What are those top skills that can make you a more competitive job candidate and valued employee? What are HR specialists looking for when they consider an application they’ve just received from a junior that wants to crush IT?
In this last article from our series Start Smart in Your IT Career , you will discover a list of the most sought skills when it comes to juniors that pursue an IT career. You’ll also discover what are the most approachable technologies/programming languages for juniors that we recommend as a company with 28 years of experience in software development, over 90 employees, hundreds of projects, and numerous designed programs for students.
Jobs in information technology can be interesting and rewarding, but to get a chance to land a job in this industry you’ll need to focus on developing a set of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills. This way you’ll be ready to take on any situation with confidence.
So without further ado, here is our list of TOP 3 SKILLS you need to #crushIT
1. CODING SKILLS
Once upon a time, the world of computer programming was an exclusive place where only a select handful of people were considered computer programmers with cutting-edge coding skills. But today, you can access the right information, and thus educate yourself on the top programming languages. If you want to pursue a career in IT try and familiarize yourself with these programming languages:
This is a multi-platform, object-oriented, and network-centric language designed for having lesser implementation dependencies.
It is among the most used programming languages that has evolved from humble beginnings to power a large share of today’s digital world. Java is providing a reliable platform upon which many services and applications are built and it is used for applications in laptops, data centers, game consoles, scientific supercomputers, cell phones, etc. When learning about Java you will also get to know more of its frameworks, which make up the body or platform of pre-written codes used by Java developers to develop Java applications or web applications. The most used are: Liferay, Spring, Open Liberty.
The .NET Framework is a proprietary software framework developed by Microsoft that runs primarily on Microsoft Windows and it’s used for building many different types of applications. If you’re learning C#, you’re going to encounter a lot of “dot net”: .NET, .NET Framework, .NET Core, dotnet, ASP.NET, and the list goes on.
PHP is an open-source programming language used to build more than 80% of websites on the Internet, including notable sites like Facebook and Yahoo. Developers can also use this language to write command-line scripts, and programmers with high-level PHP coding skills can also use it to develop desktop applications. PHP provides a basic foundation for the development of web applications in PHP. When using PHP you will get to interact with its frameworks providing libraries for commonly used functions, which help cut down on the amount of original code developers need to write from scratch. The most used PHP frameworks are Symfony, Laravel, WordPress.
Python is used in everything from machine learning to building websites and software testing, by developers and non-developers alike.
According to Coursera, which quotes a survey conducted by industry analyst firm RedMonk, this was the second-most popular programming language among developers in 2021. Python is often used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and conduct data analysis. It has also been used to create popular video games, including Civilization IV, Vegas Trike, and Toontown.
Although there are hundreds of programming languages, very few make it to the shortlist. The ones described above lead the pack if you want to start a career as a programmer with a top-notch CV and portfolio.
What if I want to pursue testing and QA skills?
Since we are talking about careers, keep in mind that you can also start working in IT as a tester. Just like horse and carriage, there is no developing without testing. If coding is not for you, a position as a tester or quality assurance specialist may lead to a fulfilling career. We offer the opportunity to try these in our team. Here is what testing and quality-assurance is all about.
2. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Successful communication helps us better understand people and situations. It helps us overcome diversities, build trust and respect, and create conditions for sharing creative ideas and solving problems. In today’s information technology jobs, you don’t just need good tech skills. Juniors who can demonstrate the following communication skills may find their resumes at the top of the batch:
- Language skills: Language skills are just as important in the 21st century. Speaking, reading, and writing in more than just your native language are critical skills, especially when it comes to IT, where teams are usually multicultural, the same as projects or clients. In our team, for example, the most used languages are English and Deutsch, but we also use French and Spanish.
- Precise writing skills: Whether it’s documenting a project scope or creating a user manual for a new database, information technology professionals must be able to write clearly and precisely about their work.
- Good oral presentation skills: You may be called upon to explain how a particular system works or present the proposal for a new project. Confident, engaging, and clear oral presentation skills will help you succeed in many information technology jobs.
- Strong listening skills: A good IT professional listens carefully to project requirements, but he also listens for subtext and unsolved problems. A skilled listener can ‘hear between the lines and help people work through questions, issues, and problems related to information technology projects.
As you can see, communication skills don’t refer to just being able to put thoughts into words in a concise manner. This skill, though considered a soft one, is crucial in IT jobs.
Despite what the majority of people think, creativity doesn’t just involve things like painting or writing a novel. Instead, creativity is essential for someone who wants to pursue an IT job as you will be expected to generate new ideas in this field. The same creativity leads to more engaged teams, reduced workplace stress, and better teamwork. These are some of the reasons why companies try to recruit juniors that can demonstrate creative skills.
You can signal that you are a creative person by mentioning that you:
- Like intellectual challenges
- Appreciate a degree of freedom
- Pursue innovative thinking
- Are receptive to new ideas
So, now you know what are those top 3 skills that a junior who wants an IT career should nurture. Project management, perseverance, troubleshooting, and curiosity can also be added to this list.
It will help to also be interested in trending technologies such as:
- AI & Machine Learning Cloud
- Computing Data Science & Data Analytics
- Cyber Security
- Mobile App Development
- Virtual Reality
Jobs in information technology can be exciting and rewarding, but to get a chance to start in this industry you’ll need to focus on learning technology and develop the skills which will be the most in demand for the future. As tech is a broad field, there are a lot of interesting directions you can follow. If you feel that you need more guidance or you are ready to shine in this industry, we invite you to explore the possibilities below.