The covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of companies, increasing the demand for digital skills considerably in the last year, further valuing professions in the technology sector. Despite the risk of a mild recession, the forecast for 2023 is that IT professionals will remain on the rise, as technology becomes increasingly necessary in processes of innovation and updating of businesses around the world.
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Among the skills that will be highlighted in the coming years are those related to cybersecurity, coding, leadership, data and cloud. In addition, professionals with critical thinking, empathy and creativity — skills that are innate in humans — will have more opportunities in the market, especially with the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Skills that will stand out in 2023
A 2022 cybersecurity report by Secureworks revealed that the number of job opportunities in the area grew by 350% around the world, between 2013 and 2021. For the CEO of the UK Cybersecurity Council, Simon Hepburn, there are more than 14,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the UK.
The CEO explains that, even with the threat of a recession, companies should not try to skimp on an IT team in 2023, as it leaves the organization vulnerable to cyber attacks, operational dysfunction, loss of earnings and damage to its reputation — mainly with regard to the cybersecurity score.
“These are not risks organizations will want to take when they are already facing the dual challenges of galloping inflation and a looming recession,” Hepburn told ZDNet.
David Mahdi, Sectigo’s CSO and CISO consultant, assesses that companies need to invest in leadership that deepens awareness on the subject: “You can surround your employees with the latest security barriers and antivirus software, but only when you teaches you how to keep your own online identities safe in the workplace, you can cultivate a strong cybersecurity framework,” Mahdi told the portal.
He further reinforces that security technology does not work if employees are not continually educated. One study reveals that seven out of 10 companies pay for identity management tools they don’t use. That is, knowing how to protect yourself at the individual level will become a fundamental and increasingly critical skill.
Job openings for data engineers grew by 116% between 2016 and 2021, reveals a recent report by Randstad. Robert Half’s 2023 Salary Guide also identified a constant demand for developers, with emphasis on those with knowledge in C#, C++, Angular, Node.js, AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Azure.
For 2023, developers can protect themselves from the recession by combining cloud-related skills with software delivery processes. According to John Smith, CTO of Veracode, DevOps is critical for organizations to accelerate their software processes, so developing management skills and a true understanding of operations will ensure that developers stay ahead of the competition.
“By mastering modern software delivery processes, developers will be able to demonstrate how they can add value and directly address business challenges.”
AI and machine learning versus human skills
For Stormy Peters, VP of Communities at GitHub, artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the world of programming in the same way that the calculator and the computer changed the world. “These technological advances are taking care of a lot of the mundane, heavy lifting that developers used to dedicate all their time to. Development looks different now,” she says.
Tools like ChatGPT allow developers to focus on solving critical problems and the big picture, since while software development is at the heart of business strategies, problem solving, critical thinking and other innate human skills will be essential.
“While emerging technologies increasingly allow them to stay in flow and solve challenging problems, the technical aspects of the ability to program, design and develop code through a high-level understanding of AI, DevOps and programming languages will also remain important. discipline,” he adds.
As such, the rapid growth of AI and other technical innovations will change not only the way people work, but the skills needed to thrive in the digital economy, says Sander van’t Noordende, CEO of Randstad.
Noordende further reinforces that, in addition to knowledge in machine learning, data science, and social media skills, the characteristics that differentiate us from machines — such as empathy and creativity — are crucial in the job market and employers should prioritize them both regarding technical skills.
The role of leadership
Professionals in leadership positions will face challenges over the coming months, mainly related to hiring, retention and qualification. For Melina Masnatta, global director of Learning & DEI at Globant, investing time and resources in management skills and diversifying leadership is “one of the most important actions that companies and individuals must take now”.
The executive explains that leaders will be responsible for providing the structure and resources to develop skill sets across teams, in addition to effectively managing the organization’s qualification. “High performance work environments are driven by high psychological safety within teams. Future and current leaders face the challenge of promoting that psychological safety from a distance,” said Masnatta.