Redefining Future-Readiness for the Modern IT Graduate
The world is ever-evolving. If we went back even a few years ago, the world was a different place, let alone the passage of decades through which the world has evolved from being 'just a place to live' to being a 'global village' and beyond that.
Over the decades, science & technology, healthcare, governance, finance, and other significant sectors have gone massive development. However, one field of study that contributed to the development of the above-mentioned sectors is Information Technology (IT). Talking precisely about Information Technology, the IT sector itself is a vast field of study with further specialized fields. The internet has undoubtedly transformed the world, and virtually no distance matters now. You can be anywhere in the world while sitting on the couch in your lounge. You can shop from every corner of the world you want, and you can book tickets, you can interact, you can manage your workplace. Name anything literally and you can have access to it, thanks to the internet. Adding to that, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence is changing how the world operates and how our lifestyles will be shaped in the coming future.
Although there are ample opportunities for the up-coming graduates in every field of study owing to massive development, however, the future holds an excellent horizon for IT graduates, and there is a great scope for job opportunities and career advancement. It is pertinent to mention that no doubt, a formal degree in the field of IT is mandatory to kick-start a career, yet further advanced IT certifications are crucial to up your game. Your success as an IT professional heavily depends on relevant certificates in line with your area of specialization.
Don't Resist the Change – A Case Study of Nokia
As John C. Maxwell, an American author, says, "Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." Change is the fact that you can't turn away from it; it's going to happen, no matter what. You cannot resist it even if you try to. It is human nature to resist change; however, change is inevitable.
Furthermore, even if you undergo the process of change and accept it, you much adopt it in a way that you make sure to adapt yourself according to it. Getting the positive out of change and growing accordingly is optional. It is suggested that you must grow according to change; otherwise, you will be left behind in the race of development, and that gap cannot be filled.
A famous case study of Nokia is a perfect example of what damage "not adapting to change" can do. However, there were various reasons for Nokia's rapid downfall from being a world-dominant and innovative technology organization. However, one big reason was refusing to accept the introduction of Android OS and sticking to Nokia's outdated OS. Even when Nokia tried to compete in the market with the introduction of Microsoft based OS, it was too late, and now it can nowhere be seen as a marketing competitor with other leading brands.
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What is Different Today?
Looking back over the past decade, the speed at which the change occurred has been swift. One of the biggest reasons is how information technology has become pervasive over that particular period. The Internet, in particular, has become faster, more accessible, and more reliable.
Keeping in view educational perspective, not long ago, a graduate's main objective was to get an ideal job right after graduating, or perhaps moving abroad to explore new horizons. However, now graduates have become are more ambitious and want a more balanced life in all aspects. Where once students dreamed about getting prestigious government jobs, now they want to be self-sufficient by using technology and want to shape their life and career according to it. Whereas students' dreams and life goals may have changed over the years, the educational system remains closer to a more traditional approach. However, the focus has changed over the last few years and moved towards being individual-focused. Technology has been offering many advancements to the educational system to serve students in a better way.
Similarly, the job market and industry have also progressed in line with the changes in educational environments. In the past, where employers wanted graduates to bring knowledge and skills of a particular domain, now they understand that knowledge evolves rapidly. Organizations prefer adaptable candidates who show the ability to learn and grow continuously. The future may be as unpredictable as an ocean; therefore, organizations want people who can actively adapt to changing circumstances. It is suggested that aspiring graduates must nurture dynamism and diversity of skills. It does not matter whichever domain you have specialized in. Keeping your skillset broad and diverse is the key to success in the future.
What to Expect in Coming Years?
The pace at which development is happening is still accelerating. The Coronavirus pandemic has altogether changed the face of the world, and the after-effects of this sudden change are still affecting the human lifestyles. Similarly, the educational environment has also changed, and the focus is shifted towards applying the knowledge rather than its theoretical reasoning. That same kind of shift can also be seen in employment.
The pandemic has also caused societal changes. People now have become more empathetic and started to value the resources they have at hand. It has also forced people to use the most precious resource that is time, more effectively, and efficiently. United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals have been around for some time, but now people show more concern and a tendency to take those goals seriously. Among the many negatives caused by the pandemic, a positive aspect that has been caused is how people have started to give their relationships and families more importance, leading to a positive shift towards work-life balance.
Students who once gave priority to pursue a degree that would help them land an ideal job are now looking to gain knowledge and skills which are more likely to help them survive in any situation. In the modern world, there are more career tracks available to graduates. Careers that were once considered difficult, riskier, or less desirable by students have become more popular and high in demand. Therefore, students are now coming out of the bubble of engineering and medical professions as they are looking more promising in IT and its related domains.
Future IT Trends to Take Notice Of
As discussed earlier, the IT sector is progressing and evolving at a very brisk pace. Therefore, graduates pursuing degrees in any sub-field of the IT sector must follow and keep an eye on the latest trends. It is pertinent to mention that no matter you are an upcoming graduate or a professional currently working, learning, and keeping up pace with the latest happenings in the IT field is more important than ever.
Moving forward, without any doubt, all of the IT sub-fields are interlinked, and their success and development depend on one another. However, the factors that can be considered a driving force in the race of innovations and trends in information technology are the internet and the web. Web development trends and practices have been playing a significant role in the innovation of technology.
It doesn't mean that IT fields other than web development aren’t essential or limited scope. Instead, every IT field is as important as the other, and aspiring graduates must select the specialization which excites them the most and they have a liking towards it. Let's discuss some future IT trends graduates must look for.
Artificial Intelligence and Bots
Recent automation trends of the past few years have driven the IT field towards artificial intelligence (AI). AI is a system based on algorithms programmed to think and work like human beings. AI is a simulation of human intelligence through machines. A few examples of AI are Siri, Google Assistant, and Chatbots.
Cryptocurrencies were officially revealed in 2009. However, during the past few years, crypto trading has gained popularity, and the development of Blockchains will continue growing further. Cryptocurrencies carry the massive potential for future development, and they will certainly revolutionize the way people buy, pay taxes, and use other financial services. A famous example of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Just like Artificial Intelligence, another trend that has the potential to shape the future is the Internet of Things (IoT). In simpler terms, IoT can be described as a network of everyday utility devices interconnected through the internet to execute their operations regardless of the user's physical presence. The examples are smart homes and cities, payment automation, e-healthcare, etc.
In the modern age of huge data volumes, cloud computing is a trend that has existed for many years, but it is continuously developing and shaping how the technology works. Examples of cloud computing are Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, AWS, Dropbox, etc.
Virtual Augmented and Reality
Along with AI, Virtual Reality is another notable trend that is going to define the future. VR is a computer-based imitation of reality that enables the users to envisage the things in their real environment. Over the past few years, VR and AR have shown massive progress and potential for future development. A good example of VR is Magical Leap 1 in wearable multi-dimensional computers.
Some Useful Tips for Graduates for Future Readiness
Information technology is a continuously developing field that is continually expanding into new horizons. It's never too early to start taking your career seriously. Even as a student, you can plan your future and set your goals concerning your career. The rapid advancements in the IT field require students and professionals alike to learn and adapt to the new changes and happenings to meet the demands of the ever-evolving industry.
Nurture the Habit of Self-learning
Graduates and professionals alike must foster the habit of self-learning and improve their practical skills. In a modern world, the idea of being an I-shaped professional is not sufficient as your knowledge and skills have only a good depth in a single specialization but not the breadth of wider skills. Today's IT industry demands more T-shaped professionals who have both depth and a wider range of skills. That is only possible if you develop a broad skill set that complements your core area of specialization.
Declutter and Focus
A goal can change according to your target, and your life experiences and external factors change you and your surroundings. However, staying focused is critical so declutter yourself. Start identifying your goals, and once you have set sight on them, eliminate the unnecessary targets. Get yourself ready by acquiring relevant degrees and certifications.
Socialize – Share Your Experiences
Socializing and networking is a crucial non-technical skill that can play an essential role in your success. But keep in mind to socialize with the right people. Share your experiences, whether success or failure, and try to learn from others as well. Sharing your success can boost your confidence while sharing your failure can motivate you to improve. Remember, never settle for less.
Get Hands-on Work Experience
Getting real hands-on experience is vital. You can aim to gain some experience through internships, freelancing, and practicing through self-learning even while you're still in school. Getting real-life work experience not only helps you clear and understand the concepts it also builds your resume for the future.
Build a Career Step by Step
A common mistake that graduates make during or after graduation is looking for high-pay jobs right out of university. Remember, a successful career doesn't have to start with a lucrative job offer. Instead, plan for your progressive development and target the jobs that best match your skillset, aptitude, and interests. Moreover, never stop learning and updating your skills and knowledge through courses and certifications. Building a successful career is not an overnight process; instead, it's a step by step and progressive process, and you need to be patient.
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