Jessica Hawkey from redAcademy shares her views on what essential skills are needed that are necessary for young people wishing to embark on a career in the IT industry.
1. Job-specific skills
The beauty about learning is that you don’t have to enter a course, school or university knowing how to code. Lecturers and colleagues will teach you the skills.
2. Relevant skills
One of the biggest disconnects between education and the workplace is a lag between what skills are taught and what skills are needed. This holds true for both schools and universities. Be sure to ask about the relevance of skills being taught, and whether they are being used in companies driven by the sense of meaning that matters to you.
Skills are only one side of the coin. To be a successful software developer, or team member in any IT profession, you must have a can-do attitude. Start today by cultivating a positive mindset and a hunger to learn from those with more experience. Never stop learning and become comfortable being uncomfortable, as that’s how we grow as people and professionals.
How many times have we heard this: A job is available, but it requires experience; but how can you get experience if every job needs you to have experience before it will give you more experience? This can only be taught in a live work environment. Try to find apprenticeships, holiday work programmes or training institutions that teach young people in live environments.
5. Human skills
While the instinct may be to presume that the future workplace will only have space for people with the latest and most technical IT skills, the truth is that human skills are more important than ever before. Creativity, decision-making, judgement, leadership and communication will become more important than ever before.
Take the time to do courses and find mentors to build these crucial human skills, which will go a long way towards finding employment first, and then fulfilment in a career.