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What Tactics are Technologists Using to Grow Their Careers?

Nick Kolakowski, Dice Insights

November 22, 2021

Many technologists want to grow their careers. However, it’s often difficult to determine the best pathways for growth. Should you focus on technical skills? Should you do your best to land a management position

According to a new study by CompTIA, it seems that many technologists are focused on exploring many pathways at once. A slim majority (51 percent) have decided that building their current technical skills is key to their careers, which makes sense—you always want to keep your skill-set current, no matter what your long-term goals. Others have chosen to devote their time and resources to increasing their business and management abilities, which is important for anyone who wants to end up as a senior team leader or even the C-suite.

Here’s CompTIA’s full breakdown for your perusal; as you can see, the percentages add up to more than 100 percent, suggesting many technologists are trying many growth techniques at once.

What are you focusing on for career growth?

Building Current Technical Skill 51%

Building Skill in Teamwork/Communication 47%

Building Technical Skill in New Area 41%

Building Skill in Project Management 37%

Building Skill in Business Operations 37%

Advancing into Management 33%

This technologist focus on gaining new skills (or deepening mastery of current ones) dovetails nicely with the economy-wide hunger for tech talent. The notably low unemployment rate in tech has made it difficult for many companies to quickly find the technologists they need for critical tasks; as a result, many companies are offering more training options to existing employees. For technologists who want to boost their skills, there’s every possibility that management will pay for additional training, whatever form that may take.

The low unemployment rate, combined with the “Great Resignation,” means that technologists have a lot of leverage right now when it comes to negotiating for the things they want. For those technologists who want to boost their business and management skill-set, this is a good time to see if a promotion is available, or at least the opportunity to add some management-related tasks to your current workflow. 

As we progress into 2022, it’s also helpful to keep an eye on which tech skills (both certified and non-certified) come with a hefty pay premium. And if you’re interested in building out your career around a new set of skills, make sure that you have a personal learning plan in place, as well as a strategy to climb a different career ladder.  

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