Regardless of the industry or the role you are in, you are undeniably tied to technological and data evolution. It’s part of (or it IS) the product or the service you sell and it’s part of how your organisation manages itself.

More and more employers are realising how desperately they need diversity of skills across their leadership and how they need to invest in well-rounded talents to do so. 

If you are looking to differentiate yourself, consider the following technical skills and education to help you propel your career upwards. 

#1. Data Science 

Data science is the hottest and most in demand skill set in the corporate world. Afterall, what else could give a company more competitive advantage than being able to better capture, analyze, and interpret all the variations of data? 

Your specialty in the area will give you opportunities to not only switch careers (if that’s what you desire) but also to move up into the management if you have a general business background.

For the latter, adding data science to your realm of knowledge and expertise would allow you to advise on the company’s optimal org structure, considering its customer needs and its internal people and data resources. 

But becoming a data scientist, unlike data analysts (simpler Excel, SQL, and Tableau), is an extremely advanced field. So how do you go about obtaining the amount of knowledge you require?

In today’s decentralised world, you only need to ask! Try online data science programs at accredited institutions such as JCU Online with not only flexible schedule but with flexible types of programs (whether it be Master’s or a learning certificate) that you could choose from. 

#2. Digital Marketing  

Digital marketing refers to how one leverages all the channels available today such as social media, google search, and emails both individually and cohesively. Understanding today’s digital real estate where customer interactions and touch points happen is what successful executives do well.

Thinking not just the direct contact with the existing and potential customer but also the indirect contact (intentional or unintentional) that expands the network of target audience far beyond. By 2017, digital advertising has made up over 54% of the total ad spend in Australia and is only expected to grow. 

While you don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of SEO, Search Engine Optimisation, unless you are a marketing or business development professional, understanding the channels available, how the content gets distributed, and how these channels interact with each other (ideally in an automated fashion) would be tremendously useful in many aspects of running the business such as product development and launch, marketing/sales, user insights, customer service, etc. 

Many universities offer digital marketing and/or components of digital marketing as individual courses or mini-programs. Be sure to check them out if you want to gain some expertise and become a reliable growth expert!

#3. Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. Big Data. We’ve heard these terms probably a few thousand times in the past 5 years. The Australian government invested about $30 million to strengthen Australia’s capability in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

If you read publicly listed companies’ descriptions, many would include these words regardless of industry or sector as they know it dramatically increases their appeal. Now it’s simply commonplace even though many big companies still struggle to have the kind of tangible results promised by these revolutionary developments materialise. 

Artificial intelligence, however,  is something you must understand if you want to become a leader at any organisation. It will help you become notably more efficient and be able to incorporate collected data into revenue-generating use with higher impact and faster pace. 

There are courses and programs where you can learn the basics (or take it to the next level if desired) but there are also incredible community-driven platforms or blog channels, such as Medium, where you can access expert writings/opinions regularly related to AI to stay up to date on one of the fastest changing technologies in our time.

Guest writers and carefully selected for Career Enlightenment. Thanks for reading!

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