6 Tech skills you need to know in 2015

Technology is one area that no one in any industry can afford to grow complacent about — tech is changing so quickly that skills you mastered last year may already be outdated.

In such a quickly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30% a year, according to Research in Labor Economics, rendering nearly a third of last year’s tech-related knowledge irrelevant.

But don’t panic — there’s a solution. Staying up-to-date with emergent technologies and trends — as well as the skills needed to master them — will help you offset the lightning-fast pace of skills disruption and keep you ahead of the curve. Continuous learning is the key to maintaining an ongoing competitive advantage, both for individuals and organizations.

On that note, here are the top six tech skills that Pluralsight has identified as not just “nice to know,” but “need to know,” in 2015 :

1. Coding

Coding

Coding is the number-one skill in demand today worldwide. Although coding and computer science are still marginalized in the K-12 education system, it’s clear that the ability to code has become as important as other basic forms of literacy like reading and math.

Fortunately, no matter what your age or current comfort level with technology, there are ways to pick up intro coding skills — and many of them are free.

2. Big data

Big data

According to Forbes, big data will continue to grow in 2015, due in part to the rise of the Internet of Things, which has the power to embed technology in practically anything.

As ever-larger volumes of data are created, it’s vital to know how to collect and analyze that data — particularly when it’s related to customer preferences and business processes.

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll miss out on key marketing and decision-making opportunities by ignoring big data.

3. Cloud computing

Cloud computing

TechRadar reported this month that 2015 will be the year that the cloud becomes the “new normal.” The reason, writes Mark Barrenechea, CEO of OpenText, is that costs can be slashed as much as 90% through digitization of information-intensive processes.

Barrenechea predicts that by year-end, we’ll see “a world of hybrid deployments in which some information and applications reside in the cloud and the remainder resides on-premise.”

Learning to utilize the cloud’s flexible power can improve everything from your data security to your collaboration ability.

4. Mobile

Mobile

As Six Dimensions states, “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy.” This has never been truer than in 2015, the year in which The Guardian predicts an increasing number of companies will learn how to mobilize their revenue-generating processes, like making purchases and depositing checks.

This is also the year that we’ll hit critical mass with the fusion of mobile and cloud computing, according to Forbes. That means many more centrally coordinated apps will be usable on multiple devices.

5. Data visualization

Data visualization

Data keeps multiplying, which means whatever message you hope to communicate online must find increasingly creative ways to break through the noise.

That’s where data visualization comes in, which involves using a visual representation of the data to discover new information and breakthroughs. Creative Bloq notes that this technique can reveal details that poring through dry data can’t.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a web designer or developer to create compelling infographics.

6. UX design skills

UX design skills

User experience (UX) designers consider the end user’s ease of use, efficiency, and general experience of interfacing with a system (such as a website or application).

Smashing Magazine notes that while user experience has long been important, it has become more so recently in relation to the diverse ways that users can now access websites, including mobile and apps.

“The more complex the system, the more involved will the planning and architecture have to be for it,” writes Jacob Gube. But it’s not just professional designers who can benefit from understanding UX design — anyone can.

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