Expert Interview Series: Tony Eftekhari of CompuOne

Tony Eftekhari is the CEO of CompuOne, a leading IT service provider in San Diego.

We recently asked Tony about trends he’s observing in IT and how those interested in launching careers in technology should prepare themselves for the job market. Here’s what he had to say:

How has the IT field evolved since you started your business?

The IT field has been turned upside down and evolved at an increasingly fast pace. Specifically, these items have changed:

Client Expectations: They demand more: want it quicker, better and cheaper.

Security: If it was not on a business’ radar before it is now on the top of the list as a concern. The cost has increased and the want for education on the subject is more in demand. At CompuOne, we currently offer a free cybersecurity workshop for small businesses in San Diego to help get them started on protecting themselves against cyber threats.

Technology: Accessing information from anywhere is the norm which in turn has resulted in people trusting the cloud. With access via technology being so widespread it has opened up the door from just a handful of major vendors to now various entrepreneurs wanting to develop new systems to provide the same service, forcing the frontrunners to reduce costs while also providing additional and improved services.

We see that CompuOne is a woman-owned IT business. What is the current climate for women in IT? How are you hoping to change the role or perception for women in IT?

It is currently challenging for women in the IT field. However, women are strong-willed in pursuing careers in the field and are making strides in doing so. In hoping to change the role or perception for women in IT it has to be done one task at a time. Recent history has shown that women can succeed in anything.

What are the job prospects for those interested in going into the IT field today?

There are always jobs available in the IT field today if you have the passion, you should go for it. It is an evolving field that requires you to constantly be learning. Cybersecurity and cloud services are the frontrunners now. That may change in five or 10 years.

What IT skillsets are most in demand right now?

IT skillsets in demand right now are cybersecurity, cloud services, and app development.

What IT skills do you think are outdated or obsolete?

IT skills that are outdated or obsolete are putting PCs together and knowledge of old operating systems.

How should those new to IT approach training? How should they go about deciding how to invest in their education?

They first need to research the market and see what skillsets are in demand. Then they should find out if they have a passion for it. Start with taking classes, find organizations that are willing to work with them locally even if it is as a volunteer or intern so they can gain experience, and lastly go in with an open mind having no expectations on how their experience in the IT field will turn out. It is constantly changing, which means they need to be lifelong learners.

What are the most common mistakes you see new IT professionals making in their careers?

Common mistakes include:

  • They think they know a lot about IT
  • They come in with expectations they should get paid a higher salary
  • They give up on the current job too easily without gaining the experience of various situations that would have been beneficial knowledge to take to their next position

Why is it important that seasoned IT professionals update their skills?

If you look at the last 10 years, IT has changed so much. If they did not keep up they are obsolete.

What IT trends or headlines are you following right now? Why do they interest you?

Right now cybersecurity is in the spotlight. It is a main topic of concern for our clients and the IT world in general. IT professionals need to have skills to combat cyber threats because businesses and individuals need to be protected.

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