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  • Writer's pictureGemma Walton

What Soft Skills Do You Need If You Work In Tech

Updated: Apr 25

Let us take a look at the best soft skills that technical professionals must possess in order to be successful in their jobs, and to maximise their career potential. As technology becomes more and more integrated into all areas of business, tech professionals should think about which soft skills will help them become better at what they do.

If you are mindful of those skills, and begin working toward those skills, you will see rapid advancement within the tech industry. When you begin your career in technology, you are not going to be using all these skills right off the bat. The tech industry realises how important soft skills are for people working in this sector. So, what soft skills do you need if you work in tech?

What Soft Skills Do You Need If You Work In Tech

While the tech industry relies on individuals for both technical skills and soft skills, a lot of tasks require great teams. Professionals who have solid teamwork skills understand how to collaborate, communicate, and share information with others. Interpersonal communication is a critical skill to sharpen for advancement, and the ability to work well with others becomes more critical as you progress through your career.

While strength in particular in one or two areas are essential, connecting with people and excelling at your job requires more than just solid communication. One highly sought-after communication skill is being able to explain technical concepts to partners, customers, and colleagues who are not technically proficient. Communication skills are necessary in any job, and a career in technology is no different.

As tech professionals work with colleagues in different departments these days, listening, speaking, and writing skills are also essential soft skills to succeed. In addition to being able to collaborate in their own departments, it is essential for a tech professional to be able to leverage those skills for collaboration throughout an organisation. In the workplace, and particularly in the higher-tech companies, a heavy emphasis is placed on the employee’s skills.

Those who have solid coding skills, related certifications, and even professional licenses are typically the most sought-after employees. Companies looking for tech candidates, particularly high-quality candidates who have a chance at an upward trajectory in their careers, are looking for soft skills or non-technical skills like time management, leadership, communication, creativity, and so on almost as much as they are looking for cutting-edge tech skills, according to one survey. Despite demand for tech talent who have artificial intelligence, Kubernetes, RPA, and other hard technical skills, those without the soft skills are going to have trouble landing their dream job.

The skills companies want now from you may not be what they want five or 10 years down the line. As technology and AI advances, the world will need professionals with stronger soft skills to run advanced machines. In the future, these high-skilled creatives and innovators will be working alongside robots (or cobots) that handle more mundane tasks.

A creative IT worker who is good at managing humans is much more likely to prosper in a machine-centric world than one with just brute skills. Teaching technical skills may be an easily managed challenge for employers, but teaching creativity is no easier. Regardless, people who do it frequently forget that having the right tech skills and a knowledge of the software is not enough.

While developing IT soft skills is often an organic process, it is possible to develop these skills with hard work and determination as well. Other, more abstract soft skills, like adaptability, self-motivation, and critical thinking, help IT workers keep their heads above water as people, and make effective use of available tools. Soft skills are generic skills that are driven by individual attributes, such as being able to give and receive feedback, working collaboratively, and managing time. They involve things such as being able to communicate clearly, work with teammates, and think of creative solutions to complex problems.

Often called soft skills, top soft skills are common attributes or characteristics that help professionals work well with others and flourish in a variety of different environments. They are a part of a larger team, and your soft skills are what allow you to effectively work with others and handle the non-technical aspects of your role. For many roles, you will need hybrid skills - a mix of technical skills and non-technical skills. These skills are great for coaching, mentoring, and effectively managing teams.

What Soft Skills Do You Need If You Work In Tech

For employers, decision-making skills show assertiveness and leadership skills. Good data and quality work at technical jobs come from team members who have soft skills like leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence, which brings the best out of each other. To keep up with constantly changing demands from businesses, employees need to possess skills that make them relevant and capable at work.

Empathy may sound irrelevant as a soft skill for IT, but IT professionals must often put themselves in a customer, end user, and employer’s shoes in order to assess what customers need and want.

Among the skills that are the most valued, according to a Cengage study of hiring managers and HR professionals, are listening skills (74%), paying attention to details (70%), and effective communication (69%). Even when asked explicitly about the managers balance between technical skills and soft skills, most (52 percent) said they wanted a balanced mix of both, rather than placing an emphasis on one over the other.

If you are lacking in one of the areas we mentioned, maybe it is time you invest time into building up these skills. Each of these skills helps you better collaborate, tap your intellectual and creative strengths, and keep yourself mentally disciplined. The key to developing each comes down to taking time to learn the skill, much as you would learn a technical ability, then practicing, whether that is alone, in the workplace, or with friends.

In IT, soft skills may include knowledge of a programming language, coding, building a computer system, or upgrading your network. Skills such as communication, collaboration, adaptability, and problem-solving commonly called soft skills are now so critical for success in IT that some CIOs have begun calling skills such as communication - Core Skills.

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