Build Right Skills for Tomorrow's IT Jobs

IT is changing the way of doing business, so as the demands and expectations on It workers. To survive from tomorrow’s IT jobs, IT workers must emerge from deep-seated technical territories and face the business world. Here is a picture of tomorrow’s IT:

  • The nuts-and-bolts programming and easy-to-document support jobs will have all gone to third-party providers in the U.S. or abroad. -The company’s core IT team must not only have a technology background, but also know the business sector inside and out, can architect and carry out IT plans that will add business value, and can cultivate relationships both inside and outside the company.

  • The skills required to land future technical roles will be honed outside of IT. Some of these skills will come from artistic talents, math excellence or even a knack for public speaking — producing a combination of skills not commonly seen in the IT realm.

  • Expertise in areas such as financial engineering, technology and mathematics will come together to form the next round of imaginative tools and technologies.

  • IT workers will be involved in information integration and systems integration, or customer service. They’ll be working with people from different types of channels. IT workers must be able to think about process design and management.

  • Six out of 10 people affiliated with IT will assume business-facing roles, according to Gartner.

  • The IT workforce will become smaller. Gartner predicts that by 2010, 10% to 15% of IT professionals will leave their IT occupations as a result of the automation of tasks or because of a lack of interest in the sector.

So, what IT jobs will be hot tomorrow? There is no secret; today’s high-end jobs are the hot ones tomorrow, — business enterprise architects, business technologists, systems analysts and project managers. Thus, if you are in IT now, try to get in one of these jobs in the next five years. Don’t be a pure technologist. Make a move to the business side.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that you don’t need technical skills in future IT jobs. But there’s much more of a need for the business skills, the more rounded skills. There will be much more emphasis on the business domain and on project management skills than on the technical skills. To survive and thrive, IT professionals must expand their knowledge base and stretch beyond their comfort zones.

It’s time build the right skills for tomorrow’s IT:

Business Domain

- Enterprise architecture
- Project leadership
- Business process re-engineering
- Project planning, budgeting and scheduling
- Third-party provider managers

Enterprise architects in the areas of technology, security and data are expected to play key roles in integrating both systems and cultures in corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Technology Infrastructure and Services

- Systems analysis
- Systems design
- Network design
- Systems auditing
- Routine coding
- Systems testing
- Support and help desk

In the future we expect steep decline in programming and operations jobs since these roles will go overseas or more likely be automated.

Wondering what else will be moved out, here’s the general rule: The more a task can get codified or changed into explicit instructions or documentation, the more likely it can get transferred. The more likely it can be transferred, the more likely someone will come along and will develop tools to reduce even further the number of people required to do the job. Based on this rule, nothing is safe. You think design and analysis tasks should be kept in house? Those tasks are frequently outsourced, although may not be offshore.

Server and Security

- IT security planning and management
- Continuity and recovery
- Storage administrator (with SAN specialization)

For those who are mot familiar with SAN, it stands for storage-area network. A storage-area network routes data to storage devices according to rules that administrators set up. It overcomes geographic limitations. When globalization heating up, SAN administration will be a huge issue going forward simply because of the amount of data we have to deal with.

Application and Internet Development

- Customer-facing application development
- Customer-facing Web application systems
- Legacy skills
- Artificial intelligence

Business Intelligence

- Analysis and reporting
- Data warehousing
- Data mining

Which area of IT do you expect will experience the most growth in jobs in the next five years? Here’s a list from computer World:

1. Web services
2. Wireless/mobile
3. Business intelligence
4. Service-oriented architecture
5. Identity management
6. Disaster recovery/continuity planning
7. Data management/business analytics
8. E-business
9. RFID
10. Antivirus protection

Last comment, if you want to work in IT, you want to work in Web application systems. But you’d better also really know the business and the customer. Future IT workers are expected to do more than simply build things; they must also communicate with co-workers who spend a lot of time with customers or connect with the customers themselves to quickly make changes to process.