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What will make the list of top tech skills in 2024?

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Sarah Gilchriest, Chief People Officer at QA Workforce Learning, a group encompassing QA, Circus Street and Cloud Academy, explores the digital skills that will be rising up the ranks in the coming year
Sarah Gilchriest is Chief People Officer at Workforce Learning

Sarah Gilchriest is Chief People Officer at Workforce Learning, the group that encompasses QA, Circus Street and Cloud Academy.

Sarah is passionate about creating a business that is thriving creatively, financially, and culturally. Sarah’s priority is driving the businesses exponential growth and global expansion without sacrificing the people-focused, award-winning culture of which the business is exceptionally proud. Previously, Sarah was President of Circus Street, joining the company in 2016.

With technology continuing to reshape industries and redefine the way we work, professionals looking to progress their career in the digital era need a continuous commitment to acquiring and honing an ever-evolving set of skills.

As we approach 2024, the demand for specific competencies is likely to intensify. The question often asked though is which skills should be prioritised. In my view, proficiency in AI and machine learning (ML), data analytics and digital marketing stand out as essential, to not only empower professionals to navigate the transformation of the modern workplace, but also to allow them to drive innovation and growth in their respective fields. As the digital revolution accelerates, cultivating these skills should be considered not only a personal imperative, but a strategic advantage in an increasingly competitive and dynamic global marketplace.

tech skills

AI expertise

AI and ML are set to dominate the digital skills landscape in 2024. These technologies are increasingly being integrated into various industries, and professionals with the ability to develop and implement AI and ML solutions will be highly sought after. For many people, their current knowledge of AI will be limited, and upskilling in this area can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to. The best way to get started is to train in the fundamentals of AI – actually understanding how algorithms work in practice. The strengths and weaknesses of AI outputs, the risk of data bias and so forth. With this grounding you can make informed decisions on how AI will play in your day-to-day work life. It may be that you will realise, for example, that focusing on a skill such as prompt engineering makes the most sense. However, it could be that a basic grounding in AI is all you need for the time being until new AI applications develop. 

Data analysis

The ability to analyse and derive insights from large sets of data is an ever more critical skill in today’s data-driven world. Data scientists and analysts will continue to be in demand as organisations look to leverage data for informed decision-making. That said though, people don’t need to be a data scientist to benefit from learning data analysis skills, with the ability to understand what the data is telling you. Otherwise you’re simply following what other people – usually in the data team – tell you. Without some entry-level data analysis skills, you cannot spot errors, see opportunities for further analysis or make the most of the insights the analysis generates. 

Digital Marketing:

The digital landscape is crowded, and effective digital marketing is essential for businesses to stand out. Skills in social media marketing, content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), and data-driven marketing strategies will be essential for professionals in marketing and communications. It will also be useful for other business leaders though, as hand in hand with the growing complexity of marketing comes the need for specialists from different departments to contribute to communication campaigns. Data scientists, developers, VR experts and more can be involved in the development, launch, and management of marketing initiatives. Add to this growing number of channels, mediums of message and technical tools and analysis techniques that can be brought to bear and you can see why successful marketing projects hinge on skilled organisation and timely execution. As a quick note on communication – just as data skills will inevitably help you to better understand and communicate with your data team, so too will getting more understanding of basic development procedures and practices. Dabbling in coding is a good way to start. 

Extended Reality

Once confined to the realm of science fiction, XR is now a tangible reality and it has the potential to revolutionise the way businesses train and operate. Proficiency in developing AR/VR applications and creating interactive experiences will therefore be a sought-after skillset as we move forward in 2024. The expanding reach of XR technology will empower businesses to streamline their operations and gain a competitive edge in the market. Early adopters will be at the forefront of this transformation, reaping the benefits of this innovative technology, but need to be sure teams are ready to take advantage of it. As XR training is so new, businesses should think about piloting smaller virtual training programs and closely analysing the results. In an ideal world, you would run an A/B test – looking at how XR training compares to online learning for a particular skill to see where the biggest impact can be felt. There will of course be some skill sets within your business that XR should have an obvious role to play – but intuition is no substitute for cold, hard data. 

A time for continuous learning

We can expect the digital skills landscape in 2024 to be diverse and dynamic, reflecting the ongoing technological advancements shaping our world. Professionals who stay updatedupdate on emerging trends, continuously upskill, and demonstrate a combination of technical expertise and soft skills will be well-positioned to thrive in the evolving digital world. As industries embrace digital transformation, the demand for individuals with these skills will only intensify in the years to come.

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