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Technologists need these essential skills for continuous improvement

Upskilling for emerging technologies? Learn essential skills first to enable continuous improvement and adapt to new tech like AI faster.

Feb 7, 2024 • 4 Minute Read

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  • Cloud
  • IT Ops
  • Software Development
  • Data
  • Security
  • Business
  • Professional Development
  • Team Development
  • AI & Machine Learning
  • Learning & Development

New tech advancements can leave you with a lot of questions. Are your current skills still relevant? What new skills do you need to learn? How can you meet your career goals in the ever-changing technology landscape?

You might not know the answers, but there is a way to set yourself up for success in the face of AI and other emerging technologies. From technical skills to professional skills and soft skills, we cover the essentials you need to adapt to new tech faster and solidify your career—no matter what the future holds.

Want to learn more about our tech trends and predictions and what you need to succeed? Download the 2024 Tech Forecast.

Table of contents

Essential technical skills to learn

AI isn’t the first tech innovation, and it won’t be the last. Building foundational skills and knowledge of underlying technologies will help you adapt to any tech environment.

Here are some essential technology skills to learn:

Cloud computing concepts, services, and architectures

Cloud technology powers most systems and IT operations. Understanding cloud fundamentals and gaining cloud skills across AWS, Azure, and GCP will give you a solid foundation to build from regardless of your specific role. 

“Familiarity with cloud computing concepts, services, and architectures is increasingly essential,” says Drew Firment, Pluralsight’s Chief Cloud Strategist.

Already confident in your cloud skills? Explore cloud security and frugal cloud architecture to fill industry-wide skills gaps.

Data science and data analytics

As AI/ML grows, essential data skills will become even more important. 

“The fuel for AI/ML is data. Data science and data analysis skills will be crucial, including the understanding of cleaning and transforming data before providing it to AI/ML models,” explains Faye Ellis, Principal Training Architect at Pluralsight.

Even if you’re not a data scientist, it’s crucial to understand the big picture and identify when data may be flawed, incomplete, or inaccurate.

Proficiency in at least one programming language

Coding is key for software development, cloud computing, and automation. Python, Java, and JavaScript are widely used languages, but it’s important to think about what you’ll use a programming language for, not just the language itself.

“For me, it's much less about the language, and more about your ability to recognize what options are available to you in the platform and language you're already comfortable with,” says Simon Allardice, Creative Director and Principal Author at Pluralsight.

Cybersecurity, DevOps, and DevSecOps best practices

Emerging technologies inevitably create new security threats and disrupt existing processes. Consider how AI has already augmented social engineering and enabled more sophisticated cyber attacks.

To adapt to and defend against new technologies with minimal lag, understand effective security measures and get familiar with DevOps and DevSecOps best practices to identify ways to use new advancements to streamline operations.

Get hands-on experience with cybersecurity foundations.

Essential professional skills and soft skills for technologists

As important as technical skills are, soft skills are just as important—perhaps even more so. Develop these essential soft skills to level up your tech career. 

Some professional skills combine technology skills and soft skills.

Build the soft skills you need in today’s workplace.

Technical skill certifications to earn when upskilling

Certifications can add a boost to your resume and showcase your technical expertise, even if you lack a traditional university degree. Some certifications that continue to be in high demand include:

AWS also launched the new AWS Certified Data Engineer Associate certification. This new certification highlights the data skills gap and the need for quality data engineers who can analyze and manipulate data, work with AI models, and drive business outcomes.

“When Microsoft makes OpenAI certs, those should be pretty popular. Information Security is always a winner,” adds Tim Warner, Principal Author for IT Ops at Pluralsight.

But certifications aren’t the only way to show off your skills—completing portfolio projects and gaining hands-on experience at bootcamps and hackathons are also valuable ways to demonstrate your knowledge.

Continuous improvement: The most important skill for a tech career

No matter your area of expertise, learning is the most important skill to develop. If you aren’t keeping up with the latest tech trends, deepening your current skills, or exploring new technologies, you’re already falling behind.

As Amber Israelsen, Pluralsight Author, succinctly says, “Learn how to learn. Be willing to let go of old ways of doing things. Find your favorite sources for the latest tech news, and visit often to stay current.”

Ready for more tech trends and tips to stay ahead of the curve? Explore these resources:

Pluralsight Content Team

Pluralsight C.

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