our everyday life

Key Skills for Information Technology Jobs

by Mark Applegate

Information technology positions require more skills than ever thanks to the integration of information technology into even the most mundane areas of life. Employers seek well-rounded staff members who supplement the skills and talents of existing employees to make a more effective team. You need several key skills to be selected for these often high-paying positions.

Tech Savvy and Training

Tech savvy is irreplaceable in the field. Most positions require either a bachelor's degree in a specialized field, industry certifications or measurable work experience to be considered for positions beyond entry level. Some positions require technical interviews and tests to validate your technical prowess. Specialized positions such as programming or database management require specific training because possessing other IT skills may not translate to the new position.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are essential in many technology jobs since working on a team is the norm for most projects. Some IT positions, such as business analysis, project management and systems analysis, must communicate requirements with both technical and non-technical users. Many IT positions require written documentation and oral presentations for customers or peers. Active listening is critical in understanding the customer's needs, discussing problems and selling your solution. Communication skills also play into matching a potential employee to the corporate culture of a company. If you cannot get along with peers, tech savvy is not enough.

Flexibility and Diversity

IT professionals must have solid problem solving skills drawn from experiences and academic study. Flexibility in information technologies may mean focusing all of your energy on a project only to find that a requirement changed. You must be able to accept change and embrace new ideas if necessary to complete the task. Diversity in experience and in methods is useful given that technology changes rapidly and new ideas are often required to efficiently complete a task.

Organization and Attention to Detail

IT jobs are often project-based. You are assigned tasks and schedules in which to complete them with near perfect accuracy. You may also be required to thoroughly document your solution as you complete it. Software development, for instance, is completed using a uniform strategy or life cycle. Not having solid organization skills and attention to detail early in a project can lead to the failure to meet schedules and project failure.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images