- The workplace of today, however, has evolved to a point where the average job-seeker requires considerable technological skills to obtain positions outside of technologically-focused fields.
- Did you know that there are more than 12 million eCommerce sites in existence?
- Some technological skills have crossover appeal between industries but still require a greater investment of time to learn than your basic skills.
Technology rules almost everything around us, so it should come as no surprise that it plays a role in nearly every career path you can imagine. If you’re not already tech-savvy, then this might be a daunting realization, but you don’t necessarily have to look at it as a drawback. This is a chance to improve your skills and make yourself even more of an asset for employers.
The Increasing Role of Technology in the Workplace
Tech-specific jobs have always existed, and being proficient in those technological niches has always been advantageous for those who sought such positions.
The workplace of today, however, has evolved to a point where the average job-seeker requires considerable technological skills to obtain positions outside of technologically-focused fields.
Several work-related trends have contributed to this evolution, but let’s look at three of the most prominent: the rise of online business, the growing gig economy, and the increased integration of technological elements in “normal” jobs.
Business Moving to Online Spaces
Did you know that there are more than 12 million eCommerce sites in existence? How about the fact that consumers will make 90% of purchases online by the year 2040? As time progresses, conducting business over the internet will become the norm.
Because of this, businesses need employees who understand the nature of online spaces and how to navigate them. Knowledge of social networks, digital marketing, and eCommerce trends will be of great value in the years to come.
Gig Work Taking Over
The increasing influence of the gig economy has been well documented. Regardless of where you stand on the ethics of gig work, two facts aren’t up for debate: gigging is here to stay, and most gigs require some technological competency.
At their most basic, a majority of gigs require an understanding of the internet and how to operate a smartphone to get started. For more advanced freelance work, you may need more complex technological skills like knowledge of specialized software or computer programming languages.
Tech Proliferation in the Office
As early as 2014, authorities like the Pew Research Center noted that digital tools were transforming the way that most workers conducted business. Fast forward to 2021, and recent shakeups like the COVID-19 pandemic have only increased the rate at which businesses are adopting new technologies in the office.
The implementation of new technologies will continue to accelerate. For businesses, this increasing rate of technological change means that the most desirable employees are those who can consistently adapt to new technologies without issue.
Why Tech Skills Matter
As a result of these trends (and an increasing reliance on technology in workplaces across the spectrum), having tech skills isn’t just a bonus to make you a more attractive candidate, they can be key to you being the top candidate. Be specific about highlighting your tech skills on your resume; if you know certain software programs, be explicit about your level of proficiency.
Speaking broadly, technology is far less intimidating when you understand it, and adopting these skills will future-proof your career path while simultaneously making you a better problem solver, leader, and team player.
What’s more, tech skills will help you compete with the younger generations, who are often better equipped to handle emerging roles in the workforce. If you aren’t already up to speed with all the newest innovations, though, you’ll need to invest the time to improve.
How You Can Prepare for the Future of Work
If you aren’t already familiar with technology, a combination of self-learning and formal classes can help bring you up to speed. Generally speaking, you’ll want to focus on building your tech skills in the following order:
Start With the Most Common Tech Skills
If you’re starting on the proverbial ground floor in regards to technology, then your first step should be getting up to speed with the most basic tech skills that modern employers will expect you to know. These skills are very common and serve as the base level of what you should know if you want to be in the running for a job. This category includes knowing how to use email, word processors, spreadsheet programs, and social media.
Build Your Mid-Tier Skills Next
Some technological skills have crossover appeal between industries but still require a greater investment of time to learn than your basic skills. These will differentiate you from a good number of job-seekers, however, so they’re worth the time to learn. This category includes data analytics, HTML, knowledge of digital marketing strategies, and the like.
Focus on Specialized Skills As Needed
If you’re going into a specialized field or starting your own tech business, then you’ll need more advanced skills to help you get by, but you can focus on these when you know for certain which career path will be your focus. Examples of specialized tech skills include knowledge of specific programming languages, network security, and proficiency with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation technologies.
Build Your Skills and Update Your Resume
The greater your technological prowess, the more future-proof you will be as an employee. If your tech skills are currently lacking, consider it an invitation to start improving your skills and transforming yourself into a more valuable employee.
Start slowly by building basic tech skills, and supplement those with more complex skills that apply to the fields you are interested in as your progress.
In time, you will be able to adapt to the changing conditions of the modern workplace and remain a valuable asset — regardless of the innovations that occur.