IT is an admittedly broad field with sub-specialties that range from computer support to software development. Still, some key skills apply across the industry.
According to Kevin Meylor, Vice President of Application Engineering at University of Phoenix (UOPX), the most important skill, especially in software development, is the ability to quickly learn and implement new things.
“You can call it a growth mindset, but it goes beyond that,” Meylor says. “You need to build the muscle memory of learning new things and applying them to the benefit of [a customer or organization].”
This ability directly feeds the other two in-demand IT skills Meylor recognizes as particularly hot in the field: cloud competency and a coding mindset.
The cloud, Meylor admits, is “a pretty broad umbrella,” which is why being a lifelong learner is so crucial.
“The cloud services that are out there are multiplying like rabbits,” Meylor says. That’s good news for most organizations since data centers are space hogs and expensive to maintain. Leveraging the connectivity and scale of cloud providers just makes sense — and it creates a demand for people who know how to do exactly that.
Coding, meanwhile, is critical for both avoiding and fixing problems. This might mean coding a solution to a bug or building in protections to bolster a company’s cybersecurity.
Steven G. Zylstra, President and CEO of the Arizona Technology Council and SciTech Institute, points out: “Designing security into a product is more advantageous than testing for it after and doing patches and fixes.”