Is IT losing its sheen? Are the glory days over? Well, even though we all know that the IT industry and its many amazing solutions will always be in high demand, we must admit, things aren't as gung ho as they once were. There are whisperings of layoffs dues to recession and cut throat competition and many in the industry seem to have just fallen out of love with IT.
Well, what's next? Where can you go from here? Quite naturally you would want to ensure that you can transfer the knowledge and skills you have, to whatever career you transition to. At the same time your options must promise challenging environments, lucrative remunerations and perks, combined with fast career growth.
There are several options out there. Some of the obvious ones are consulting, finance, insurance underwriting or even procurement. However the one career that is fast becoming the mother of all careers is Data Analytics. And luckily many of the skills in demand are ones that an IT professional already processes.
Data analytics simply put is the science of examining raw data with the purpose of drawing insights, insights which can then be used to impact business decisions. Today data is at the foundation of all of the megatrends that are happening and managers at every level, in every division, in every sector are feeling the heat and are realizing that it is imperative to get hitched to the data wagon.
Consequently there is this huge demand for skilled data scientists as they are now called. Companies are desperately trying to find people with analytic skills to help them manage the whole data process end to end. This includes collecting data, sorting it, analyzing it, spotting patterns and trends and finally being able to draw insights and conclusions that they can creatively and effectively bring to the management.
Though the role of the data scientist at present is largely end to end and includes everything from data collection to communicating insights, experts predict that in time( actually we already see several instances of this ) each step of the process will become specialized. Thus a data scientist team will emerge. There will be Data Hygienists who ensure that clean and accurate data is accessed by systems, and made available for manipulation throughout its life cycle, Data Explorers who sift through mountains of virtual data and discover what is actually significant and necessary, Data Engineers who can build and design algorithms and are able to code and Data Visualizers who can navigate content and find insights that they can creatively communicate to the decision makers.
As an IT person your business acumen, programming expertise, and communication skills will give you an advantage as a data scientist. In addition you probably also know the importance of probing for answers and of being a team player. All that you need to then get an edge in the data talent market is some experience with data sets. You will need to invest in picking up some knowledge of popular analytics tools and techniques, their application and best practices.
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