Today, to become a successful IT professional, you need both technical as well as soft skills. Just one set of skills are not enough any longer. Usually, young graduates focus only on technical skills and tend to ignore soft skills.
There is no doubt that the Artificial Intelligence (AI) has taken over all aspects of our life and it is the future.
A budding IT professional must try to acquire a right balance of both technical as well as soft skills in them.
So let us start with learning some of the best technical skills first.
10 Must Have Technical Skills for Every IT Aspirant
Technical skills depend upon your role in the IT industry. Employees that are lower in the hierarchy have lesser responsibility compared with professionals in the top of the work chain.
For example, if you are a programmer then you need to focus on writing smarter codes daily. But if you happen to be a Manager then you require knowledge from different fields like architecture, planning, budgeting, HR etc.
Hence following are the 10 Technical skills that you must acquire depending upon your role in the team.
A novice programmer or a beginner should focus on learning new programming languages. Although they need to master just one language but there is nothing wrong learning new languages.
Whether it is C, FORTRAN or objected oriented languages like C++, C#, Java you need to learn every possible programming language so that you can implement anyone of them on a short notice.
In IT sector, you have to adapt with the changing technology. Today, you may be working with .NET for a project but tomorrow you can be asked to implement J2E or PHP.
So be flexible and keep learning new languages.
In the initial stages, every programmer has to spend some time on coding. The more you code the more you gain experience. Coding helps an IT worker to graduate from a programmer to a professional software engineer.
For example, a good PHP coder can become a great software developer in coming days if he/she masters Dreamweaver software development kit. He/she has to learn every aspect of coding that deals with creating and developing web pages. Without coding, you can never create flying web pages and always remain a lower level programmer for your whole life.
So learn how you can use codes smartly to get desired results/features when asked by your team leader or manager.
Always keep on playing with the codes. As the phrase goes practice makes a man perfect.
3.Knowledge of Algorithms
As you graduate from a programmer to a software developer you will be asked to code for more complex and sophisticated projects. One day you may be coding for a Hotel booking system but another day you have to code for an Airline Ticket Booking system.
Both of these two systems use different algorithms. Similarly, algorithms for a gaming project can be lot different than a ERP (enterprise resource planning) software. So you have to be familiar with different types of algorithms used to solve a given problem.
Today SEO is very hot, so a SEO expert needs to know how Google search engine functions? What type of algorithms Google may be using to implement a specific functionality? Or Google’s future updates for its algorithms.
If you are familiar with different types of algorithms and know how to implement them then you can become a great asset to your company.
4. Mobile App Development
Knowledge of mobile app development is even more valuable than application development for Windows, iOS and Web based platforms.
As you know future of computing is mobile, so more and more software companies wants to develop applications for handheld devices.
Many recruiters before hiring will ask you your prior experience with mobile app development languages like HTML 5, C#, Objective C, C++, Swift etc.
For any mobile app developer two skills are very important, cross-platform development and UX/UI designing. UI and UX are two different things and require specific skills.
Being a fresher it is advised to start learning mobile app development languages from now on. It is because this field requires a lot of experience and knowledge.
Web development is also as important as mobile app development. But the big difference between these two is web development is bit easier than mobile app development.
A lot of young web designers are making handsome amount of money with web development. You just need to learn languages like PHP, C#, Java, HTML/CSS and using Software development kit like Dreamweaver or .NET.
After some experience, you will be able to easily create professional websites with flying web pages. The best part of web development is you really don’t have to wait for getting hired by a company because you can start giving services to your clients online.
Security Analyst job is very technical in nature and comes with a lot of responsibility.
A security analyst needs a wide range of technical skills like
- Upgrading security measures and controls
- Perform vulnerability testing, risk analysis and security assessments.
- Protecting data and digital files from unauthorized access.
- Internal and external security audits.
- Protecting network from security breach, intrusion, malware attacks, cyber attacks etc
So these were few responsibilities that a security analyst may have to undertake every day at work. Acquiring technicals skills as a security analyst needs a lot of hard work and experience.
ESCA or CISCO certified security analysts are in great demand by various companies in the market.
This is no secret that in coming years, data will be more valuable than oil. Companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Tesla, Uber, IBM will be looking for data analysts who can extract, analyze data and translate it into more useful information. Moreover, there is a huge skill gap in companies when it comes to data analyst job.
Data analyst can help companies to take the right strategic decision. Hence they need a great analytical and numerical skills.
Apart from learning main DBMS languages like MySQL, Oracle, MS Access a future data analyst must also be familiar with scripting languages like Python, Matlab, Excel spreadsheet etc.
Cloud computing is going to be the future of IT. Today most of the businesses in the world are using cloud based software or other products.
Linux operating system still dominates cloud computing world. So being familiar with this OS can be a great headstart.
Second is system automation. Analysts who can automate entire processes and tasks are highly valuable in this line.
So as a beginner focus on these two skills.
9. Database Administration
Data administration is nothing new. You need to be familiar with all the famous database management systems like Oracle, MySql, MS Access.
Here are few technical skills required to become a professional database administrator.
- Knowledge of all the database queries
- Database design and data manipulation
- Planning, designing and development of new database applications.
Try to acquire these skills and you will definitely find a job as a database administrator.
10. IT Architecture
An IT architect is on the top of the work chain. So it needs you to require a lot of technical skills just being an architect.
You will need great analytical and budgeting skills to begin with. You also have to build a relationship with your clients and collaborate with them on different projects.
As an architect, you will be responsible from design to delivery of a project.
Around 50 – 100 programmers, engineers, developers, testers will be working under you. So the IT architect job is for very experienced and ambitious IT professional.
Above mentioned technical skills are of great importance to a budding IT professional. In fact, we could have added many other skills to the list but these 10 technical skills are the most important ones.
Now we can move on to discussing some of the soft skills that every wannabe IT professional need to acquire no matter how technically sound he or she is as Soft skills are equally important.
10 Must Have Soft Skills for Every IT Aspirant
AI still can’t replace certain soft skills present in humans. Just IQ is not enough, you also need to have EQ (emotional quotient). Hence along with technical skills you also need to have certain important soft skills also.
Let us have a look at the 10 important soft skill that every IT aspirant should learn.
1. Communication Skills
With excellent technical skills, or hard skills as we can call them, you would also require a lot of soft skills. Soft skills are best characterized as talent which helps you interact with other people for work or also your family. Prime among soft skills ranks communications.
Understandably, communications is extremely vital to your technical skills. You should be able to articulate what you mean to everyone- your customers, support staff, seniors at work or business associates.
Very often, you may stumble across people that are yet to attain the level of technical expertise that you have so painstakingly acquired. However, they are vital to your functioning. In such situations, your communication skills will come handy. You can effectively put across the benefit of a technology and how to utilize it to maximum benefit.
If you are hoping to close a sales prospect, excellent communication skills combined with technical skills will definitely fetch you the much-needed brownie points. This all translates into excellent communication skills vital for your technical expertise.
But, mere speaking is not enough. Often, you will be required to put what you say on paper. Here’s where the other soft skills comes into play.
Writing is another form of communications and a basic requirement for any job or business. Whatever skills you have acquired remain in your brains and senses. You cannot communicate them to others unless you speak or write. Here, we examine the importance of writing as a soft skill, vital to your technical expertise.
It is essential that you know to write well. Very often, you will be required to write manual or operating instructions for something very technical. And, most likely, these will be read by people who do not have your skills for whatever reasons. Yet, these persons will need to know precisely what you imply. Here, your writing skills will be put to test and you need to possess very superior ones to succeed at work.
It is also worth remembering, written notes or letters and written communication in general has a formal value. They are taken more seriously than mere verbal communication or talk. What you write adds weight to what you say or speak. Writing also gives legitimacy of sorts to any communications, in addition to your technical knowledge.
3. Team Work
The old adage says: Team work means more ‘we’ and less me. Teamwork is a prerequisite in any job nowadays. You may be the best worker on Planet Earth and possess the highest degree of expertise possible for any frail human. Yet, we humans are social animals and we need to work in teams. Also, you will not be able to work alone on any major project. The involvement of other coworkers is essential.
More often than not, teamwork involves taking responsibility. You are required to take responsibility of your coworkers, the project you are executing and the reputation of your employer. It also involves taking on extra duties if needed, especially when someone does not turn up for work on a particular day.
Furthermore, teamwork involves working in complete sync with one-another. You cannot have people work as they want. You need to coordinate their efforts, either working as the leader or a member of the team.
A team leader is someone to whom a group of people assembled for common purpose look upon for instructions and directions. A team builder is a higher variant of such leader. A team leader is someone around whom people rely happily. Meaning, they are happy to work with you as a leader, they trust your abilities as their leader and are assured you will lead them in the best suitable manner.
Building a team often sounds easy. On the contrary, it is one of the most difficult tasks to perform. You may have a large resource pool of skilled and qualified people. Yet, selecting the ones best suited for the job by temperament needs a good leadership sense. These skills will help you prevent problems and solve any quickly.
5. Out-of-the-box thinking and troubleshooting
Understandably, you will encounter several problems as part of your work. Some of these will be intrinsic problems or those which arise due to situations completely beyond your human control. The second category of problems is those caused by inadequacy of co-workers and yourself. The third are problems or hurdles that others pose deliberately for any reason. Regardless of their origin, you have to solve problems.
In technical jargon, problem-solving is often referred as trouble shooting. It also means preventing problems or rather troubles from raising their ugly heads. This is possible often by thinking outside the box or rather, using unconventional but acceptable means. You, therefore need to be creative enough in approaching an issue from various angles and adopting the right solution as quickly as possible.
6. Leadership skills
We have already explained this in team building skills. Leadership skill above all involves taking responsibility. Especially, when things go wrong and everyone else is in the state of denial. You are also required to boost morale of your team and bosses when it slips low for any reason. This is not an easy task but neither impossible.
Another vital quality of a leader is patience. Meaning, you will need to exhibit reasonable patience with coworkers, juniors as well as seniors. Remember, some people are innately fast workers while others crawl at snail pace. You need to motivate as a leader, everyone to coordinate their efforts for best benefits of your enterprise or employer. You may sometimes have to negotiate between your seniors and juniors to reach an accord over how something should be done…
Upon Closer look, the realization we indeed possess negotiating skills strikes us. We are good bargainers. We bargained as kids, teenagers and adolescents. These skills are termed as negotiation skills.
Very often, you will have to combine your technical skills with negotiating skills to bag a project or also, to wriggle out of some situation your company got into. You also have to negotiate with suppliers and service providers, clients and staff. Your negotiations should provide a win-win situation for everyone concerned to ensure that the work on hand continues smoothly.
8. Managerial Skills
By managerial skills here, we mean your abilities to manage everything from discipline to finances and ensuring smooth functioning of your office or project. It involves proper time management. Financial management is also a key part of managerial skills since you can cut unwanted costs and utilize available resources to the maximum.
People with proven managerial skills are known to rise faster in echelons of any company.
With technical skills, you also need a great degree of adaptability. There are two main reasons for adaptability as vital soft skill along with technical skills. Firstly, technology, as we know it, continues to evolve daily. Hence, newer and better technologies are fast emerging which quickly make outdated ones redundant.
Further, to execute projects, you may have to adapt to different working conditions at various locations. Unless you are adaptable, you may find adjusting to these changes a very uphill task.
10. Working under pressure
Working under pressure does not necessarily mean working under stress. If you possess the above skills, working under any situation will never prove a deterrent. Working under pressure means, accepting you have to complete a particular job within the stipulated deadline. It also involves motivating your coworkers to strive for the set objective, solving any problems and glitches that may come your way.
Additionally, working under pressure means, working for the common objective to meet a specified deadline and yet, doing it cheerfully, without getting hassled or allowing any team member to show grouse.
As a beginner in the IT industry you may sometimes be in a dilemma on which skills sets will help you get the maximum exposure. If you are aiming at a career in IT industry the above mentioned 10 Technical and soft skills are sure to help you land you your dream job.