In today’s job market, finding a good job means being up-to-date with the latest trends in your industry. IT is no exception to this rule, in fact, it may be even more important to be current in IT than in other industries.
Skill #1: Programming Languages
The importance of knowing programming languages such as Java, C++, and Python cannot be overestimated. Nearly all IT roles require knowledge of one or more programming languages.
What is a programming language? It’s a “translator,” or something that allows humans to change information from something they can understand to something a computer can understand. Programming languages were cultivated “to allow humans to communicate with computers.”
Different programming languages have different uses. For example, Java is a language that can be used for a variety of purposes but is most effective in developing android applications.
You will need to know at least one programming language to do almost any IT job, but the more you master, the more marketable your skills are.
Skill #2: Computer Networking
It is vital to understand computer networking if you want to get a job in the lucrative IT field. Computer networking is the connection among computing devices such as laptops, smartphones, servers and smart doorbells, speakers, and thermostats.
Learn how switchers, routers, and access points form the foundation of computer networks and how other devices fit in. Learn how routers act as dispatchers to connect your network to other networks and protect your home or business from security threats.
Master the different types of networks, such as local-area network, wide-area network, and enterprise network, to understand when each is used and why.
Skill #3: UI/UX Design
User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design is another basic you’ll want to master in order to get a job in the IT world. Though these terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to different types of design aimed at satisfying customers’ preferences.
User interface design refers to what a user sees on an app’s screen. It’s the colors, text, animations, and icons. As you may suspect, UI design overlaps with graphic design. They are both used to make visually-appealing and easy-to-identify applications.
User experience design refers to how users navigate through the elements of the UI. It’s less about how things look and more about how things flow. A UX designer’s job is to make the applications accessible and user-friendly.
Skill #4: Cloud Computing
According to Microsoft, “cloud computing is the delivery of computing services–including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence–over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.”
The internet is always the faster, more up-to-date way to utilize your computing devices. And the benefits don’t stop there. You can save money by using the cloud instead of building on-site data centers, increase productivity as a result of cutting down on-site data center maintenance, gain the ability to scale globally, and increase security and loss recovery technology.
To land a job as an IT employee, understand all the workings and benefits of cloud computing. Make sure you understand the difference between the public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud. Know the types of cloud services (infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, serverless, and software as a service) and how they differ from one another.
Skill #5: Machine Learning
The umbrella of “machine learning” covers many skills important to a valuable IT employee. Machine learning is a branch combining computer science and artificial intelligence (AI) to help computers improve their accuracy by using data and algorithms similar to how humans learn.
To understand machine learning, you need a basic knowledge of systems design, software engineering, and computer science and programming. AI is widely lauded as the way to the future, so learning the skills necessary to work with it will set you ahead of candidates who do not possess those skills.
Skill #6: Mobile Applications
These days, there seems to be an app for everything. But, similar to the widely smirked at “everything that can be invented has been invented,” we know that there are apps we haven’t yet dreamed of, let alone improvements to and variations of existing apps.
If you know how to program applications you can help your company expand customer reach. Mobile application programming skills include understanding application programming interface (API) development platforms as well as cross-platform app development frameworks.
Skill #7: Cybersecurity Analytics
Almost all tech customers worry about cyber security. To up your chances at landing an IT job, try your hand at learning cybersecurity analytics. This field uses data analysis to detect known attacks as well as scan information for signs that may signal a new type of attack.
Companies and individuals want their critical data (and preferably all data) secured. An IT worker well-versed in cybersecurity analytics will understand threat intelligence, intrusion detection, intrusion response, data modeling, and risk analysis.
As you can see, there are a lot of skills that go into being a well-rounded IT pro. And don’t take this article as an exhaustive list, either. To up your chances of being hired, learn one or more programming languages, understand computer networking, and try to have a good handle on user interface and user experience design.
What’s more, expand your understanding of the cloud and how it can be used, get to know AI and machine learning, practice creating and tweaking mobile apps, and get a good handle on cybersecurity analytics. Though this may seem like a lot, these seven skills are important keys to scoring a job that keeps you stimulated, on your feet, and in good comfort.
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