job interviews.
Also, when you showcase your certification on your resume, you basically convey a message to the recruiter: I am ready for the industry. I have already validated my skills and therefore it won’t take much time to train me to successfully tread my Cloud Engineer career path!
Moreover, with AWS being the leading cloud provider in the industry today, an AWS Solutions Architect Certificate will serve as an icing on the cake.
Just like AWS, Azure and GCP also have their respective certifications. You can take a look and choose to clear them if you have a desire to work in those domains. They are, namely:
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
- Azure AZ-103 – Microsoft Azure Administrator
- Azure AZ 203 – Microsoft Azure Developer
Cloud Engineer Job Interviews
The next leg of your journey is the job interview. No matter how good you are, to land up on a job, you must clear the relevant interview.
Worry no more! We have a set of interview questions ready for you. Here are a few:
- What does a buffer in Amazon Web Services mean?
Elastic Load Balancer safeguards that the incoming traffic is optimally distributed among different AWS instances. A buffer here synchronizes various components and additionally makes the device resilient to load or traffic congestion. These components tend to receive and process requests steadily. The buffer balances different devices and makes them work at the same speed to provide faster service.
- By default, data on the root volume of an instance backed up by the store and EBS will be deleted upon exit. So, which instance would I use if I want to prevent this?
EBS-backed instances leverage EBS volumes as root volumes. They consist of virtual disks that can be easily backed up and replicated through snapshots. However, the biggest advantage is that data can be configured for later retrieval even when an instance or a virtual machine is shut down.
For more questions, you may refer to these select Interview Questions asked in AWS job interviews!
By following the steps mentioned in this blog, you can easily venture into a Cloud Engineering career. Numerous job positions are yet to be filled. Develop the skills, get certified, and build a lucrative career in the cloud domain. Start on your Cloud Engineer career path today!