7 Skills to Future-Proof Your Tech Career
Choosing a tech career path was a wise move. Tech skills are always in demand, but how do you ensure that yours remain the right ones? It takes strategic planning and regular research to keep your tech skills current. Here, we give you a heads up on what skills you should hone to make sure you are always in demand among tech employers in Kerry and worldwide:
Companies are making significant investments in cloud technology, and they want to ensure they are getting value for money, so the demand for people with skills in cloud computing and software can only increase. Even better, all the major global cloud providers have operations in Ireland (think Amazon, Apple, DataPlex, Google, Microsoft and TeleCity). Skills you should focus on include:
- Cloud security
- Big data analysis
- Capacity management
- SQL, Java, Linux
- Quality Assurance
Fears about cybersecurity and the growing sophistication of hackers mean that demand for information security professionals is predicted to grow to 6 million internationally by 2019, with a projected shortfall in personnel of 1.5 million, according to Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec, the world’s biggest security software provider.
A good starting point for anybody contemplating a career in information security is a degree in computer science, programming, or engineering. And with threats to global cybersecurity never out of the news, there are few safer long-term career bets.
Opportunities in the field include:
- Data privacy
- Regulatory compliance
- Penetration testing
- Ethical hacking
- Chief Information Security Officer
- Risk managers
With enormous data volumes now driving the next generation of business applications, individuals who can make sense of the huge amount of data collected continuously around every area of business operations are in great demand. So-called big data blends data management and handling with mathematical tools and models to interpret what the data mean.
Analytics managers, data architects and data integration engineers are highly sought after to plan and create the infrastructures that businesses will need to exploit their data to its fullest potential. With the world of big data growing so fast and becoming ever more vital for business success, IT workers who can help companies interpret data and use it to strategize business growth can command excellent salaries. High-demand jobs in the area include:
- Hadoop (HBase) developer
- MongoDB developer
- Big data engineer
- Enterprise data architect
Database Administration & Development
There is a certain convergence between database administration and big data. This area of the database business deals more with mainstream, SQL-oriented database engines and associated tools and platforms than with alternatives like Hadoop and MongoDB, however. If you want to stay ahead of the curve as a DBA or database developer, you will need to maintain your skills in data warehousing and mining, business intelligence, and analytics. When it comes to platforms and tools, focus on Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle – the undisputed leaders in this IT field.
Programmers generally have a broad set of skills, but this is one area where you really need to keep abreast of trends and stay informed. In-demand skills such as JiRA, Drupal, Apache Cordova, and F# will boost your marketability, as will SQL, Java, Perl, Ruby and R. The Internet of Things will drive the Big Data frenzy, making API developers even more valuable, particularly if they have data architecture expertise.
Companies are increasingly looking for that something extra, however. Whether it is team-work, leadership, or a willingness to speak to customers, software developers who want to stay ahead need to show something more than a capacity to sit in a corner and write code all day. Experienced IT professionals with sound business skills who are conversant in a wide range of languages and platforms are in greater demand, and senior roles will always be available for savvy techies who understand a company’s operational and business needs.
IT Operations & Governance
IT operations and governance straddle the boundary between IT as a technology and IT as a business function. This aspect of IT relies less on tech skills and more on an ability to stand back and view the bigger picture of the IT function, particularly its contribution to fulfilling business goals, boosting productivity and profitability, and adding a competitive edge. As a professional in this area, you must ensure compliance with relevant rules, regulations, and best practices. There are interesting opportunities here for IT professionals who are keen to influence and enact the policies and procedures associated with lifecycle management.
Useful skills & knowledge include:
- Lifecycle management processes & practices rules
- Resource allocation
- Risk management
- Strategic decision making
Networking does not have an exciting image. Sure, the network is what ensures that all the systems, services, and applications work, bringing distant enterprises together, but many view it as mere housekeeping. In reality, however, the wiring, infrastructure, and connections that keep our networks running are what ensure that businesses can operate and make profit. Skilled network engineers will always be in demand because of the demands of data: We will always want to store more data, access it faster, and use it more effectively. For this we need good networking professionals who understand both the hardware and the virtualised software involved.
To keep your networking skills currents, keep an eye on advances like:
- Software defined networking (SDN)
- Network functions virtualisation (NFV)