How to stand out and get hired as a data scientist by learning Cloud skills
Career · 9 Jun 2022, 05:42

Today we’re joined by Tamrat Ogubai, as he explains the importance of having Cloud skills as a data scientist. Tamrat Ogubai is the Head of Partnerships at Zindi, and he speaks to large corporations, startups, and global tech companies daily in his role.

“Every day, I get questions from interested hiring companies - does our Zindi community understand Cloud?”

In Europe and North America, cloud computing is in its mature stages; there are still some lagging industries, but the majority have already made the shift. Africa is the next frontier, and we are seeing a massive shift towards the cloud. From Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, all these skills are in huge demand and can bring a great paycheck.

“Having cloud skills is lucrative, at all levels from junior to senior,” says Tam. “Having worked for both Microsoft and Google, I know first-hand how important Cloud is for organisations from innovative startups to profitable megacorporations.”

Cloud skills in the African context

In the African context, Tam adds, “aspiring data professionals should be on the lookout for what the market demands, especially in this era of accessible and affordable online education, MOOCs and courses.”

Did you know that Zindi is giving away 100 vouchers for the Microsoft Cloud Skills Challenge, in partnership with Microsoft? To apply for a voucher, you need to submit a screenshot of you registered for the Cloud Skills Challenge and show that you are 90% complete with one of the courses. Please fill in the form here to get a voucher!

In the last few years, global tech companies like Microsoft, Google, NVIDIA and others have opened up new data centres, headquarters and initiatives across Africa. The continent has a young workforce and is the next frontier for full adoption of the cloud. In particular, machine learning, artificial intelligence and other data science applications require computing power which is hard to scale outside of the cloud, so companies are looking for resources on-demand. But companies need experienced cloud engineers who know how to set up, operate, and maintain the various infrastructures.

In-demand Cloud skills for data practitioners

1. Coding and Database Management System (DBMS) skills

Cloud offers the capacity to handle a large volume of data, which enables software developers to build, host, and execute robust applications that are fast and scalable. Programming languages like Python, PHP, Ruby, Perl, Java, and .NET are the most popular to build applications on Cloud. Thus, having coding skills gives you an edge when building a career in Cloud computing.

Similarly, database management is another important skill that you should have in order to succeed in the Cloud domain.

2.5 quintillion bytes of data are estimated to be added every day to the world, and companies look for professionals who can set up, access, and manage databases to leverage big data. Having knowledge of SQL, MySQL, MongoDB, or Hadoop, therefore, is key to success.

2. Cloud certifications

All the major cloud service providers offer training and certifications in their respective Cloud technologies to help developers kickstart their careers in Cloud. A hands-on training followed by a certification boosts your competency in the field, and definitely benchmarks your skills that you can showcase in an interview.

Get a solid foundation in machine learning and AI concepts including computer vision, natural language processing, and conversational AI by joining the Microsoft certified Azure AI Fundamentals course.

Practice your cloud skills on the Zindi challenge, Microsoft Rice Disease Classification.

3. Multiple Cloud technologies

To progress in your career as a Cloud professional, understanding and experience with multiple Cloud technologies can be an added advantage. Proficiency in one Cloud technology can be good, but having versatile skills in more than one Cloud technology enables you to work seamlessly in different Cloud environments, a skill that is not only impressive but essential for a Cloud master.

4. Information Security skills

With the increased volume of data, the number of threats has also increased in the Cloud environment. You should have the basic knowledge of cybersecurity and encryption-decryption algorithms; along with learning Cloud technologies, familiarise yourself with cybersecurity and data safety.

5. Business management skills

To reach the top in a company, you need to develop business skills, even with a technical background. Cloud professionals also need to develop soft skills like communication, negotiation, and leadership.