Being hired for an ICT role can be broken down into roughly two factors; capability and cultural fit. What are your skills and appetite/ability to learn new skills and do you fit into the organisation’s culture? Will you make that organisation a more desirable place to be and work if you are a part of it?
These two factors vary in importance across the ICT landscape from role to role, and business to business. There are some desirable skills that have seen an increase as a requirement within most organisations, but there has also been a push by employers to identify a strong cultural fit and ability to learn, rather than a more typical skills/capability fit. Below, we will explore some of the skill sets that are highly desirable at the moment, as well as digging into the culture vs capability debate more deeply.
The roles of 2018
There is a lot of attention being created around AI, machine learning and blockchain at the moment, and they will certainly become a large sector of the ICT market in the future. However, the majority of organisations in Australia have not invested heavily in this space yet. Given this is the case, it begs the question, what are the roles for today?
Microsoft Stack Developers
We are seeing a great shortage nationally of developers across the Microsoft Suite of products. This covers the more traditional versions of .NET (ASP and C#, etc.) as well as the newer products including Sharepoint, CRM and Azure and across the board there is a shortage. Every business is more aware of their online presence compared to 3- 5 years ago and this has resulted in development work increasing at a consistent rate.
This is the other term that is thrown around with AI and blockchain, but cybersecurity is currently more relevant, and its growth as a sector will not slow anytime soon. This is especially true for large organisations and government departments, who are acutely aware of the importance of their security. Analysts, Architects and Auditors are all popular in the security space and these skills are having a significant impact on the future plans of ICT organisations.
Between UX/UI and Cyber Security, you have the two most prevalent topics in the ICT industry at the moment. UX/UI has seen a dramatic increase in focus over the last 3 – 5 years and will continue to increase for years to come. For a skills set that can incorporate elements of deep IT coding and technical knowledge – as well as elements of graphical and functional design – it is quickly becoming one of the leading skill sets in the ICT industry. With organisations wanting to show their best face to the market, those that can show the company at its best and to the widest possible audience are increasingly popular in a social media driven environment.
Culture vs Capability
For a long time the ICT market was driven by capability – if you had the skills, you had the job. With a generational shift occurring at the moment in the workforce there has been a shift in priority. Over the last year, we have seen a number of clients in the market move away from requiring a highly specific skills-based job description, to a more holistic view of a candidate. Over and over we have had clients saying, “if they have the right attitude we can educate them on core capabilities” and “we are happy with our environment here so we want the right fit and the team will assist the new person with the skills”. A cohesive workplace has been proven to be a successful one. Managers and the once exempt world of ICT has learned this, and the positive results are being felt in the forward-thinking organisations.
What does that mean for the future?
As a candidate, you should look at rounding out your soft skills as well as your technical skills. A candidate’s self-awareness is a trait that shows an individual understanding of their strengths/weaknesses. Areas of self-development are certainly something that employers are regarding highly, especially in management positions. From an employer’s point of view, there are types of personality testing that can give an insight into how a person will fit into a team. There is the age-old “pub test” that has been used for years in the sales industry but is slowly moving to other industries. In day-to-day practice, it means there will be a slow shift away from interviews being entirely formal and capability-based, to a general conversation that will question how a person communicates and interacts with the interviewer/s.
If you would like a confidential assessment of your current skills and future opportunity, please contact your local Finite Consultant.
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