Thinking about building a career in technology? We consulted top professionals in the field, and they said these are the top skills you’ll need to succeed.
Whether you’re just starting out in life or are thinking about switching careers, technology is an excellent industry to consider as it’s ripe with opportunity.
Still, jumping into a field as technical and diversified as technology won’t be a piece of cake. Tech companies and potential clients and customers of IT specialists are looking for highly qualified and experienced professionals.
To attain the tech position you desire, it will be imperative that you prepare well and hone the top qualities you’ll need to succeed. What qualities are those, you ask? We spoke with several skilled experts in the field, and they came up with the following suggestions.
Top Skills and Qualities You Need to Succeed in a Technology Career
1. Pay attention to detail.
With the advancing complexity of various technologies, the emphasis on cyber security, and the continuing interconnectedness of diverse systems and networks, it’s no wonder that being skilled at technology means being skilled at detail-oriented tasks.
According to Joe Cannata, owner of small business computer support company, Techsperts, LLC, “In my opinion, one of the most important qualities techs need to have to succeed is a strong attention to detail. I have found this to be very helpful in my career and also in the success of my employees.”
2. Be a problem solver.
Analytical and critical thinking skills are essential when it comes to technology. As Samantha Motz, owner and senior technician at Motz Technologies, LLC, puts it:
“I would say the most important quality [needed for] working in tech is problem solving skills. One thing any senior tech will tell you: A project almost never goes off without a hitch. Being able to assess the situation and figure out a way around the problem is critical. Almost anyone can work a help desk with scripts and guides for everything. If you want to succeed and move into a more senior position, problem solving skills are critical.”
3. Don’t forget to learn managerial skills.
When most prospective techies think about the skills they’ll need for a career in tech, their minds jump straight to the practical: Tech skills. Naturally, many of those who want to enter tech in the first place are “technically-inclined.” That is, they’re predisposed to have a technical mind.
The hitch is, that while these tech skills themselves are certainly important in the technology industry, what’s often even more important is the addition of good managerial and interpersonal skills. Having both these types of skills is, in fact, exceptionally rare.
Says Scott Gallupe of EngineeringIT.ca:
“The way I see it, there are technical people … and people that are good in the managerial sense. It becomes challenging to find someone with both skill sets, and if we do we try to retain them as they are a perfect candidate for us.”
4. Be a self-starter. Embrace an entrepreneurial spirit.
Techsperts, LLC owner Joe Cannata says being a “self-starter” is what helped him make his own way in the tech industry. This included starting his very own small business, which is now a successful and expanding enterprise:
“I started Techsperts, LLC with the sole intention to be my own boss. I learned early in my career that I would not be happy making other people successful. I wanted to be solely responsible for my future. For better or worse, I wanted to be in control and make the decisions. I have always preferred to learn the why on my own rather than someone else telling me.”
5. Be able to “wear many hats.”
Most technology jobs are not single-faceted. That is, they incorporate a number of different roles. Which roles you play on which day will depend on a multitude of factors — but what’s central is that you know how to transition in and out of these roles with ease and fluidity.
This is especially true if you plan on owning and operating your own business or filling a top managerial position. Scott Gallupe of EngineeringIT.ca says:
“My title is president, but really, I have many roles and responsibilities. As the president of an IT company, my job is to make sure that our clients are happy and satisfied, that my team is happy and satisfied, and that we are moving in an upward direction for overall business growth … Our goal as a company is to mitigate issues by providing the best solutions through technology implementation.”
In other words, Gallupe is saying that he requires both stellar interpersonal skills and a range of technical skills. In particular, he needs to be able to successfully manage and engage a team of employees and his company’s clients. At the same time, he requires technical and analytical skills to solve problems and business acumen for the successful upward trajectory and expansion of his company.
Are you interested in a career in technology? Naturally, a tech-based education, tech-related certifications, and useful experience in the field are all beneficial. However, it’s important not to discount the many other skills and qualities that potential employers will be looking for as well.
These include all of the crucial qualities listed above — again, recommended by top professionals in the field.
Anyone can enter the tech industry if they have a majority of these skills under their belt (or at least on their radar). As you search for a tech career and hone your skills, education, and certifications, be sure to remember and work on these qualities as well.