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Keeping Your IT Skills Relevant in the Age of Automation

Breanne Wilson
Senior Web Project Manager - Oracle University

Written by Kate Farrow, Oracle University Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA

The tech industry is ‘eating itself’ through automation and lack of skills. This is a conclusion drawn from a survey conducted by Harvey Nash, a recruitment firm.

So how can today's IT professionals stay relevant and in demand in the age of automation? 

IT automates IT

While automation has revolutionized the way we live, it has always posed a considerable threat to job security.

But until recently, this threat has been limited to manual-based labor, or tasks and processes that require simple but frequent repetition.

Advances in IT, however, in areas like robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) now enable many firms to automate tasks and processes that require cognitive abilities.

This has significant implications for the future employability of today’s white-collar workforce - and IT employees are no exception.

  • According to recent research by Harvey Nash - a firm that surveyed more than 3,000 technology workers from 84 countries - 45% of IT professionals expect significant portions of their job to be automated within the next 10 years.
  • But which portions will they be? And which jobs will be most affected? 
  • Understanding these potential effects is the key to IT job security.
  • Today’s technology professionals need to develop those skills which are not likely to be automated, yet will be in high demand in the future.

Changing technology, changing technologists

The landscape of IT job roles and functions is changing almost as fast as the technology itself.

Because of the rise of big data, for example, one of the most in demand IT professions today is that of a data scientist – a job which until about 10 years ago simply didn’t exist.

Technological advancements always create a demand for specialists who can work hand-in-hand with the technology and apply it to a particular business or business function.

Nevertheless, because skills development generally struggles to keep pace with technology development, the result is invariably a talent gap in the marketplace.

Overcoming the skills gap and staying relevant

Currently, roles in analytics, big data, software engineering and augmented reality are in high demand and are cited by Harvey Nash as important skills for potential tech candidates to learn.

Of all IT professions consulted in the survey, software engineers and developers are approached the most by headhunters – an average of 11 times per year.

One of the keys to IT job security is making sure you are at the forefront of the latest technologies.

This reality is not lost on IT practitioners, 94% of whom believe their careers will be severely limited if they do not teach themselves new skills.

But the change in technology is now so rapid that it's no longer enough to learn a technical skill once, and then in three or five years’ time invest in a refresher course.

The Harvey Nash report recommends continual learning as a critical determinant of IT career success.

The faster high-tech evolves, the faster today’s skills become obsolete.

Digital learning – the key to continuous skills development and job security

Continual education is best leveraged through modern forms of digital learning, as offered by Oracle University.

Purchasing an Oracle Learning Subscription offers several advantages over traditional classroom-based learning when it comes to skills development.

  • You can access training wherever needed, 24/7, and repeat as required.
  • This keeps skills much more up-to-date than classroom learning, which may need to be scheduled weeks and sometimes months in advance.
  • Digital training content is continually revised with the newest product releases and updates.
  • You can easily keep your finger on the pulse of the latest technological advances.

IT automation and technical skills shortages are two of the main factors affecting the current IT job market.

With Oracle Learning Subscriptions, your Oracle knowledge and skills will always evolve with the times - keeping you and your talents very much in demand, wherever future technology takes us.

Learn how Oracle Learning Subscriptions can help you to get ahead and stay ahead!

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Bhushan Chavan Monday, February 5, 2018
    Amazing article!! and yes you are right about these important skills one should have to be successful in future and to stand out of the crowd, one has to be competent and possess a set of emotional and intellectual skills besides the technical skills to survive in the future.Thanks a lot for this article.
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