Long gone are the days when a business-person relied on support staff to handle their word processing or spreadsheet maintenance. Now even high-level executives are expected to be able to find their own way around a computer, at least where those basic functions are concerned.
The increasing focus on technology in the workplace goes far beyond that, however. Now, fields not previously considered in the traditional purview of tech professionals or engineers are evolving into multidisciplinary undertakings, reliant on algorithms, coding and a deeper understanding of the digital world.
Finance, for example, now often involves automated trading, determined by computers specifically programmed to take action in response to varying market data rather than by number-savvy humans. With artificial intelligence and data science growing in importance in that arena, anyone seeking a position on Wall Street would do well to consider sharpening their tech knowledge.
Similarly, in an age of digital media, the design world is becoming increasingly populated with those able to use CAD programs, create virtual and augmented reality experiences, launch gaming platforms and other skills at the intersection of art and technology.
Adapting to a changing landscape
While digital natives – those young people born well after the advent of personal computing – might take as self-evident the need to be technologically savvy, even they could find themselves surprised at the amount of study and skill required to make an impact in the burgeoning tech workforce. Many have come to realize that a master’s degree in computer science or a related area can advance their existing career or jumpstart an entirely new one. That’s a daunting prospect for those who majored in non-technical subjects as undergraduates, but luckily, some colleges are beginning to address that knowledge gap by offering intensive make-up or “bridge” programs that prepare non-computer scientists to succeed in competitive master’s programs.
With everyone from nonconforming artists to hard-driving market traders being inspired and driven by technology, it pays to remember that soon all jobs may be tech jobs and it might be worth it to educate yourself accordingly.