Why Every Business is a Tech Company

By BrainStation July 26, 2017
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When it comes to finding a new gig, there’s plenty of factors job seekers will stress over — the perfect résumé, nailing the interview, and of, course, whether they have the right skills for an open position. Until recently, a business was defined as a “tech company” if it built digital products; yet today, even the most traditional businesses are becoming digital companies. Consequently, employers are adding a bevvy of digital skills to the qualifications list for candidates.

The need for technical talent is no longer confined to just startups and app developers. Research from the Information and Communications Technology Council shows that financial institutions, marketing, and retail jobs are requiring upgraded skills.

“Although Canada’s ICT sector is a $74 billion per year industry on its own, it’s the value-added contribution it makes to other industries that is helping Canada become a global digital economy leader. 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,” according to the ICTC report.

Every niche, from banks to builders, now needs an online presence, digital marketing in order to procure clients and customers, and programmers to make their websites function. And the need for technical professionals across all industries is only expected to increase as the average Canadian becomes more digitally savvy and demands increasingly complex services.

Unfortunately, these technical skills are in short supply — which is why job seekers should consider upgrading their skills to land one of these in-demand positions.

Not sure where to start? Here are a handful of industries requiring more digital skills, and what you need to learn as a job seeker to stay competitive.

Investment Banking

As was explained in a recent podcast from The Wall Street Journal, the markets are mostly run these days by robots. The industry is largely reliant on quantitative trading now versus an investing pro’s “gut feeling.”

As such, investment bankers now need the skills to track customer behaviour, analyze data to find anomalies and opportunities, and perform purely electronic trades. Even the New York Stock Exchange, which traditionally had a bustling and raucous trading floor, is mostly quiet as the number of human traders dwindles.

And according to a recent report from Accenture, investment clients also 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 more real-time and complete view of capital needs across the regions and lines of business.

Because of all this Big Data that now runs the industry, employers are poaching scientists and mathematicians. But if someone else wants to get into investment banking, some of the skills they’d want to acquire include:

  • Data Science
  • Programming languages (HTML, Java, C++)
  • Microsoft SQL

According to one source, here are some of the additional technical skills major investment banks are currently on the prowl for:

data analytics skills

Fintech

Financial technology has emerged over the last few years as one of the hottest industries around. Thanks to a rise in industry-disrupting startups and plenty of investment capital, fintech is giving more and more consumers the products they’re craving to better understand personal finance and investing issues.

fintech

As you might expect, fintech is ever-evolving with the pace of technology — and the skills employers are seeking are always changing. But currently, fintech firms are looking for a wide variety of specific technical skills, while also expecting pros in more traditional roles to upgrade their digital qualifications as well.

“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, told efinancialcareers.com.

Some of the top skills fintech firms need are:

 

Marketing

It’s likely no surprise to you that consumers have become increasingly tech savvy over the last decade. After all, 80% of Internet users own a smartphone and 22% of the world’s population uses Facebook.

As consumers spend more time on mobile, social media, and in their inboxes, digital marketing has seen a meteoric rise. So, it’s no surprise that even traditional marketers now need some technical skills to keep them competitive.

To be a successful digital marketer, it’s important to possess a spectrum of skills, including:

 

Retail

While 90% of all retail sales are still made in stores, more and more savvy shoppers are using the Internet to buy and research products online. Some research shows that the number of Americans who shop online is as high as 96%.

So, it’s obviously not enough for retail brands to simply have a storefront — multichannel retail is the new name of the game. That means having a robust eCommerce website, branded social channels, and digital marketing to capture consumer interest online.

As a result, workers are expected to have skills to reflect this new retail reality, including:

 

Consulting (Technology)

One of the big draws to the world of consulting is being your own boss. Consultants often enjoy more freedom than the average cubicle-bound employee — but they’re not off the hook when it comes to needing some new technical skills.

To be able to communicate well with internal tech teams, engineers, programmers, and anyone in user experience within a client company, consultants need to acquire some of the following skills:

  • UX Design, to understand their consumers and translate that into a quality product
  • HTML & CSS: To communicate with tech teams, understand development capabilities as well as their limitations
  • Scrum and agile methodologies, to ensure products are iterated and released in a timely and efficient manner
  • Product Management to fully oversee a product from ideation to launch

 

Ready to Upgrade Your Digital Skills?

As you can see, even the most traditional industries are becoming tech companies. Take the next step to empower yourself and kickstart your career growth. Check out our full-time and part-time courses to learn how you can get the skills you need to snag the job you’re dreaming about. With Flexible Learning Options on evenings, weekends, or during one week sprints, there’s something for everyone.