Bright forecast for cloud computing careers
Companies all over the world are relying more than ever on cloud computing, and most people use a cloud computing service every day and may not even know it. That’s one of the reasons the cloud computing program at South Texas College is going strong and is a great option for students.
First, a definition. Cloud computing is a service that allows individuals and companies to “rent” space on a remote data server—rather than on a local server or personal computer—and access their data via the internet. Google, Microsoft, and IBM, for example, store, manage, and process data for many companies. If you’ve ever streamed a movie from Netflix, stored your photos on SmugMug, or played videogames online, you’ve used cloud computing technology.
For companies big and small, the advantages of using cloud computing are many. “Companies save money by pushing their tech onto the web,” explains Meliton Hinojosa, chairman of the Computer and Advanced Technologies Department. “Instead of purchasing a multitude of programs, their employees or customers can access the information on the drive. Plus, it’s easy to add memory, unlike years ago when growing companies had to buy new servers in order to expand. With cloud computing, they can grow more nimbly than in the past.”
If a company has an active website, for example, hosting that site on the cloud will ensure that it will function smoothly regardless of how many visitors log on to it at one time. And if a computer crashes, the cloud will safely retain the information that was uploaded.
Another big plus: “Companies mitigate their own risk by offloading data to the cloud provider, who handles the security,” Hinojosa. The server will continually scan the computers within the network for viruses or vulnerabilities, then send reports to the administrator, explains Hinojosa. For companies with an international reach, the European Union’s new regulations aimed at tightening security for online data have also increased the need for the safety and security of cloud computing.
Companies save money by pushing their tech onto the web. Instead of purchasing a multitude of programs, their employees or customers can access the information on the drive. Plus, it’s easy to add memory, unlike years ago when growing companies had to buy new servers in order to expand. With cloud computing, they can grow more nimbly than in the past.
Exceptional Student Experience
For students in the South Texas College Cloud Computing and Virtualization Specialist program, the experience is exceptional. “The program combines both knowledge in hardware (CPUs, computer architecture, etc.) and computer virtualization, which allows them to run application servers,” explains Hinojosa. And that combination of skills is a win-win for those who complete the program, positioning them to be well-prepared for the job market, particularly in the telecommunications industry. Graduates often support Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems, or work in networking or with broadband services.
South Texas College is an Authorized Academy Partner of CompTIA, the trade association for various IT certifications, such as Security+ and Network+. The association provides valuable tools and resources to assist schools in recruiting, training, certifying, and upgrading the skills of their students in IT, and helps schools enhance student career opportunities.
The Cloud Computing Program represents 25 credit hours and was established about three years ago. Students often combine that certificate with other complementary certificates within the Computer and Advanced Technologies Department, says Hinojosa. For example, cybersecurity is hot right now, as companies are always wary of data breaches. But the most popular tech program at South Texas College is Computer Maintenance Technology, where students learn computer architecture, installation, and troubleshooting. Credits earned in any of these programs can then be applied toward a bachelor’s degree.
Students who complete a certificate in cloud computing can choose to work at one of the big data centers in San Antonio or elsewhere…or they can opt to work remotely from a home office.
“Many of these students are hired by hospitals and school systems. They don’t have to move elsewhere, and that’s a plus for those who want to stay in the area,” notes Hinojosa.
- The median annual salary for cloud computing professionals in the U.S. was $116,448, according to job search engine ZipRecruiter.
- Cloud computing is expected to be a $300 billion business by 2021.
- Employer interest for candidates with cloud computing skills rose 33 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to the job-search website Indeed.
- Computer and information technology jobs are projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average. These jobs will have a greater emphasis on cloud computing, the collection and storage of big data, and information security.