How to keep your skill set sharp and be in demand (part 1)

In an age when technology is becoming synonymous with daily life, the IT industry is booming. Companies in virtually every sector are expanding their IT departments in line with ever-rising requirements.

As Jobs.net put it, “Technology is no longer its own ‘sector’; it’s now used to support other industries.”

Although each firm’s technological needs are unique, it’s possible to make certain generalizations with regard to IT staffing. Jobs.net identified five skills that are particularly in demand across the board, the first two of which are outlined below:

1) A specific skill set
Having general tech expertise is one thing, but increasingly, companies are looking for professionals with particular skill subsets to fill niche roles. Earlier this year, CIO provided an overview of some of the most desirable tech positions, including security architect, augmented reality developer, data scientist, front end developer and Salesforce architect. Workers with the talent, experience and qualifications to undertake these roles can bring home more than CA$200,000 per year.

Jobs.net advised IT professionals seeking employment to maintain a broad knowledge of a wide range of common skills, but develop deeper expertise in one or two specialties that are particularly marketable and in line with their interests and abilities.

“As you develop your knowledge base and select your skill sets, you’ll begin to create a personal brand,” the site advised. “This brand should become a cohesive mesh of your technical abilities, personality and appearance. From your résumé and business cards to your behavior, work to build a brand that’ll help secure the job you’re looking for.”

2) Big data management
Big data is revolutionizing life as we know it. Organizations in virtually every sector are learning how to use the tool to their advantage – from the healthcare industry, which is digitizing patient records and cultivating the practice of telemedicine, to the retail sector, which is tracking consumer behavior to refine future decision-making.

However, in order to unlock everything the big data phenomenon has to offer, companies must take maximum advantage of the software that’s already out there and the people who know how to use it, as well as those developing the next wave of big data solutions.

“Understanding the programming and technical nature of intelligent data analysis and security are important features in a new IT hire for companies hoping to grow,” Jobs.net noted.

In part two, we’ll look at the final three IT skills currently in demand.