5 top skills every IT tech needs

Australia’s ICT industry is a massive one – set to only expand in the coming half decade.

The sector had seen its highest employment in 2018 with 247,600 workers, a number projected to grow further in the years to 2023. Computer System Design is a leading sector, followed by Telecommunications, Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals, and Data Processing Services.

Our evolving technologies continue to power the Australian economy, with its contribution to GDP expected to grow by 40% to 2023. Mobile technology alone is predicted to reach $65 billion in profits within that timeframe.

With such a rapidly growing industry, the Australian workforce will need to keep up to meet skills demands. Luckily, education in the ICT field has been gradually improving, with IT degree enrolments up by over 50% since the late 2000s, and the widespread availability of online IT courses.

If you’re looking to enter the field yourself, here are five mandatory skills required for any IT role – regardless of specialisation.

Adaptability

A soft skill required for any industry, adaptability is key as an IT professional. The ICT’s constantly changing environment calls for its workers to keep updated on the latest technological trends and developments; with plenty of organisations cutting their strategic planning down from five years to two or three years. The state of rapid evolution makes it challenging to predict the landscape beyond a 24-month timeframe.

IT workers must thus be able to conform at a moment’s notice, modifying their approach to suit new practices, techniques and innovations.

Each project can also vastly differ from the other; requiring workers to be flexible as priorities shift and methodologies change. This can be particularly helpful in a start-up environment – businesses known for their dynamic nature.

Adaptive IT workers also create a more agile organisation; where workers are equipped to survive drastic industry changes and unexpected situations, without compromising their overall performance. These circumstances can range from the emergence of new business technologies – to crisis situations such as a data breach.

Adaptability creates more resilient, focused, and efficient employees – and in the fast-paced world of IT, such people are a necessity.

Cybersecurity knowledge

With the rampant rise of cybercrime in Australia, knowledge of cybersecurity is a must in the IT field.

Reports show that Australian businesses have had the largest increase of cyber-breaches driven by people-based attacks, experiencing a 33% growth. Such tactics include phishing, ransomware, and stolen devices.

Organisations have gone through an 18% jump in data breaches from 2017 to 2018, alone. On average, these crimes cost businesses an average of nearly $2 million per incident. They also cause significant damage to a company’s reputation, with 74% of consumers stating they would jump ship following a data breach.

As such, knowledge of cybersecurity and how to mitigate threats will come in handy as an IT worker – not only for your personal data, but that of your company’s.

This expertise keeps you updated on industry codes, compliance matters, and tactics in threat hunting and analysis; along with crisis management, escalation, and data restoration in the event of a breach.

The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) only furthers connection between our data and devices, leading to rising concerns in security. Such skills ensure business operations maintain efficient and reliable performance, while keeping sensitive information safe from prying hands. Additionally, with global security skills surpassing a shortage of four million workers – this knowledge will surely help you stand out in the job market.

Cloud computing skills

Adopted by businesses all over the globe, cloud computing has found its stride in Australia’s economy, boosting business productivity by nearly $9.5 billion over the last five years. On occasion, this technology has even spurred the emergence of brand-new business models dedicated to digital innovation and flexibility.

As of now, 42% of Australian businesses are reported to use some form of paid cloud computing, with 78% of “innovative businesses” believing such skills to be important to their technological system.

Having skills in cloud computing not only allows you to reap the advantages of such platforms, but how to efficiently implement them into your current business model (i.e. the migration of local company files); how to balance such services with on-premise data, and any security measures or maintenance involved.

With plenty of businesses reducing their IT support staff and physical data centers (with some doing away with physical workstations altogether) – cloud computing skills can help you adapt to such vital changes in the IT industry.

Coding skills

Coding not only makes up much of the IT profession, but it’s also considered the “language of the modern era”.

Each device we take for granted is coded to perform their specific functions, helping us operate, communicate, and connect more efficiently with others in society – whether locally or across international waters.

Professional coders had reached a global number of 23 million in 2018, set to reach 28 million in 2023. Programming abilities are thus of rising demand; with plenty of career opportunities for those in the IT industry.

Individuals looking to specialise in software or web development will likely require knowledge of different coding languages. Most systems are built on more than one, making a vast skillset highly favourable among employers.

However, general IT roles can benefit from a basic coding skillset; as this allows you to navigate the industry with greater ease and flexibility.

It may help to research on the most in-demand programming languages in your region. Australia, for example, pays top dollar for IT professionals with skills in Javascript, Swift, and Python.

Experts advise tackling the more “exotic” languages out there – having few professionals who’ve mastered them, such proficiency can help you better capture the attention of prospective employers.

Network knowledge

Finally, skills in navigating common network services can keep a business highly efficient and productive.

Such technology includes VoIP services, collaborative network applications, and mobile networking – all of which boost company’s productivity and connectivity.

Plenty of skills in network systems overlap with those previously discussed; such as a knowledge of cybersecurity, programming languages (i.e. Python, Javascript, C++), and cloud systems administration. However, those hoping to specialise in the field can benefit from skills in information management, IP setup, and maintenance or configuration of wireless modems and routers.

With network professions being a scarce commodity in today’s world, much opportunity exists for aspiring network specialists. Additionally, standards for the field are global – helping you leverage your certifications in any organisation, regardless of location.

Moreover, “network skills” in a social sense are also highly-sought after in IT, demonstrating proficient communication. “Knowledge networks” – group meetings that develop and share bodies of knowledge in the IT sector – help you learn from the best, while also using your expertise to collaborate with others.

Get the IT skills you need today

The IT industry is an unpredictable, ever-changing landscape; with skills required in resilience, flexibility, and current technical trends.

Thankfully, the sector acknowledges the need for continuous training among workers, with efforts made to incorporate (and fund) more digital skills and credentials in educational programs.

The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) is an example of this, an institution backed by DDLS – Australia’s leading provider of non-accredited IT training. Students will find courses in website development, information technology, and cybersecurity; programs that equip them with the latest skills required for a flourishing IT career.

Best of all – each course is delivered 100% online, helping you study according to your personal need and schedule.

Enhance your IT skills today, and enquire with us on a course.