By Lina Arshad
With the impressive growth Microsoft Azure has seen over the past couple of years, there have never been more opportunities for Azure professionals, both new and current, to expand their horizons and take advantage of the increased opportunities and earning potential driven by high demand.
Since 2017, cloud service uptake has been massive, and Microsoft Azure in particular has seen promising growth, accounting for 23% of the total global cloud market share by the end of 2022 according to Statista. With more people than ever using the vendor, the demand for Azure professionals has skyrocketed. But with the recent period of mass turnover, dubbed the Great Resignation, and a digital skills gap creating an imbalance between the amount of available talent to meet this demand, the odds are in professionals’ favor. They have better leverage to dictate their own working terms and conditions such as flexible working hours, remote working, and even higher salaries!
With a focus on fresh talent and neglected talent pools to take the lead in bridging the skills gap, the question on existing Azure professionals’ lips is: How can we stand out and compete with the new talent businesses are going after with their recruitment efforts?
And the answer is, there are many! Here are just a few of our favorite ways to increase your Microsoft Azure earnings:
In this blog, we’ll be talking about each of these in greater detail. So, whether you’re in the early stages of your career, or already a well-seasoned professional, there will be some advice to help you get a bigger paycheck.
Azure is a niche in itself, but with it being so multi-faceted, the chances of you knowing everything about the vendor would be one mean feat. But, luckily, by specializing in one specific area of it, you can ensure you stand out to employers and unlock greater earning potential at the same time.
With so many specialist pathways available, you may be asking yourself how you find the one for you—and there are a couple of ways to do this. For one, you could choose an industry you already have experience in, and have enjoyed working in, and target your cloud implementation efforts there. Chances are there will be many others within that industry who are looking to complete their own digital transformation, whether it’s the healthcare industry, financial sector, or something else!
You could also think about your strengths and the specific role you want to hold within a business’s move to the cloud. For example, do you want to get hands-on with coding, or do you want to liaise with stakeholders and provide a solution for their business requirements?
There are plenty of lucrative careers to be forged with Azure, but if you want some extra information, why not check out the salary tables in our Nigel Frank Careers and Hiring Guide: Microsoft 365 and Azure Edition 2023? Here, we’ve benchmarked salaries of key Azure roles across the globe, so you can gauge what you could be earning short- and long-term.
We’ve seen a huge shift in the way people work over the past couple of years, with our report finding that at least 43% of Microsoft professionals are now working from home full-time, and another 44% working from home at least some of the time each week. Not only has this provided people with better flexibility in their schedules, but it’s also removed the geographical barriers that have limited people’s earnings in the past.
For example, in previous years, only those in major capital cities were traditionally reaping the rewards of higher salaries to balance the increased costs of living there. However, since many companies have moved away from exclusively hiring workers within commutable distance of their office headquarters, people from all locations are now able to benefit from the higher salaries offered, too.
Searching for remote roles in thriving tech areas can mean your chances of increasing your Azure earning potential are heightened—and you get to work from wherever you want. Sounds like a win to us!
Although any skill is worth learning, there are certain ones in the Azure (and the more general tech) industry that seem to hold more value than others—specifically, in terms of how much employers are willing to pay a professional who has mastered them.
One example of this is coding. And while we’re not all Developers, it’s a skill that can yield you some extra cash, so could be one worth learning regardless of your desired career path. Chances are, at some point, an organization you work for will need a helping hand with it, and you could be the one to step up to the plate—gaining a pay rise or additional fee in the process.
Similarly, data storytelling and management is a largely in-demand skill within the tech sector—giving leverage to those who can work efficiently and effectively through datasets and using visualized findings to drive business strategy forward. So, this could mean you learn how to use visualization tools such as Tableau or take some courses on data analysis to ensure you can bring meaningful insights to any business.
Continuing to evolve as a professional is important to ensure you never stop learning, and in turn, can develop your skill set and expertise within the industry. And while tech can be a very competitive landscape, there are a couple of different ways you can grow your personal brand.
If you’d like to focus on your online presence, joining LinkedIn groups and contributing regularly to Twitter discussions or even creating your own hashtag and sharing your tips, tricks, and findings can help you make a name for yourself in the Azure world. Remember that LinkedIn is a main tool that recruiters and businesses use to find professionals like you, so any achievements and projects should be listed for them to see.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to become an MVP, focus on how you can make a difference to, and contribute to, the ecosystem. Maybe you are passionate about sharing your knowledge with those from disadvantaged backgrounds, or you’re planning campaigning activities to help diverse groups get better STEM education at school, so they can forge a tech career. Whatever you choose to do, being loud and proud about it is sure to get you noticed which can unlock many lucrative opportunities, giving you great leverage to increase your Azure earning potential.
Nobody can acknowledge and appreciate your value if you stay in the shadows, meaning it’s crucial to get out there and network. Whether this be at any of the Microsoft events and user group meetups, attending webinars, or contributing to online forums and groups, getting to know the professionals around you can mean you learn new skills—meaning you’ll be able to charge more for your knowledge.
Work takes up a big part of our lives, and that’s why it’s so important to do something we love. However, when we do something for the majority of our week, we can sometimes forget to stay up to date with it outside of our working hours. This is a sure way to fall behind in an industry as fast-paced as tech, and particularly given Azure’s ever-accelerating growth. To avoid this, and ensure you can command higher salaries, be sure to take advantage of the free resources around you. Tech blogs, YouTube channels, and community pages can help you to stay relevant and in-the-know.
Not sure where to start? Check out our blog on the best Azure learning resources to give you a head start.
According to our Careers and Hiring Guide, getting certified has many benefits including making you stand out more to hiring managers, making you more marketable, and verifying your knowledge to employers. And while all these things in themselves are great, 29% of respondents also stated that they believed it helped them increase their earning potential. More specifically, certified professionals said they had received a 25% salary increase when they gained an Azure certification.
That being said, while certifications are no longer the be-all and end-all for hiring managers, they’re still something that can set you apart from another candidate. They also show you have dedicated time, effort, and money into your career and your learning, which can put you even further ahead of the competition who haven’t been certified.
Not sure which certifications you should be taking for your chosen career path? Check out our ultimate guide to Azure certification to get you on the right track.
Being paid what we’re worth is important for all of us, and when you take our top six tips, you will be well on the way to increasing your earning potential in the Azure world.
Looking for more career advice? We have plenty on our Nigel Frank blog to ensure you get the most out of your career.
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