17 Skills You Need to Work in IT

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated January 19, 2023

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The information technology (IT) field is a great industry to work in for those looking for a long-term career and job growth in a dynamic industry. However, you need a mix of hard and soft skills to succeed in IT. Knowing and developing the skills in IT you need will help you stand out over other candidates. In this article, you'll learn about the hard, technical skills and soft, transferable skills you need to work in IT successfully and how to include them in your resume.

17 common skills in IT

To succeed in IT, you need to have a mix of technical skills and soft skills. Here are 17 common skills in IT that will help you stand out over other candidates:

Technical skills

Technical skills, also known as hard skills, are vital to working in IT. The exact technical skills you need will vary depending on your role, but here are some common ones you should consider developing, either through school or hands-on experience:

Related: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills

Technical writing

Excellent written communication skills are necessary to work in IT, especially since most of the writing you need to do is quite technical. You may need to explain complicated processes or systems to your colleagues, clients, manufacturers, or other people without a technical background. To do so successfully, you need to translate complex, technical information into layman's terms. Depending on your role, you may also have to write complex documents, web content, or press releases, so technical writing skills are a must.

Social media management

As many companies rely on social media for marketing, understanding how the different platforms work can help you stand out. These skills will help you perform tasks such as retrieving social media analytics, optimizing the content companies post on various platforms, or providing support to log in to or create social media accounts.

Related: The 14 Best Social Media Management Tools for Businesses

Coding

Most IT roles require at least a basic understanding of coding. Writing code allows you to develop new software, applications, and websites, so having coding skills in several languages, such as C++, Python, or Java, is an asset.

Related: 6 Fundamental Coding Concepts (With Tips to Improve)

Network configuration

Even if you aren't a network administrator, networking knowledge is an asset in IT. Network configuration skills help you set up networks, administer them, and fix them when your company or client is having issues. Having at least a basic knowledge of network configuration is necessary for most IT roles.

Hardware deployment

For any technology to work, it needs certain hardware. For example, a computer monitor can't work without a processor. Therefore, you must know how to deploy different types of hardware in any IT role. Hardware deployment consists of packing, unpacking, and setting up technical equipment. These skills also help you monitor and repair any malfunctioning hardware, a huge asset in IT.

Operating system knowledge

In every IT role, you'll be using an operating system on your laptop or computer. Many businesses only use one operating system, but having proficiency in multiple systems can make you more appealing to prospective employers who may want to switch in the future. Having knowledge of different operating systems helps you install and fix errors on them for your employer.

Related: What Is an Operating System? (Plus Functions and Types)

Database management

Companies store important data, such as customer information, financial documents, or presentations, in databases. Working in IT may require you to know the basics of database management to input data and keep existing information safe. Different companies use different databases so you may receive on-the-job training, but knowing the basics of database management is important.

Related: What Is a Database Management System? (With Benefits)

Soft skills

Soft skills are skills you can use in a variety of roles and industries. You may have some of these skills already, but you can always improve or develop them. Here are some of the common soft skills in IT:

Communication

Strong written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills are all essential in IT. You'll constantly be talking to your supervisors and colleagues about their technical issues or upcoming projects. While many IT roles are independent, some may require you to work on a team, such as a web developer. To do so successfully, you need strong communication skills. These skills can also help you communicate with customers who need IT support over email or the phone.

Related: How To Improve Communication Skills

Organization

Being organized is essential in IT as many roles require you to multi-task. Multi-tasking is impossible if you're disorganized as you won't be able to stay on track. Many roles also require candidates to adhere to strict deadlines, so having strong organizational skills helps you prioritize your tasks and stick to assigned timelines.

Analytical abilities

Analytical skills help you identify potential problems and solve them before they arise. You can also analyze data, such as a company's website analytics, and apply it to your work. For example, if you notice the company's website isn't receiving a lot of organic traffic, you can use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to optimize the content and garner more visitors.

Related: Analytical Skills Defined and Explained

Creativity

The IT industry is constantly changing as new technology comes out. So, to succeed in this field, you must be creative. Creativity leads to revolutionary ideas and solutions, allowing you to set your company apart from its competitors. You can use your creativity to fix technological issues, develop new processes, or create unique technology.

Project management

Even if you aren't a project manager, project management skills can help you succeed in IT, especially when you're working on multiple projects at once. These skills help you create goals, adhere to timelines, work through setbacks, and communicate well with your team.

Related: 22 Essential Project Management Skills

Problem-solving

One of the main jobs of an IT professional is solving problems. You may help customers or colleagues install their hardware or software or have to work through project issues, such as a bug in your colleague's code. Strong problem-solving skills help you quickly analyze the issue at hand and develop a solution.

Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is a great skill to have in IT as you need to use various resources to complete your tasks. For example, if someone asks you a question you don't know the answer to, research it. If you're having trouble with a certain program, learn more about it. Resourcefulness helps you increase your productivity and knowledge, allowing you to thrive at work.

Leadership

Leadership skills are great for anyone to have, whether or not you're in a managerial role. As an IT professional, you'll be the expert in your field, so you may need to lead a team on certain aspects of a project. Strong leadership skills show your colleagues you have the knowledge and confidence to lead them through different problems.

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Flexibility

Your day-to-day tasks in IT will likely change, so being flexible is important. It helps you address issues quickly and adjust your work schedule to accommodate last-minute changes.

Perseverance

As IT is a technical industry, you may come across new or difficult problems. It's important that you can persevere through these challenges and use them as a learning experience. Employers want candidates that are willing to persevere and work well under pressure.

Highlighting your IT skills on your resume

Once you've developed the necessary skills to work in IT, you need to highlight them on your resume to stand out over other candidates. You can include your IT skills in the skills, achievements, or work experience section of your resume. Illustrate your skills by mentioning specific times you've used them in previous positions. For example:

  • "Developed XYZ Company's website using Java"

  • "Worked with customers to diagnose and fix their operating system issues"

  • "Installed and maintained hardware and software components on over 100 computers throughout the office"

  • "Worked closely with a development team to write code for new applications"

When submitting your resume to different employers, tailor your IT skills to match the job posting. Look for keywords and include them in your resume to help you stand out. This also ensures you're highlighting skills you know the employer is looking for. You can also go into more detail about your skills in IT in your cover letter, helping hiring managers get to know you better.

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