Transferable Skills: Levelling Up Your IT Career

Your Opinion
Published: 07.03.23

In an ever-evolving tech sector with an employment landscape constantly shifting, we’re seeing a widening gap between the skills required for certain roles and the candidates available.  

As a result, skilled job seekers are in high demand – so what can you do to attract the eye of a new employer? Are there opportunities you could upskill into? Or maybe you’re new to the tech world and want to get to grips with the basics.

The broader your experience and expertise, the more desirable you are – so make yourself desirable. You don’t need to learn everything under the sun. Focus on the areas where demand is high. Software development, IT security, development operations, data science, and data engineering are all core sectors of the tech industry – and they’re crying out for more talent. Can you step up to the plate?

To help you along the way, we’re sharing expert tips from some of our most experienced recruiters. So, let’s get stuck in.

Software development

The backbone of innovative and game-changing technologies, software development recruits are always in demand. 

But to remain hot property in the software development realm, you’ll need a good amount of experience and understanding with programming languages like:

C#: Running on the .NET framework, C# is a programming language developed by Microsoft.

Scala: As a high-level, general-purpose programming language, Scala supports object-oriented and functional programming.

Ruby: Supports various programming paradigms with a keen focus on productivity and simplicity. 

HTML: A standard markup language, HTML is assisted by scripting languages like JavaScript and technologies like Cascading Style. 

Plus, developing cloud skills will add another string to your bow – with software like Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

These transferable skills will level up your tech career, whether you remain in software development or move into another vertical.

IT security 

Cyber-attacks are on the up. With remote and hybrid working becoming more common, businesses across every industry need more robust IT security. Candidates must have a particularly good understanding of security standards and frameworks, including: 

ISO 270001: An internationally recognised standard that helps manage IT security, addressing people, processes, and technology.

NIST CSF: This voluntary framework helps determine and address the highest priority cyber risk.

Ce+: Cyber Essentials Plus is a UK government-backed training scheme to help organisations of all sizes against cybercrime.

Does this sound like you? There is also demand for networking knowledge of SIEM (real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware), IDS (potential security risk alerts), and IPS (blocks intrusion attempts). 

To work in IT security, you might need qualifications like: 

CompTIA: A four IT certification series to test various knowledge standards.

CISSP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional for individuals with several years under their belt.

CISM: Qualified to identify constantly evolving security threats and implement correct governance.

Development operations 

To go far in the DevOps community, you’ll need proven experience in building CI/CD pipelines from scratch. An ideal candidate will also have a good knowledge of containerisation – for example, Docker (OS-level virtualisation to deliver software) and Kubernetes (open-source container for automating software deployment, scaling, and management). 

To really stand out from the crowd, we recommend a strong understanding across:  

AWS: A subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing to individuals, companies, and government bodies. 

Azure: A cloud platform with more than 200 products for building, running and managing platforms across multiple clouds, with the required framework and tools.

GCP: Google’s suite of cloud computing services to support data management, hybrid and multi-cloud, and AI and Machine Learning challenges. 

Data science 

Got a passion for data? Data science jobs are always in high demand – but they’re still competitive. To secure a data science role, you’ll need strong analytical skills with the ability to identify valuable and actionable insights. There’s a lot to get your teeth into, from versing yourself in Python or R to mastering machine learning and statistical analysis.

Data engineering 

In layman’s terms, data engineering is the art of building systems that gather and store data from a range of sources. An essential part of almost every venture, data engineering is undeniably important for businesses. To outperform your competitors and land the role, make sure you’re well-acquainted with Python programming, SQL, and cloud computing platforms like AWS, Azure, and GCP. 

How else can I level up my tech career?

Want to up your game beyond the technical must-haves we’ve already mentioned? Here are a few general tips to help you climb the ladder in tech. 

1 – Do your homework 

Don’t miss out on a role simply because you haven’t brushed up on your knowledge. Prepare yourself for in-depth technical questions or a coding challenge to demonstrate your skills.

2 – Create a portfolio 

Companies will likely want to see examples of your capabilities. So, put together a portfolio of your recent projects. If you don’t have any professional examples, is there anything else you can show?

3 – Tap into resources 

There’s a whole host of courses for you to take advantage of to advance your skills. Consider getting involved with Code Clan or Code First Girls.

4 – Build experience 

Explore other areas while broadening your skills and knowledge. Does your current employer have an exciting new project coming up? Ask if you can get involved and shadow another area of the team. 

Partner with an expert recruiter 

Cathcart Technology is no stranger to elevating career opportunities for candidates across the industry. Our team will help to evaluate your CV and identify areas for improvement, pointing you in the right direction to reach your career goals.

Our unique approach – combined with our exclusive access to specific roles within the tech sphere – will ensure you find a position and company that suits you. Ready to take the leap? Get in touch with our team

Stuart Manderson Selfie

Business Director - Europe

Stuart Manderson


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