Seven Steps to Developing Your Tech Career in 2024
The tech industry is ever-evolving, and 2024 is no exception. In the fast-paced world of technology, staying ahead of the curve is key to a flourishing career. The technology sector is the fastest-growing, and competition for skilled individuals is high. As we step into 2024, the opportunities for IT professionals have never been more abundant. Here are seven steps to help you navigate your tech career this year.
1. Embrace Continuous Learning
The tech landscape evolves rapidly, with new frameworks, languages, and tech emerging. Dedicate time to upskilling by enrolling in online courses, attending webinars, and earning certifications. Online platforms offer courses on everything from data science to cloud computing. Platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and LinkedIn Learning have resources to help you update your skills.
Networking is important in the tech industry. Attend industry meetups, webinars, and conferences. Connect with peers and industry leaders on professional and tech-specific networking sites. Networking will open doors to valuable opportunities, collaborations, and industry insights. It will also enable you to have a supportive community that aids continuous learning and professional growth.
Networking also takes place online, including on LinkedIn. As LinkedIn plays a role in hiring decisions, ensure that your profile highlights your professional achievements and career milestones. It can be a good idea to mention your specialisms. Update your profile with information on completed projects and current or upcoming projects.
3. Master Agile Methodologies
In 2024, agile methodologies will remain the backbone of successful tech projects. Familiarise yourself with Agile principles and practices, including
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
- Feature-Driven Development (FDD)
- Agile Unified Process (AUP)
As companies adopt Agile frameworks for project management, being well-versed in Agile will make you an asset to tech teams aiming for efficiency and adaptability.
4. Explore Specialised Areas
Identify your interests and delve into niche areas increasing in demand, like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, or cloud computing. A 2021 McKinsey survey cited a lack of cloud talent and capabilities as one of the biggest challenges faced by CIOs. As ever, cybersecurity is a risk in 2024. A 2022 report by ISC2 flagged up the shortage of expertise. The global cybersecurity organisation says there are 4.7 million cybersecurity experts, but 3.4 million more are needed.
According to Hired’s 2023 State of Tech Salaries, in-demand roles within tech include
- data engineers
- machine learning engineers
- cybersecurity engineers
At the same time, it was reported that 23% of all tech job postings (in August 2023) included positions in emerging technologies or requiring emerging tech skills.
In 2024, there is a growing demand for AI tech workers. research estimates AI will create 97 million jobs. The UK AI market is worth more than £16.9 billion and is expected to grow to £803.7 billion by 2035. Developing expertise in an in-demand, skills-short field such as AI or machine learning enhances your employability.
5. Contribute to Open-Source Projects or Hackathons
Participating in open-source projects is a way to showcase your skills. It adds valuable experience to your portfolio and enables you to collaborate with professionals worldwide. Hackathons also provide an opportunity to enhance technical skills, learn new programming languages or frameworks, and gain hands-on experience in a short time.
Platforms like GitHub have opportunities to contribute and collaborate. Hackathons often involve tackling real-world problems or creating solutions for specific challenges. This enhances your problem-solving skills. Some hackathons offer prizes, sponsorships, or other forms of recognition.
6. Develop your Soft Skills
Technical skills are vital but don't underestimate soft skills. In 2024, as technology increasingly intersects with different business areas, the ability to convey complex ideas to non-tech stakeholders becomes invaluable. Communication, teamwork, adaptability, and problem-solving are valued in the tech industry. These attributes can set you apart.
7. Get Relevant Certifications
Certifications from recognised institutions can boost your credibility. Whether it's AWS for cloud computing or PMP for project management, choose certifications that align with your career goals. When it comes to cloud computing, you can learn the fundamentals through entry-level courses by cloud providers such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon. Popular certifications include Microsoft Certified and Google Associate Cloud Engineer. You might find your current employer will fund them, or as a contractor, you may need to obtain them yourself.
A Journey, not a Destination
As you embark on your tech career journey, remember that a successful IT career is built on continuous learning, adaptability, and a robust professional network.
Remember, the path to success in the tech industry is not a sprint (pardon the pun) but a marathon. Stay inquisitive, keep learning, embrace challenges, and you'll continue to grow in your tech career in 2024 and beyond.
Contact the Meraki Talent team today to discuss the next step in your tech career.