Microsoft urges upskilling as analysts observe surge in demand for cloud specialists

  • Worldwide IT employment expected to grow 4% year-on-year up to 2020: IDC
  • 37% of survey respondents in the Middle East and Africa region cited a skills gap as the main barrier to cloud adoption: Microsoft
  • ‘Training is the best investment you can make in your career,’ says, Cloud & Enterprise Business Solutions Lead, Microsoft Gulf

Microsoft today called for IT professionals across UAE and the wider Middle East to prepare themselves for a cloud future by sharpening their skills in Microsoft Azure, through the company’s cloud trainings and certifications .

Azure trainings and certifications run as a blend of scheduled and on-demand online courses, covering generalised and niche, cloud-focused subject areas for getting up to speed with Azure. IT Pros can choose to learn in Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) with labs, or study for a test and take a certification exam. Completing any MOOC includes a digital certificate of completion, and passing a certification exam earns IT Pros the related certification and its digital badges.

“Microsoft’s cloud trainings allow IT professionals to broaden their horizons by gaining practical, instantly applicable cloud skills,” said Necip Ozyucel, Cloud & Enterprise Business Solutions Lead, Microsoft Gulf. “Whether beginner or expert, we have the course to help them level up in their cloud career. We have invested heavily in Azure training, because our global reach and Azure’s versatility means it is a platform that can fit any need, no matter the business scale, no matter the industry; so anyone who takes our courses will learn things that relate directly to their existing job and allow them to add value. Our trainings will show you guide IT Pros to build hybrid or open-source solutions, and the courseware provides tactile learning experiences that you can employ immediately, while earning technical certifications that prepare you for rewarding career advancement.”

A recent worldwide survey conducted by Microsoft showed a marked increase in the salaries of cloud professionals, as companies recruit for their digital transformation journeys. The survey also noted that 37% of respondents in the Middle East and Africa region cited a skills gap as the main barrier to cloud adoption.

“In the GCC, governments have initiated bold economic-development visions centred on technology,” said Ozyucel. “Much of the activity in the private and public sectors around these programmes – especially given the emerging constraints of the petrochemical price dip – is about doing more with less. In the context of digital transformation, that means cloud, so the surge in demand for cloud specialists is to be expected.”

An IDC forecast from 2015 projects that by 2020, more than one in three IT positions worldwide will be cloud related and that the cloud-readiness of professionals will start to have a significant impact on operations. The report also suggested IT employment worldwide will grow by around 4% every year up to 2020, and that all growth will occur in cloud-related positions.

“Azure  training courses ready participants for Microsoft Certified Professional exams, which allow them to earn the kind of accreditation that opens new doors. Acquiring cloud skills has become a critical component in organisational success. Our certifications will enable IT experts to reimagine their firm’s IT infrastructure, preparing them for a competitive digital future”.  Added Ozyucel

But it is not just infrastructure that can be transformed in the Azure cloud. With their newfound skill base, Azure professionals will be able to show their organisations and customers how to build transformative solutions from Microsoft’s tried and tested AI platforms. Business intelligence and analytics solutions can reinvent customer engagement strategies. Natural-language processing modules can automate and streamline customer service through chat-bots; and communications tools can ensure that organisations keep their employees connected and collaborating, wherever they may be in the world.

An IDC White Paper sponsored by Microsoft Corp. shows global demand for “cloud-ready” IT workers will grow by 26 percent annually through 2015 and onwards, with as many as 7 million cloud-related jobs available worldwide.  According to the study, IT hiring managers report that the biggest reason they failed to fill 1.7 million open cloud-related positions in 2012 was because job seekers lacked the training and certification needed to work in a cloud-enabled world.

“Training is one of the best investments you can make in your career,” said Ozyucel. “Azure Certifications can be the first step in your journey towards cloud expertise. Then you will be in a better position to add value to your employer’s business or to help your customers with their own journeys to digital transformation, where they can benefit from Microsoft Azure’s global coverage across 36 regions.”

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