Things you have to know if you want to be a Cloud Admin

As growing numbers of businesses migrate to the cloud, traditional IT departments find themselves in need of cloud administrators and other specialist roles. While the cloud admin role can cover a variety of bases, here are the key skills and knowledge you need to get in the door.

Unlocking tech talent stories

March 30, 2021

Cloud admins are an in-demand role. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, they expected a surge in 2020 of 12% percent for roles in this job sector. Candidates are a mix of cloud natives and system administrators migrating with their servers to the cloud. All working and taking on the additional skills required to handle the mix of services, instances and virtual machines in often demanding multi-office and multi-user environments that can span the planet.

They must understand the needs of the business, the security and privacy risks, and work with key roles to deliver all businesses services with maximum uptime, being prepared for outages and business continuity in a growing SaaS, PaaS and IaaS environment.

The cloud admin must develop public, private or hybrid clouds, handling the configuration, implementation to deliver a platform that “just works” for the business but often uses many discrete, related and interlinked services. All the time monitoring loads for capacity security and other issues while helping the business plan for the future, expand and develop new services as needed, all within an often-tight budget.

The cloud admin knowledge bank

Many admins will come from a DevOps and system admin background. Cloud admins will source, vet and select providers for cloud operations, support the hiring of additional staff and deliver on business goals. Typical technical requirements for a role include:

  • Understanding of Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform and others.
  • Supervising and delivering containers, virtual machines and web applications.
  • Experience in managing computing instances, storage, networking, firewall, application load balancers, backups or monitoring tools.
  • Experience in comparing and managing resources from different cloud providers.
  • Provide leadership and a disciplined approach to problem-solving and project execution.
  • Have an appetite to learn new technologies and constantly improve technical skills.

For all of that, a cloud admin with a tech degree and suitable experience can expect to earn an average salary between £30,000 — £45,000 a year (€35,000–€51,000) in the UK, with salaries ranging from €41,860-€62,216 in Germany, with similar scales for Spain and Portugal. Roles often provide higher-end perks including pension, health and share options, where available. More cloud admin opportunities as the number of vacancies outstrip demand means very experienced candidates could earn more.

Responsibilities vary depending on the nature of the business. Regulated roles in health, banking and similar markets will have a strong security focus, while startups might be driven for rapid expansion and flexibility. Usual responsibilities include:

  • Defining and implementing a platform to deliver operations.
  • Providing tools for the onboarding of new clients via secure SaaS applications.
  • Advise product and development teams about how the cloud can deliver new product features.
  • Use DevOps pipelines to support product and development teams.
  • Deliver support services to agreed client SLAs. and lead incident resolution.
  • Develop a working knowledge of the business to ensure future support levels.

Given the wide variety of cloud solutions you could work with, a wide knowledge of the leading types is recommended. However, there are those that like to specialise with one provider. Advanced and role-specific qualifications for required stacks that could help you get a cloud admin role include:

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
  • VMware Certified Professional 6 — Data Center Virtualization Exam
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect
  • IBM Certified Cloud Solution Architect v2
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Architect Associate Certification

When applying for roles there is a range of people skills that most recruiters will look for. You should be able to provide examples of complex or protracted issues beyond the usual day-to-day workload. These typically include:

  • Showing you are self-motivated with the ability to take ownership of tasks, people and strategies.
  • Can prove you are articulate and can speak and write with a clear and concise communication style.
  • Demonstrating strong team and problem-solving skills in a variety of situations.
  • Can present well to both internal and external clients/stakeholders.

Where to find cloud admin roles

Expect to see plenty of cloud-related admin and operations roles as it becomes the dominant form of digital business operations in the 2020s. See what cloud jobs Landing.Jobs has that could kickstart or boost your career.

Check back as more cloud roles appear, and build out your resume to best reflect the skills that hirers will expect to see.

Chris Knight is a tech writer interested in mobile, digital business, automation, IT, smart homes and gadgets — anything with a GHz pulse.

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