Must-needed skills for tech professionals to look at in 2024

By Dr Priya Ranjan, Professor, UPES School of Computer Sciences and Dr. Muthukumar KA, Assistant Professor, UPES School of Computer Sciences

In the age of constant change and uncertainty, upskilling has become a requirement rather than a mere choice. With technology evolving at an accelerated rate, it is imperative for tech professionals to learn and unlearn in order to stay relevant in today’s job market.

So, let’s delve into some of the top tech trends that techies need to look at in 2024 when it comes to upskilling themselves.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): Expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is still highly sought after and specialising in fields such as computer vision, natural language processing, or reinforcement learning can be extremely beneficial for techies. With AI becoming more prevalent, ethical concerns around privacy, transparency, and fairness are also gaining importance. So, tech professionals should educate themselves on ethical AI practices, such as fairness in algorithms, transparency in decision-making procedures, and ethical conduct in gathering information and its utilisation. In addition to this, Generative AI is also gaining momentum and will be a big focus in 2024. Therefore, tech professionals must be skilled at data preparation and process flows to prompt models effectively.

2. Cloud Computing: As businesses continue to transition to the cloud, tech professionals need to possess expertise in leading cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Furthermore, gaining expertise in specialised fields like serverless architectures, multi-cloud strategies, and cloud-native programming can provide individuals with an edge over others. Additionally, familiarity with cloud management and optimisation tools can drive efficiency and cost-effectiveness in cloud environments, making one more employable in today’s demanding job market.

3. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality technologies continue to evolve and offer immersive experiences across the training, education, healthcare, and gaming industries. AR/VR holds a huge potential to unlock innovative applications in interactive gaming, remote collaboration, experiential marketing, and medical care when integrated with AI, IoT, and 5G technology. Techies must gain expertise and develop skills in AR/VR development frameworks like Unity or Unreal Engine, 3D modeling tools, and spatial computing concepts.

4. Quantum Computing: Even though quantum computing is in its early stages, it has the potential to tackle complicated problems considerably quicker than traditional ways. With renowned companies like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Intel, etc. competing to develop the tools for quantum computing, there’s a need for professionals to possess programming, mathematics, mechanics, algorithms, and scientific computing skills to stay relevant in the industry. Additionally, they must develop an understanding of quantum hardware components, quantum programming languages and quantum algorithms.

5. Cybersecurity: In the era of rapid technological advancement, safeguarding digital assets, and critical infrastructure becomes equally crucial to protect against evolving cyber threats. This leads to the need for tech professionals to develop sophisticated cybersecurity skills, such as threat intelligence, cloud security, zero-trust architectures, and secure coding guidelines. Individuals can also consider gaining certifications such as the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) to improve knowledge and credibility in the field of cybersecurity.

6. Soft Skills and Industry Knowledge: Tech professionals should place a high priority on developing their soft skills, such as teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and adaptability, in addition to their technical proficiency. To successfully navigate complicated projects and drive organisational success, one must possess effective communication skills across various stakeholders, interdisciplinary collaboration abilities, and problem-solving aptitude. Additionally, gaining industry-specific expertise in fields such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, or energy can set techies apart and help them create customised solutions that address unique challenges and opportunities within specific sectors.