Technical skills and soft skills are both extremely valuable assets to employers when looking for a great new addition to their company. Depending on the position, technical skills will depend on what the company is looking for. However, soft skills will usually stay the same regardless on the job. According to Investopedia, soft skills are the skills used to interact with others, including communication, organization, and teamwork skills. In the future, I hope to obtain a position in IT, which would require skills such as communication, project management, teamwork, and teaching (Tech Republic).
Communication plays a long way in IT, as it requires the ability to speak to many different branches in the company, and ranges through all types of technological expertise. IT personnel must be able to be to convey and explain according to the level of their clients.
Project management can include a multitude of different soft skills, but will culminate towards the art of getting things done. The structure put into creating a project translates into how IT is set up. A messy network ultimately ends up in a giant disaster. IT professionals need to be organized and have to always think about Murphy’s law. Murphy’s law basically means, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” and you always have to think about a backup plan. Project management makes sure that the individual is prepared to handle the worst that could happen.
Teamwork is a necessary in a variety of jobs, but is an extremely vital tool in IT management. In the IT field, technicians work with a variety of people, from the bottom to the top. Maintaining and improving the digital infrastructure takes the effort of not just one person, but an entire team of professionals relying on one another. Being able to take initiative, being the glue to keep everyone from biting at one another, and keeping track of time and making sure everyone progresses well make teamwork such an invaluable tool. It’s all about understanding social cues.
IT professionals also need to be able to know how to teach. Entry level positions tend to be helpdesk and a lot of answering questions. Going in hand with the communication soft skill, many companies have different competency levels of technology knowledge, from baby to technological wizard. Beginners aren’t going to be able to understand complex lingo that professionals would know.
Technical skills are much more specific and specialized according to the position. These would probably include languages and specific skills meant only for certain fields. According to Computer World, there are a large number of technical skills in demand. Various web development languages as well as programming languages are a given for needed technical skills. Recently, companies have been moving into cloud computing so knowledge about the cloud and virtualization are a large benefit. Finally, a large portion of IT work is utilizing networking administration, which makes it highly sought after.
In general, skills will define how you can contribute to the company. The more you hone your skills and broadcast yourself out to employers, the better chance you have at attaining that dream job.
Pratt, Mary. (September 2012). 10 hot IT skills for 2013. Computer World. Retrieved from http://www.computerworld.com/article/2492784/it-management/10-hot-it-skills-for-2013.html
Shacklett, Mary. (May 2013). 10 highly valued soft skills for IT pros. Tech Republic. Retrieved from http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-highly-valued-soft-skills-for-it-pros/
Soft Skills [Def. 1]. (n. d.). In Investopedia online. Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/soft-skills.asp
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