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IT skills you (and your tech teams) need to develop at work

From data analytics to cloud, cybersecurity, and AI, uncover the most in-demand technical skills to develop and learn how to build effective upskilling programs.

Jun 17, 2024 • 4 Minute Read

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  • python
  • java
  • javascript
  • AWS
  • azure
  • c#
  • Cloud
  • IT Ops
  • Software Development
  • Data
  • Security
  • AI & Machine Learning
  • Learning & Development

When tech changes, the skills an organization needs also change. As a technologist, what skills should you prioritize learning to build or boost your tech career? As a leader, how can you help your teams develop these skills through effective upskilling programs? 

Here’s the breakdown. (Spoiler alert: It’s not all about generative AI.)

Catch what you missed at Tech Skills Day.

Table of contents

Learn these hard and soft skills for a successful career in tech.

Data and data engineering skills

Data has always been important, but the prevalence of AI has made it even more of a priority. Develop data analytics skills to unlock the full business value of your data. This includes the ability to:

  • Clean, transform, and analyze data

  • Recognize when data is flawed, biased, missing, or incomplete

  • Select a machine learning algorithm

  • Train and evaluate models

  • Visualize data

In terms of specific technologies, SQL and noSQL database skills are still in high demand as well as big data analytics technologies like Apache Spark, Databricks, and Tableau. It’s also important to get familiar with libraries used for machine learning, like TensorFlow and PyTorch.

Build data analytics skills with hands-on practice.

Programming skills

When it comes to programming, it's no surprise Python came out on top as one of the most in-demand languages for 2024. I always think of Python as the programming language of the cloud—it's versatile, easy to use, and suitable for use cases like web development, automation, data science, and AI and machine learning. Beyond Python, object-oriented languages like Java, JavaScript, and C# are still going strong.

Cybersecurity, cloud, and AI skills

70% of organizations run more than half their infrastructure in the cloud. And many use a multicloud strategy or multiple cloud providers. Securing everything is a major concern for many organizations.

That’s why security, and cloud security specifically, came out as a top skill to develop. Get hands-on experience with the top three cloud providers—AWS, Azure, and GCP—to understand how these systems work. Understanding the shared responsibility model will also give you a real-world perspective on cloud security.

And while AI will accelerate existing security threats and introduce new risks, you can also use AI and machine learning to help protect your environment. For example, Amazon Guard Duty is a threat detection service that uses machine learning to identify malicious or unusual activity in your AWS account.

Build your AI skills.

FinOps skills and cost optimization

Successful companies are focused on cost control—protecting their return on investments or ROI. As the ultimate guide to doing more with less, FinOps is an excellent skill to add to your arsenal. 

Using FinOps strategies can help you optimize your organization’s cloud and AI investments. Architect cloud infrastructure using cloud cost optimization strategies and FinOps best practices.

When it comes to AI adoption, many organizations are still understanding the cost implications of the decisions they make around training models and how much data they use to train them. For example, the type of model you select will impact your tech investment ROI.

Build FinOps foundations.

Soft skills like creativity, critical thinking, and communication

In a world where many of us might be concerned about being replaced by an overly enthusiastic AI, human-centric and soft skills have never been more relevant. This includes:

  • Complex problem-solving 

  • Creativity

  • Critical thinking

  • Empathy

  • Communication

  • Leadership

  • Stakeholder management

  • Negotiation

  • Flexibility and adaptability

Learn why soft skills matter (more than coding) for technical roles.

How to build employee training programs for trending tech skills

As a leader, what can you do to help technologists develop these in-demand skills and drive your organization forward?

Align business goals and customer outcomes

The secret that all successful companies have in common? A strategic plan focused on customer outcomes. Define business goals and the problems you want to solve using technology. 

This becomes the North Star for your technical and upskilling decisions. For instance, it will drive which cloud provider or service to use for a particular project and what skills your teams need to use it.

Create a strategic plan for upskilling

Organizations that want to stay on top also need a comprehensive plan for upskilling. If you happen to be a leader, or even a mentor or senior engineer, make it your mission to identify the future superstars within your organization. 

Think about who in your organization is your next data analysis expert, Python genius, or security specialist. We often see that little spark of potential in our team members before they know it themselves. Help the people around you create professional development objectives and participate in mentorship programs. 

Think about introducing protected learning time and incentivize your people to develop the expertise you need within your organization.

Develop personalized learning paths

Organizations struggle to keep learners engaged with upskilling programs. Personalized learning experiences with custom learning paths and bite-sized online courses surface the right content at the right time. Upskilling augmented by chatbots and AI assistants can also help technologists seek out targeted learning based on their existing skills and career goals.

Get tips on creating personalized learning plans for tech teams.

Make the most of tech skill development

From data analytics to personalized learning, keeping up with in-demand tech skills and trends will help you and your org build and deliver faster.

Develop the tech skills orgs need. Start a free trial of Pluralsight Skills for you or your team