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Cloud Engineer vs Cyber Security: Which Tech Career Path is Right for You?

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What is a Cloud Engineer?

Cloud Engineer

Cloud computing technology has revolutionized the way businesses operate, making it possible to store, process, and manage data remotely, anytime, and anywhere. Cloud engineers are highly specialized professionals responsible for creating, deploying, and maintaining cloud computing infrastructures and services tailored to meet the evolving needs of businesses.

A cloud engineer typically works in accordance with an organization’s business objectives, ensuring that cloud-based services are delivered effectively, efficiently, and securely. They are responsible for designing and overseeing the implementation of cloud-based architectures, configuring cloud storage and networking, optimizing cloud resources, and ensuring the availability of services to users.

Cloud engineers must possess a deep understanding of cloud computing technology, as well as expertise in areas such as software development, infrastructure management, and networking. They must also stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in cloud computing, testing, and automation, to ensure that their organization maximizes the benefits of cloud computing technology while reducing potential risks.

As a cloud engineer, their roles can vary depending on the organization or project they are working on. A cloud engineer may be involved in building and managing large-scale cloud infrastructures, deploying cloud-based solutions to improve business processes, providing technical assistance to teams, and identifying optimization opportunities to ensure the cloud environment runs effectively and efficiently. They are responsible for the planning, design, and implementation of cloud solutions and must possess strong analytical and problem-solving skills to identify and resolve issues promptly.

In conclusion, the role of a cloud engineer is crucial to modern businesses that rely on cloud computing technology. Cloud engineers provide organizations with reliable, secure, and scalable cloud infrastructures that help them stay productive, competitive, and efficient in today’s digital age.

What is a Cyber Security Specialist?

Cyber Security Specialist image

A Cyber Security Specialist is a professional who is responsible for protecting an organization’s network and computer systems from unauthorized access, attacks, and theft of data. Cyber Security Specialists work to ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of an organization’s digital assets. The main priority of Cyber Security Specialists is to identify security breaches and minimize the risk of unauthorized access to the organization’s data by implementing security measures such as firewalls, encryption, and other security protocols.

Cyber Security Specialist job responsibilities include:

  1. Developing and implementing security policies, procedures, and guidelines
  2. Conducting regular security audits to identify potential vulnerabilities and threats
  3. Monitoring and detecting security breaches and responding effectively to them
  4. Utilizing modern security tools and technologies to enhance the security of an organization’s network, applications, and systems
  5. Providing training to employees on best security practices and ensuring compliance with security policies
  6. Investigating security incidents and recommending remediation actions
  7. Analyzing system logs, network traffic, and security data to identify potential security threats and prevent them from happening

Cyber Security Specialists must also keep up-to-date with the latest security trends and technologies to remain relevant in the field. They should have a deep understanding of current cyber threats and the techniques used by attackers, as well as the skills to identify and mitigate those threats. Therefore, cyber security certifications are a requirement for many organizations.

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Cyber Security Specialists are in high demand due to the increased frequency of cyberattacks and the potentially devastating effect they can have on organizations. Being a Cyber Security Specialist comes with a lot of responsibilities and requires a high level of technical skill and knowledge. However, it’s also one of the most rewarding careers for those who enjoy solving complex problems, being challenged, and keeping up with emerging technologies.

Differences in Education and Certification

Education and Certification

Both cloud engineering and cyber security require a specific set of skills, education, and certification. Cloud engineering focuses on designing and managing cloud-based solutions, while cyber security is focused on protecting against online threats. As such, their education and certification requirements differ.


Cloud engineering typically requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Candidates need to know programming languages, database management, networking, and cloud computing platforms, like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Cyber security professionals need education specific to combat threats to computers, servers, networks, and mobile devices. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field with a focus on cyber security can lead to cybersecurity jobs. A master’s degree in cybersecurity or cyber operations can elevate your knowledge.


The cloud engineering paths like Solutions Architect or DevOps Engineer require certification with the associated platform, such as AWS Certified Solutions Architect or Microsoft Certified Azure DevOps Engineer Expert. These certifications validate your skills in designing and deploying cloud-based solutions. Cyber security has several certification platforms like Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), and CompTIA Security+. These certifications validate cybersecurity professionals’ knowledge specializing in different areas within the field, such as risk management or penetration testing.

Continuing Education:

The ever-changing tech landscape requires staying up-to-date on new security threats and cloud-based tools to protect against them. Both cloud engineers and cybersecurity professionals need to keep learning beyond their formal education to stay ahead.

Cloud engineering offers a variety of certification paths, including AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, Microsoft Certified Azure Developer, Google Certified Professional Cloud Developer, and more. These certifications keep engineers up-to-date on new advancements and show that they are improving their skillset.

Similarly, in cybersecurity, many certifications require renewal every few years to stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and protecting against newer threats. For example, the CISSP certification requires earning Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits to renew every three years.


While cloud engineering and cybersecurity are not always synonymous, they require specific yet complementary skill sets and certifications. Cloud engineering is about designing and managing cloud-based solutions, whereas cybersecurity focuses on protecting against online threats. In both careers, keeping up with changes in technology is crucial, and certification is a way to validate the knowledge and skills of cloud engineers or cybersecurity professionals.

Job Responsibilities and Skills Required

Job Responsibilities and Skills Required

Cloud engineering and cyber security are two different yet complementary fields. Cloud engineers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining cloud computing systems, while cyber security professionals focus on protecting computer and network systems from cyber attacks. Both roles require a range of skills and responsibilities, each with different levels of complexity.

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Cloud Engineer Job Responsibilities and Skills Required

Cloud Engineer

Cloud engineers are responsible for designing and maintaining cloud computing systems. They must have a deep understanding of the technology and the ability to integrate it into an organization’s infrastructure. They are also responsible for monitoring and managing cloud performance, ensuring high availability and scalability. Key responsibilities of a cloud engineer include:

  • Designing and Building Cloud Systems: Cloud engineers design and building cloud infrastructures, they need to be proficient in cloud system architecture and a familiarity with common cloud technologies. They need to have a good grasp of Java, Python, and other programming languages.
  • Managing Cloud Performance: Cloud engineers need to ensure that the cloud systems are performant and stable. They need to monitor services and servers to detect problems. They also need to maintain adequate backup and data recovery systems to mitigate potential data loss.
  • Creating and Implementing Policies: Cloud deployment policies are set to ensure security, mitigating against loss of data, and maintenance of other cloud-focused parameters. Cloud Engineers create user policies, associated personnel & security policies for data, procedures for eliminating data breaches, among other policies.
  • Data Security: Cloud security is of utmost importance to cloud engineers. Armed with a deep knowledge of cloud security principles and practices, cloud engineers work with other security personnel to ensure that client data is secure and protected.
  • Strong Communication: Communication is important because cloud engineers need to collaborate with different personnel in the management of cloud infrastructures. A cloud engineer must be able to communicate technical information to non-technical people and efficiently collaborate with different departments in the company.

Cyber Security Job Responsibilities and Skills Required

Cyber Security

Cyber Security is concerned with protecting a company’s computer and network systems from cyber attacks. Cybersecurity professionals need to be highly skilled to tackle a variety of threats and ensure that organizations are secure and functional. Key responsibilities of cybersecurity job roles include:

  • Identifying Security Threats: Cybersecurity professionals identify the potential cyber threats to an organization and propose ways to counter the risks.
  • Creating Security Policies: Cybersecurity professionals must develop and implement company-level data security policies.
  • Implementing Security Solutions: Cybersecurity teams provide better data security by suggesting, choosing and administering security solutions (SIEM, IDS, IPS, etc.) appropriate to the organization.
  • Educating Personnel: Cybersecurity personnel needs to educate employees on best security practices and monitor adherence to policies that have been put in place.
  • Strong Analytical Skills: Cybersecurity professionals need to demonstrate strong analytical capacities. The ability to identify and respond quickly to cyber threats is key.
  • Creative Thinking: Creative thinking is needed in cybersecurity to develop innovative strategies to deal with cyber threats. The creative brain may spot and fix vulnerabilities ignored by others.
  • Effective Communication: Cybersecurity teams must be able to communicate technical information in non-technical terms (in layman’s terms) to other employees and stakeholders across different departments.
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Although cloud engineering and cybersecurity differ, these job roles share similar competencies, such as effective communication, analytical thinking, and problem-solving. Both jobs may require a college degree, but this is not a prerequisite because a high proficiency in relevant technologies and a good understanding of industry trend and developments is necessary. If you’re interested in a career in a field focused on securing, organizing, and maintaining computer and network infrastructure, then cloud engineering or cybersecurity role may be the right fit for you.

Career Growth Opportunities and Salary Comparison

Career growth opportunities and salary comparison

So, you’re interested in either becoming a Cloud Engineer or a Cyber Security expert. Which one is a better path for your career growth and offers a higher salary? Let’s compare the two and see which one comes out on top.

Career Growth Opportunities

Career growth opportunities

Both Cloud Engineers and Cyber Security experts are in demand in today’s tech-driven world and have promising career growth opportunities. However, according to a report by Forbes, there will be a bigger demand for Cloud Engineers in the coming years, with an estimated growth rate of 18%.

Cloud Engineers develop and maintain the infrastructure of cloud-based applications. They need to have a strong understanding of different cloud platforms, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. As more and more companies move towards cloud-based infrastructure, the demand for Cloud Engineers will continue to rise.

Cyber Security experts, on the other hand, are responsible for securing the digital assets of a company. They need to have in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity threats and regulations. With the rise in cyber-attacks and data breaches, the demand for Cyber Security experts is also increasing.

Both Cloud Engineers and Cyber Security experts have the opportunity to work for top-notch companies with excellent benefits, such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.

Salary Comparison

salary comparison

According to Indeed, the average salary for a Cloud Engineer in the US is $123,200 per year, while the average salary for a Cyber Security expert is approximately $99,800 per year. However, this can vary depending on a range of factors, such as experience, location, and company size.

Cloud Engineers with over five years of experience can expect to earn an average salary of around $150,000 per year. Cyber Security experts with similar experience can expect to earn an average salary of around $120,000 per year.

There’s no doubt that both Cloud Engineering and Cyber Security are lucrative fields with excellent career growth opportunities and salaries. However, in terms of which one is better, it depends on your interests and skillset. If you’re interested in working with cloud platforms and developing cloud-based applications, then Cloud Engineering may be the better choice for you. However, if you’re passionate about cybersecurity and want to protect digital assets, then Cyber Security may be the right path.

Ultimately, you need to consider your interests, strengths, and career aspirations when deciding which path to take. Both Cloud Engineering and Cyber Security have a bright future, and with the right skills and education, you can succeed in either field.