Over the last couple of decades, technology has become increasingly important in most industries. Some have become reliant upon it to function even on the most basic levels. Others — such as eCommerce and influencer marketing — have been created entirely as a consequence of our society’s continued embrace of digital technology.
Naturally, this has also made careers in tech both lucrative and competitive — the average salary comes in at around $146,000. There’s the opportunity to contribute to the growing infrastructure that makes our technologically advanced activities possible. Not to mention the potential to create innovations that will keep society progressing in new and exciting directions. At a time in which the world is very much reliant upon technology, its architects hold the keys to the kingdom.
But how can you, as someone with the talent and drive to succeed in tech, best position yourself to take advantage? How can you use the trends of the market as a tool to make sure you get the opportunities to be a leader in your field?
1. Track the Demand
To best take advantage of the trends in the tech job market, you need to first keep abreast of how demand for specific roles is developing. Currently, trends reflect the technology that has emerged to enhance a wide variety of industries: some of the most in-demand roles include cybersecurity, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI). But it’s also important to understand how this might change in the future.
When you’re still undergoing training, it can be exciting to consider that highly advanced technologies can change the world. It’s only natural to want to get in on the ground floor. However, to most successfully gain an understanding of trends and their likelihood of longevity, it pays to research how industries are actively using technology. This tends to inform the roles that are required. AI is an excellent example of this; machine learning offers possibilities for a wide range of industries, from education to supply chain management. The majority of these industries are utilizing it to enhance personalization, improve agility in a changing market, and streamline data analysis.
Doing this kind of research can help to predict what businesses need not just now but in the future. It tells us what tactics businesses are interested in implementing, and also what the challenges might be in using and maintaining these technologies. This approach also allows you to discuss the future in interview scenarios, showing you have more than a functional understanding of the technology. It demonstrates your insight into the possibilities.
2. Diversify Your Skills
Technology industries tend to develop rapidly. When considering how to best take advantage of current trends in the tech job market, it’s equally important to take an almost entrepreneurial approach to the process; seek to understand what makes you competitive, and keep an open mind about your prospects. While specializing can be useful, diversifying your skills allows you to adapt to what the market needs are now and in the future.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on a specialist area of expertise. Rather, you should seek to gain skills that allow you to apply your specialist area of knowledge in a variety of ways. Coding is an apt example here. While front end coding is likely to be in demand for some time, full-stack development allows you to make a larger contribution to projects. It also means you can be agile in the value you provide to employers now and in the future. Even if your primary job role will be focused on specific tasks, diversifying your skill sets also makes you a more knowledgeable collaborator, with the ability to communicate across multiple departments.
When considering your skill sets, you also need to think beyond the purely technical. The days in which tech was the fringe department are largely over. It’s as important to contribute to the business as a whole and make positive connections with other colleagues. Among the top skills needed in the current market is not just tech-savviness, but also so-called soft skills; emotional intelligence, problem solving, and leadership potential. By developing these skills alongside your technical prowess, you make yourself a much more attractive candidate for positions and promotions.
3. Craft Your Resume
Writing a resume is not something many of us particularly relish. However, it is a vital tool in making your candidacy stand out in a crowded marketplace. Many of us have a standard curriculum vitae (CV) that we send out en mass during job searches. But when crafting your resume in order to take advantage of current trends, you also need to make it flexible enough that you can modify it.
While certain aspects are relatively static — such as work history and qualifications — perhaps the main area that you should be modifying to suit each application is your professional bio. This section is a summary of who you are and what you do. You should, therefore, emphasize those skills, personal passions, and professional accomplishments that best suit the role for which you’re applying.
But in a competitive tech market, it’s also important to feature your personal work alongside your professional abilities. Highlight how you’ve gone beyond the requirements of your career to explore your tech passions, to seek out new and innovative methods of working. In a tech landscape that is constantly developing, showing your ability and willingness to independently explore the cutting edge is a vital tool in getting hired.
Most industries today rely upon technology in some capacity. This offers great opportunities for those working in tech fields, but it can also be very competitive. By tracking the trends across multiple industries, gaining a diverse skill set beyond the technical, and crafting an agile CV, you can position yourself to be an attractive, valuable candidate.