CIOs Start To Look For Workers With Hybrid Skills

Tomorrow's jobs will require workers with hybrid skills
Tomorrow’s jobs will require workers with hybrid skills
Image Credit: Rakka

As the person with the CIO job, it is your responsibility to make sure that the company is staffed with the IT experts that will be able to understand the importance of information technology and guide the company into the future. In the past this has been fairly easy to do, you just went out and hired Java developers, Cisco network engineers, and a few people who knew SAP and VMWare. Job done. However, things are starting to change. The IT workers that you are going to want to be hiring in the future are going to be different. They will have a set of skills that today’s IT workers don’t have. Are you ready to go looking for IT workers with hybrid skills?

What Are Hybrid Skills?

Our human brain comes divided into two equal sections: the left brain and the right brain. These two halves focus on doing different things. Your right brain handles things like intuition and creativity. The left brain handles things like logic and analytical thought. In the past, CIOs could just go out and find a bunch of left-brain thinkers and staff their IT department with them. However, the IT department jobs of the future are going to require workers who are good at using both sides of their brain.

In some ways, the future has already arrived. Certain IT positions already require the use of both sides of the brain such as mobile application development. What these new roles are going to require is that the worker has familiarity with advanced computer programs as well as having creative minds that will allow them to make use of all of the data that they have collected. The term that is being used to describe these new positions is “hybrid jobs”. These new jobs will not require just one skill. Instead, the worker is going to have to have a breath of skills.

It will be important for CIOs to realize that all hybrid jobs will not be created equally. Different jobs will require lower and higher levels of hybridization. This will be based primarily on the number of different skills that will be required outside of the job’s traditional requirements. Additionally, how specialized or sophisticated those skills are will also have an impact. IT jobs are expected to grow at rate of about 10%. However, hybridized jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 21%. The person in the CIO position is also going to have to get used to paying more for the people who will be filling these positions.

Why Do CIOs Want Workers With Hybrid Skills?

So just exactly where are these hybrid IT workers going to come from? It turns out that in a lot of cases, the workers start out with right-brain (creative) jobs and then they develop technical skills that they need in order to supplement the skills that they already have. Likewise, workers who start out on the technical side can see a payoff for making the effort to add social or creative skills to their skill set.

One of the challenges that CIOs are going to have to stay on top of is the simple fact that the workers that they already have are going to have to update their skills. If they don’t, then they are going to discover that they are going to end up qualifying for fewer jobs and won’t be able to move around in the company easily. Back in 2013 one in 500 of the help wanted ads for marketing and public relations positions requested that the candidate have data visualization skills. By 2018, the ratio had increased to one in 50.

Good news for IT professionals who take hybrid jobs – they are less likely to become professionally obsoleted. Those jobs that can be considered to be highly hybridized have only a 12% risk of becoming automated in the future. This is in contrast to other IT jobs that have a 42% risk of becoming automated. CIOs need to understand that hybrid jobs are generally not entry level IT jobs. This means that CIOs are going to have to be careful in who they choose to fill these roles.

What All Of This Means For You

One of a CIO’s key jobs is to find the right people to work in their IT department. In the past this has been a relatively easy task, all they had to do was find people with the right mix of technical skills. However, things are changing. Now going forward CIOs are going to have to find people with a greater mix of skills to fill the new breed of jobs that require hybrid skills. Some of the jobs in IT departments today, such as mobile application developers, already require hybrid skills. The number of jobs that require hybrid skills are expected to grow twice as fast as other types of IT jobs. The workers who will fill the jobs that require hybrid skills start out in regular jobs and then develop the additional skills that they will need. Existing workers are going to have to learn hybrid skills in order to ensure that their jobs are not replaced by automation. CIOs will need to understand that jobs that require hybrid skills are generally not entry level jobs.

Having an IT department that can support the rest of the company is a critical need for CIOs. The company will be facing changing market conditions, competition, and customer needs. The IT department is going to have to be nimble enough to keep up with all of these changes. Positions within the IT department will have to change and hybrid skills are going to be required for IT workers to be able to accomplish everything that will be asked of them. As the CIO, you need to be aware of your new need for workers with hybrid skills and now you are going to have to go out and find them!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Where do you think that CIOs should look in order to find the workers with hybrid skills that they are going to need?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So if you were the CIO for a shopping mall, what would you want to know? You’d want to know that all of your servers and networking gear was secure. You’d want to know what the next “big thing” in technology is going to be. You’d also want to know just exactly who your customers at your mall were. This last question might be the hardest question of all to answer. Anyone can go to a mall, visit one or more stores and then go home and the mall CIO would never know. Well, that’s all about change and it’s going to change because mall CIOs are starting to deploy facial recognition software to keep track of you and me.