High demand for technology skills and the professions that use them isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that IT employment will grow “much faster than the average” of all occupations through 2018. As recruiters on the front lines of the IT industry, we see this demand each and every day, especially as space continues to get bigger and more complicated. New technologies and skills are constantly emerging, giving technology professionals a constant “to-do” list to keep their resumes relevant. The good news is that this growth will continue through the decade—and beyond. As a result, IT professionals will be tasked with keeping their expertise, knowledge, and skills fresh to maintain a successful long-term career trajectory. As we look ahead to the end of this decade, here are the five skills you should have to ensure IT career success through 2020.
It’s hard to open up a web page, overhear a conversation or check social media without a mention of the cloud. The cloud is one of the most important skills IT professionals need now, and the demand isn’t expected to lessen in the future as it evolves. IT professionals will be expected to evolve right along with the cloud.
2. Computer Science and Engineering
This next skill for the future sounds sort of like a college course, and it should. Computer science and computer engineering are two of the most lucrative, in-demand courses of study for students. The fact that there currently aren’t enough qualified professionals with these skills means there will be a need for successful IT careers in these areas in the future.
At its core, technology may be all about communication—between servers, programs, the cloud, etc. But for IT professionals, it’s important to have strong interpersonal communication skills as well. Being able to clearly and articulately communicate how the technology works, while also conveying its practical applications, will be critical in future IT roles. This is especially true as globalization plays a larger and larger role in the development of organizations. It’s one thing for an IT candidate to have the hard skills to develop code, for example, but it’ s another thing to be able to clearly interact with all types of business personnel.
Effective collaboration skills will be necessary for IT career success, not only within IT teams themselves, but between technology and business departments. For companies of the future to improve their bottom lines, silos must be broken down and departments must work together. Without IT’s input, business leaders can be missing a big piece of the puzzle. At the same time, IT needs to have a handle on the greater business goals at hand—and how technology can help the company get there.
Technology is an industry where change is constant, sometimes changing by the second. Being compliant and having the ability to adapt to curve balls will be crucial skills for IT professionals of the future. Adaptability and flexibility will be especially important in an environment when things change so rapidly. All professionals, no matter what their field, are faced with changing expectations, new requirements and the need for continuing education. Given the nature of their work, many IT professionals will have to meet all of these expectations—and more—to forge a successful technology career both today and into the future.
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