January 13, 2011, 10:12 AM — Despite so many optimistic predictions from Gartner, IDC and other surveys about the growth of cloud computing that they're almost an industry in themselves, there's no better indication of real interest from real companies than spending on a new technology.
[ See also: How to build a career in cloud computing ]
And due to the collateral costs of hiring - benefits, space, power, travel, training - there's no better indication of a company's intentions than its plans to hire more people with specific skills, says Tom Kiblin, CEO of cloud- and location-hosting company Virtacore.
Data from Dice.com showing that the number of ads for full-time IT jobs focused on cloud computing grew 344% between Nov. 2009 and Nov., 2010 should be a good indication of how quickly demand for those skills is growing.
The number was tiny in 2009 - only 378, but grew to 1,300 postings this year for jobs with titles like cloud computing architect and technical leader for cloud, says Dice.com's data.
Growth in demand for server virtualization - a cloud-computing precursor with much wider acceptance in the market, grew 78% between Nov. 2009 and Nov. 2010. That's nearly double the 40% increase in overall IT job ads the service itself saw during that time, according to an analyst from the company.
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The IT market in general is just getting back to where it was during the fourth quarter of 2008, the last real high mark, according to John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology, the IT recruiting wing of Robert Half International, which recently issued its latest quarterly IT hiring survey.
Virtualization and cloud computing are among the most hotly pursued skills, but not at the top of the list, Reed says. Application developers and Web specialists take those honors, largely because companies that put projects on the shelf when the recession started are dusting them off and relaunching them, he says.
Cloud and virtualization skills tend to fall, among RHT's clients, with networking and security specialists, all of which are in high demand at companies that do IT for other people -- engineering and consulting companies, law firms, outsourcers and management consultants, he says.