Posted by Robert Mann on Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 07:00
Ever since the advent of farm equipment and the industrial age, people have been sounding the alarm that technology and automation will eliminate many jobs. In some cases this has been true, but not always.
Consider cloud computing: As various sectors of the economy remain relatively flat, the cloud computing job market is on the upswing.
Cloud Computing Generating Many IT Jobs, But Scores Go Unfilled
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report, 3,600 new cloud-related IT jobs were added in July. This surge in employment follows a broad trend of companies handing over the management of infrastructure, maintenance and upgrades to outside parties.
A recent Washington Post article pointed out that, ironically, cloud computing was expected to destroy jobs. This line of reasoning may apply to ATMs and like technologies, but certainly not IT jobs related to the cloud: 2012 ended with 1.7 million jobs in this area unfilled worldwide, according to a report sponsored by Microsoft.
IT Workers Must Anticipate Change, Update Skills
From an employment perspective, a much more accurate approach to technology and automation is to expect change and opportunity. For IT workers, that means focusing on lifelong learning, transferable skills and frequently updating an IT resume to remain relevant on the job and in their field.
If you are “the” expert in a specific technology, have an exit plan from that niche coupled with learning experiences in the disruptor taking its place. Online studies and short, intensive courses offering a certification can quickly bring you and your resume up to speed. If the opportunity presents itself, volunteer to help with a project that will provide exposure to the target technology.
As for the future of cloud computing jobs, employment analysts express concern that there will not be enough workers to fill open IT jobs in the field. These job gains will no doubt be offset by losses for in-house IT teams, but the net result in this case is positive. A separate report commissioned by Microsoft predicts a staggering 14 million new cloud computing jobs will be created by 2015. The IT innovation generated by the flexibility and efficiency of cloud solutions could amount to $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.
So much for job destruction. Carpe opportunitatem - seize the opportunity.