Important Skills for Information Technology (IT) Jobs

IT workers

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The workplace has excellent opportunities for information technology (IT) professionals. Almost every business has a need for IT-focused employees. Computer and information technology jobs are among the fastest-growing occupations, with employment in computer and information technology occupations projected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Information technology is one of the best-paying career fields, with a median annual wage of $88,240 as of May 2019, compared to the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810.

Jobs in information technology can be interesting, rewarding, and lucrative, so if you possess some of the skills mentioned in the list below, a career in IT could be right for you.

What Are Information Technology (IT) Skills?

Commonly referred to as IT, there are many job titles in the information technology sector. From programming and database creation to providing general technical or help desk support, there are roles for people with a variety of areas of interest, and many levels of expertise.

When applying for jobs, highlight your skills that are the closest match to the IT skills listed in the job posting on your resume. You'll be able show the hiring manager that you've got the qualifications the employer is seeking.

The broad swath of jobs available means that employers look for different technical skills when hiring. Depending on the role, some employers may look for expertise in a specific language or program, while others might look for more general computer skills.

Most Important IT Skills Employers Look For

© The Balance, 2018

Coding Skills

One of the basic skill sets an employer will look for in an IT professional is the ability to write code. If the job is programming or software/web development, an employer may seek a candidate who can code in several different languages, as many systems are built using multiple languages.

Even for jobs that are not specifically code writing, an IT professional should have at least a working knowledge of the more basic coding languages, like HTML and C++.

An IT professional should also have an understanding of the process of code writing, in order to see a software development project through and to manage things like QA (quality assurance).

  • Application Development
  • Architecture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud Computing
  • HTML
  • C++
  • C Language
  • PHP
  • UX Design
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Ruby

Communication Skills

Communication skills are important for anyone in IT, as information technology professionals are often required to work across many teams and groups. IT professionals often have to provide tech solutions for people who aren’t as savvy. They have to demonstrate leadership at all levels of projects, and with many different groups. They’re often called on to present ideas and reports to larger groups of people.

Part of an IT professional’s job will be to build teams and foster collaboration among their peers.

  • Team Building
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration
  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Active Listening
  • Communicating Complex Information in Digestible Amounts

Knowledge and Computer Networks

Knowledge about networking is something that will be required of most IT professionals, in companies both large and small. Knowledge networking is an extension of good communication skills, as it requires gathering groups of people in a working environment to share what they know, in order to build a system of knowledge within an organization that is more than the sum of its parts.

Knowledge networks require individual IT professionals to be open with their knowledge and to be open and curious about learning new things from their colleagues.

On the other side of “networks,” some IT jobs may include network architects, engineers, and systems administrators. Network administrators (or systems administrators) are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a larger system.

  • IP Setup
  • Wireless Modems/Routers
  • Cloud Services
  • PHP
  • SQL
  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • C++
  • Functionality
  • Cyber Security
  • Information Management
  • Cloud Systems Administration

Time and Project Management

Many IT professionals will need to be self-directed and self-motivated, and a big part of self-directed work means an ability to manage projects well. Technology work can often take longer than anticipated, as proven by how often timelines and milestones change over the course of a long project.

An IT professional should be able to assess accurately how long a project should take, and then be able to stick to those timelines. He or she should also be able to help an entire team manage their workload, on a daily, weekly, monthly, and project basis.

  • Scheduling
  • Goal Oriented
  • Digital Communications
  • Manage Remote Working Teams
  • Continually Review Processes for Improvement 
  • Multitasking
  • Meeting Deadlines
  • ICT (Information and Communications Technology

6 Digital Skills Guaranteed to Get You Hired

More In-Demand IT Skills

A - D

  • Assign Passwords and Maintain Database Access
  • Analytical
  • Analyze and Recommend Database Improvements
  • Analyze Impact of Database Changes to the Business
  • Audit Database Access and Requests
  • APIs
  • Application and Server Monitoring Tools
  • Attention to Detail
  • AutoCAD
  • Azure
  • Configure Database Software
  • Configuration Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Database Administration
  • Deploying Applications in a Cloud Environment
  • Develop and Secure Network Structures
  • Develop and Test Methods to Synchronize Data 

E - N

  • Emerging Technologies
  • File Systems
  • Implement Backup and Recovery Plan 
  • Implementation
  • Information Systems
  • Interaction Design
  • Interaction Flows
  • Install, Maintain, and Merge Databases 
  • Integrated Technologies
  • Integrating Security Protocols with Cloud Design
  • Internet
  • Optimization
  • IT Soft Skills
  • Logical Thinking
  • Leadership

O - Z

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume: Your resume is a place to showcase your skills. Make sure that your career summary and job history both carefully demonstrate your level of experience in the skills listed above.

Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter: Concisely focus on skill sets for the job your cover letter to ensure that you get a closer look.

Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview: You'll also want to highlight your skills during interviews as well.