Where is the IT industry heading? Which topics will be relevant in 2023? And what do professionals think about the topic of certification and continuing education? In a recent survey, iSQI asked its customers and partners about the most important developments in the IT sector. The results provide an interesting insight into the perception of experts in the industry.
Download the results of the survey here!
In December 2022, iSQI conducted a survey amongst partners and customers to find out which topics might shift the IT industry. In order to be able to offer the best possible service as a provider of certification exams in the IT sector, it was also important to iSQI to learn more about the relevance of professional development and certification, as an indicator of the general mood and forecast. With 10 questions, survey participants were able to cast their votes on various topics. Clearly key findings will have a significant impact on work in the IT sector in 2023.
The results in brief
- The "megatrends" of automation, cloud services, AI and machine learning will continue to be important in the future.
- IT security is the central topic of concern for experts. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine war and the rising number of cyber attacks, an increasing awareness of security issues in the digital space can be deduced, as well as an increasing willingness to implement digital security measures.
- As a result of the corona pandemic, digital offerings have become widely established. However, face-to-face exchange is still important, which is why attending training courses in person is still popular.
- Continuing education and certification remain important. The survey shows a high level of interest in professional development and certification offerings.
- The expected increase in investment in professional development makes it clear that companies are willing to invest in the skills and future of their employees, despite the prevailing inflation. iSQI Managing Director Stephan Goericke: "The fact that companies are likely to invest more in the professional development of their employees despite the difficult economic situation speaks for optimism and the prospect of a slight economic recovery."
IT security, automation and cloud services as key topics
Which topics are currently important for the IT industry? The answer to this question turned out to be clear. IT security is the topic currently on the minds of experts. From a given selection of possible answers, the following were considered, 96% of respondents considered IT security to be a "very important" or "important" topic.
Other topics of importance are automation, AI or machine learning, and cloud services. More than 90% rated both the topic of automation and cloud services as "very important" or "important". When it came to the topic of AI/machine learning, the respondents showed differentiation: While the topic is of great importance to 82%, 17% considered it only "somewhat important" or "neutral".
Topics of medium importance include sustainability, the Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics. The topics of augmented reality and blockchain, on the other hand, seem to play a subordinate role. Almost one-third find of the latter "not relevant" for the IT industry.
Fig. 1 Which topics are relevant for the IT industry? Respondents voted in particular for the topics of IT security, automation and AI, and machine learning.
In addition, iSQI wanted to know from its customers and partners which topics will be relevant in 2023: According to the survey, particular importance will be attached to the topics of continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) as well as user experience and cloud computing. With reference to current world political events, the responsibility of IT in times of war with the use of drones was also mentioned. But digital transformation and new testing methods were also highlighted, among others.
Fig. 2 Respondents' vote on the relevance of specific topics in 2023.
Fig. 3: Other topics mentioned by respondents.
Continuing professional development and certification remain important
When asked how important professional development and certification are for IT experts, the responses show a clear trend. With an average score of 89 out of 100, respondents showed great interest in continuing education offerings. On the question of whether more or less will be invested in continuing education in the future, the respondents awarded an average of 79 points. Accordingly, respondents expect a medium increase in investment in continuing professional development. The certification of knowledge was still rated as relevant. On a scale of 0 (not relevant) to 100 (very relevant), respondents assigned an average score of 81 points, indicating continued strong interest in certification.
Fig. 4 Vote on the question: How important is continuing professional development to you?
Fig. 5 Vote on the question: Will more or less be invested in continuing education in the future?
Fig. 6 Vote on the question: How important is certification of your knowledge/proof of your knowledge with the help of a certificate to you?
Online or offline: Different preferences for training courses and exam delivery.
Advancing digitization does not stop at offerings for exams and certifications: the vast majority of respondents, for example, would take advantage of the option to take a certification exam online. However, the majority would still like to take continuing education courses offline. Both online and offline offerings are used for exam preparation.
Fig. 7 Answers to the question: Would you rather use the following services online or offline?
Conclusion: Continuation of megatrends and digitization
It can be stated that the "megatrends" of automation, cloud services, AI and machine learning will continue to be important in the future. IT security is also the central topic of concern for experts. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine war and the rising number of cyber attacks, an increasing awareness of security issues in the digital space can be deduced, as well as an increasing willingness to implement digital security measures.
As a result of the corona pandemic, the use of digital offerings (e.g., taking an online exam) has become widely established. Still, digitization has limitations, such as face-to-face exchanges within continuing education courses. "Taking an online exam offers professionals more flexibility and convenience and is therefore the tool of choice," says iSQI CEO, Stephan Goericke. "However, face-to-face interaction is still important and cannot be replaced digitally, which also explains the preference for attending training courses in person ", says the CEO.
It is also clear that continuing education and certification remain important. Thus, respondents showed a continued strong interest in professional development opportunities and appreciated the possibility to prove their knowledge with the help of certifications. The expected increase in investment in continuing professional development makes it clear that companies are willing to invest in the skills and future of their employees despite the prevailing inflation. iSQI Managing Director Stephan Goericke: "The fact that companies are likely to invest more in the continuing professional development of their employees despite the difficult economic situation speaks for optimism and the prospect of a slight economic recovery."
"The advancing digitalization and development of new digital application areas requires professionals to constantly develop their knowledge. "However, digitization also means that new and better security measures are increasingly required for the digital space," explains the CEO. "We need to be aware of the risks that come with the digital space." "The great sensitivity to the issue of IT security that was evident in our survey makes me optimistic that we will successfully master this challenge together in the future," says Goericke.