In 2020, businesses across all industries were forced to abruptly change the way they operate and rethink how they deliver their products or services. This resulting economic turmoil created many challenges and hardships – but it also created new opportunities, particularly as organizations across the globe look to accelerate their digital transformation.
[ Where is your IT career headed? Read also: IT careers: 10 critical skills to master in 2021. ]
The need for widespread, resilient tech infrastructure has never been more apparent. With the IT landscape set to grow exponentially in the coming years and technology’s constant forward motion, IT is as close to futureproof an industry as you can get. If you’re a budding IT professional, here are four ways to seize on this opportunity and fast-track your tech career in 2021.
1. Know your tech trends
The IT world is more varied than ever, offering a wide range of roles, products, and platforms to focus your career sights on.
To make sure you’re aiming for a field with plenty of prospects is to check out what products, roles, and specialties are in high demand. In 2021, we expect to see the continued growth of artificial intelligence in business and the rapid uptake of industrial automation, for example. In addition, widespread and hastened adoption of cloud infrastructure and services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform has also created opportunities for IT professionals.
As more businesses go digital, we also expect to see an uptick in the use of technology that enables companies to better engage with their customers, including CRMs like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. An increased online footprint also brings the need for greater cybersecurity – another critical area of opportunity.
2. Get certified
Whatever product or area of IT you are pursuing, there is almost certainly a certification you can add to your resume to validate your skills and catch the eye of potential employers. Certifications are not a substitute for experience, but if you’re in the early stages of your IT career or are looking to retrain, a certification can be a great way to get your foot in the door.
Pursuing a certification not only bolsters your knowledge and your appeal as a candidate but also shows employers that you’re invested in keeping your skills up to date. If you’re new to your chosen technology or field, look for programs to help you upskill or cross-train quickly.
3. Be willing to adapt
In a field as dynamic as IT, you must be ready and able to adapt quickly. Hiring IT professionals can be challenging, so employers want to feel confident that you’ll keep pace with developing technologies and the changing needs of the business. Showcasing your flexibility, enthusiasm, and willingness to keep learning new things will make you an even more attractive candidate.
4. Update your online profile
With remote work becoming ubiquitous and in-person networking events largely on hold, having a strong digital profile is essential. Make your online persona shine – use it to expand on your achievements and goals and to connect with peers and potential employers.
[ Put your best foot forward. Read also: LinkedIn tips: 10 ways to improve your profile. ]
While LinkedIn is an excellent place to start, don’t limit yourself—platforms like Medium, GitHub, and Twitter can also be great tools to build up your professional profile. Remember that your LinkedIn profile is much more than just a digital version of your resume – make sure you’re engaged and visible in the circles you are pursuing. Post examples of your work, articles on what you’re learning or projects you’re involved with, actively participate in community groups, and open yourself up to new conversations.
[ Get exercises and approaches that make disparate teams stronger. Read the digital transformation ebook: Transformation Takes Practice. ]
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