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Cloud, Virtualization Gurus: What Title Is Right?

A lot of companies are just looking for basic skills and experience

IT people with skills and experience in server virtualization, cloud computing or both have a far greater chance of getting and keeping jobs than most other IT people now, according to recruiters and analysts. But what do you call these gurus?

There's no accepted standard for what to call either virtualization or cloud-computing specialists, so jobseekers will have to look for a range of keywords-and include those in their resumes-to find a match with particular employers, says Dice.com spokesperson.

If you are searching for a virtualization or cloud role, watch your search terms, she says.

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Just using "virtualization" as a keyword, for example, pulled up 880 jobs on Dice.com on one day last week, for example.

However, there are another 900 jobs that include 'VMware' as a keyword with no mention of virtualization. That leads us to conclude that searching based on vendor is particularly important in virtualization jobs.

Common terms for virtualization specialists include: Architect SAN/Virtualization; Citrix / VMware specialist or administrator; Data Center Virtualization Systems Analyst; and Product Manager for Large Scale Virtualization

Cloud Job Searching Tricky

People looking for new jobs described using "cloud computing" may not be completely out of luck, but they're not far off, according to M. Victor Janulaitis, CEO of IT job-market researchers Janco Associates, which published this month a survey of CIO hiring plans for 2010.

"I have seen some people just use 'cloud specialist' to describe themselves," Janulaitis says. "There's not really a set of terms yet that are common to refer to cloud computing skills-they just refer to them as architecture or infrastructure skill sets. "

Other people just add "cloud" or "virtualization" onto more common titles such as system administrator, systems engineer, architect, or network engineer.

Remember, it's not unusual for employers or prospective employers to use the name of a particular vendor or new technology as a primary identifier in a job ad, especially if they're looking for someone certified in that vendor's technology, according to a senior vice president of tech-job ad site Dice North America.

Normally a company would look for technical skills in a particular technology, not just one vendor's products, Janulaitis says.

"With the economy the way it is, and now people are talking about the possibility of a double-dip recession, a lot of companies are just looking for basic skills and experience," Janulaitis says.

That means plugging holes where they have to-by hiring one person with experience managing VMWare servers, for example-or a lot of junior-level generalists who can be trained in the skills that company needs, Janulaitis says.

Virtualization Salaries Flattening?

Salaries for virtualization specialists have also hit a plateau, though the ads for them increased 30 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.

After surging 10 percent in 2008 and into 2009, salaries for virtualization experts were flat this year at an average of $84,777, Dice.com data shows.

That's still a premium compared to the national average of $78,845 per year for other tech workers, however.

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