Jobs in the information technology spectrum are predicted to grow by a whopping 13% between the years 2016 and 2026. Those numbers make IT one of the fastest-growing professions in the US economy.
Why is IT so hot right now? A variety of reasons.
IT is rewarding. It’s challenging. It pays really well.
If you’re interested in making a run at being an IT professional, you’re going to want to make sure that you pick up the skills that you need that will make you look attractive to employers.
Below, we outline what the top 8 IT skills are that the best employers are looking for in potential candidates.
People that work in IT are often charged with doing some coding. This might come as a surprise to many people that tend to think that coding is just a job for software engineers.
While it’s true that an IT professional isn’t likely to be leveraging the volume of code that engineers might, various networking challenges often require a working knowledge in languages like SQL and Java.
The more robust your coding knowledge is when applying for an IT job, the higher your odds are going to be of getting hired as an information technology expert and the easier time you’ll have moving up the corporate ladder.
2. Problem Solving
Picture this: You’re working at a television station which has a server room that hosts hundreds of terabytes of storage. All of this storage is responsible for queuing up any one of the millions of hours of TV content that your company owns that’s broadcasted across the country.
For whatever reason, your company isn’t able to pull up a quarter of its TV catalog from its servers due to some technical issue.
How are you going to fix the problem?
There a multitude of possibilities when it comes to fixing IT issues. Being able to solve these quandaries takes somebody that knows how to troubleshoot effectively.
3. Network Setup
A major part of being an IT professional is being able to set up an organization’s technology infrastructure. That means setting up computers, server rooms, running CAT-5 cable through a building to ensure that everybody is able to communicate, and more.
You should feel comfortable with the prospect of putting together everything that’s required for an end-to-end enterprise-level networking setup coming into IT.
If you’re falling short of that standard, don’t worry too much. Many IT teams will provide some training to bring you up to speed.
Just be aware that the more you know out of the gate, the more likely you’ll be to land that big job.
4. Computer Hardware
Computers love to break down every bit as much as they love to be productive. When a computer breaks down, the person that’s using it is not going to have any idea on how to fix it. That’s when they put in a call to IT professionals like you.
When they do, you’re going to be expected to have the IT skills necessary to make whatever tweaks that need to be made to get the struggling computer back on track.
IT professionals should feel confident building, troubleshooting, and taking apart a PC. They should also have a working proficiency in Mac hardware.
When you’re working with hundreds of terabytes of data as an IT professional, you’re going to want to have your ducks in a row before making tweaks and adjustments to things. One mistake while troubleshooting networking errors and you might bring down a whole building’s technological infrastructure.
To avoid that possibility, IT professionals are expected to be organized and are expected to possess an outstanding attention to detail.
Looking for these skills in potential candidates is why so many employers will not hire people that don’t know how to organize a resume correctly, no matter how qualified the candidate is otherwise.
After all, if your resume isn’t reflective of somebody that knows how to be organized, those issues will likely carry over into your work.
Whether you’re coding as an IT pro or you’re fixing computer issues, a little bit of creativity goes a long way.
To test for this, it’s not uncommon during IT interviews that managers will ask their candidates surprising questions like, “How many airplanes are in the sky?” or “How many golf balls do you suppose one could fit in a limousine?”
With questions like those, the expectation isn’t that you’ll come up with the correct answer. The expectation is that you’ll display creativity in coming up with your solution.
7. Project Management
Any time somebody is hiring anybody for a job, they want to know that candidate can rise to the role of being a leader if need be. IT is no exception when it comes to this expectation.
When you’re getting into IT, do what you can to come in feeling confident spearheading projects and leading teams. Being able to demonstrate leadership/project management experience on a resume will go a long way with getting you noticed.
Technology is always changing. What’s considered best practice today could easily be considered obsolete tomorrow.
An IT professional that possesses curiosity is one that’s always going to keep learning and will keep the company that they work for on the cutting edge of things.
Wrapping Up Essential IT Skills That Tech Employers Look for When Hiring
There are a lot of “nice to have” IT skills that many employers are going to look for when hiring. When it comes to essential skills, though, there are just a handful, and we’ve outlined the majority of them.
How do you stack up? Do you feel confident hunting for a job in the IT space?
If you do, have fun applying. If you don’t, get the education that you need to start feeling confident and feel free to read more of the content on our blog for additional direction!