In today's rapidly developing IT market it is essential that IT professionals keep up with relevant developments and are able to put their knowledge to good use. One of the best ways to do this is to create a broad background of skills and knowledge that gives context to a specialist area.
The term 'T-shaped' first rose to popularity in the early 2010s although it has been around since the 1980s. Although various other names for different shaped skills were coined throughout the years, the T-shaped skills have always remained an important one. Now, as modern businesses and organization are going through a digital transformation, the T-shaped professional is more important than ever.
The T-shaped professional combines broad and deep skills. The main body of the T represents the specialist skills the professional has in their chosen domain. The top part of the T meanwhile represents background knowledge a professional has of adjacent domains that are related to their specialism. The specialist skills are strengthened by the background knowledge because it enables a professional to put their specialism into context.
Throughout their career, professionals will work together with people and teams in different disciplines which will help build the T-shaped skills required to add value to their role in the organization. As a natural process, IT professionals become T-shaped over many years through their experience. However, it is also possible to gain this knowledge and context more quickly through certification. This has a number of added benefits. Professionals can:
- Show evidence of skills through certification;
- Benefit from a combination of certifications that forms a role-oriented package;
- Gain background knowledge that covers the desired areas;
- Take steps towards a richer role and career.