Cloud security

Demand for cloud security skills expected to grow; certifications among top salaries

People walk past a Google Cloud exhibit during the at the 2019 IAA Frankfurt Auto Show on Sept. 11, 2019, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. A Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification helps land a $169,029 salary, according to a list of top-paying IT certifications for 2021. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Demand for cloud security skills has been predicted by Burning Glass to grow by 115% over the next five years — and that’s why it makes sense that certifications for cloud skills made news this week.

First, four cloud-focused certs were included in the Global Knowledge 15 Top-Paying IT Certifications List for 2021.

And, SANS announced the new GIAC Public Cloud Security (GPCS) certification, which covers skills in the three major cloud service provider platforms: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform.

Global Knowledge based its list on the 3,700 U.S. respondents who participated in the Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Survey. Respondents who held the cloud certifications included in the list all commanded salaries in excess of $100,000.

The top-paying cloud certifications listed were the following:

  • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect, average salary: $169,029.
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect, Associate, average salary: $159,033.
  • Nutanix Certified Professional – Multi-cloud Infrastructure, average salary: $142,810.
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate, average salary: $121,420.

It’s not surprising that some of the top paying certifications today are based on the cloud, said John Morgan, CEO at Confluera. Morgan said there has been confusion in the industry on how to best secure cloud infrastructure and services, especially where the built-in security ends and where third-party security starts.

“There are advancements being made on both fronts and in-depth understanding of the cloud services will better prepare the security analysts to maximize the cloud service capabilities, as well as select and deploy the complementing third-party security solutions,” Morgan said.

Hank Schless, senior manager, security solutions at Lookout, said it’s no real secret that the cybersecurity industry has far more job openings than people who can fill them. Schless said GIAC’s GPCS is a great way to make sure that cloud security hires have knowledge of each of the three most widely used cloud platforms. 

“Cloud services exist at the center of almost everything we do to be productive for both our work and personal lives,” Schless said. “Behind each of those services is a team of engineers charged with securing data and ensuring secure user access to the back-end services.”

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