We spoke with James Choi to learn more about how he used UX design to build out his retail company, Corduroi Club.
The need for digital skills is no longer confined to startups and app developers. It spans across industries and roles, from middle-skilled positions to senior executives. Research from the Information and Communications Technology Council shows that even traditional banking institutions and retail jobs are requiring upgraded digital skills.
“Given that more than half of Canadian ICT workers are employed in sectors outside of ICT, the value-added by ICT workers across all sectors of the economy is expected to intensify over the next five years as businesses adopt new technologies,” the ICTC report explains.
Every sector, from banks to the food industry, now needs an online presence; digital marketing expertise is needed to procure clients and customers, and developers to make their websites function.
Unfortunately, these technical skills are still in short supply — and this is raising the value of digital skills training. Here’s an outline of a few traditional industries whose digital transformations are creating demand for more tech talent.
As you might expect, fintech is ever-evolving, and as blockchain technology and artificial intelligence are further embraced, a wide range of digital career opportunities will be created. In London alone, for example, 46,000 new jobs are expected to be added by 2024, with Blockchain and Mobile Developers, Cybersecurity Analysts, and Product Managers, among others, in hot demand.
Fintech firms, however, will also be expecting professionals in more traditional roles to upgrade their digital qualifications.
“We’ve taught ex-compliance officers and legal experts to code as it really empowers them to be self-sufficient and solve problems themselves without having to look for ‘developers’ to help them solve simple automation issues,” adds Andrew White, founder and CEO of regulatory fintech firm, FundApps, in an interview with efinancialcareers.com.
“Everything about our business model is changing,” said Deutsche Bank’s CEO John Cryan in 2016, “….we’re too old fashioned.”
This has only intensified in the last two years, as banks continue to digitize their traditional analog processes.
“Loan processing, account opening, service subscriptions, problem resolution and one-to-many payments are all examples of current processes that are ripe to be reimagined in order to gain speed, efficiency, and scale,” Chris Nichols, Chief Strategy Officer at CenterState Bank said.
As this digital transformation continues, banks are also integrating new technology. Research conducted by Personetics in partnership with CapitalOne found that almost 50 percent of financial institutions, including MasterCard and Bank of America, are introducing artificial intelligence (AI) and chatbots.
These industry innovations require Software Engineers, Data Analysts, Developers, and more, but they also demand Customer Service Representatives and Commercial Bankers with the skills to work in an increasingly technology-focused environment. Enter the increasingly urgent need for digital skills training, which was underscored by one participant in EY’s “The future of talent in banking” survey, who said: “We will retrain 60–70% of our workforce.”
Investment banking is becoming highly automated, with powerhouses like Goldman Sachs relying heavily on automated trading. The industry is now largely reliant on quantitative trading versus an investing pro’s “gut feeling.”
Investment bankers now need the skills to track customer behaviour, analyze data to find anomalies and opportunities, and perform purely electronic trades. And according to a report from Accenture, investment clients want information far more quickly, to the point where it supports real-time management decision-making and compliance monitoring. For example, one major European investment bank estimated that it could save upwards of US $1 billion per year in capital allocation costs if it was able to have a real-time view of capital needs across the regions and lines of business.
Because data is now playing such a leading role in this industry, investment banks are actively recruiting Data Scientists and Data Engineers.
While online shopping and eCommerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales last year, the importance of brick and mortar stores isn’t dissipating, but rather changing. Stores are now turning into physical extensions of the online shopping experience, introducing digital features based on convenience and customer experience.
96 percent of Americans shop online, and even if they are in-store, technology is an integral part of their purchasing decision. A recent report found that 82 percent of smartphone users consult their phones before making an in-store purchase.
This means that omnichannel retail marketing is the new name of the game. In fact, 25 percent of retailers list omnichannel marketing as their number one priority for 2019, according to Adobe’s Digital Retail Trends report. In short, it’s not enough for retail brands to only have a storefront. They need a robust eCommerce website, branded social channels, and digital marketing to capture consumer interest online. Which in turn means that the retail industry is looking to hire digitally skilled talent that can help them to compete in an extremely competitive industry. LinkedIn’s recent study showed that there has been a drop in the proportion of sales roles in retail, but an increase in digitally-focused positions. In fact, Software Developer and Marketing Specialist are currently the third and fourth most popular retail jobs.
Additional digital skills that have gained importance in the retail sector include:
- Data Analysis skills to pull sales data and reports
- Knowledge of eCommerce platforms
- Social Media Marketing
- Google Analytics
Hospitality, an ancient industry, has been experiencing a great deal of digital disruption in recent years. The rise of the sharing economy has been a large catalyst for this change, with companies like Airbnb changing the way people search for, and think about accommodations.
“In an era of Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Postmates, Amazon Prime, and other apps and services that cater to people’s wants and needs in real time, the hotel industry is, by default, a reluctant player in the on-demand economy,” reads a recent report from Sabre.
Hotels and hospitality brands are being forced to change their ways, implementing new guest room technologies (including roboties and network improvements), creating holistic guest experiences (and ensuring cybersecurity), and developing digital marketing and virtual reality strategies to keep up with the changing industry. Take Four Seasons, a hotel chain founded in 1960 that has become a global hospitality powerhouse by developing a digital-first mindset. Four Seasons has adapted to meet the needs of their digitally focused consumers by developing chat services and an engaging social media presence.
“Brands must evolve as consumers and markets evolve,” reads the Sabre report.
But professionals must evolve as well, positioning themselves in front of this digital disruption by gaining valuable digital skills. These skills will enable them to work across industries and fill some of the most in-demand technology roles of today.
Some of the most in-demand positions in the industry include:
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Data Scientist
- Database Developer
- Cyber Security Administrator
Ready to start a new digital career? BrainStation offers courses and training in a range of digital skills to help you find professional success.