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Technology professionals, from software developers to cyber security experts, play a critical role in shaping the modern world. No wonder, then, that so many people are drawn to tech jobs and the chance to pursue a career that's both intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding.
No matter how talented and well-qualified you are, you'll still need to choose a specialisation that suits your interests, skill set and personality. To help you chart your career path in the tech industry, here's a rundown of five of the top tech jobs, and the skills and qualifications employers look for when they fill these positions in both tech companies and other industries that require tech talent.
Related: 7 software engineer interview questions and tips to ace your interview
Software development methodologies like “Agile” help teams deliver quality products at speed by encouraging incremental development, collaboration and accountability. For many organisations, however, such methodologies don't do enough to break down the barriers between their development and operations teams.
Enter DevOps. As the name suggests, this methodology enables development and operations teams to work in harmony across the software development lifecycle, from planning and coding to deployment and monitoring.
DevOps engineers aim for continuous code development and testing integration by using tools that allow teams to collaborate and provide feedback in near real-time.
DevOps is a highly cost-effective approach for software development and testing, which is one reason for the current popularity of this tech role. Another reason is the explosive growth of the cloud over the past few years.
As cloud development projects grow in both number and complexity, DevOps engineers play a pivotal role in optimising application development to meet the needs of both users and the business.
If you want to know more, read all the details about the role of a DevOps engineer.
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The data scientist is one of the most advanced tech jobs, blending statistics, mathematics and computer science. Indeed, such is the role’s intellectual complexity that many companies expect data scientist candidates to have a PhD in one of the aforementioned disciplines.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that data scientist is an academic role. Companies employ these professionals to analyse and extract information from large data sets to help them guide their operations and business strategies.
Organisations that learn from data in this way can cut costs, improve decision making and find new market opportunities. In short, data scientists need a head for business as well as a head for figures.
The same could be said for data analysts, although this tech job differs in significant ways from that of data scientists. Data analysts tend to work with existing data, whereas data scientists design processes from scratch to capture that data. Good data analysts excel at creating charts and reports that present data in fresh and compelling ways.
The demand for these tech roles increases as industries become ever more data-driven. These days, organisations harvest raw, complex data from a wide array of sources, including social media channels, databases and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. Data scientists are the key to unlocking valuable insights from this torrent of unprocessed data.
If you’re considering a career in data science or data analysis, you may be concerned that automated processes could replace these tech roles as companies invest in machine learning tools to build predictive models.
However, while these tools are increasingly powerful, few experts expect them to replace data scientists and analysts any time soon. Data still needs to be tailored and prepared according to the organisation's business needs — a task best suited to human beings with domain knowledge.
If you want to know more, read all the details about the roles of data scientists and data analysts.
The tech sector is full of brilliant people with brilliant ideas for brilliant technology. But that’s not enough to bring a product to market. You also need someone who can see the bigger picture and weave a project's diverse and sometimes competing strands into one cohesive strategy.
That person is the project manager, a role that combines technology operations with general management. Responsible for shepherding a project from inception to completion, IT project managers must:
In an increasingly digitised and global business landscape, companies need to adapt quickly to changing circumstances in order to bring their products and services to market.
To make that happen, they need leaders who can think on their feet and turn a set of complex requirements into a single, coherent strategy — IT project managers, in other words.
If you have leadership skills, a passion for technology and the ability to drive change in an organisation, this is a career path with excellent long-term prospects.
If you want to know more, read all the details about the role of an IT project manager.
Entry-level web developers tend to come in one of two flavours: front-end or back-end. Front-end developers are concerned with the look and feel of a website and how users interact with it. Back-end developers are concerned with the website's basic functionality and how it interacts with databases, servers and the cloud.
As you progress in your career and gain knowledge and experience across different programming languages and frameworks, a third option will become available: full-stack developer. These elite tech professionals can move seamlessly between back-end and front-end processes.
Furthermore, they are well-versed in business trends and best user experience practices, equipping them to advise and consult on strategy. Finally, full-stack developers must be first-rate communicators with the ability to collaborate with a wide range of clients and stakeholders and report to senior management.
Given the value they can bring to an organisation and the rising demand for web development in the technology sector, it’s no surprise that full-stack developers will be highly sought after in 2022.
When hiring developers, employers are not just looking for first-rate coding skills. They also want talent with the adaptability and flexibility to accelerate and streamline the development process, and full-stack developers are well-positioned to meet this need.
However, it’s not an easy tech role to walk into in the early stages of your career. Seize any opportunity you can to work on both front-end and back-end processes so that you can credibly market yourself as a candidate who has mastered both.
If you want to know more, read all the details about the role of a full-stack developer.
Related: #BecomingTechies: how I became a pioneer cybersecurity strategist in Asia
Can you think like a malicious hacker and identify vulnerabilities in your organisation's information security setup? Can you also think like a business executive and design a cyber security strategy that will protect the company's reputation and bottom line?
If so, cyber security analyst could be the job for you. You’ll work closely with cyber security architects and engineers. While these roles overlap and are often confused, they’re not the same.
Analysts are the first line of defence, monitoring the organisation’s network to detect breaches and vulnerabilities. Based on this analysis, cyber security architects and engineers can design and implement systems to counter the threats identified.
As more and more organisations adopt digital-first business strategies, they become more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. To mitigate this risk, they’re looking to hire cyber security experts who can prevent, detect and respond to cyber events.
There has been a high demand for cyber security analysts and similar IT roles across the board, particularly in financial services, healthcare, government and retail industries.
A cyber security analyst is an intermediate-level IT role that typically requires at least three years of experience working in information security positions. If you’re just starting your technology career, consider entry-level security positions like security administrator.
If you want to know more, read all the details about the role of a cyber security analyst.
The business analyst is a multi-functional role, and professionals in this position may draw on knowledge and expertise in fields like computer science, finance and marketing.
Regardless of their specialisation, all business analysts have a passion for identifying and interpreting customer needs and translating these into actionable business strategies.
Common business analyst responsibilities include financial, data flow, and project management. Strong communication and collaboration skills are essential for this role since business analysts often work with designers, developers and quality assurance teams to implement product corrections and improvements.
The demand for business analysts is already high and is expected to increase over the next few years. One of the key drivers for this demand is digital transformation and the ability for organisations to retrieve vast troves of data about how their businesses operate.
This data can give businesses a crucial edge over their competitors — if they have people on their team with the skills to interpret that data and turn it into useful insights and solutions.
If you want to know more, read all the details about the role of a business analyst.
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