2023 has hit us like a ton of bricks.
It only seems like a few short months ago that I was making my 2022 goals for my life and business. I achieved many, and some fell short despite my best efforts, but without setting goals, I'd be exactly where I am now, which wouldn't be ideal.
For 2023 I'll be embarking upon a round-the-world trip with my family. We have sold our house and will be leaving later this month. I'll still be running the websites and working with trainers but doing so remotely, which is the beauty of working online.
2023 will be a tough year, with a recession to bite us hard. Many companies will be laying off workers, and of course, the first to go will be uncertified and non-vital roles. You must make it a priority to be highly employable and essential to the running of the business. I can't say exactly what that looks like for your company, but in this post, I'll set out core skills I think you must have to avoid being let go of. It's happened to me, and it's an awful situation to be in.
The number one thing that keeps all business owners awake at night is a major security breach. The loss of revenue and public embarrassment can be hard to recover from, if at all.
You can look at network security, cyberops helpdesk, penetration testing, ethical hacking, or even Linux security. I strongly recommend everybody starts with the CompTIA Security+ certification, which covers every important aspect and go from there.
Gone are the days when you could ignore Linux and work with Windows or Apple. Every IT tech, from the helpdesk to the security expert, needs to know at least some beginners Linux commands.
Linux is used by 99.9% of organizations, from small to huge. If you don't know it, you are not going to make the cut for many job applications, and you may come unstuck if you have to troubleshoot even the simplest of Linux issues on your web or email server. It's a must-have for IT security.
Understanding the project lifecycle doesn't mean you have to become the project manager at work, but it does mean you take on exciting projects such as network upgrades or planning new vendor equipment. There is a huge lack of people with technical AND project skills, so if you can pass exams such as the CompTIA Project+ certification or even the ITIL Foundations certification you will be well ahead of the pack.
Network engineers are usually involved in installing and configuring network devices, but often there are teams for this process. After that, looking after the network with maintenance tasks and troubleshooting issues is a vital role.
Most of the time, when I was working for a large ISP, issues were blamed on the network and sent to us, and it was down to us to prove that our side of things was actually working well. The easiest way to do this is often by using a network sniffer. Wireshark certification training gives you a deep dive into how traffic works on your network. You will learn TCP/IP, security, wireless, baselining, and much more.
It only takes a week or two to learn, and the WNCA certification will make a big difference to your skills, pay level, and employability.
It's not only coming, it's already here.
IPv6 will replace IPv4 in the near future, but for now, it is working side-by-side.
IPv6 certification is avoided by most, but it's much easier to learn than IPv4, and much of the configuration is taken care of by the auto-configuration capabilities. We offer beginner to expert-level training here, and there are labs you can complete also.
A little Python knowledge will stand you in good stead. It's now being asked in Cisco exams.
It's involved in web development and network automation. It's easy to learn and free to use. Python certification is open to beginners to experts and should take no more than a week or two to learn the fundamentals.
The cost and security benefits of cloud networking make it a no-brainer for most companies.
Most of us are already using cloud services such as Gmail, but cloud services from companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft mean that you can host some or all of your networking capabilities online saving you time and money. All of this equipment still needs to be set up and configured, which is where you come in.
Cloud certification means big bucks for engineers, from novice to expert. There are a ton of specializations from development to security so you will never be bored. Start with the CompTIA Cloud Essentials and go from there.