What Skills Do Cloud Architects Need to Succeed?

With more businesses turning to the cloud at a rapid pace, cloud architects have assumed an increasingly prominent role. Cloud architects aren’t just tasked with building out an organization’s cloud-computing architecture—they must also show stakeholders (including executives) how their cloud strategy is a viable one.

If you want to become a cloud architect, you’ll need to master several abstract concepts, including the architectural principles and services that form the foundation of organizations’ cloud buildouts. Depending on the company, the architect may also need a solid grasp of cloud-migration techniques and how to address very specific high-risk issues. It’s a job that involves a mix of technical and soft skills—a key reason why the median annual salary is $131,513, according to an analysis by Emsi Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes job-posting data from across the country.

When companies post a job for a cloud architect, what sort of skills are they looking for? Emsi Burning Glass gives us some insight into that, as well (this data is from the past 90 days):

As you might expect, knowing Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) is key, as many companies rely on these services for their cloud backbone. Knowledge of Python, Java, Linux, SQL, Docker, and other ultra-popular languages and technologies is likewise important. Things only get more complex at companies that’ve embraced a hybrid combination of cloud and on-premises solutions, forcing cloud architects to deal with even more tools and platforms (and rely more heavily on tools that automate system configuration and software deployment).

Interested in the cloud, but not quite up to the architect level? There are lots of options out there for cloud training, including on AWS and Azure. If you’re pursuing a cloud architect track, you can consider earning certifications such as Google’s Professional Cloud Architect, which will demonstrate to employers that you possess certain skills. As you load up on technical training, just don’t forget to also keep your soft skills polished.