Ideal Mix of Career Skills to Succeed

Digitization is changing the playing field so comprehensively and so exponentially that the whole concept of employability is being transformed.

If you are pursuing a CCNA or a CCNP – or even a CCIE – there is no doubt that you are on the right path in terms of your tech skills. And your timing is not too shabby either.

We are living at a time of global transformation. 

We are no longer just talking about the digital revolution. We are living in a global cultural information boom.

Staying ahead of the curve in terms of your competencies and knowledge means nailing down the essentials, while keeping your eye on the megatrends.

It also means working a mix of different skills – technical, industry-specific, and broader competencies that touch on essential career skills, like emotional intelligence, and more – to ensure that you have what it takes to succeed.

Like a chess game, you need to be on top of your strategy in order to succeed. Think of building your skills set as a key strategy move so you can be successful in your future career.

The team here at NetAcad Advantage has taken a look at what is hot on employers’ wish lists in 2016 and beyond. And what kinds of jobs are going to be in demand as this year pans out.

Essential Non-Technical Skills

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), there is one key skill that is top of the list and likely to remain so as far into the future as 2020. And that is complex problem solving.

The good news for Cisco Networking Academy students and graduates is that problem solving is a core competency that spans and is developed transversally across CCNA and CCNP. The ability to solve problems is tantamount to a definition of most networking engineers.

As the future pans out though, WEF foresees an increase in demand for non-technical career skills such as:

  • Critical Thinking and Analysis
  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • People Management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Negotiation
  • Service orientation
  • Creativity and Innovativeness

So building a mix of technical and non-technical skills will be increasingly important across the board. We provide on-demand learning webinars as well as articles that go into a deep dive into what these skills mean for you and your career.

Ramp up Your Technical Competencies

But what about the technical skills? What are the skills that you are going to want to have in your toolbox in 2016?

Over at CIO magazine, a survey of U.S. employers has found that there is likely to be a shortfall of skilled people to fill the job openings this year.

And this coupled with a projected five percent increase in salaries means that there are rich pickings for techies, especially in the following skills sets:

  • IT Architecture
    As organizations rely increasingly on technology to drive projects and operations we are going to see demand rise for specialists from enterprise to cloud architects.
  • Programming and App Development
    The digitization of everything, is driving demand for programmers and developers as the ones that make things connect and interconnect.
  • Project Management
    As technology expenditures increase, employers are increasingly on the lookout for skilled people who can manage objectives, priorities, deliverables, and teams in addition to having technical savvy.
  • Big Data
    Companies are recruiting people that can interpret data and translate it into meaningful tools for business.
  • Analytics
    Strong demand continues for business intelligence and analytics specialists especially in healthcare, insurance, retail, and financial services. But as the digitization trends increase, so will the demand of understanding all the data collected across industries.
  • Help Desk
    Virtually every mid to enterprise organization out there has a help desk, and good customer service skills here are key.
  • Database Administration
    The importance of big data and business intelligence is driving demand for database admin skills. And salaries are likely to rise here too.
  • Security
    With the growing technological connections, the demand for security professionals is increasing just as fast. Compliance and security professionals can command high salaries and play a really critical role in most organizations.
  • Cloud
    Cloud continues to define enterprise IT with industry estimates that 50 percent of infrastructure will be cloud based in the next couple of years.
  • Web Development
    With the exponential growth of mobile and global competitiveness, companies are under greater pressure than ever to create top-tier, usable, responsive webs that showcase their value proposition.

So there you have it. A real smorgasbord of skills to explore and develop. And to be in the running for a really satisfying career in technology, be sure not to neglect your non-technical skills and business etiquette. The time to pursue a career in technology has never been better.


NetAcad Advantage Reading NoteIt is important to know that technology will be intertwined even more within all industries and job positions.  Obtaining a strong base of knowledge through courework at Cisco Networking Academy and also through certifications will be vital to your success.

As you search for jobs, make sure your resume is flawless and you adequately prepare for the interviews. You can also search for thousands of jobs around the world on NetAcad Advantage, using our job search.