Staying Ahead of the Career Curve as Technology Advances
The advance of technology and the internet has significantly changed the face of the job market and what we consider to be traditional career paths. These changes are not over – throughout the coming decade we will continue to see the job market shifting in response to new technology.
BAE Systems recently did a survey among 16-24 year olds, and found that 47% of them think they’ll have a career in a job that doesn’t exist yet. If they’re right, then we are in for some big changes in the job market in the years to come.
New Technology = New Career Paths – It was once thought that technology would reduce the number of jobs available, as machines take over more tasks and make our workplaces more efficient. But so far, new technology has actually boosted the job market. The type of work available is simply changing, with an increased emphasis on technology-focused career paths.
According to the World Economic Forum, there will be 133 million new tech-related jobs by 2022. Some of the fastest-growing jobs in the tech industry are Database Administrator, Software Developer, Web Developer, Computer Systems Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Information Security Analyst, and App Developer. That last one, App Developer, is expected to grow a whopping 57% throughout 2020 alone! (thebalancecareers.com) Things are changing, and they are changing quickly.
How to Get Ahead and Stay There – Staying ahead of the curve with all of this change means honing a varied set of skills. If you’re considering a career in technology, you will need much more than technical savvy. It is becoming increasingly important to develop “soft skills”. Soft skills include things like communication, creativity, critical thinking, time management, cooperation, emotional intelligence, organization, and leadership.
These skills can often take a back-burner to technological knowledge, especially (and unfortunately) in our educational systems. But they are quickly becoming indispensable to a successful career. In fact, a PSMJ Resources poll asked public works departments to list the top qualities they look for in a good engineer. Things like “good listener”, “good communicator”, and “organized” all ranked higher on their lists than “technically proficient”.
And really, this all makes sense. Technology is constantly changing, so to stay ahead in these new career fields you will have to continuously adapt as well. Skills like effective listening, creative thinking, and collaboration will be just as important to your career path as that engineering or computer science degree.