Top Tech Skills in the Remote Work Era

ITCareerFinder interviews technology, business, staffing and education leaders to identify the most desirable skills in the post-Corona IT workforce.

Desirable Remote Tech Skills

The global pandemic has thrown organizations large and small into turmoil as offices shuttered overnight, and employees began a trial-by-fire adjustment to home office environments.

This has had a profound impact on the IT needs of businesses, and offers those in the tech job market a series of opportunities in the areas of IT service management (ITSM), unified communications, security, and a host of areas where businesses will need to ramp up their acumen—quickly and permanently.

“The most shocking thing about the pandemic was not that people were starting to work from home, it was how quickly it happened,” explains Shirin Mangold, senior director of IT at software and information solutions specialist Deltek.

She notes the company immediately lost their ability to go in and pick up IT equipment, and had to support employees who had never worked outside the office. This requiring providing an avalanche of information her team needed to communicate to people working remotely, without the ability to rely on traditional in-office communications.

“We had an increased reliance on online collaboration tools and that became extremely important for communicating information to people,” she says. “As people went home, they asked for support on consumer products, home printers, WiFi and cable providers, and it challenged our ability to troubleshoot, so we really had to share knowledge more creatively.”

She sees business needs for IT Service Management and Unified Communications ramping up dramatically as IT departments struggle with a deluge of tickets, a view shared by Matt Hackney, regional vice president for the New York region at the staffing firm, Robert Half Technology.

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The Best IT Certifications for Beginners

If you want to break into the technology field, proactive training and experience – validated by industry-recognized IT certifications – is a great way to begin. These certifications are the best for beginning IT pros looking to land an entry-level position.

best it certifications for beginners

The COVID-19 pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs and made it difficult for 2020 college graduates to find work. Additionally, the advent of a larger remote workforce means the state of jobs today looks pretty different than it did just one year ago. Perhaps you’re looking to change careers. Now may be the perfect time. If information technology is a field that interests you, here’s what you need to get your resume noticed and your foot in the proverbial door.

Train Before You Get the Job

Yes, IT skills are in-demand right now. If you’re researching a career in IT you’ve probably read about the IT skills gap. Essentially this means that there are more technology jobs available than qualified professionals to fill them. The good news is, there are plenty of resources out there to skill up to get one of these in-demand positions. One of the best ways to validate your knowledge in the technology industry is via IT certification.

Certifications aren’t just about adding a gold star to your resume. The skills and knowledge gained through proper certification training and exam prep is exactly what IT departments need. The skills gap is slowly hurting organizations and the best solution is upskilled employees. Preparing for, and earning, an IT certification(s) is one of the best ways to gain the critical skills employers need.

The Best Certs for IT Beginners

Before we get into the best IT certifications for beginners, let us first define “best.” It is, after all, a subjective term. Does best mean it will make you more money? Lead to more interviews? Or does best mean that employers are specifically looking for these credentials?

We have decided the “best” certifications for IT beginners are those that will help you get an entry-level job. To that end, we’ve matched desirable entry-level tech roles with the skills needed to land that job, then paired the most marketable certifications with those skills.

Here are the best IT certifications for beginners, segmented by 3 of the hottest technical domains:

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Top 5 Cyber Security Skills Needed in 2018

Hot Cyber Security Skills 2018

As the frequency and severity of cyber attacks continues to rise, organizations are coming face to face with the looming danger of a data breach. However, boosting security budgets is not nearly enough to protect against today's increasingly sophisticated attacks. To truly combat the myriad threats in cyberspace, organizations must hire, train and retain cyber security professionals with the skills needed to stay ahead of the hackers.

Here are five skill sets that information security hiring managers are looking for in 2018, and beyond:

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Highest Paying Cyber Security Jobs

Highest Paying Cyber Security Jobs

Data breaches happen so often that it’s easy to gloss over the headlines, but the fallout is much harder for companies to ignore: hacks are not just embarrassing, but can lead to serious financial and reputational damage. So, it’s not surprising that there’s high demand for cyber security professionals, and that those who are up to the task are generously compensated. In fact, Computerworld reported that cyber security was the third most highly sought-after skill (right behind app development and tech support), according to managers who planned to expand their IT staff in 2017. In the same report, John Reed, the senior executive director of IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology, pointed out that many companies regularly have vacancies due to their inability to find suitable candidates.

Not only are cyber security skills in peak demand, but according to Computerworld’s 2017 IT Salary Survey Results, security is the third highest-paying IT specialty (after cloud computing and ERP) . But not all cyber-sec jobs pay the same. A handful of positions stand above the rest, at least in terms of compensation.

Here are some of the highest paying cyber security jobs:

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Required Skills for Cyber Security Professionals

Required Cyber Security Skills

The demand for dedicated cyber security talent is higher than ever before, and it's unlikely to decelerate any time soon. Many companies are feeling the pressure from an ever-growing threat landscape, and are compelled to seek out professionals who can help protect the organization from harm. According to a study conducted by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education and (ISC)², the workforce shortage in the cyber security industry is projected to hit 1.8 million by 2022. There's no better time for professionals in the cyber security field to hone and expand their skill set, becoming a valuable asset in the process.

When it comes to developing these skills, it helps to view them in the context of cyber security specialties. While job roles and day-to-day responsibilities often overlap, and professionals must adapt to new knowledge all the time, these specialties can still help an aspiring cyber security professional focus on a group of skills that are most appropriate for them.

The following are in-demand cyber security specialties and the skills you need to excel in each one:

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