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Four IT skills with sky-high prospects

Posted on 13 March, 2018

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cloud + Enterprise Marketing

Staying on top of new technologies is always important, but what skills will help an IT professional become more influential in the workplace? And what role does certification play?

Recent findings from a Microsoft-sponsored IDC white paper, “Cloud Skills and Organizational Influence: How Cloud Skills Are Accelerating the Careers of IT Professionals,” found that even though 70 percent of CIOs surveyed identify themselves as having a “cloud-first IT strategy," only 16 percent of companies have the IT skills to carry out this strategy. This translates into demand for people with the expertise to thrive in a cloud-first environment.

IT Strategy

As companies continue moving to the cloud, certain skills will be especially relevant:

  • Business intelligence: Businesses thrive on data, and there is a continued demand for IT pros who can make it easier to turn that data into actionable intelligence. 
  • DevOps: Companies value the IT operations specialist who can balance the need for agile design and development and the protection of its intellectual property and business goals.
  • Identity and access management: Security threats continue to evolve and there’s a constant need for individuals who understand the threat landscape and who can develop and deploy solutions to protect assets, while maintaining employee productivity and engagement.
  • Software architecture: As companies look for more complex and distributed solutions, software architecture is an essential skill in designing and developing solutions, and ensuring that they meet agreed-upon requirements.

IDC also found that IT professionals who have earned certification in cloud-based development or IT operations benefit further. A survey of 500 IT pros revealed that individuals with either certification are 35 percent more influential in decisions related to cloud deployments.

Cloud computing will drive changes throughout the IT profession. However, individuals in search of rapid career advancement should consider developing skills in one of these areas, and would do well to complete the extra work toward getting certified.

Read the Cloud Skills and Organizational Influence: How Cloud Skills Are Accelerating the Careers of IT Professionals white paper for more information, then explore certification and free training options through Azure Essentials.