Future skills in the IT industry

24 02

Future skills in the IT industry

logo-kwadrat Author: Justyna Werecka-Panter

Justyna Werecka-Panter – A recruiter with more than 7 years’ experience in the IT industry, now also a Team Manager. In her everyday work, she focuses on finding the best programmers who specialise in various areas and on the personal development of employees. She uses the experience gained in internal HR departments in the outsourcing industry, always providing top-quality applicants and ensuring a friendly recruitment process.

Due to the dynamic digital transformation, robotisation and process automation, the existing skills of IT specialists must continue to evolve. Specialists from this sector shape our everyday reality, and it would seem that the conditions in the job market are now ideally suited to them. The truth, however, is that if they want to remain competitive, they should keep investing in the development of additional skills. This way, they will be able to adapt to the constantly changing requirements.

What future skills are important in the IT industry?

The focus in the IT industry is on hard skills – good programming skills, knowledge of working methodologies and a holistic perspective of the software development process are a skill set that forms an excellent starting point in this career path. Programming skills, however, have become fairly common by now, and, more importantly, many duties previously performed by people are beginning to become automated. The working model is starting to change, and other skills are also gaining recognition.

Today, IT teams are responsible not just for making specific products but also for providing technical support afterwards. They actively participate in the design of new and user-friendly solutions and, consequently, work together with representatives of different departments, which means that they must be able to effectively communicate with all stakeholders. Their professional skills are still their most important quality, but they should be complemented by future skills. In a report by the World Economic Forum, the predicted 15 most required skills in 2025, in addition to hard skills, also include abilities such as critical and analytical thinking, cognitive flexibility, creativity or emotional intelligence. Other skills that are gaining significance include leadership skills, negotiation abilities or charisma.

Although the report presents a general outline of the condition of the job market, these expectations also apply to the IT industry. The importance of soft skills and their development is already growing. The latter is more difficult to define and assess than the improvement of digital or technical skills. Soft skills are largely connected with personality traits, which, in turn, translate into behaviour in a group, communication skills and attitude towards teamwork, which often drive innovation. Even the best IT specialist, with extensive knowledge, experience and technical skills, will not be able to achieve the best possible results if they are indifferent to the rest of the team and/or are not open to new solutions because the biggest benefits can be achieved when the employees perform regular work while constantly searching for and exploring new areas.

The skills particularly useful for IT specialists will include:

  • creativity – an unconventional, original approach and ideas are required to propose innovative solutions. The companies want to meet the expectations of their customers but also improve their attractiveness – because the sector is growing fast and more and more competing companies and products appear with each passing year;
  • cognitive flexibility – the ability to quickly adapt to shifting conditions. The difficult circumstances of recent years have unearthed many challenges, resulting, for instance, in the sudden need to rearrange the current working model. The industry itself is also evolving fast, which is why IT specialists have to be able to quickly respond to all changes so that they can adapt to the best of their abilities;
  • ● emotional intelligence – the active commitment to business processes makes it necessary to ensure effective communication and cooperation with more than just IT specialists. Employees also have to be able to make technical language understandable to people without specialist knowledge. The key success factor in this context is the ability to easily cooperate within various teams in terms of both personality and technical skills and correctly manage team dynamics on various levels.

Obviously, the most important thing is still to follow all the technical developments, and AI and Big Data have been steadily gaining in significance in recent years.

Why invest in the development of future skills in the IT industry?

The IT industry is one of the fastest-growing areas. With future skills, employees can adapt to the changing conditions of the market and the expectations of the customers. Both employees and employers should dedicate some attention to this topic. This way, employees will be able to improve their value in the job market, and the employer will have an opportunity to make their business more competitive and increase their profits.

Success in the IT industry is increasingly reliant on future skills, which are often unrelated to hard, technical skills. The best specialists should therefore develop their expertise and acquire experience while also trying to build other skill sets. Then, they will be able to easily find their way in the job market and will have an opportunity to actively contribute to its further development.