IT skills can either be job-specific or industry standardized. If you’re targeting certain job designations, you need to have a specific skill set to perform the role, say, being proficiency in HTML among web designers.
On the other hand, proficiency in Microsoft Office is a skill that you must have regardless of what technical job you’re into. The idea is for you to be as versatile as possible so that you become more marketable and competitive in your field.
What core skills can drive your successful IT career? We tackle here both the technical and soft skills that IT professionals like you should demonstrate across the discipline.
As an IT professional, you need to write code, especially if you’re in a programming job. But, even if your role does not specifically involve code writing, you still need to have at least a working knowledge of basic coding languages such as HTML and C++. It sure can come in handy when you’re suddenly asked to create or post a web page in somebody’s absence.
Then again, the ability to write code in multiple languages or platforms is a plus factor since current IT systems are established using several different languages.
The coding skill set is quite diverse, as it requires your ability to think logically, solve problems, use different technologies, and understand information systems and processes.
2. Project Management
Most IT-related initiatives are driven by project management, which is how you plan, organize, and delegate tasks to complete a particular project. Having project management skills is crucial, as businesses have been increasing their IT spending, particularly in software development, which translates into more IT projects, of course.
The whole package of PM includes expertise in frameworks related to software development and integration projects, so you might want to brush up on your DevOps and Agile software development skills.
Plus, you need to demonstrate soft skills like communication and negotiation of the project’s scope, priorities, expectations, and deliverables with various stakeholders.
3. Big Data Skills
All those overly large sets of information that are generated and stored by IT systems make it crucial to find a breed of IT professionals who know how to extract and analyze the so-called big data.
Big data is highly significant, as it offers valuable insights to businesses and organizations about consumer behavior, recruitment, purchasing data, marketing and sales leads, customer profiling, and so on.
Part of your big data skills should be your ability to organize big data collections, perform analytics, and interpret trends. Further, you need to communicate all those insights to company management in a simple and easy-to-understand manner.
4. Database Administration
This is an extension of the data-centric skills mentioned above. Since most IT projects involve databases at the core, and companies need to have efficient data management systems, it’s really a must that you know about databases.
By having competency in database management platforms such as Oracle 12c, Oracle 11g, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, you could get yourself certified as a database administrator, which incidentally belonged to the top 25 percent of IT hires made last year. Further, you could also get an ITIL certification to better contribute to the organization’s improvement.
5. Network Systems
The IT infrastructure is mainly built on networks and servers where all the applications and data are run. Whether you’re a network engineer, a help desk technician, or a network systems administrator, you need a good understanding of how all the technologies in the network are connected from end to end.
Troubleshooting skills help you contribute to making sure that daily operations are up and running, and are proving to be more important now than ever—considering that data security breaches are always a threat, which businesses and their employees should be prepared to handle.
6. Time Management
With highly complex IT projects, timelines can be rather difficult to deal with. As an IT professional, your ability to manage your time well may be reflected on how accurately you can assess project schedules and consequently stick to the timeframe that has been set.
You should know how to manage each task with a time-sensitive approach, whether it’s on a daily, weekly, monthly, or project basis. Needless to say, you have to be a self-directed member of the team to contribute in this aspect.
.5 The Extra Skill on the List
The skills above are part and parcel of what characterizes the most sought-after IT professionals. But there’s one more quality that employers want to see in their IT teams, and that’s none other than passion for the IT discipline.
Recruiters, hiring managers, and IT leaders get excited about IT practitioners who can take them into and beyond the IT sphere, showing them how great a potential a specific technology has and how it can impact the business in unimaginable, game-changing ways.