Every employee doesn’t have to speak fluent tech, but they do need to use the digital innovations at work in their company.

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No matter what career path someone chooses these days, all industries use technology. Every employee doesn’t have to speak fluent tech, but they do need to accept and use the digital innovations at work in their company. A pivot to embrace tech skills can make all the difference, whether you choose to stay in the same career path or branch off into something new.

“Technology is an integral part of our everyday life and has become a necessary vehicle for accomplishing day-to-day tasks,” says Dr. Simon Cleveland, executive director and associate dean for the Technology Institute at City University in Seattle. “It has entered all industries to increase workforce productivity and to make employees work smarter, communicate more efficiently and participate in connected cultures.”

A connected culture means a high degree of interaction among its participants through the use of advanced information and communication technologies, Cleveland explains.

Christa Rubadue made the pivot from para-educator to a career in information technology. “I chose to study information systems because I knew it would open doors for me after graduation and help further my career,” she says. “The skills that will help me the most are: database design, web design, C++/C# programming and project management.”

Being tech savvy allows a worker to possibly earn more compared to co-workers, Cleveland says.

“Whether in entry-level distribution centers, health care or marketing, some piece of technology exists that enhances an employee’s job function, efficiency and productivity,” says Cleveland. “We know that a technologically skilled employee is more desirable to an employer than one without those skills. Such employees can adapt quicker to new systems.”

Those who want to kick start their careers should consider learning more about the tech used in their industry.

How to increase tech knowledge

Fitting time for learning into an already-filled schedule seems daunting. Between the demands of a full-time job, family responsibilities and that elusive free time, squeezing in extra hours to attend classes sounds impossible.

Cleveland recommends learning remotely through online education. Online courses allow employees to refresh or add to their skills from anywhere, on their own time and at their own pace, he says.

What technology skills do employers request the most?

Skills in high demand

In some capacity, most companies need employees to analyze, acquire, build, secure and maintain their systems, says Cleveland. Skills in constant demand in the technology sectors include data science and business analytics, software development, cybersecurity and tech support, he says.

“As an increasing number of companies rely on data collection to make decisions about their customers’ behaviors, employees with skills in statistics, math, data visualization, programming languages and machine learning are most desirable and successful,” Cleveland says.

Software developers, another sought-after talent, build new mobile apps and websites, but also customize existing company systems. Knowing programming languages and having good communication skills are essential to staying relevant and growing a successful career in this industry.

Employers who design, secure and maintain their own digital systems and practices need people to protect their company from viruses, malware and intrusion, Cleveland says. These positions often require familiarity with multiple programming languages and specific industry certifications.

Brent Harmor is studying cybersecurity at CityU. “Cybersecurity is new and is a field in which a person who studies and does due diligence can come in and make changes with major consequences,” Harmor says. “You can have an impact.”

The job market also needs those with tech support skills. That includes addressing technical problems and consulting with senior management on what type of systems to buy for the company. Successful candidates for these jobs must exhibit clear communication, advanced critical thinking and interpersonal skills.

Embrace technology and get ahead

Almost every industry relies on some form of technology. For example, computer systems professionals are needed in environmental capacities – to forecast the weather, analyze oceanic and atmospheric patterns and evaluate how certain actions influence the environment. Education also requires tech-minded individuals to move information to the cloud and protect students’ personal information. Healthcare is constantly making technological strides with how they monitor patients, analyze data, design new wearables to detect distress and even manage virtual doctor visits.

Besides knowing how to apply current technology to their jobs, every worker should embrace future digital creations.

“The more tech savvy you are, the more you can synthesize all the incoming information and make connections,” says Cleveland.

Not everyone wants a full-on techie job, but every job includes some tech. That makes it crucial for the workforce to keep abreast of what’s going on digitally. Otherwise employees may miss opportunities.

City University of Seattle is accredited through the doctoral level. It is dedicated to serving the working adult and transfer student and has been ranked in the top 50 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in the nation seven consecutive years 2013-2019 by U.S. News & World Report.