June 4, 2021

So I’ve heard that traditional IT infrastructure will be moving to the cloud.. is this a threat to networking specialists( engineers, architects etc)? How does it affect cyber security specialists?

So I’m going to college this fall for a 3 year program in computer networking- infrastructure and cyber security… I’ve seen things online about how cloud is going to take over. My program will teach a bit about cloud.

1)Is this a cause for concern?

2) how will it affect networking professionals?

3) will traditional networking jobs disappear. How and who will replace them?

4) How will this affect the field of cyber security?

5) is it safe to assume that learning cloud infrastructure and cloud security is going to be crucial?

6) are there certifications that will help people looking to advance in the field of cloud and cloud security?

7) are certifications like DevNet (Cisco) related to this?

8) is this whole thing about SDN?

I ask all of these questions because I’m new to this field and kind of worried. If anyone can give me their thoughts and opinions I would appreciate it very much. Should I stop overthinking about all of this and just focus on my college program?



Even if your program had current information, it would be outdated in a few years. After school you will start working and your career will change as technology changes. I wouldn’t be concerned with the current curriculum. It is intended to give you a foundation, but little more.

Yes, traditional computer networking is changing and more companies are moving to the cloud. However, the large cloud companies and many large companies in general will still need networking people. Smaller companies may not, but most never really did.


So there’s a lot to unpack here in what you’ve written, and it’s likely that once you’ve had some time at college and perhaps a little professional world experience you’ll see how these things fit together a little more.

Ultimately, ‘the Cloud’ is just someone else’s computer, you can’t see it or touch it, but they’ll let you run things on it. That means that in a similar way to traditional infrastructure (generally referred to as ‘on-premise’) you are responsible for maintaining the security of what you’re running on that cloud. Where it differs from On-Premise, is that in Cloud, you generally operate under what’s referred to as the “Shared Security Model’- you secure your application, and they are responsible for securing the underlying hardware, network, power and connectivity that it all runs on.

Following on from this- will traditional networking jobs disappear? Not for a while in my estimation, the need for competent staff to ensure that those less technically able are able to connect to the wider world is still prevalent, regardless if the pandemic WFH situation continues or not. And those with those skills will be able to translate them to whatever new technology comes around the corner- they did it when we ran networks over coax, rings and hubs, and they’ll continue to do it even when things like wifi are a distant memory and we all communicate by some futuristic interstellar network.
With advancements in technology, comes those who can find new ways to exploit them- cyber-attacks are on the rise year-on-year, and those with the skills to mitigate those attacks will become more and more valuable. The shift that needs to happen first though is that companies need to start to understand the new threat landscape and what this means for their business. Traditionally, we used to put up a firewall and poke holes in it every time we needed a new connection to an application or database. Now we need to design for constant attacks, work on the basis of trusting, but verifying, and adopting a user-centric approach to security so that we can enable users to do their jobs, but safely and transparently.
Certifications are always useful, but above all, get your hands on things, learn how things work, break them and then fix them. A cert might get you in the door, but a willingness to pick up skills off your own initiative and then demonstrate how they fit in to what you’re trying to accomplish is a quality I would always look for in a candidate, and I would take someone with no certs but the right attitude in the vast majority of cases.

Finally, don’t worry about SDN. It’s a part of the picture, but not a big one. You’ll see how it fits once you start your program and see what the whole landscape looks like. Don’t overthink, be open to learning as much as you can through your course, and if there is an area that particularly interests you, dive deep on it and learn as much as you can. As you do that, you’ll see where that knowledge overlaps with other things you learn. Above all else, enjoy it, this is an exciting time to be getting stuck into this field and you’ll be well served in future by having a solid foundational understanding.

*Edited for typos*


Cloud is taking over – especially in the new hybrid work environment. It changes the network engineer role a bit, but not as much as some may think. Networking is about connectivity and cloud still means connectivity – you just may be focused more on securing and optimizing traffic over the WAN/internet more than the LAN, though there are still LANs of course.

Learning cloud infrastructure and cloud security will be crucial, yes, in my opinion.


While Cloud adds some abstraction to networking, there still is plenty of networking skill required. Cloud is hugely sought after in the Security Consulting space. If you have time I recommend creating an AWS account and messing around with VPC. The next step would be getting a cloud provider certification.



On-prem or the cloud, doesn’t matter. Security needs to be done correctly in any environment.


Maybe when the cloud can run fiber.

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