This article is sponsored by NTT.
Ten years ago, information technology looked very different to what it does today. Stuffy back rooms housed huge servers and everyone had to be at their desk to actually work — the horror.
A steep rise in innovation over the last decade, from cloud computing to smartphones and remote work, has seen IT needs change. Now, with a huge range of careers on offer for people pursuing IT, how on earth are people meant to prepare?
We chatted with John Karabin, Senior Director from NTT, one of the largest technology and business solutions providers in the world, to help narrow things down. He talked us through the most in-demand skills they’re looking for in new IT hires in 2022.
Whoever started the outdated stereotype that IT professionals go into tech to avoid people got it all wrong. John says communication skills definitely come first.
“IT specialists deal with a lot of people who aren’t in the industry,” he explains. “And it’s critical to be able to translate what they work on and articulate the value they bring to decision-makers within the business.”
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll have seen first-hand how many ‘urgent’ requests get thrown at the IT team. Calmly explaining the complex tech to their colleagues and managing their (usually unrealistic) expectations can be half the battle.
2. Being goal-oriented
John also says that having a goal-oriented attitude is a crucial skill in tech.
“It will help drive your purpose. Especially when starting out, being mission-driven, having enthusiasm, and ultimately showing interest in IT will stand you in good stead for a successful career,” he explains.
3. Cloud computing
When it comes to the hard technical skills that people should pick up for IT, cloud computing is key.
According to John, cloud computing is the smallest but fastest-growing market in Australia. He explains that having the ability to migrate on-premise facilities to the cloud will be a sought after skill for years to come.
While we’ve established IT specialists need to be people-people, John is actually talking about technical networking skills here.
“Networking skills are highly in demand right now. Having the foundational knowledge of configuring, building, managing, and maintaining network infrastructure is essential for securing data that can transfer onto other technical skills,” says John.
5. Time management
Time and project management skills go a long way in IT — especially as you climb the ladder into a more senior role.
“Being well organised is critical when you need to run multiple factions of an IT department,” says John. “While also understanding how the different pieces of the puzzle connect to show the bigger picture.”
How do I hone those skills?
Formal education at a university or TAFE helps boost your IT knowledge and credentials, but John says nothing compares to learning on the job. He recommends racking up some hands-on experience with internships.
NTT runs an internship program with Deakin University that gives interns real-life experience to work on a project that they then present to high-level execs with a Q&A session.
John’s final piece of advice is just to get started.
“The IT industry is a fast-paced, ever-changing space. If you can show your enthusiasm and willingness to learn, employers will notice your potential.”