[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

Demand for “cloud-ready” IT workers will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015, with as many as 7 million cloud-related jobs available worldwide, according to an IDC white paper sponsored by Microsoft.

However, IT hiring managers report that the biggest reason they failed to fill an existing 1.7 million open cloud-related positions in 2012 is because job seekers lack the training and certification needed to work in a cloud-enabled world.

In the United States, the IT sector is experiencing modest growth of IT jobs in general, with the average growth in IT employment between 1.1 and 2.7 percent per year through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, amid modest growth of IT jobs, cloud-sector jobs are increasing swiftly. With the workforce unprepared to take on these jobs, there is an urgent need to retrain existing IT professionals and encourage students to pursue cloud-related IT trainings and certifications.

“Despite modest growth of the IT sector overall in the U.S., cloud-ready jobs are increasing as we head into 2013, but with this increase comes the harsh reality that workforces around the world are steps behind when it comes to attaining the skills necessary to thrive in the cloud computing industry,” said Cushing Anderson, program vice president, IDC. “Unlike IT skill shortages in the past, solving this skills gap is extremely challenging, given that cloud brings a new set of skills, which haven’t been needed in the past. There is no one-size-fits-all set of criteria for jobs in cloud computing. Therefore, training and certification is essential for preparing prospective job candidates to work in cloud-related jobs.”

The IDC White Paper investigates the impact that cloud computing will have on IT employment around the world and its influence on the way organizations staff their IT departments. IDC interviewed more than 600 hiring managers across the globe for this study.

General findings: 

• Globally, almost two-thirds of enterprises are planning, implementing or using cloud computing, and more than 50 percent of businesses agree that cloud computing is a high priority.

• However, more than three-quarters of businesses have apprehension about the security, access or data control of cloud computing.

• Lack of training, certification or experience are the top three reasons why cloud positions are not filled.

• However, cloud-related skills represent virtually all the growth opportunities in IT employment worldwide and demand for cloud-related positions will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015.

Regional findings: 

• Although the growth of IT jobs in the United States is slow, the growth picture is better outside the U.S. The overall number of IT positions in end-user organizations globally will grow at a 4.3 percent compound annual growth rate between 2011 and 2015 and reach 29.3 million in 2015, according to IDC.

• North America (U.S. and Canada). According to IDC’s regional forecasts, the U.S. accounted for 62 percent of worldwide spending for public IT cloud services last year, compared with 35 percent of worldwide IT spending in general. Canada will be a much slower adopter of public IT cloud services but a more aggressive adopter of private IT cloud services. Due to Canada’s smaller job base, though, cloud-generated jobs will grow 30 percent faster in Canada than in the United States.

• Emerging markets. The emerging markets of Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific will be home to more than 40 percent of new cloud-related jobs. These markets are predicted to grow at 34 percent annually until 2015.

• Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Last year, EMEA’s spending on public IT cloud services was approximately 40 percent of North America’s; however its investment in private clouds was equal to or more than that of North America, illustrating an aggressiveness in moving to private clouds as compared with other regions. In EMEA, IDC forecasts that cloud-related IT jobs will grow by 24 percent per year to about 1.4 million by 2015.

• Asia Pacific (APAC). APAC will adopt private IT cloud services more aggressively than either EMEA or North America. Cloud-related IT jobs will grow at 32 percent per year to more than 2.3 million in APAC by the end of 2015.

You can access the white paper here.