Skills to Focus on in 2014

I was recently asked what skills will matter the most in 2014. Seeing the trends towards personal and enterprise cloud and wearable tech, it’s evident that we’re a tech-dependent society. The startup scene across most of the global hubs is thriving constantly bringing fresh apps and services to customers. However, this makes the question much easier to answer. Here’s what skills to focus on in 2014:

1) Technical Skills / Learn to Code – Having a HANDS-ON background in a technical field, whether it be computer science or engineering, will be critical not only in 2014, but the coming years. Industries are moving at blazing speeds, and very few companies are able to source savvy developers. In our web and mobile landscape, developers are in demand daily.

If you’re just getting started in learning how to code, there are amazing and plentiful resources on the web such as:

After you’ve completed the free courses online, and hopefully practiced on a few projects, look into the many coding schools such as General Assembly or Coding School offering intensive and immersive programs

2) Execution – Regardless of whether you’re a marketer, developer, or entrepreneur, we are seeing many “wantrepreneurs” who simply cannot execute on their ideas and companies. 2014 will be the year for those who can bridge the gap between concept and execution, quickly. Good project managers who can straddle the business and technology landscapes will find themselves in a good spot.

we are seeing many “wantrepreneurs” who simply cannot execute on their ideas and companies

3) Design – With the likes of Apple, Pinterest, and the many startups being funded in the Valley, it’s clear that good design has become a real consideration for both investors and end-users. Whether it be for a physical product or a web or mobile app, designers are in high demand. If you’re in this space, sharpen your skills as the competition is stepping it up like never before. For example, in 2013, I was asked for more designer referrals than any year prior.

It’s safe to say 2014 will be another year of fast-paced technology leaving many in the dust. So get out there and improve your skills. Resources are readily available for those who have the discipline and motivation to keep up the pace.