As an IT professional, you need to have many skills to be good at your job. These are traits and abilities and things that you should be good at, or aim to be good at, for you to improve your career in IT. The top five skills that every IT professional should have are listed below.
Communication skills are very important for IT employees, IT contractors, IT consultants and pretty much any kind of IT worker. Whether you’re in a client-facing role or not, you’ll still need to communicate with people – your bosses, your co-workers, customers, clients and visitors.
Stand out from the crowd with good communication skills. This includes listening, speaking, general conversational skills, and also non-verbal skills such as email communication. One of the items mentioned in the Five Great Tips to Be More Professional At Work article was on communication. It’s important to learn and it’s a great help to your career!
Almost all kinds of IT roles involve analysis. You could be doing technical support, help desk, software development, systems architecture, or anything else in the IT industry – they all require some kind of analysis. The ability to look at a situation or issue and break it down into smaller pieces, to find solutions or answers is a very important skill to have. This can either be technical analysis (for programming or technical support) or business analysis (for, well, business analysts or even project managers).
Similar to the communication skill above, writing skills are important as you need to be able to convey your message and point effectively. This is shown mostly in emails and project documentation – although there are many other areas that involve writing. Knowing basic grammar rules, being able to explain your message to your target audience, and not using a small vocabulary are several traits of a good writer.
As you grow from a child into an adult, one of the skills you learn is to keep yourself occupied. This is also true in the information technology world. You can’t keep going to your manager or boss and ask them what to do and expect them to tell you every step of the way. Additionally, if you’ve got a lot of work to do, you need to be able to manage it yourself – manage your time, manage what you need to be able to do, and also recognise when you can’t get things done. This all comes with experience, but being good at this will allow you to stand out from the crowd.
Performing Under Stress
The final important skill for IT professionals to have is the ability to perform under stress. Ask anyone who works in information technology about stress, and they’ll tell you it has the potential to be a very stressful job. If you want to be a great IT professional, or great IT consultant (which I hope, because that’s the reason you came to this site!), then you need to be able to manage your stress levels and still perform your job. This will get noticed by others in a good way and will be appreciated. I’ve written an article on how to manage your stress levels in the workplace.
In summary, these are what I believe to be the top five skills that every IT professional should have:
- Self Management
- Performing Under Stress
What do you think? Post your comments in the area below!