IT Education Helps Workers Avoid Obsolescence

According to a survey conducted by Tech Pro Research, 59 percent of IT & technology workers are concerned that their professional skill-set will become obsolete. While the survey revealed that at majority of workers across numerous industries shared this concern, obsolescence is a particular issue within the IT world, as new innovations are coming at an exponential rate. The results of Tech Pro Research's survey also revealed that 32 percent of IT workers plan on obtaining additional certifications in their current job role and 25 percent plan to obtain certifications outside of their job role. This highlights the industry-wide importance of a continuing education for those pursuing a career in information technology. As technology rapidly evolves, it's imperative for tech professionals to update skills to meet the expectations of top IT companies. An advanced education on the most recent skills in the industry will allow IT professionals to remain relevant and desirable in this competitive and rewarding field.

The Survey

Perhaps the most important conclusion from the survey by Tech Pro Research is that IT professionals continue to be in high demand. This is especially true as technology becomes more advanced and diverse, mandating the need for well-versed, innovative, intelligent workers that can interact with cloud and mobile technology, big data and the Internet of Things. Of course, more traditional IT professionals are still simultaneously needed to develop software and manage networks. Though the shape of the IT workforce will likely change, professionals that remain up-to-date on current trends in the industry will likely see more long-term success.

Tech Pro Research surveyed 1,156 respondents asking IT workers 10 questions regarding current trends and projects, what skills they are learning or plan to learn and what they expect for the future of information technology. Despite the fact that a little more than a third of IT pros expressed no fear of becoming obsolete, many of these workers cited their lack of concern as a result of already continuing their educations or planning to soon retire. Essentially, many of those unconcerned about obsolescence were already acting to mitigate the problem.

Competency Based Education

Therefore, it's necessary that IT professionals not only learn skills that are currently en vogue, but also work to prepare for the future. Many trends in the IT industry occur quickly, however, some skills will certainly become important for an extended period of time. IT firms are continually looking for tech workers with business acumen and knowledge of big data, as well as those that can contribute to workplace efficiency and innovation.

What is Obsolescence?

Technology is subject to increasingly rapid cycles of innovation, spurred by major advances in computers, Internet capabilities, the utilization of big data and other factors. This means that certain acquired skills that many IT workers possess may become obsolete as new and better technologies are invented. If a certain software, application or operating system stops being widely used, an IT pro specializing in that area might become obsolete. However, this does not have to be the case. IT workers that have a strong hold of contemporary technology trends can adapt and take on new responsibilities. Furthermore, these workers will be able to actively contribute to innovations and influence the direction in which the industry evolves.

Moreover, a continuing education will provide IT pros with insights as to which upcoming technologies appear to be more perennial. While certain programs and software may become irrelevant in six months, others might transform the industry and thereby have longevity.

This means that the modern day IT professional needs to be well-rounded and be dedicated to learning new skills. Those in the industry who work to stay abreast of the latest developments will be able to collaborate and diversify their skill-sets. A more eclectic professional portfolio then gives these workers a wide range of applications and needed abilities. Those who allow themselves to fall behind risk slowly losing out on new opportunities.

Western Governors University is a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers bachelor's and master's online degree programs in IT. Find out more about WGU's online degree programs in IT.

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