If you aspire to a leadership role, I encourage you to take risks and step into uncomfortable positions, since those are the ones that produce the greatest growth and rewards. Move into roles that require you to stretch your knowledge and skills. Learn from both good and bad decisions and experiences, since these are valuable teaching opportunities. Take time to invest in your personal and professional growth. Stay current on technological trends and innovation in your industry. You may not see the results immediately, but personal development and direct experience ultimately determine the individuals that we become.
What are employers looking for in technical professionals these days? What specific skills, degrees and certifications are in most demand? Degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are in high demand. When it comes to specific skills, business acumen is rising in importance, as the line between technology and business continues to blur.
But just as important for the next generation will be the skills to assemble services (versus building new services from the ground up) in relevant domains of the future, including cloud computing, cybersecurity, big data, adaptive application design, mobile computing and iterative software development. Those who know how to utilize consumable "as a service" technologies to quickly assemble, iterate on, expand and combine in ways that enhance market offerings or transform business processes will ultimately enjoy great demand. Along the way, many traditional IT roles like "software architect" and "IT analyst" will transform into roles like "cloud integration specialist" and "information insight enabler."
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