Without a doubt, technology is one area that no industry can afford to be complacent. Tech skills are changing so rapidly that anybody who doesn’t stay up to the time risks becoming irrelevant. In such a quickly evolving tech world, information tends to decay at a rate of 30 percent a year, making nearly a third of the previous year’s tech-related knowledge irrelevant. Therefore, staying up-to-date with emerging technologies and trends, as well as the skills needed to master them, will help keep you ahead of the curve. The key to maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage is continuous learning. I recently came across an article that discusses six essential tech skills that you should know in the current day and age.
1. Coding: Around the world, coding is currently the number-one skill in demand today. Even though coding and computer science aren’t too thoroughly touched upon in the K-12 education system, the ability to code remains an essential skill. Luckily, no matter what your age or tech knowledge, there are ways to pick up intro coding skills, many of which are free.
2. Big data: According to Forbes, big data will only continue to grow in 2015, partially due to the rise of the Internet of Things, which has the power to embed technology in almost anything. With continuously larger volumes of data being created on a regular basis, you need to know how to collect and analyze said data. If you ignore big data, you’ll miss out on key marketing and decision-making opportunities.
3. Cloud computing: Back in January, TechRadar reported that 2015 will be the year that the cloud becomes the “new normal”, as costs can be slashed as much as 90 percent through digitizing information-intensive processes. An ability to utilize the cloud’s flexible power can help improve everything from data security to collaboration ability.
4. Mobile: Not having a mobile strategy for your business in the age of the smartphone can be dangerous. In 2015, it’s been predicted that an increasing number of companies will learn how to mobilize their revenue-generating processes, such as making purchases and depositing checks. This is also the year that technology will hit critical mass with the fusion of mobile and cloud computing, meaning that many more centrally-coordinated apps will be usable on multiple devices.
5. Data visualization: Since data keeps multiplying, whatever message you hope to communicate online needs to find increasingly creative ways to break through the white noise. This is where data visualization, which involves using a visual representation of the data to discover new information and breakthroughs, can be so helpful.
6. UX design skills: User experience designers consider the end user’s ease of use, efficiency and general experience of interfacing with a system. While user experience has long been important, it’s only become more so in relation to the diverse ways that users are now able to access websites, such as mobile and apps. The more complex the system, the more involved the planning and architecture will have to be for it.