As the cloud continues its steady rise in adoption and utilization, the job market is looking good for those IT specialists who have cloud-related expertise. IT research firm Gartner predicted earlier this year that worldwide spending on infrastructure-as-a-service offerings would grow around 32.8 percent in 2015, reaching a total value of almost $16.5 billion by 2016. This is a clear indication that tech jobs surrounding IaaS orchestration are going to become a hot commodity.

In 2012, Network Computing contributor Mike Fratto posited that instead of disrupting the technology industry and getting rid of IT jobs, private cloud infrastructure would instead only change the nature of these jobs. Indeed, as on-premises computing comes closer to being a thing of the past, IT departments are finding new ways to utilize their skills in a cloud-focused world.

Let’s take a look at some top cloud-related jobs for IT specialists for 2016:

“The CIO will come to the engineer for all cloud infrastructure concerns.”

1. Cloud engineer

The engineer represents an umbrella title covering the more detailed jobs relating to the cloud. It can be broken up into multiple parts. Architect, security engineer and systems engineer are all positions that can potentially branch off from the engineer role. TechTarget noted that the cloud engineer should be familiar with open source technology, software development and scripting languages, among other hard skills. As the global IaaS landscape evolves, this is the IT employee the CIO will come to for just about all cloud infrastructure concerns.

2. Architect

The architect is a job that stems from the cloud engineer position. This is a high-level job that requires strong project management skills as well as an understanding of how current and emerging technologies fit into the IT strategies of a specific company. According to FierceCIO, a cloud architect reviews an organization’s technology infrastructure in order to determine how compatible it will be with cloud-based tools and solutions. This position researches and plans how these kinds of solutions will be implemented.

The cloud architect needs to know the ins and outs of a company's IT infrastructure.The cloud architect needs to basically memorize the blueprints of a company’s IT infrastructure.

3. Security engineer

Network and infrastructure security is crucial to operating in the cloud. Cloud security is even important enough to now be included in the job description for managed service providers, according to Data Center Knowledge contributor Ellen Rubin, because MSPs are making forays into the cloud space for their clients.

This kind of IT employee needs to have an intimate understanding of network protections and cloud disaster recovery and should know the ins and outs of how to maintain a secure environment. For instance, layered network security is a good way to successfully keep data safe – and the ideal cloud security technician will realize how layered security fits into an organization’s infrastructure.

Through 2016 and beyond, these kinds of jobs will continue to be central to any organization’s IT strategy. Managers and CIOs alike need to know what to look for in an IT employee, and a distinct knowledge of the cloud and how it is transforming the industry should be near the top of the list.