Five important skills for IT professionals looking to progress

By its nature, tech is rapidly changing industry. It’s also rapidly growing – with the UK’s digital economy up 30% in five years. It’s therefore unsurprising that the skills required by IT professionals are changing just as quickly.

So, if you’re looking to develop your career in tech, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest trends and ensure your CV stands out from the crowd.

"For tech candidates looking to stand out in a sea of CVs, they should be aware of the latest technology trends," said Harry Silvester, Technology Consultant at ESA Group. "Based on hundreds of discussions I’ve had with local hiring managers, the most attractive IT professionals are those who have some experience with emerging technologies, security and mobile.”

Here are some key skills for IT professionals who are looking to bolster their CVs:

1. Mobile technology and cloud computing

Since the introduction of the smartphone, mobile tech has become integral to the way that people and businesses work in the UK. As a result, the mobile industry is now around $50 billion in size - just in creating and deploying mobile apps. Naturally, skilled developers who have experience of both mobile and desktop apps will be more in demand than those who aren’t.

2. Cybersecurity

The lines are becoming blurred between IT specialists and cybersecurity specialists as all hardware and programming now requires some sort of security. With data encryption / protection becoming ever more important in the digital age as hackers become increasingly sophisticated, it’s crucial that security is built into programs and networks at the start of the build, rather than as an afterthought.

3. Willingness to go freelance

A great deal of tech work is built around projects and with the talent shortage in the industry, companies are looking to fill their investments in an agile and flexible manner to boost efficiency. IT professionals who are looking to make their mark, might consider making the transition from becoming an employee to freelancer / contract to make the most of this opportunity.

4. Open to emerging tech

Even just a few years ago, niches such as virtual and augmented reality weren’t making many headlines in the tech world. Now, total revenue in these ‘niches’ are predicted to reach $162 billion in 2020.

By becoming familiar with these and other emerging technologies such as A.I., workers can make themselves much more attractive to companies.

5. Higher-level analysis and decision-making skills

With the rise of big data and analytics, companies can start to save money by automating certain low-level IT functions in areas such as network monitoring. Unfortunately, this can pose a threat to IT jobs.

To avoid any future automation pitfalls, tech professionals should focus on developing skills in decision making, higher level analysis or more creative platforms.