Anna Skibicka – An IT Talent Researcher with more than two years of experience in supporting IT recruitment processes. Passionate and committed in seeking out top talent, she connects outstanding professionals with the dynamic world of technology. Privately a book and photography lover, she works continuously to expand her knowledge and expertise in a variety of fields.
Technology has been evolving at breakneck speed, with the IT industry at the forefront of progress. This means that IT experts continuously face the challenge to keep improving their competences. What are the causes, apart from the dynamic technological development? Why is it important to be adaptable and continuously expand your knowledge and improve your skills? How to face up to those challenges and keep on top of the changes while remaining competitive? In this article, I will explain why you cannot afford to stagnate in IT.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, declared 2023 the “European Year of Skills”. One of the goals set by the EC in this respect is to “promote a mindset conducive to upskilling to ensure that nobody is left behind in the green and digital transitions”. In practice, this means activities such as promoting increased investment in skills development, training, and projects focused on remaining committed to lifelong learning. According to the “Future of Jobs” report prepared by the World Economic Forum, up to 50% of all workers will need to undergo reskilling by 2025.
Therefore, the EC initiative also facilitates achieving the goals of the 2030 Digital Compass, which includes the targets of at least 80% adult Europeans equipped with basic digital skills, and 20 million ICT specialists employed in the EU. In 2022, the European Commission estimated that the EU was short of up to 600,000 developers, with talent shortages in IT seen as a permanent trend.
Recent years have seen disruption in the IT sector, caused by many factors, including:
All of this points to the direction of change in work culture itself, as well as in respect of the indispensable ICT skills. According to the WEF, AI alone will contribute to the loss of nearly 80 million jobs by 2025, with 100 million new jobs created to match current needs.
Research done by Deloitte shows that companies invest in new corporate culture to emphasise flexibility in high-tech. Furthermore, the 2023 Tech Trends report shows that skills in this sector become obsolete every 2.5 years on average. Therefore, the best way forward for organisations and employees is to continue developing and to select the skills in demand that will prove useful in the era of progressive automation. What skills do we mean?
IT experts and recruiters agree that a lot of the skills that professionals currently employed in the IT sector already have will remain relevant in the future. However, some competencies will be in greater demand than others, depending on the technologies that affect companies’ business ecosystems. The most important ones are as follows:
AI and ML are some of the most popular areas in IT at present. The ability to create, train and manage AI models may be very valuable.
The ability to collect and analyse large data sets, and to draw conclusions from them is key in many areas, from business to academia.
With cyberthreats increasingly advanced and ever more common, cybersecurity skills are increasingly in demand. They include both attack prevention and response.
The IoT has been growing fast, which means that there is growing demand for specialists in the area of connecting devices and analysing the data they supply. This also applies to the industrial IoT and engineers in the area.
DevOps combines software development with its implementation and management. The ability to automate software production processes has been gaining more and more recognition.
The blockchain technology can also be applied outside of cryptocurrencies, especially in areas such as the supply chain, identity management, and smart contracts.
Cloud services such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud have been gaining on popularity, so the ability to manage cloud resources may prove highly valuable.
Analysts’ forecasts of global trends suggest double-digit growth in cloud services in 2024. They also highlight increased spending on cybersecurity, enhanced by the growth of AI, which creates new digital threats in itself.
It is therefore worth investing in development in those areas; also bear in mind that quantum computing is set to be yet another significant trend in the nearest future.
At the beginning of 2023, a report on reskilling was presented at the Warsaw Stock Exchange, the first of this kind in Poland. Titled “Wielki reset umiejętności” [The great skills reset], it was accompanied by an e-book titled “Upskilling Reskilling. Czas na przyspieszenie” [Upskilling Reskilling. Time to accelerate]; both publications were prepared by the ICAN Institute and Future Collars, a school of digital skills. It is a guide to the reskilling and upskilling process for businesses, and it emphasises freedom and the need for lifelong dynamic adaptation to the changes in the labour market. Why is that so?
Data from the European Union, i.e. the Digital Economy and Society Index, shows that 40% of adults, including 33% of employees in Europe, do not yet have any basic digital skills. In addition, women are underrepresented in technology-related professions and university courses. Women only account for 20% of ICT specialists, and make up 33% of STEM graduates. There is great room for improvement both for companies and for people interested in developing their skills in IT.
By continuously adding to your skillset, you do not just gain opportunities to advance your career. This is also a privilege that ensures the transfer of knowledge between generations. As Izabela Olszewska, President of the Management Board of the WSE, pointed out at the launch of the “Wielki reset umiejętności” report:
“Reskilling and upskilling allow for bringing forward the hidden skills of employees, which boosts their confidence and productivity regardless of the generational composition of the team. By encouraging everyone, both younger and older employees, to continue learning, we close competence gaps and build an environment conducive to sharing knowledge and experience, which in turn benefits the entire organisation.”
Technology has been developing dynamically, with the IT sector at the forefront of progress. IT specialists need to keep improving their skills in the face of fast technological change.
The outsourcing of IT engineers with the support from ITDS may help your company find the best specialists. We offer access to highly qualified engineers who can quickly adapt to new technologies and trends, thereby contributing to the continuous growth and innovation for any business.