Skills of the Future
Some thoughts about IT skills in a near future
It was not long ago when some of us realized that machines, algorithms and software were pushing us out of our jobs. People started seeing years of study and experience threatened by this new era where digital transformation, like any other revolution, has challenged us to move out of our comfort zones.
The thing is, we need once again to adapt to this new reality. We need to find some new skills in this era that we enjoy, and this does not mean losing your several years of study and starting over. Career transitioning could add a lot of value in life, moving either in or out of IT, and your prior experience may be useful and beneficial in some ways.
During the last 5 years, some people around me have questioned what would be the best way to transition their careers to IT, as they understand that technology is deeply connected with future opportunities, but they do not know how to start this move. People from many different lines of thought, from HR, biology, history and others, all willing to look for positions in IT.
There are a few researches that show there are not enough people graduating with degrees related to the IT industry, so there is a clear deficit already, but digging deeper, people that graduated with IT degrees are not staying in the industry as well, which makes me believe that the gap between the IT market demand and the number of available IT professionals may be wider. I know some good examples of IT people that just decided to start their own non-IT business. When we look at the IT job market, there are many opportunities, but some of them will be more disputed in the short term — the positions that require less or no IT knowledge.
There are several positions in the IT market that require less IT knowledge, including in management, project, product, innovation and a lot of other cool areas. But we need to face the fact that there are fewer of these roles available than other roles; e.g., to start over your product you may require one product owner and five developers. Therefore, making your way into IT through positions that require less knowledge can be quite a tough dispute, especially as more people from other areas decide to make this move. In fact, we are already seeing this happening.
In the other direction, positions that require deeper knowledge and/or experience of IT, such as developer, system administrator, IT support, database administrator and many others, are very hard to be filled and companies are taking a long time to hire for such positions. We need more people interested in learning these skills, and there is plenty of room for them. For sure it will require more effort in the short term, but with these skills you will be able to perform better in every single position; as example, it would be really easier to manage a python development team knowing where they are struggling and being able to help, guide and deliver thru your knowledge.
To code or not to code. Learning to code does not mean that you will code for the rest of your life. But it’s a paradigm shift. You will be able to understand better how a computer works, from hardware to software. You will have the chance to fall in love with a new skill that opens a large number of opportunities. By learning some IT topics, and getting your hands a little dirty, you will possibly be a better product owner, a scrum master, an innovation specialist, i.e. you will be able to perform better in any of several roles in the IT market that require less IT knowledge.
New deployments, automation pipelines, apps, business algorithms, microservices and others of the various trending words that have been evoked everywhere in the business market rely on CODE and some other deeper IT knowledge. Understanding it will give you the opportunity to better stick to the future and prepare for the best positions that will certainly continue to become available!