As the last decade (and more) have shown, working in tech is one of the most reliable career decisions you might make – if you have strong tech skills. The tech industry is worth $1.7 trillion in America (and $5.2 trillion globally), and is one of the key elements pushing American progress. In fact, as technological solutions and radical innovations like AI, robotics and natural language processing become essential across all business functions and most industries, tech has become incorporated across the board and at least moderate tech competency is a key skill for the future.
Because of the importance of the field, quality tech professionals tend to be well-paid and in high-demand, and this is almost sure to continue as the world around us becomes increasingly more dependent on existing technologies and hungry for more advanced solutions. In fact, software development ranks among the best jobs for future work security, and is one of the fastest-growing positions; IT professionals may also be excited to see that their field merited multiple spots on U.S. News’s list of “best jobs in 2020.”
But the world of work is evolving, and as you may have heard, “all companies are tech companies now.” Whether or not technology is not your primary field, it is not enough to get a degree and hope for the best. Technology has been the most vital component for development to the professional world this century, and entire regions and industries revolve around it. As new technologies increasingly appear in the workplace and IoT gains foothold in our lives, it is essential that every worker becomes familiar with at least a basic set of tech skills in order to remain competitive and employable.
Up-to-date knowledge on cutting-edge technologies
You don’t need to know Python or how to build a chatbot in order to stay competitive. Keeping yourself up-to-date and aware on the latest technologies entering the workplace will show that you have done your research and are familiar with all the latest technologies, which will let your employer (or future employer) know that you are diligent and adaptable. AI, machine learning, and the Internet of Things are good places to start building your tech skills.
Content Management Systems (CMS) – One of the most important tech skill
All roads no longer lead to Rome, but to the web. Many job functions require some interaction with websites and content, so knowing how to work your way around a content management system and understanding the important role it plays in everyday work are important skills for future employment. If you want to go deeper, try building your knowledge base for HTML or CSS.
Data analysis and data management
Whether or not your job function is in analytics, a knowledge of how to collect and analyze data, and how that data is useful, will take you far in your work. The ability to analyze information, and the competence to utilize important data management tools, will show your company that you are effective and prepared. A bonus? You don’t just have to trust the data guys. You can build your own reports and have a broader understanding of any situation. Data is the hottest commodity these days, so make it your mission to keep up.
Social Media – Tech skills from everyday life
Like it or not, everything is online nowadays. Regardless of your position, it is important that you are familiar with the major social media platforms, how they work, and how your brand must be delivered across them. A basic understanding of how to build and manage profiles and utilize the big platforms is a career in and of itself, and among the easiest things to learn, because you probably already know it!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
You don’t need to be a dab hand at coding or a research professional to develop a basic understanding of SEO. As SEO has become one of the most in-demand functions for marketing professionals and people become more aware of how it works, showing your employer you are familiar with the process can warrant you future opportunities, or even your future career.
General Software and Business Tools
We all love our excel sheets, but the days of manual data and business management are behind us. And we all know that one person in the office who refuses to change from Salesforce Classic to Salesforce Lightning. Don’t be that person. An openness to and familiarity with the latest business tools will go a long way in showing your employer that you are future-focused and open-minded in the workplace. An added bonus? They make your life easier too! CRM software, internal communications and collaborations platforms, public design tools like Canva, and project or task management solutions will be as important on your resume as Office and the G-Suite.
Whether you are a tech professional or a total computer novice, these skills can be manageably self-taught. You do not need to be an expert; rather, it is important that you have a basic understanding of the technologies in play at your company today.