Main image of article How to Keep Up With Evolving Skills
Are you looking for work now? Since you’re in tech you might want to take advantage of the demand for your skills. But how do you know that you will always be a hot commodity? The best way to make sure is to monitor industry trends and leverage your existing talent in new ways, or to develop an expertise in an emerging trend. Either way, this strategy takes time and a steady eye to pull off effectively. Let me walk you through what I mean. The first thing you do is figure out your market trends. I can think of a couple of ways to do this if you are in IT. There is a certain software company called “Tiobe Software.” (Catchy name, isn’t it? Okay, maybe not so much.) Every month, they update the “TIOBE Programming Community Index,” which tracks the popularity of programming languages. Below is a quote detailing what the index is all about.
The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages. The index is updated once a month. The ratings are based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors. Popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and Baidu are used to calculate the ratings.

Tiobe Index

Tiobe is a great resource, but no research is complete if you are only focused on one source of information. Another way to gauge trends in tech jobs is to monitor blog posts and articles that cite annual trends. How does one do that? I have an idea. Search Bing: intitle:2013 intitle:tech intitle:jobs (intitle:popular OR intitle:top OR intitle:best) In case my search is alien to you, I am asking Bing to search for Web pages that discuss popular (or top or best) tech jobs in 2013. Here is a sample of some of the more interesting results: Once I get a gauge on what jobs were hot last year, I make a list of the job titles. I do the same search for 2012 jobs and make a list of those as well. Not only that, I perform the same search for 2014 and I make a list of those too. However, I don’t stop there! I want some more data to sift through, so I make the following searches on Bing as well.
  • Best Tech Predictions 2014
  • Best Tech Predictions 2013
  • Best Tech Predictions 2012
I take notes on what I find in those search results and then I mull it all over. Are there any tech jobs that fell by the wayside? Any tech jobs consistently mentioned? Any tech jobs that are consistently being cited? Any trends in how companies are hiring that can be identified? Once you have a good idea (and it is all speculation), measure your assumptions around futurist thought. What that means is, see what other people say are the jobs of the future and see how their theories compare to yours. Here are few Bing searches to lead you in the right direction.
  • Best Tech Jobs 2020
  • Top 10 Careers in 2016
  • Tech Trends by 2015
  • Tech Trends Through…
After all of that, you should have some jobs in mind that will be popular now and trending up in popularity. If you already have the skills for those jobs, rest easy. If not, get trained in those roles so you will be a hot commodity to the recruiters constantly seeking talent. Can you dig it? I would be very curious to hear from those who have done the research and whose theories line up with other thought leaders. So, let me know in the comments below.