Why IT Pros Must Keep Up-to-Date on Trends in Their Industry to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Technology arguably changes faster than any other industry. The people who keep pace with industry trends will always be in-demand in the market. There are a host of other good reasons to keep up-to-date on industry trends as an IT professional, and if you want to make the most of your career, it pays to know why and how to keep up.

“Upgrade the tools you’re working on to stay current, even if you have to do it on your own free time. Always try to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies! Recruiters struggle to help place candidates that are inexperienced with more modern technologies. Our clients are looking for NEWER Coding Languages: Python, Scala, PHP, Ruby on Rails, C# and Java and they are avoiding the older legacy coding languages like C++, VB.NET, COBOL, Access ” says Caitlin Christ, Sr. Recruiter, CSS Tec, a business unit of Contemporary Staffing Solutions.

Out of Step With Trends = Out Of Options

C++, VB.NET, COBOL, Access may have gotten you this far in your career, but if you want to move up, you’ve got to learn Python, Scala, PHP, Ruby on Rails, C#, Java. You can only stay afloat so long if you’re not keeping up with industry trends. Even if you stay with the same employer, there will come a time when they need you to start utilizing new languages, skills or platforms. If you are not familiar with where things are headed, you could end up out of a job. Worse, you’ll have limited marketable skills when looking for something new.

Forward-Thinking Pros Earn Respect

If you have any designs at all on becoming a leader in your field, you must keep pace with trends. Other professionals want to work with people who innovate and pioneer new ways of doing things. IT professionals that succeed have a natural curiosity and a drive to test out new ideas and take risks. You can’t do that if you’re hanging tight to the old ways of doing things.

Staying On Trend Opens Doors

However happy you may be in your current role, you never know how you’ll feel in the future. New opportunities can present themselves when you least expect it and it’s important that you are well-versed in where the industry is headed if you expect to impress a hiring manager.

How To Stay Up With Industry Trends

It is important to remember that your employer is not responsible for keeping you updated on trends. Good employers will invest in your development, but as an IT pro, you’ll always have to take initiative to stay plugged in to the industry. You can keep up with trends with:

  • Blogs and Journals: Set up an RSS feed so you can scan all of your relevant content in one place.
  • Podcasts: There are lots of excellent podcasts for developers and IT professionals. Ask colleagues for recommendations if you aren’t sure where to begin.
  • Attend local meetups: Getting together with other IT pros will not only help expand your network, but it will expose you to new ideas and philosophies, and you’ll stay in tune with what the community is talking about.
  • Github: If you want to know what’s popular with developers, check out the projects on Github.
  • Go to Conferences: Conferences are an ideal way to learn about where the industry is headed from and to network with thought leaders.

“Consider certifications that will push the trajectory of your career! Project Management Institute, Agile Scrum Master, or possibly a CRM certification in salesforce may help to propel your career,” says Chuck George, Recruitment Manager, CSS Tec.

If you are a forward-thinking IT pro looking for new opportunities, the tech recruiting experts at CSS want to hear from you. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your goals.

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Contemporary Staffing connects job seekers to hiring managers nationally in the following professions: Accounting & Finance, Call Center & Office, Human Resources, IT, Salesforce, and Sales & Marketing.