Tech pros primed to take on pandemic challenges

After a year of unprecedented challenges and change, tech pros report a positive perception of their roles and say they look forward to what lies ahead, a survey by SolarWinds says.

The SolarWinds IT Pro Day 2021 survey was conducted throughout August 2021 and covered 287 IT professionals globally, including a mix of IT generalists, software engineers, developers, and security and data professionals.

Almost half (48%) of tech pro respondents say they’re proud of what they do, another 44% love what they do, and 41% believe this year has proven they’re more capable than they realized. 

As tech pros look to the future, 62% of respondents say they’re motivated to succeed in their roles and nearly all (81%) of the tech pro respondents agree there will be multiple opportunities to develop and enhance their careers in the next year.

“This year’s IT Pro Day survey results showcase IT pros’ adaptability and dedication to expanding the more prominent roles they’ve taken on over the past year to support remote and hybrid work,” said Chrystal Taylor, Head Geek at SolarWinds. 

“As more tech pros embrace the ‘Bring IT On’ mentality, reaching for more responsibility and a leading role in the digital transformations of their businesses—and setting goals to get there—we can certainly expect how the IT organization is viewed by the business to completely transform in the future,” said Taylor.

Also, respondents agree that a balance between nontechnical skills and more traditional technical certifications and experience will play a large role in enabling career advancement, though past surveys showed finding time to cultivate these skills is often limited. 

This year’s IT Pro Day survey shows that many of the nontechnical skills key to advancement can be gained at home or through hobbies, reducing the barrier to advancement for tech pros seeking higher-level opportunities at work requiring those skills. 

Considered as the most important nontechnical skills necessary for advancement are collaboration (teamwork, listening to others, networking; 66%), innovative or creative problem-solving (48%), and communication (public speaking, written documents; 46%).

These nontechnical skill sets will play a large role in enabling tech pros to achieve advanced responsibilities, such as project management and becoming part of the decision-making process, which 34% of tech pro respondents say is their biggest opportunity at work in the next year. 

Meanwhile, tech pros are also cautious of challenges on the horizon, like cybersecurity threats and burnout, but are confident the continued evolution of IT operations in the new normal—such as new tools and processes—will create positive change.