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Top tech skills – future-proof your career

Ryan Chant, Senior Business Manager

I was speaking to a client recently about their investment in tech innovation and it got me thinking about the impact tech and innovation is going to have on our jobs. So here are some areas seeing strong rates of hiring.

Security

The demand for cybersecurity and data experts continues. The Chief Information Security Officer’s (CISO) role has been one of the most in-demand in recent times, given the ongoing cyber threats. These specialists will continue to command top salaries, as businesses to invest in their infrastructure to protect themselves from these attacks.

Digital transformation is another area key area. The end goal is to generate greater business revenue by better understanding customer behaviours. In most organisations, this remit falls to the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) or Chief Digital Officer (CDO). We know that for any transformation initiative to succeed, it needs the buy in from the C-Suite as well as involvement from marketing, HR and other back office functions, as it impacts the whole organisation.

Science

Another specialist department is data science. This won’t come as a surprise given that data is at the heart of all strategic decisions. Data scientists help businesses understand, measure and monetise customer behaviour. Nowadays, the job itself is a mix between a traditional statistician and someone who can develop machine learning models. It made it onto LinkedIn’s ‘Top 10 Most Promising Jobs’ list for 2018 with a median base salary of $113,000. The top five essential skills required of data scientists are a knowledge of Python (programming language), data analysis, machine learning, SQL and statistics.

And of course, there is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Robots and algorithms will inevitably automate many jobs. However, according to some, more jobs will be created than those displaced. A recent survey by leading consultancy PwC found that AI would lead to a net gain of 200,000 jobs in the UK, the result of increased productivity, price falls and rising real incomes. Together, these factors generate a demand for new jobs.

Human

Yet despite the inevitable consequences of these advancements in technology, there are some skills that computers simply cannot replace. You can’t expect machines, for example, to manage people or be accomplished leaders. Humans will always have more far more developed interpersonal skills, such as empathy and communication. They will be better able to resolve and deal with customer concerns – human-to-human (H2H) marketing will still be the prevailing force in connecting with consumers and getting them to buy our products.

If anything, AI has reinforced the need for certain skills. On the one hand professionals will unquestionably have to upskill and keep abreast of all the latest technologies to boost their employability. That’s to be expected, especially given the jobs risk posed by AI. However, and this is worth emphasising, it’s not enough to just possess the right technical skills. You also need a high degree of social interaction in the workplace, which is something that computers haven’t mastered!

So, when we talk about tech talent and what it takes to succeed in the jobs of the future, technical qualities are your table stakes but it’s the soft skills that will give you that career boosting winning hand.