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Cloud engineers must refine specific cloud computing skills in order to be successful in their roles. These skills range from software development and database administration to change management and data security, Mullen says. Paying attention to details and working as part of a team is also important.

These skills are similar to what a student in a typical computer science course may learn, or what a professional in a traditional on-premise computing environment may need. Many other computer science principles are also applicable to cloud computing, including computation, data structure, and system architecture. 

While there is often overlap between computer science and cloud computing coursework, there is value in education and training that is specifically tailored to a career in cloud engineering, Mullen asserts. Cloud engineers can especially benefit from specialized training in two key areas: gaining hands-on experience with cloud platforms and understanding how cloud resources are allocated and paid for. 

You can expect a slight bump in salary if you begin your career with a master's degree instead of a bachelor's. According to PayScale, a cloud computing professional with a bachelor's in computer science earns $116,044 on average, while those with a master's earn an average of $124,723.

Most of the increase in earnings in the field comes from years of experience. According to PayScale, the average salary for a cloud engineer with one to four years of experience is $87,637. Someone with five to nine years of experience earns an average of $105,027, and 10 to 19 years of experience will get you $128,465. Cloud computing jobs haven't been around for long, but it's expected that salary will continue to rise for professionals in the field as they gain experience.

After spending some time as a cloud engineer, you may be able to advance to become a computer and information systems manager, a position for which the annual median pay is $142,530. After that, you may be able to advance to a higher management position within an IT department and, eventually to chief technology officer. If you decide to go more toward the business side, you could become a chief information officer and eventually a top-level executive.

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