Just think of the most dominant technology you were using ten years back. Then think of what ruled the world five years ago. And think of what you used just five minutes before. It is both intriguing and overwhelming to see how fast technology is changing? From client-servers to web development to cloud to robotics to artificial intelligence (AI) to containers to blockchain–this world keeps shifting from one leap to another.
If writing code was a hot career back then, it is almost an essential skill today unless you can amplify it with an agile development proficiency or a grip on micro-services. This is just one example of the pace of change that affects tech professionals. This makes it imperative for tech professionals to learn and equip themselves with new and relevant skills continuously. And not once in every five years, but much faster.
Here are the top five reasons why continuous learning has become a necessity for tech professionals?
- Unlike other domains, in the technology sector advancements and innovations climb the concept-to-application curve rapidly. The market is always eager to embrace breakthroughs. Not just that, it is a market that uniquely rewards early adopters and disruptors who leverage something new with an excellent model. If you are in finance or energy or marketing, the lab-to-field road takes time. But not when you are working in the technology industry. What was invented a few weeks back can see the light of the day soon here!
- Innovation in the technology sector is not absolute, but incremental–more often than not. Hence, if Cloud made its entry into the industry, it will not be a stand-alone technology but a field that would be continuously updated with adjacent and build-up innovations. Hybrid Cloud, hyper-scale computing, virtualization, software-defined computing, and many other areas became prominent, and in-demand following the trajectory Cloud has created. So if you learned a skill last year, by now, it must be already flanked with a lot of accessory areas that can propel your career and market-value in a big way.
- Obsolescence is a bitter truth of this industry. By the time one technology gets mainstream, it can quickly be elbowed out by something better and truly radical that comes along next. You cannot afford to rest on your laurels, no matter how good and accomplished you are. Learning Java might have been your milestone some time back, but today learning Python or R or PHP is essential too. So it is better to stay updated with what’s ruling the market and ensure that you keep adding the right competencies to your repertoire.
- This industry operates on a unique demand-supply equation. Whenever a new technology gains traction, the enterprise adoption picks up and leads to a considerable demand surge. However, the supply of relevant skills and expertise is still not adequate when this is happening. That translates into handsome remuneration and perks for anyone who brings the hot skills to the table. Scarcity of data scientists, for instance, was a primary reason that led to huge salary-brackets and a spike in demand when big data and analytics exploded the enterprise market. The same pattern has been seen with AI and would be seen with the exponential rise of High-Performance Computing (HPC).
- Consider the size and lucrative growth pattern of this market in India. If we look at the IT & BPM industry’s revenue alone, we are looking at a figure of US$191 billion in FY20. And it is growing at 7.7 percent y-o-y, all set to touch US$350 billion by 2025. The digital economy, too, is snowballing. It is on its course to hit US$1 trillion by 2025. India’s IT industry commands a domestic revenue of US$44 billion and an export revenue of US$147 billion – as of FY20.
The best reason–if you are a tech professional and good at what you already do or have learned, then it would be effortless and quick for you to add a new capability to your kit. The ability to learn and master a new area is something that gets stronger every time you train yourself in a new area. You already have an elastic and receptive mind, with the right cognitive structures. So you need not invest a lot of time and effort to complement your existing set of skills. So do not be bogged down with the next hot skill in the market. Do not dismiss it, fear it, or procrastinate it. It can instantly switch to a better job, a better role, and a better pay-packet. Invest in the right training program and take a giant leap faster because that’s what technology does all the time.