Virtual Observer

Cloud Pros Making It Rain

Cloud, virtualization expertise in high demand, if rise in salaries is an indication.

Virtualization Review's sibling publication, Redmond, released its annual salary survey of IT professionals earlier and it shows some interestingly positive results for those who can lay claim to cloud and virtualization expertise. "Particularly striking is the fact that those with cloud skills are drawing the highest salaries," writes Jeffrey Schwartz, editor in chief of Redmond and the author of the report. Here, of course, he's referring specifically to Redmond readers who responded to the survey.

And that's an important distinction to remember as we look at a few of the cloud-related data points: The Redmond salary report isn't meant to be a market indicator. Instead, it's indicative of the salaries of the typical IT professional who reads and subscribes to Redmond or its Redmond Report newsletter. With that in mind, here are some key findings that Virtualization Review readers might want to check out.

As in year's past, the report includes some cloud segments. One chart, Salary by Technology Expertise, shows those with public and private cloud reporting salaries above six figures, with virtualization experts making $92,525. Public and private cloud skills are new to the survey this year, but virtualization skills were included last year. Comparatively, this year's result is higher by $3,918, or about 4 percent, than in 2012.

Among those with Microsoft-specific skills, respondents who said they were Hyper-V experts averaged $91,853. That's an improvement of 9 percent over 2012 salaries of Hyper-V experts. (Note: In 2012, the skill was listed as "Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.")

As a measure of what's taking place in the real world, let's look at a few reports. Indeed.com, a job search aggregator, shows data slurped from job listing sites. From a recent measure, virtualization architects make about $88K, with cloud architects making $115K, and business analyst cloud computing workers making about $53K. The range is wide and is often justified by expertise. Overall, Indeed shows cloud computing jobs on the aggregate making about $110,000. An interesting side note of the chart on this page: "Average Cloud Computing salaries for job postings nationwide are 62% higher than average salaries for all job postings nationwide." That's pretty significant.

Training provider GlobalKnowledge has its own IT skills report, and the salaries of those with cloud-related certifications are in line with findings at Indeed and Redmond. If we look at the basic VMware title, VMware Certified Professional, the 486 respondents reported averaging, $92,400. On the higher end, the VMware Certified Advanced Professional-Datacenter Administration, 12 respondents averaged $108,749. On the Microsoft end, the 24 respondents who earned the MCSE: Private Cloud title reported a mean salary of $89,149.

What does this all mean? I'm not sure, but I do know this: there's a demand for cloud and virtualization experts out there.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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