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Your Tech Skills Have a 2-Year Half-Life. What Will You Do About That?

The IT sector transforms faster than nearly any other industry in today’s economy, resulting in tech skills having a short half-life.

While everybody in every industry must continuously update their abilities and knowledge, it is at the core of the IT sector. At times, trying to keep up can feel like a losing battle. You might devote lot of time and effort learning a skill only to find out it’s already becoming obsolete. Remaining relevant is essential to grow your career, but it can be a struggle. Here are some techniques you can use to remain relevant in the world of technology.

Following industry news

If you want to remain up to date, you must stay on top of industry trends. Reading blogs, following thought leaders on Twitter and subscribing to industry publications can keep you tapped into the ever-changing technology sector.

To avoid getting overwhelmed by all the information that is out there, invest some time in seeing what blogs and Twitter handles others in your field follow or recommend. Pare down your menagerie of industry sources to create a refined list. This should provide you with a solid core of references moving forward.

Study the job market

When you are busy trying to be good at the job you have, it’s easy to overlook the shifting needs of the labor market. Make it a habit to regularly take a look at job postings for roles that are either comparable to yours or are in line with your career path. What are hiring managers looking for these days? Do you have the skills necessary for these jobs? For example, are your coding abilities up to snuff?

Not having a certain qualification could be a problem if every company appears to be asking for it.

Update your skills

Whether it is required by your employer or not, ensure you’re up to date with what is going on in the field. If you don’t, you could lose standing and possibly expose your employer to risks and lower productivity.

You can keep current by studying professional journals or trade publications that provide in-depth instruction, going to industry events, conferences and attending local workshops. The rise of online seminars, blogs, newsletters and online forums means it’s incredibly easy to keep current from your desk or at home.

Don’t forget soft skills

Every job calls for soft skills, whether it’s effective communication or resolving conflict in the workplace. If you’re looking to get ahead in your career, developing soft skills ought to be a priority. There are many professional training and coaching resources out there to develop soft skills. There are also associations like Toastmasters or Freemasons that help people become better communicators or better leaders.

At Thompson Technologies, we help professionals at any phase of their IT careers stay current through consultation and employment opportunities. Please contact us today if you are looking to take the next step in your career.

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