With the travel technology market predicted to experience 7.9 percent compounded annual growth through 2019, this will create a wealth of job opportunities. But what do aspiring travel technologists need to do in order to secure jobs at top companies where they’ll continue to learn and grow? The key is to first hone in on your necessary skills — like coding, big data analytics and cloud computing — to become a viable candidate, and then to find the right place to develop these skills as a career technologist.

Coding

Inc. notes that coding is still the most in-demand technology skill. Customer experience management platforms and algorithms to create personalized recommendations require in-depth knowledge of a rich array of programming languages. As mentioned in a Forrester case study of Maritz, a travel incentives company, “traditional boundaries between technical environments…[are] blurring.” In fact, “in-context” experience is often the most effective means of improvement. If you’re hoping to further develop your fluency in Java, Ruby, Python, Clojure and other languages, seek out projects that provide on-the-ground exposure producing code for customer experience improvement programs.

Big Data Analytics

Experience with and understanding big data analytics, along with the related concept of data visualization, is also an extremely relevant and important skill to develop. The ability to derive value from streaming analytics is critical to achieve a competitive advantage. As The Guardian reports, there is a dearth of big data specialists at the moment. Among the tools in a good data scientist’s toolkit are “advanced analytics, data integration, software development, creativity, good communications skills and business acumen.” If you are able to demonstrate even some of those required skills, it can go a long way to filling in gaps at an organization. Not only that, but brands are choosing to create on-the-job training to bring employees up to speed. So when given the chance, you should take initiative to undergo training in the three most critical big data sub-specialties, which, as Rewrite notes, are Hadoop, Java and Python.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a crucial component of providing a flexible and mobile experience to travel providers and business travelers. Forbes reports that cloud-based services are experiencing nearly 23 percent compounded annual growth, which is creating significant demand for related skills. As a motivated technologist, you should create a clear road map for developing in-demand cloud skills, which as Cloud Computing Intelligence reports, include security, virtualization and migration. It’s important to understand both the language and the architecture of the cloud, even in an ever-evolving atmosphere. Seek out technical certifications, and continue to learn about the diverse technologies that make up the cloud for a holistic approach to developing these skills. As the cloud “grows,” cloud computing engineering will become more of an in-demand skill set.

Finding a Great Place to Work to Develop Your Skills

As you build your toolkit, you have to ask yourself: Where can I put these skills to good use and continue to develop my career? When you’re searching for new professional opportunities, seek out employers with a visible commitment to developing their workers’ technical skill sets. Look for an organization that can help facilitate professional development road maps for employees, including performance-based incentives, to prevent a loss of momentum in your career.

Initial meetings are an opportunity for you to assess a potential fit by being direct about your desire to develop your skills. Ask your interviewer:

  • What technical training opportunities are available?
  • Are there programs for continuing education or development?
  • What have successful people in this position moved on to do?
  • Will there be opportunities to attend industry conferences or conventions?

Recruitment firm Robert Half reports that companies with robust professional skills development programs have more talented teams, better employee retention and higher reputations. So if you are a technologist, don’t just commit to looking for a new job in the coming year, but instead choose to develop a career where you can focus on your skills and your future.

Talented travel technologists should consider new career opportunities at Sabre.