Stay Relevant: 5 Tech Skills You Need To Survive In 2015

I am not big on setting resolutions, especially not for the “new year” as it always seems to backfire. So see this as, not a resolution, but more of a humble guideline that redefines your relevancy in 2015.

I believe it’s always good to strive for excellence, all year-round. Not necessarily to achieve it, but to get as close as possible. With that being said, there is always value in using the year’s initial months to reassess your current skills and ponder about what this new year might require to really kick it off good! Buy weirder clothes to blend in with the ever-growing population of hipsters? Buy bigger chains and jewelry because “big” just isn’t big enough?

Technology is definitely an area no one in any industry can afford to grow complacent about. Tech is changing, or rather, developing, unbelievably fast, with hundreds of tech-startups gaining million and billion-dollar valuations that are revolutionizing the very essence of life. In such a rapidly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30 percent a year, according to Research in Labor Economics.

On that note, here are the top five tech skills that are identified as not just “good to know,” but “need to know,” in 2015

1. Coding

There is no doubt that coding is the number one skill in today’s modern world. The demand is skyrocketing as new technology is being brought to market, emphasizing on the importance of the ability to code as it’s becoming just as important as any other basic form of literacy.

Luckily enough, no matter what your literacy rate is with technology, there are shortcuts to pick your way into the whole coding world, among which are numerous free coding tutorials that can enable you to start-off your Zuckerberg career. Check out  Code School, a great medium that provides interactive “learn-to-code” challenges. Or how about Hour of Code, which literally offers you a free hour of coding tutorials.

2. Big data (huge)

Big data has and will continue to grow in 2015, due to the rise of the Internet of Things, which practically has the ability to embed technology in pretty much anything, according to ForbesMore and more large volumes of data are being created, making it very difficult for business to analyze the huge chunks of information, especially when it is often related to business processes and customer preferences.

Trust the fact that, if you do ignore big data and its monumental impact on the future business, you’ll be missing out key marketing and decision-making opportunities. Do yourself a favor and wrap you head around the concept of big data!

3. Going mobile

It’s as simple as this, “If you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy.” Now yes, maybe if we were living in the late 90s, this wouldn’t be true, but considering how our lifestyles now revolve around our smartphones and their essential impact on our tech-dripping lives, mobile strategies are a must, especially in 2o15, a year which the The Guardian predicts to be a huge time when an increasing number of companies will learn to mobilize their revenue-generating processes, like for instance, making purchases and depositing checks. According to Forbes, this is also a critical year that’ll target the fusion of mobile and cloud computing. But don’t worry, we got you covered. Here is an entire list of beginner-level courses related to mobile technology.

4. UX design skills

UX is just another fancy high-tech name that’s meant to throw you off because of no rational reason. User Experience (UX) designer’s main concentration is the efficiency and general experience a customer has with the interface of a system (a website or an application). Now while user experience has for long been considered important for obvious reasons, it has become even more important due to the customers’ diverse relationship with websites and mobile apps.

“The more complex the system, the more involved will the planning and architecture have to be for it,” writes Smashing Magazines Jacob Gube. The truth is, anyone can benefit from understanding the basics of UX design. Here, have a look at this animated video from UXmastery on “How to Get Started in UX Design.”

5. Data visualization

Data just keeps on getting bigger with a rapidly increasing traffic rate, which simply means that whatever picture or message you are trying to get across online, you have to find creative ways to break through the excessive noise. That’s exactly where data visualization comes in, which applies visual representation of the data to discover new information and make data analysis easier, more effective and fun. According to Creative Bloq, these techniques can show details poring through that dry data can’t.

Picture Credit: Tumblr