As companies and teams continue to streamline and try to find the most efficient ways of working, Project Managers are becoming key roles in every department.
Project management professionals need to have a wide range of skills to be successful, since their role requires them to work with different teams and at different levels.
What Does A Project Manager Do?
Project managers are hired by companies to oversee a project and ensure that it is successful from start to finish. The project may be a specific thing, such as an app or a physical item, or it could be a marketing campaign or an HR initiative. A project is usually defined as any undertaking that is carefully planned to achieve a particular goal.
To be successful in a project management role you must be well organized, extremely knowledgeable, and competent at multitasking along with being a good communicator, showing great leadership, and being able to solve problems with your team.
According to CIO.com, “Project managers play the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects. They are accountable for the entire project scope, project team, resource management, and the success or failure of the project.”
There is tremendous career growth potential for skilled project managers. In fact, within the next 5 years, the need for efficient project managers is expected to expand dramatically by 87.7 million.
Hiring companies understand that a good project manager can increase project completion by up to 40%, if they have the right skills.
That’s why you must learn these skills today to become a stronger, more efficient project manager.
Top 10 Project Manager Skills
You absolutely must have effective leadership skills. Being able to lead a team and motivate them to stay on task and complete projects is vitally important.
Effectively leading your team will ensure that you achieve company goals in an efficient and timely manner, staying on task and on budget.
A big part of being a project manager is regularly communicating with stakeholders. You need to be able to speak confidently and in a direct and understandable way.
If you don’t possess the ability to effectively communicate your views, needs, and vision for the company effectively, you’ll struggle to create consistent success in your role as a project manager.
3. Teamwork and Collaboration
Clearly, your role as a project manager will require you to work well with others. You’ll need to be skilled at working with teams from nearly every department in the company, from finance to legal to operations and even marketing. Being able to understand other peoples’ goals, motivations, and passions will help you be a more effective project manager.
Sometimes, keeping a project on track or within budget will require you to bring multiple teams or stakeholders together. They may not be used to working with each other, so you’ll need to be able to collaborate with them and keep everyone on the same page.
Making sure you become effective at both time management and scheduling will help you to deliver projects on time. Each and every project you work on will come with hundreds of tasks to complete between yourself and your team.
Having the knowledge and skills to be able to prioritize tasks and create project timelines will ensure that you stay on track and meet deadlines.
It is also your job as a project manager to put effort into keeping your projects as stress- and chaos-free as possible. Your team is relying on you to keep things organized so they always know what they need to achieve every day without having to worry.
5. Identifying and Managing Project Risk
Risks are part and parcel of any project, and you will inevitably experience crises as a project manager. This is especially true on more complicated or unique projects. Being able to identify and manage project risk is a valuable skill.
Having the skills to effectively identify and analyze risks, react and adapt decisively, and keep your project on track is critical to keep the company moving forward during turmoil or challenging times.
Not all risks will be obvious, which is why you’ll need to be on your toes when it comes to analyzing the goings-on at the company and keeping one eye on any areas that may be liable to potential risks.
6. Negotiation and Accountability
As a project manager, you need to be efficient in the art of negotiating. In your role, you’ll be expected to negotiate with suppliers, clients, and stakeholders.
You won’t always be negotiating prices or contracts. You’ll also be negotiating deadlines, priorities, and changing business requirements.
Your negotiations will often spread to your team members as well, whether that’s with a new employee, team conflicts, handing out and managing tasks and assignments, and keeping everyone accountable.
Having good leadership skills will help in becoming a better negotiator.
7. Task and Quality Management
Being able to create task lists, delegate tasks, and track completion of tasks is critical to your role as a project manager. Usually, any company you’ll work for will have its own task management solution, but it will be your job to use these tools to make sure tasks are tracked and completed.
Good task management needs good quality management to be truly successful. Quality management ensures that tasks are being completed to the best standard and requirements. It’s your role to oversee the quality of the work that’s being produced by team members and ensuring it is acceptable.
8. Scheduling and Budgeting
At the very beginning of any new project, you will be required to create a working schedule with deadlines and goals that your team will need to meet, and also create a budget for the project. Of course you may have assistance with this from finance or other teams, but the ownership lies with you.
You will almost always have to work under financial restriction, but you will also need to be able to keep track of ongoing project costs, so you have a clear picture of where you can get savings, in case a part of the project goes over budget.
Agile project management is an incremental, iterative approach to managing projects that allow teams to deliver value to their customers in a faster, more efficient manner. Since Agile improves productivity, it also helps team members improve skills while promoting innovation and creativity.
This approach promotes continuous repetition of developing and testing through a project. Although Agile first appeared in 2001 with the agile manifesto. It is now a popular choice for many development teams and companies – regardless of the industry.
When considering traditional project management, teams define their target, take aim, launch, and then hope that their target doesn’t move. This is commonly known as “Waterfall”, and it works great, assuming that nothing changes from when you start the project to when you complete it.
Agile project management differs in that a team starts with a specific vision. They then begin working in a broad direction, learning and adapting to conditions as they arise. Across time, they hone in on their target incrementally. Today, Agile is one of the most popular approaches to project management because of its flexibility and continuous growth.
10. General Technical Skills
Having competent tech skills and experience with the latest technology can help you to increase the speed of implementation. By having your finger on the pulse of new tech and software development, you will be able to identify tools, best practices, or alternatives that can help your team move more quickly.
Technology can help you and your team to produce tremendous results, but only if you know how to adapt to current tech trends.
Companies that fail to adapt and change when technology changes find themselves quickly running out of resources and failing to get tasks accomplished whilst maintaining the output and quality they once achieved.
Data scientists have played a role in some of the most important discoveries of the 21st century. Skilled data scientists are in high demand across nearly every industry – here’s what you need to know about data science and the top career paths.
What Does A Data Scientist Do?
Data is truly at the heart of all technological and scientific advances, which is why scientists and other researchers rely on Data Scientists for information. Therefore, the field of data science includes work with data sources of all kinds. However, certain industries are more likely to require the services of a data scientist than others. Let’s look at some examples of what a data scientist would do in different fields:
Market Research: Many data scientists will analyze the results of market research surveys to look for trends. This type of data analysis will require a knowledge of both marketing and statistical analysis. You may also play a role in setting up certain types of market research studies by analyzing the results of studies that were previously done by the company.
Healthcare or Industrial: Some data engineers will analyze the results of studies that will play a key role in the development of new healthcare or industrial technologies, which can greatly improve and even extend people’s lives.
Scientific Community: Some data specialists will work with data that’s used in other scientific fields, such as geology, meteorology, and even astronomy. These data scientists will typically have training in both statistical analysis and the specialized scientific field that they’re working in.
What Is A Data Scientist’s Average Salary?
The answer to this question depends on the specific area of data science that you go into, but it is possible to make a substantial salary in this career. On average, a data scientist will earn around $165,000 per year in the US, and it’s possible to earn significantly more. In fact, some data scientists earn around $250,000 or more. The specific earnings that you expect will vary depending on your specialty and the type of work that you’re doing.
Your earnings as a data scientist will depend on a variety of factors, which include your education, experience, and the field that you’re going into. Data scientists who work for companies that earn large profits will be more likely to have strong career stability and high levels of income than data scientists working for a struggling business.
What Is The Working Environment For A Data Scientist?
The answer to this question varies considerably from one workplace to another. However, most data scientists will work in an office environment, and people in the field usually are employed on a full-time basis. This means that data scientists will typically have access to benefits associated with full-time employment, such as health insurance, a 401k, and regular paid-time-off vacation options.
Do Data Scientists Work At Non-Profit Organizations?
In some cases, data scientists do work for non-profit organizations, and there are actually plenty of opportunities in some not for profit organizations. Here are a few examples of non-profits that hire data scientists:
Medical Non-Profits: Medical non-profit organizations hire data scientists to analyze information that has been gathered by medical research studies, in some cases. Furthermore, data scientists are needed to model the effectiveness of outreach programs offered by the organization.
Historical Non-Profit Organizations: In some cases, data scientists will work for organizations that are set up to care for historical sites. These data scientists often analyze changes in the number of tourists visiting the site, how grant writing programs have impacted donations, and other forms of data that play a crucial role in the organization’s management.
Outreach Programs: Most outreach programs are run by non-profit organizations, and they’ll need data scientists to analyze the effectiveness of new outreach strategies. This can have an important impact on communities at the local and national level.
How Do You Start A Career In Data Science?
If you’re thinking of becoming a data scientist, you might be uncertain about how to create a career for yourself. However, the good news is that there is not only one way to do it. In fact, there are several routes that you can take to go into the field of data science. Here are a few of the most common ways to get your start in this potentially lucrative career.
There are several highly specialized careers in data science that you might want to consider. These are a few of the most widely known examples:
Machine Learning Analysts: In order for machine learning to work properly, data scientists are needed to build predictive models. This field of data science can greatly advance artificial intelligence, which could lead to exciting new technologies in the near future. This field of data science requires a strong understanding of computer science in addition to statistical analysis. Therefore, it will be important to find the right education if you choose to go into this unique field.
Marketing Data Analysts: If you are going into marketing, then this field of data analytics might be perfect for you. Not only do companies need data scientists to take a close look at their marketing data, but you’ll also use skills in data visualization and managing data sets to provide insights to help drive business decisions.
Research Analysts: Businesses in the healthcare sector and other highly specialized STEM fields require research analysts. These individuals will look closely at the results of studies that were performed, which can improve the quality of services offered by science and technology companies.
A career as a Network Administrator has lots to offer today’s IT professionals. There is high demand, great job security, and endless professional advancement opportunities as companies continue to move more work online.
The need for skilled network engineers is even growing in traditionally non-tech-oriented industries, such as healthcare. Hospitals are switching to electronic records and going paperless, so knowledge of updating computer systems and networks is a much-needed skillset.
What Does A Network Administrator Do?
Network administrators are a part of the daily operation of network systems, and the responsibility of this role includes four key components:
Establish: The company’s network configuration must be set up, and the process includes planning and installing all systems, setting up user accounts, and restoring any needed data.
Maintain: Keep the network safe at all times by taking extra measures as necessary. This includes installing software updates, uninstalling outdated software, and improving network performance.
Watch: You will need to monitor the network’s security and perform upkeeps. This includes catching issues within the system and performing updates when necessary.
Troubleshoot: When the system goes down, you will need to investigate and resolve network problems. In addition, you need to have established a plan and process to act quickly.
The network administrator and department manager determine how the organization’s network will operate. This teamwork makes sure everything works correctly and makes adjustments when necessary.
What Is A Network Administrator’s Average Salary?
You can expect to earn a high salary in this field as you would in any other career in computer science. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, the median annual wage for network administrators was $84,810. The average entry level salary for those just starting in this field is $52,830, while those who have been in the field longer can make over $134,970.
Job opportunities for network administrators are plentiful and seem to be skyrocketing. According to the BLS, job growth in this career field is expected to be 4% between 2019 and 2029.
Common Network Administration Job Titles
Network administrators can have a variety of job titles, but their roles are often the same. Some of the roles and job titles you’re likely to see within this field are:
Junior Network Administrator: In this role, employees are responsible for ensuring a company’s computer network performs at the highest level. The setup process involves installing and configuring hardware on the computer, configuring the server, and troubleshooting any connection errors.
Computer System Analyst: These individuals are also known as systems architects since they design and implement solutions to help a company’s networks operate more efficiently.
Computer Programmer: An employee in this role writes code to improve the performance of software applications. While managing other operating systems, they are primarily responsible for designing and updating software solutions.
Computer and Information Systems Manager: Within this role, individuals oversee all computer-related activities within a company. In addition, they observe the company’s budget and implement technology when necessary.
Software Developer: This role is responsible for designing, implementing, and testing all computer applications for the business.
Computer Network Architect: An individual in this role is responsible for establishing and maintaining a company’s data and communication networks. The employee will build the data by utilizing local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets.
What Skills Does A Network Administrator Need?
For many roles as a network administrator, you will need an undergraduate degree in an area such as computer science, engineering, or business management. However, a college degree is only the first step. To stand out in your job search, you would want a balance of “soft” skills and “hard” skills:
Communication: network administrators work with every department in an organization, so being able to clearly communicate with others in a business setting is crucial.
Collaboration: many network administrators work on or manage a team of engineers, analysts, and architects. You’ll need to be comfortable working with others to successfully manage an entire network.
Leadership and Management: network administrators must have skills in leadership and management. This includes being proactive, identifying risks and suggesting solutions. You must be confident and able to delegate and coach others.
Self-Motivation: while you will typically work on a team, each member of that team will have their own tasks and responsibilities. Being able to motivate yourself and track against your goals with little oversight is critical.
Critical Thinking: analyzing problems, assessing risk, and creating solutions are daily activities for a network administrator.
While not directly related to network administration, you should also be familiar with the concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI and ML are increasingly important in today’s digital world as systems and networks are expanding into new areas. Additionally, some base software development skills will be extremely helpful. Python, in particular, is easy to learn.
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Within project management, there are lots of buzzwords that you may hear but be unfamiliar with. Scrum and Agile are two that you often hear used together, or compared against each other. But what is the difference between Scrum and Agile, and how are they similar?
It helps to know that the word ‘scrum’ is actually a rugby term! It refers to a team that organizes together and advances down the field in unison. This illustrates why the word ‘Scrum’ works so well in project management situations.
Agile, on the other hand, is a catch-all name for a group of methodologies that share common values and ideas. For example, Scrum is a framework that suggests ways to structure work so that the end-user gets the most value.
What Is Agile Project Management?
Agile processes and methodologies provide guidance on how to manage projects in an environment with requirements that are constantly changing. It is guided by the Agile Manifesto, a written declaration of four essential values and twelve principles.
These values and principles promote an iterative approach to software development, but can also be applied to other projects. Throughout the development lifecycle, the Agile development technique allows for project direction evaluation.
In contrast to the traditional Waterfall project management approach, Agile teams focus on iterative development. In a Waterfall process, requirements are first analyzed and documented before development begins. In Agile, requirements are fluid, and change throughout the project, but progress is mapped against a core goal. This allows for changes in the business’s requirements and objectives to be accommodated with ease.
Benefits of Agile
With Agile development, you inspect the working product frequently. In addition, there is testing integrated into each iteration as it progresses through the lifecycle. As a result, you maintain the product’s quality, and the project owner can make appropriate adjustments when a quality issue emerges.
Enhanced Project Visibility
Agile methodologies are a collaborative approach to product development. This fosters active user participation. It also provides stakeholders with excellent and clear visibility into the project’s progress and product development.
The traditional Waterfall model takes longer to create and deliver high-value features. Agile practices allow for more frequent delivery in shorter cycles. This enables providers to respond more quickly to customer demands for development.
Improving Supplier Relationships
Vendors profit from Agile adoption because customer satisfaction and retention improve. That results in more customer connections through favorable referrals. In addition, Agile helps the vendor concentrate on developing high-value features while lowering overheads and increasing efficiency.
What Is Scrum?
Scrum is a subset of Agile. It is a lightweight and simple framework that is easily adaptable. Scrum addresses complicated project problems and creatively delivers a high-value result. It is not a technique or a process.
A scrum team includes key roles, such as the product owner and scrum master. The product owner is responsible for the business elements of a project, including requirements, key features, etc. The scrum master is responsible for owning the process by which that product is created and delivered. They ensure open communication so that the sprint backlog is maintained, sprint reviews are conducted.
Benefits of Scrum
Better Communication and Collaboration
One of the key features of Scrum is its daily scrum meetings and frequent sprint planning meetings. While regular meetings are usually frowned upon in most businesses, these are specifically focused and designed to be short progress updates. By meeting often, and briefly, any potential roadblocks are identified and addressed quickly, before they drag down the whole team.
In Scrum, development takes place in sprints of one, two, or three weeks. short sprints, or iterations, make it easier to break big projects into smaller tasks that can be completed in just a few days. Keeping tasks smaller and more organized works to prevent team members from getting mired down in lengthy conversations or big tasks that take weeks to complete.
As the project is broken down into iterations and tasks, user stories track the various functions that need to be created. These user stories are maintained in a backlog called Pivotal Tracker.
If you need a change or addition to the user stories, the team can make the necessary adjustments as early as the next sprint. This allows the company to embrace change without derailing the development team or wasting efforts. The Scrum methodology’s capacity to handle change is a valuable feature for nimble businesses.
Which Is Best For Your Team?
Before starting a project, you should determine whether you’ll use Scrum or Agile project management methodologies and approaches. Having a clear understanding of your approach will make it easier to build the plan and execute against it throughout the project.
While Scrum focuses on the product development team, Agile considers the entire organization and focuses on continual improvement. That includes leadership and company culture. Both are reasonably simple to begin on but challenging to master.
Many firms organize their teams using Scrum in conjunction with other Agile principles and practices. Even though Scrum appears to be a simple framework to execute, there are changes that you have to make. These changes should be on an individual and organizational level that Scrum does not address.
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In today’s hyper-competitive job market, ongoing professional development is increasingly important. Knowing how to talk to your boss about training and development is a crucial skill for anyone who wants to advance their career.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, tech salaries rose by 3.6% in 2020. Tech professionals who stayed up to date with new skills in their industries flourished and had less trouble finding new jobs and opportunities.
You know that skills training is instrumental to being able to keep up with changing times, but not every boss is focused on employee training. Below are some tips on how to start a conversation with your boss about professional learning.
Know The Benefits Of Skills Training
The tech industry changes rapidly. Best practices evolve and security regulations continuously change. Not only will skills courses help you stay up to date, but it can also refresh existing skills that may not have been used in a while.
One of the benefits of professional development is that in addition to learning new skills, it can be helpful to refresh existing skills, so that knowledge isn’t lost forever. Online learning such as Develop has made this even easier, as you can study whenever and wherever you want, on your own schedule.
Professional development is also the perfect way to network with others in your field. You can make connections even when developing skills through online education. Connecting with professionals at other companies can be a great way to get new ideas or discover best practices, as well.
Professional development doesn’t only benefit you, either. Your company will benefit from your increased knowledge and improved performance. You’ll also be better prepared to take on new tasks and challenges that may allow your company to expand.
Additionally, from an HR perspective, companies who offer professional development resources gain a positive reputation as a company that invests in their employees. This can make it easier to attract new employees and keep skilled employees engaged.
Do Your Research
You may understand the benefits of training for yourself and your organization, but does your boss? Doing your research in advance will make it much easier to talk about your goals and the type of training programs you need.
First, you’ll need to determine the types of skills you want to learn. Are you looking for soft skills training to become a better leader and communicator, or are there technical skills that you want to learn? Has there been a lot of growth in your niche that you need to get up to date on? Is there a new project at work that you want to get involved with, but don’t have the skills for?
After you’ve decided on your focus, narrow down your search to individual courses or subscriptions. Gather all of the info on the courses you’d like to take. Document the cost, time commitment, and goals of the courses.
Be Confident In What You Don’t Know
It sometimes seems that those that appear to know the most actually know the least. Admitting ignorance in an area shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Acknowledging weaknesses or skills gaps are signs of a good leader.
Being confident and knowing the areas where you’d like to improve will also make speaking to your boss about learning opportunities much more comfortable.
Connect Your Goals To The Company’s Goals
You’re more likely to get the response you are looking for if you connect the training to your current role and the goals of your department or company.. How will the skills you learn improve your organization? Make sure you have set specific goals for what training can do for your department or company.
Another great approach is to consider if you would be able to pass your training on to other colleagues through a presentation or workshop. This will boost the benefit that your company will see from your training.
Set The Tone
Once you feel prepared for the conversation, contact your boss in advance to let them know you’d like to have a discussion. Having time to prepare for the conversation will benefit you both.
Let them know that you’re looking to improve your skill set and grow within your company. Be sure to thank them for taking the time to discuss your future.
Talk To Your Boss
All of the time you’ve taken to prepare will pay off when it is time to talk with your boss. Show gratitude for the time they are taking to meet with you.
One way to start off the conversation is to ask your boss what they think your strongest skills are and where you can improve. Ask about their vision for the future of your company or department.
Let them know that you have a plan to reduce these knowledge gaps by gaining additional training, so you can better contribute to your team and the future of the company. Discuss the specific knowledge gaps that you’re looking to fill. Then explain how you think additional skills training would benefit the company.
Here’s where you can use all of your research to explain the skills training or learning environments that can build your skills. Connect those skills to your work to explain how they will improve your performance.
If you have taken previous courses or know coworkers who have, it might be helpful to show examples of how this was helpful to your team or the company as a whole.
After your discussion, be sure to follow up with an email that includes a brief recap of your conversation, as well as the specific details of which courses you want to take, their costs and time commitment, and what you will learn in these courses.
Be Prepared For Any Response
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t receive the response you’d like. Be open and flexible to other options to accommodate your work schedule.
If your organization is working on a big project, skills training may need to be delayed a bit. If your organization doesn’t have the funds to support your training immediately, maybe it will in the next quarter.
Be open and understanding with your boss in case you’re able to take advantage of an opportunity in the future.
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Data science is one of the hottest career paths right now, and professionals with the right skills are finding jobs in nearly every industry, from healthcare to retail to IT and everything in between. As these jobs can vary between companies, it’s useful to know the key tech skills you’ll need for a career in data science.
While using data and analytics to make better business decisions is nothing new, data science as a practice only emerged a little over ten years ago, as the amount of raw data that companies have available began to explode. Data scientists are specially trained to take the vast amount of structured and unstructured data that organizations are collecting and organize it. This organization of data allows companies to spot trends and pull actionable insights much better.
Today’s Data Scientists typically have a background in mathematics, statistics, coding, and now artificial intelligence and machine learning. They’ll use these skills to build complex algorithms and visualizations to make data easier to read and understand.
There are a host of skills, both technical and “soft” skills, that a Data Scientist needs to succeed:
Data Science Technical Skills
The technical skills, sometimes called “hard skills”, that are crucial for a Data Scientist are deeply rooted in mathematics and analytics. You don’t need a master’s degree, but being familiar with exploratory data analysis and computer science will be a tremendous help.
You should have a good understanding of the core elements of statistics, including statistical analysis, probability, and distribution curves. Knowing how and when to apply these elements will be critical to being able to work with any data set.
Calculus and Linear Algebra
As data science is very focused on using various mathematical models to better understand your data set, it’s important to be skilled in calculus and linear algebra.
While data science involves training machines and neural networks to look for trends and patterns, understanding the core concepts will make this much easier. You’ll also need to have deep knowledge of the various tools, techniques, and models to know which is appropriate for your project.
Many Data Scientists will tell you that being able to code is a necessity. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert, but having a good understanding of Python, R, and SQL will be extremely helpful in building the automation and machine learning needed for advanced data analysis.
Machine Learning and Deep Learning
With the volume of data that is being collected and analyzed today, it’s imperative that you’re able to create and train algorithms to do the heavy lifting. Being skilled with supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning methods will allow you to build complex analytical models.
While you need skills in analyzing and interpreting data, the vast majority of your time is likely to be spent wrangling and preparing data to be input into the various systems. You may or may not have a team of data engineers available to help with this, but it’s still a skill that you need to invest in.
When it comes to sharing your data, analysis, and insights with others, being able to create advanced visualizations is going to be key. Using data storytelling to showcase and explain your findings will help you communicate with executives and other key stakeholders who may not be as intimate with the data as you. Popular data visualization tools such as Tableau are great to learn and be proficient with.
Data Science Non-Technical Skills
Non-technical skills, also called “soft skills”, can be a bit more elusive, but are just as important to learn. Soft skills will help you translate your work for others, improve your ability to work with others and on teams, and can provide the career growth opportunities you need to advance.
General Business Skills
It’s always easier to work on a project or task when you know how it will be used when it’s finished. Having a keen business sense will help you as a Data Scientist understand the true needs of your stakeholders, so you can design more helpful algorithms, visualizations, and reports. You don’t need to have the skills to be a CEO, but understanding how and why your CEO or other executive leadership is making decisions can definitely be helpful.
Very seldom do you find a “team” of one Data Scientist. More commonly, you’ll work on a team with other data analysts and data engineers, so knowing how to collaborate and work together is very important.
Leadership and Management Skills
While a Data Scientist will need to be able to work independently, it’s rare that you’ll work alone, on a team of one. Additionally, you’ll likely want to progress your career, and will quickly find yourself in a position where you are leading a group of team members. Understanding how to lead and manage a team of professionals will help you map out a career path and move into leadership roles.
Similar to the technical skill of data visualization, more general communication skills can make any Data Scientist stand out from the crowd. Being able to clearly communicate your findings – either verbally or in a written presentation or whitepaper will work in your favor every step of the way. If you can’t communicate the data analytics and insights that you’re discovering, then your coworkers and executive leadership won’t be able to use them to make data driven decisions.
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You may have heard some variation of the phrase “machine learning” before. That’s the gist of most AI jobs; helping computers better learn how to understand and react to the world around us.
In many cases, this involves things like image recognition, language interpretation, and other visual and auditory cues. Helping machines better understand these concepts is a critical part of AI work.
Those aren’t the only jobs available, of course. There are many jobs that focus more on the engineering side of AI. These jobs are less about the process, and more about the implementation.
These kinds of careers are heavily focused on taking AI that exists and finding ways to integrate it in the world around us. Still other jobs focus on the psychological and ethical side of AI. The opportunities are nearly limitless.
Common AI Skills
Before you narrow down which aspect of AI you want to work in, there’s a few skills you need to make sure you know. These skills will be important regardless of which specialty you choose to pursue.
Mathematics and Statistics
First and foremost, you need a good grasp of some pretty advanced mathematics. In particular, you need an expertise in algorithms. Algorithms serve as the bedrock for a large portion of AI programming.
Similarly, you need a good understanding of statistics and probabilities. A huge part of AI development is training a computer to make decisions based on probabilities.
In fact, statistics in particular is often a prerequisite for many jobs in AI. Artificial Intelligence requires an understanding of pretty advanced statistical models. Markov models and Gaussian Mixture models are just two examples of the kinds of advanced math at work in AI.
Aside from mathematics, the other most obvious requirement for AI careers is a solid grasp of programming languages. You need to have a high level of proficiency in a variety of programming languages, but especially Python, R, and C++.
Python: useful for creating algorithms.
R: designed for handling large amounts of data.
C++: a popular and reliable language that is used all throughout software development.
Linux and UNIX
Nearly all work on AI is done on Linux machines. This means you’ll also need a strong grasp on UNIX tools. Luckily, Linux is already popular in many development fields, and resources for it are easy to find.
Before you decide what work you want to do in AI, you need to make sure you have a good grasp on these skills. You’ll use these often, regardless of the field of AI development you choose to enter.
AI Development Skills
Now that we’ve gotten the basic requirements out of the way, let’s take a look at some more specific skill sets that align to specific careers within the Artificial Intelligence industry. Let’s start with AI Development. This career path involves pioneering new advances in AI.
Expert Programming Skills
To create and build new Artificial Intelligence development, you can’t just “know” the programming languages outlined above – you need to be an expert. Python is the primary language used throughout AI and machine learning fields due to its effectiveness for algorithmic programming.
Advanced Statistics and Probability
Similarly, you need to make sure you know your math. Expert-level statistics and probability skills are essential. A huge portion of AI development is getting computers to properly understand and react to probabilities.
Linear algebra and calculus are also essential to thriving in the AI field. Matrix and vector math are commonplace in this field, and without a good understanding of them, you could find yourself lost before you get started.
Beyond that, you need to have a working knowledge of the technology of the industry. At this point, most people have heard of concepts like a neural network. You need to know what that means, how they’re built, and how they work. Neural networks are essentially AI in practice. If you can’t understand and work with them, you can’t thrive in AI development.
These are some pretty complex topics. Even the biggest experts in the field may need a refresher from time to time as the technology changes and advances.
AI Engineering Skills
If development jobs are what give life to AI, engineering jobs are what put the technology into practice. With an AI engineering job, it’ll be your task to take the technologies available and make usable programs out of them.
Naturally, this comes with its own set of skills. While there is some considerable overlap with other fields in AI, there are some unique things as well that you need to know.
As we mentioned earlier, one of the key functions of an Artificial Intelligence Engineer is to take AI models and turn them into usable programs. You need to be able to take the machine learning code and turn it into an API that other programmers can make use of.
To do so, you need a good grasp of what an API is. You also need to know how they should work, and how to effectively build one. Well-made APIs get AI in the hands of other software designers, so they can take advantage of it.
Data Analysis and Interpretation
A large part of your job will be data analysis. You need to be able to look at the real-world performance data of AI implementations. You then need to be able to use that data to make changes to the AI software.
As an engineer, the majority of your work involves these skills in some way. Optimizing the AI and finding new, more effective ways to implement it is the cornerstone of your job.
As such, you’ll need a strong grasp of data analysis. You’ll need to be able to spot and interpret trends, and make decisions based on that information.
Along these lines, you’ll need to be able to use data management apps. You’ll be using these more than other developers to keep track of and analyze trends in AI models.
The key skill here, as we’ve made clear, is data analysis and interpretation. That’s the main focus of your job as an engineer.
Non-Tech Skills (Soft Skills)
While the technical skills may be the most obvious, and most difficult, they aren’t the only skills you’ll need. The field of AI development requires an ability to work on a team and quickly analyze new information.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Nearly all work in AI these days is a team effort. Regardless of your specific field, you’ll be working with other people, so interpersonal skills will be crucial. If you can’t effectively operate as part of a team environment, you’re going to struggle. The image of people cloistered away by themselves isn’t accurate.
Leadership and Management
As you continue to grow your career in Artificial Intelligence, you’ll likely have the opportunity to build your own team. As such, management skills and leadership skills will be very important to ensure that your team can function well.
Research is Key
You also need to have good documentation and research skills, and be able to analyze new information quickly. AI is an ever changing field, and new advancements are coming out all the time.
This includes knowing how to read and interpret AI research articles. Many of the newest developments in AI will first appear in research articles by your peers. Similarly, you should be able to write one yourself so that others can learn from your own discoveries and advancement.
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Building the right skills can help you start a career in Artificial Intelligence, or make you stand out for the next promotion. The best place to get started is with our Data Academy.
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Develop, a leader in expert-led online business and IT skills training, has partnered with Netec, leading company in information technology training in Latin America.
Netec is the largest independent company in Latin America that provides IT training. It was founded in 1985 in Mexico and owns facilities in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru from where they serve all Spanish-speaking Latin American countries. This company have more than 160 full-time employees and train more than 15,000 students per year. Netec is constantly innovating with new learning methods (Instructor Led Training, eLearning Training), and digital services.
With this alliance, Develop and Netec will make it even easier for business and IT professionals throughout Latin America to learn the skills they need to advance their careers.
Develop’s high-quality, expert-led online courses provide skills training and knowledge in key areas such as software development, cybersecurity, data science, networking, and more. These courses also include hands-on exercises, instruct-led demonstrations, and live practice labs that ensure subscribers are able to practice their new skills. Each course also includes a completion certificate, so students can document their progress as they learn.
The courses are designed by IT experts and their topics are related to the latest technologies.
With the support of Netec, company employees will be able to have support throughout the learning experience to ensure the adoption of knowledge and access to personalized reports to monitor the progress of the participants.
Netec developed their “Netec Power Learning” which is a set of physical and digital services that enhance the effectiveness of the learning programs. With these services people accelerate their technology adoption.
As an IT professional, you probably know all the benefits of getting an ITIL certification. But in order to get that certification, you need to take and pass the ITIL certification exam. This short guide will prepare you for the exam, including how you should prepare, what to expect, and what, exactly, you should be studying. Our goal is to help you ace the exam on your first attempt. Let’s get started!
How To Prepare
First, it’s important to understand the key components of ITIL. ITIL is a set of guidelines and regulations for how you can provide the best practices or services possible. This concept is meant to be customizable so that you can apply it to any business or company.
With an online ITIL training course such as those included in our Foundation subscription, you can work at your own pace, and revisit portions as necessary. These courses provide you with videos and tutorials you can access at any time.
Taking practice exams can also help boost your confidence when taking the real ITIL 4 Foundation exam. These full-length tests can give you the experience of taking the real exam.
What To Expect
When preparing for the online exam, there are a few technical and logistical things you should keep in mind. Some exams may require you to download software to your computer that protects the exam process. One of the more popular is Exam Shield from PeopleCert.
Exam Shield is a type of software that prevents test takers from opening other tabs while in the test. This prevents users from researching questions in real-time or other methods of cheating on closed exams.
If required, you should download this software onto your desktop or laptop before taking the exam. It’s also a good idea to test the software before entering the exam, so you don’t waste time troubleshooting any technical issues that may arise.
We also recommend that you test your computer’s webcam and speakers, as well. Many exams will prohibit the use of headphones or earbuds during the test. A live proctor will be watching the examination, requiring you to have your webcam on, as well.
What Is The Exam Like?
The ITIL exam consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, with a time limit of 60 minutes. These questions are of varying levels of difficulty, but all questions on the test have an equal score count. You will not score any points with an incorrect answer as there are no partial points. Each question only has one correct answer, so it’s important to know the material well.
There is no bonus for completing the exam early, so you should plan to use the full hour and not feel rushed. At a minimum, you must answer 26 out of the 40 questions correctly. So, take your time to understand the questions and material they will present to you.
A lot of students make the mistake of rushing through a question and not fully understanding the context. They may also misread the syntax of a sentence and choose an incorrect answer.
What To Study
Know Your Vocabulary
ITIL has its own vernacular, so it’s a good idea to focus on learning and memorizing key words, including Service Transition, Service Level Agreement, and Operational Agreements,. You should not only familiarize yourself with these keywords, but understand how they link together and connect. For instance, in the ITIL framework, maintenance links to continual service improvement. Another link is the Service Strategy Model’s connection to customer value and so on.
The training for the ITIL 4 Foundation Exam requires you to understand the basics. You want to understand the foundational outlines of these lifecycles and compatibility modules. However, the Foundation Exam won’t go too in-depth into these lifecycles; that’s left for the more intermediate ITIL exams.
To avoid studying irrelevant aspects of ITIL, always refer to the course book. While online courses can help you understand and de-mystify difficult concepts, the course book will help outline the topics at their source.
Five Phases of ITIL
In addition to the vocabulary of ITIL, you should understand the 5 Basic Phases of the ITIL lifecycle. These five phases cover the ITIL framework that can aid in formulating a strategy to tackle IT issues.
Service Strategy defines the critical services. Once you define them, you will then understand how to assign funds to these services.
Service Design takes these strategies and turns them into action. Processes are designed and plans implemented for improved service management.
Service Transition allows you to transition these concepts into active service or live environments.
Service Operations cover the health of how these routine activities are performing.
Continual Service Improvement covers all the ways that companies perpetuate improving these processes. IT issues are never completely stable. They require strategies that work in an ever-changing environment.
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The information technology (IT) industry is rapidly expanding, shows no signs of slowing down, and has an ever-growing need for skilled professionals. Whether you are just starting out in IT or looking to advance your career, the best way to stand out is by exploring industry gold standard bodies of knowledge. For the IT industry, that means you need to obtain an ITIL certification.
Understanding and obtaining ITIL certification is quite a milestone professional and personal achievement. It is also a way to prove your skills and have a plan for continued career growth. According to Global Knowledge, the ITIL certification salary was one of the most lucrative in 2020, with an average of $129,402.
ITIL is an essential resource for managing business operations, revenue, deploying new technology, maintaining infrastructure, and project management. Through documentation and repeatable procedures, the ITIL assists businesses with implementing all manner of IT services.
Advantages of ITIL Certification
ITIL is one the most widely used IT service management (ITSM) frameworks in the world. Millions of IT professionals have improved their careers by receiving ITIL certificates that elevate their understanding of IT best practices and their business intelligence.
The first and foremost benefit of being ITIL certified is that you completely understand one of the most powerful IT operations frameworks. ITIL practices are one of the most powerful tools you can have at your disposal. These are tools that will drive your career forward and allow you to succeed under adverse conditions.
Another benefit to being an ITIL expert is that you will already understand most other international IT standards. The ITIL is aligned with other worldwide IT frameworks, like the ISO/IEC 20000. You will also be able to immediately understand other businesses that have implemented and adopted ITIL software into their operations.
The final benefit of being an ITIL master is that you become a more valuable employee. You have the skills and training that set you apart from other applicants and can advance in your career much more quickly.
How Do You Get ITIL Certified?
ITIL certification is the process of undertaking a training course and passing an exam on the ITIL strategy. Since 2013, accredited training organizations and exams have been maintained by Axelos. The most recent iteration of ITIL certificates is ITIL 4, released in winter 2019. ITIL 4 includes multiple certificates that build upon themselves.
Four Levels of ITIL 4 Certification:
The ITIL 4 Foundation Certificate
The most fundamental certificate, Foundation, covers the basics of ITIL. This is the jumping-off point for those wishing to become ITIL certified. Students learn critical ITIL elements, concepts, and terms throughout this certification process.
A training course for the Foundation exam is not required. Anyone can take the ITIL Foundation exam, though it is generally recommended to study and take some ITIL exam prep courses before you give it a shot.
The ITIL 4 Managing Professional Certificate
The Managing Professional certificate is designed to test your practical and technical ITIL knowledge. This certificate consists of four modules that challenge you to apply the ITIL framework to real-world situations.
This certificate is centered around industry professionals that have a few years of experience. All four modules of this course must be completed to obtain the Managing Professional certificate.
The ITIL 4 Strategic Leader Certificate
The Strategic Leader certificate is another certificate that has multiple modules. There are actually two modules, one of which is shared with the Managing Professional Certificate. Managing Professional certificate holders must only complete the remaining module to receive the Strategic Leader certificate.
The Strategic Leader certificate demonstrates your knowledge of how ITIL principles can be applied outside of IT operations. These modules demand an in-depth understanding of the intricacies and synchronicities of how IT operations coincide with all digital business strategies.
The ITIL 4 Master Certificate
The final ITIL 4 certificate, the Master, is the highest obtainable ITIL certificate. This certificate demonstrates that you understand all aspects of ITIL and that you have implemented a range of ITIL principles throughout your professional career.
Every Master certificate candidate is different. To earn this certificate, you must have at least five years of industry experience. You must be able to cite personal examples of situations where you have used the ITIL framework in your professional career.
Becoming ITIL Certified
Now that you know how valuable an ITIL certification can be for your career, where do you begin? The best place to start is with Develop’s ITIL Awareness learning path. These courses are specifically designed to help understand ITIL and start you on a path to prepare you for the exams, and are taught by experts to help you understand ITIL.
Key Concepts of ITIL Service Management
In this course, we’re going to look at the key concepts of service management. That’s the nature of value and value co-creation. We’ll look at stakeholders, the relationship between products and services, service relationships and a service relationship model, achieving value through outcomes, costs, and risks. We’ll then look at outputs vs. outcomes, different types of costs, different types of risk. And finally, we’ll finish up by looking at utility and warranty.
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