(BPT) - The sky is the limit for cloud computing as it continues to drive job growth - garnering interest from Main Street, Wall Street, corporations and governments. A 2012 Microsoft-commissioned report by the International Data Corporation (IDC) indicated that spending on cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide by 2015.
In the past decade, cloud computing pioneers such as Amazon, Salesforce, Google and Apple-have developed comprehensive cloud services, platforms and applications. Now, traditional businesses of all kinds - even those that don't operate in the technology space - are incorporating cloud services more frequently, laying the groundwork for cloud-related career paths that are rich with opportunity and growth.
In fact, a related study from the Sand Hill Group suggests that cloud computing - driven by the 21st century surge in mobile computing, social networking and big data - may generate more job growth in the coming years than the Internet itself did during the 1990s.
Cloud computing provides the means through which technology-based services - from computing power and infrastructure to applications, processes and collaboration - can be immediately accessed by users through the Internet, or the "cloud." This instant access can result in greater flexibility, reduced environmental impact, lowered costs and tightened security for businesses.
Due to heightened demand for these benefits, business intelligence company WANTED Analytics reports more than 12,000 cloud-related jobs - from software engineers and software developers to cloud architects and security specialists - were advertised online in April 2012. That represents an increase of 50 percent from the previous year and more than 275 percent since April 2010.
As the nature of information technology continues to evolve, requiring its workforce to obtain cloud-based knowledge, understanding and technical skills, some higher education providers have launched degree programs that align with cloud-related fields.
DeVry University, for example, offers bachelor's degree programs in computer information systems and network and communications management, as well as a master's degree program in network and communications management. Each program provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to implement software solutions for major corporations, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies that can also be used in cloud-related applications.
"As cloud providers grow the scale of their service offerings, and more businesses embrace and capitalize on them, there will be increasing demand for professionals who possess cloud computing skills," says Thomas Bieser, a solution architect for HP and graduate of DeVry University's bachelor's degree program in computer information systems.
Hiring managers seeking to fill cloud computing and related positions desire candidates with problem solving skills, an eye for security concerns and good communication skills for working with professional teams or clients. Job seekers with these attributes and an applicable educational background may find career success in cloud computing.