Coding Proficiency: The New Literacy
Living in an era of rapid technological advancements, it seems as if the world around me is speaking in a different language - a language of coding. I've never quite learned to code, but my lovely spouse, Helen, took a short course on Python a while back, aiming to be au fait with this contemporary discourse. Evening fun for us quickly morphed into deciphering programming problems instead of usual television shows.
As we live in the technology-age, it is fascinating (and no less critical) to understand – what technical skills are in high demand? Tech skills are no longer just for tech people. They are bleeding into all industries, amplifying work efficiency, and paving the way for innovation. If you take a look at job advertisements, you'll hardly spot one that doesn't mention ‘coding,’ ‘UX design,’ or at least ‘advanced Excel skills.’
So, here are some tech skills that are highly sought after in the market. Regardless of your current knowledge base, learning these skills could be a game-changer for your career progression.
AI and Machine Learning: The Unseen Workforce
Picture this - you're sitting in your living room. Your Maine Coon, Molly, is playing with the curtain tassels, and Baxter, your Cocker Spaniel, is intently studying a squirrel out the window. You pick up your phone and ask Siri to check the weather forecast for the day. This not so hypothetical situation involves an advanced form of technology - Artificial Intelligence (AI). We interact with AI so frequently in our daily lives that it's easy to gloss over the stunning complexity that makes our digital assistants work.
Apart from making our lives easier, AI and Machine Learning have immense potential to revolutionize the world of work. With the current and foreseeable future trends, it's safe to say that the demand for these skills would only grow. From healthcare to retail, AI can help industries reduce human error, enhance efficiency, and predict trends, leading to better business strategies. In fact, according to a report from job site Indeed, machine learning engineer is the best job of 2019 due to growing demand and high salaries.
Data Analysis: The Backbone of Decision Making
Remember when you were a kid and you would play ‘treasure hunt’ with your friends? There were clues hidden everywhere, and if you could decipher those, the treasure would be yours. Well, in the professional world, these ‘clues’ are encrypted in raw data. By learning data analysis, you become capable of turning these random numbers into meaningful insights which companies can use to make strategic decisions.
Proficiency in data analysis can open up numerous opportunities for you across different sectors. Many organizations are more inclined to base their decisions on data, thus creating high demand for data analysts. Hence, becoming skilled in programming languages such as R or Python, and mastering the use of data analysis tools like SQL or Tableau, can certainly give you an edge in today's data-driven job market.
Cloud Computing: The Digital Space
Helen and I were spring cleaning the other day when she came across a box filled with CDs. It looked like an ancient treasure, bringing back old memories of times when we used to burn music or data onto these disks for storage. Today, the scene has completely shifted, making way for cloud computing.
From storing and retrieving data to developing and running applications, everything is happening in the 'cloud' now. With its vast array of benefits such as reduced IT costs, scalability, and flexibility of work practices, no wonder cloud computing skills are in demand. Learning about cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure can make you an attractive candidate in the job market.
Cybersecurity: The Digital Watchguard
The other day, I received an email from a ‘Nigerian prince’ kindly offering me untold riches if I would just supply my bank account details. Amusing as it was, it also served as a stark reminder of the constant threats we face in the digital world. Hence, the increasing need for cybersecurity expertise.
Since our dependence on technology is increasing with each passing day, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overlooked. By learning cybersecurity, you can protect sensitive information from breaches, reduce risks, and support your organization’s reputation. Whether it's ethical hacking or digital forensics, cybersecurity skills are indeed a feather in one's career cap.
Without a doubt, these tech skills have gained significant traction in the current job market and are likely to remain in demand for many years to come. And remember, the key to learning is starting. Choose a skill, start at your own pace, and soon you'll be speaking this new world language. And who knows? Maybe Baxter will be staring at a computer screen chasing that digital squirrel you've programmed for him.