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How to future-proof your IT job in the age of AI
Who's afraid of robots? Here's how to stay one step ahead of the competition
4. Learn a new language
Jess Bracht, instructor, Fullstack Academy: "For IT professionals, learning to code is probably the smartest step you can take toward future-proofing your career because ultimately software developers are the ones writing the programs that end up replacing IT professionals.
For example, many help desk specialists are being replaced by automated chatbots. But who are the people behind the scenes creating those chatbots? Software developers. And they’re using really cool tech like AI, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), and probably some machine learning in there as well. So you’re future-proofing your career and increasing your desirability (and value) as an employee by concentrating on those really hot fields.
Anyone who’s already a developer can focus on those same fields to move ahead in their own career. A web developer, for example, can study basic statistics if they want to get into machine learning and add a language like Python, commonly used in the machine learning field, to their repertoire."
5. Do what robots can't: Think outside the box
Jim Johnson, senior vice president at Robert Half Technology: "It’s true that a majority of jobs will likely change from the continuous integration, evolution, and introduction of new AI technologies, and many for the better. AI may be able to take care of routine tasks and provide assistance for many IT projects, but they won’t be able to accomplish tasks that require soft skills, like intuition, critical thinking, creativity, and empathy, to name a few.
That’s why it’s crucial that professionals develop these interpersonal skills. To do so, find out what soft skills you need to work on. Ask a trusted colleague or your manager to give you constructive feedback on your leadership skills, how well you work on a team or with customers, how you communicate, etc. You can then find professional courses, consult with a mentor, or take on new responsibilities to develop these skills. These actions will help you future-proof your career, as well as show your manager your dedication to professional development.
Additionally, and equally as important, you need to make sure you understand your business. How is your organization structured and how do your efforts help the bottom-line? Do you know all your company’s products and services? Knowing the ins and outs of your business will help you best serve and respond to your customers, something a robot can’t do as seamlessly. If you want to better understand your business, consider asking colleagues in other departments for coffee to learn more about their roles and teams’ goals."
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