Ten IT Skills on the Brink of Extinction

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COBOL, Fortran, and Other Mainframe Programming Languages

They were popular and commonly used for years. Now, the majority of programming work has transitioned to object-oriented languages like Objective C, Java, C++, and C#, pushing COBOL and Fortran to the back shelf. Sure, having these skills means you can support older applications. But as businesses drop these older programs for modern applications written in newer languages, these types of programmers will have fewer opportunities to put their skills to work.

IT is constantly changing with regard to skills, infrastructure, and service delivery. So much so that IT skills gained two years ago may well be obsolete today. That means the skills college students learn in their freshman and sophomore years can easily be irrelevant by graduation.

Keeping up can be a challenge. There are way too many mission-critical projects needing completion. Only people with the right knowledge, experience, and skills will be moving up instead of moving on.

To help you stay ahead of the game, this slideshow features 10 IT skills that are on the brink of extinction, according to Global Knowledge.

Making a list like this is often a great challenge as it is usually a moving target. For example, there are more lines of COBOL programming written than any other language. Someone will have to maintain all that as long as there are any systems still running with those programs. At the same time, the chance of finding a job with that as a major skill requirement is becoming very slim. That suggests that people wanting to build a career in IT should consider more recent programming languages like HTML5.

In any case, if you are relying on one of the skills nearing extinction as your key strength, it is time to look at supplementing your skill set. Respondents to Global Knowledge's 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey identified these growth areas for 2014:

  • Programming and application development
  • Help desk and technical support
  • Networking
  • Mobile applications and device management
  • Project management
  • Database administration
  • Security
  • Business intelligence and business analytics
  • Cloud
 

Related Topics : A Big Market for Big Data Jobs, Midmarket CIO, IT Management Automation, SharePoint, Technology Markets

 
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