Next Move: How do I get essential business skills?

Our panel of experts answer readers' career dilemmas

Question: How do I get essential business skills?

I am a first-class computer science graduate with one year's experience as a junior IT consultant working with Java and Oracle. I have passed the Sun certified Java programmer exam but need to know how to gain essential business skills and what to study to avoid being outsourced.


Solution: Find a company to match your ambition

Candidates of your calibre are in demand. You may be concerned that you have been with your employer for only a year, but you have given yourself a great commercial grounding.

You could improve your skills by working in a consultancy environment, where you would be exposed to a wide range of projects. You would also gain from working alongside experienced people.

You should research leading consultancies to find one in a market sector that suits you. For example, some companies are well known for working in the public sector, which may pigeonhole you, others specialise in financial services, and so on.

There has been an uplift in financial services IT, with investment banks and fund companies beginning to implement new projects. It is a great time to join a company in this market.

Business skills are gained through working closely with the end-users in your company. This may mean working with sales teams, finance, or marketing teams. Don't become isolated.

Your skills are in demand: find an employer who appreciates you.

Solution by Tracey Abbott, divisional director at Zarak Group and Atsco board member

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

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