Three skills you need to enhance your IT career

Information Technology (IT) has changed our lives dramatically, and the career prospects for IT professionals in New Zealand are abundant.

But what does it take to have a great career in IT? What kind of skills are most important? What will make you stand out to a hiring manager looking for candidates to fill IT jobs in New Zealand?

Information Technology is obviously a technical realm, and technical skills will always be at the centre of a hiring manager’s requirements. Having the hard skills to be on the tools will be essential to kick off your IT career. But to grow your IT career, you need more than just technical ability.

 

  1. Soft Skills

Having the ability to code, create an app or build a cloud-based system are all great skills to have on your CV when applying for IT jobs, but when the end-users and your colleagues are almost always people, (and often laypeople), you need to be able to work effectively with human beings too.

Getting to the next level of your IT career will require the ability to understand user experience and communicate effectively. Increasingly, the soft skills listed by hiring managers as almost as important as hard technical skills. As automation makes what were once complex functions accessible to a wider population, people skills will start to become more valued in traditional IT roles.

“Soft skills are of great value in their own right,” says Eric Bloom, adjunct analyst with International Data Corporation’s IT Executive Programs. “When they are tied to specific job types, they provide the dual benefit of enhancing employee effectiveness and promotability, while enhancing employee performance by increasing each person’s ability to work effectively with others.”

 

  1. Leadership

There will always be a requirement for someone to take responsibility for a project or a team. The ability to inspire, manage and motivate people will always be a sought-after skill in any organisation.

Being highly technical and having great leadership skills don’t always to go hand in hand, so developing leadership skills alongside technical knowledge is a sure-fire way to a great career in IT. Moving up the management stream has great appeal to those who want to earn great money and have extra responsibility.

It’s not a faith in technology. It’s faith in people.” Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple.

 

  1. Student for life mindset

If you’re not continually learning, you will be left behind in the IT Industry. Technology moves so quickly and there is constantly a changing landscape. New applications and ideas are happening at breakneck speed, and if you are not keeping up with those changes then your career could stall. Specialisation is the key, of course – you cannot be everything to everyone – but you must endeavour to know all there is to know about your chosen field.

If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Ben Franklin

There is certainly a list of technical skills that the IT sector will demand, and the list will be ever-changing.

But having the ability to influence people, manage teams and be on the cutting edge of your chosen field will give you all the tools for a long and prosperous career in IT.

Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of worrying about what happened yesterday.” – Steve Jobs

 

Published by Jason Sutton

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