Information technology has progressed immensely over the last decade and has become one of the fastest-growing occupations around the world. Almost every business today requires professionals with IT skills.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook listed by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the information technology field is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029. Due to high demand, 531,200 new IT jobs in the fields of cloud computing, big data, and information security are expected.
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What Is Information Technology
Information technology involves storing, processing, and manipulating data. It is the development and implementation of computer-based information systems, including software and hardware.
Information technology helps solve businesses or organizational problems at any scale. An information technology department helps with the installation, implementation, and repair of computer systems. In addition, other daily tasks include tech support, network maintenance, and security testing.
An organization’s IT department also follows standard policies and procedures to ensure IT systems reflect the organization’s needs. They also handle the physical components of IT infrastructure, such as routers, servers, PCs, and laptops.
Information Technology Skills
If you are planning to enter IT and want to make money in the IT field, then you’ll need the following IT skills to qualify for an entry-level, management-level, or executive-level position.
One of the most basic and important skills an IT professional needs is coding. A software or a web development job requires the use of code, so a candidate with coding skills is a must.
Computer Hardware and Software Knowledge
Computer hardware refers to the physical parts of a computer system. For example, a keyboard, monitor, mouse, or router.
Software provides instructions to hardware to perform a task. Programs or apps are loaded into the computer storage and the computer then operates by executing the software.
Both hardware and software are interconnected. Without one, the other won’t function.
Having knowledge of both the software and hardware of a computer is essential for an IT worker.
Troubleshooting is the basic bread and butter of an IT professional. You will be summoned multiple times a day to fix issues related to sound, Internet, screen switching, and application crashes.
No matter what the issue is, troubleshooting will be a process of trial and error. You will at times have to reboot the computer multiple times or use various techniques to solve the problem at hand.
See troubleshooting as problem-solving, where you repair failed products or processes to make them work again. Sometimes troubleshooting might only cure the symptoms, but the root of the problem will still be there. You will have to find the root cause so it doesn’t repeat.
APIs (Application Programming Interface)
APIs allow interactions between two applications so they can communicate with each other. For instance, when you check the weather on your phone or use messaging apps you are using an API.
APIs are tools that allow programmers to write applications rapidly. Many operating systems and applications have different kinds of APIs. For example, Windows has many API sets that the system hardware or applications use.
Knowledge and implementation of APIs is therefore an essential IT skill you must possess.
A part of your job as an IT professional will be to manage multiple tasks and responsibilities. You will be responsible for tight deadlines and deliverables. Being self-directed and self-motivated will be key traits as part of the management of these tasks.
Good project management skills are a secret career superpower. They involve the ability to set goals and reach those goals in a timely and efficient manner. Some of the traits of project management include being goal-oriented, meeting deadlines, multitasking, and problem-solving.
As a problem fixer, your IT role will also require you to have good communication skills. When a colleague reaches out to you with a problem, you must be able to communicate the solution in a clear, and concise way.
Almost every IT job requires you to demonstrate leadership and initiative in front of a small or large group. Communication may be a soft skill, but it is one of the most sought after skills in every industry.
An IT enthusiast will find innovation in his/her work to solve everyday problems. The curiosity to learn new things, and practice the skills at hand, will help you achieve productive results. A great IT professional will understand the innate workings of computer systems and will strive to get better while making suggestions for increased efficiency at work.
Innovation is the key to the biggest breakthroughs in life. Successful people spend time creating innovative solutions and are also risk-takers.
The skills listed above are only a handful among many others that you can learn and adopt on your IT path. Additional soft and technical skills you can learn to increase your chances of entering an IT field include:
- Operating Systems
- Artificial Intelligence
- Cloud Computing
- Software Development
- Positive Attitude
- Team Work
Where Can I learn IT Skills?
Before applying for a job in the IT sector, you must have all the required skills for the job posting. Once you acquire the skills, you will add the Information Technology skills to your resume and will be asked to elaborate on them at your interview.
There are many online resources where you can learn IT skills. Some of these are listed below.
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Conclusion: Learn and Use IT Skills to Excel at Your Job
With the right skills at hand, you will soon ace your interview and land an amazing job. Remember that these skills will prepare you for the field as you will be applying everything you have learned in your day-to-day work. So, make sure to spend quality time studying these skills so you can perform well at your job and eventually earn a promotion.
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