The Most Needed Skills in IT


  • Service Provider

    This is an article that I wrote six or seven years ago but just discovered in a pile of unpublished work this past week.

    SMB IT Journal on The Most Needed Skills in IT looks at the skills that we see as major gaps in students leaving university and entering the IT workforce. What businesses need, with students being able to communicate thoroughly and effectively, and being able to understand business needs, are directly opposed to the skills being pushed at the university level. Businesses and universities need to work together to understand the needs, demand excellence from students and aspire to create a workforce that has real value. IT specifically suffers from certain deficiencies that should be relatively simple to address, yet are often ignored until candidates are into the workforce and feel that it is too late to reinvent how they view the IT workspace.



  • The skill to handle users, interpret what they need from what thy say they need, and customer service are important in my opinion too!


  • Service Provider

    @NattNatt said in The Most Needed Skills in IT:

    The skill to handle users, interpret what they need from what thy say they need, and customer service are important in my opinion too!

    Yes, but are isolated to one very specific role within IT, not a general skill across the industry.



  • @scottalanmiller said in The Most Needed Skills in IT:

    @NattNatt said in The Most Needed Skills in IT:

    The skill to handle users, interpret what they need from what thy say they need, and customer service are important in my opinion too!

    Yes, but are isolated to one very specific role within IT, not a general skill across the industry.

    True...



  • @scottalanmiller said in The Most Needed Skills in IT:

    @NattNatt said in The Most Needed Skills in IT:

    The skill to handle users, interpret what they need from what thy say they need, and customer service are important in my opinion too!

    Yes, but are isolated to one very specific role within IT, not a general skill across the industry.

    By and large, I agree with @NattNatt . I don't think they're limited to one very specific role in IT at all. You use those skills more in some roles than others, but you'll need at least some modicum of these skills, no matter what branch of IT you get into.



  • I enjoyed this section of the article:

    The second big skill needed in IT departments today is an understanding of business – both business in general and the business referring to the specific business of their own organization. As I said at the beginning of this article, IT is a business enabler. If IT professionals do not understand how IT relates to their business they will be poorly positioned to valuate IT needs and make recommendations in the context of the business. Everything that IT does it does for the business, not for technology and not for its own purposes.

    With that in mind, what are some recommendations to improve one's business acumen from an IT perspective?

    Hypothetical scenario: Someone has worked at a small IT shop for years and is a comfortable sysadmin, but is considering an IT administrative position at a much more "corporate" environment. Their role will involve a lot more interfacing with other departments or agencies, as well as driving "big picture" projects and purchasing decisions.

    What resources could they use to improve their understanding of how to fit in in the business realm, and to develop the proper understanding of IT in such an environment? Are there any particularly good books on this subject?



  • The ability to clearly and effectively communicate has been the driving force of my career. Way far and beyond technical skill or experience.


  • Service Provider

    @crustachio said in The Most Needed Skills in IT:

    I enjoyed this section of the article:

    The second big skill needed in IT departments today is an understanding of business – both business in general and the business referring to the specific business of their own organization. As I said at the beginning of this article, IT is a business enabler. If IT professionals do not understand how IT relates to their business they will be poorly positioned to valuate IT needs and make recommendations in the context of the business. Everything that IT does it does for the business, not for technology and not for its own purposes.

    With that in mind, what are some recommendations to improve one's business acumen from an IT perspective?

    Hypothetical scenario: Someone has worked at a small IT shop for years and is a comfortable sysadmin, but is considering an IT administrative position at a much more "corporate" environment. Their role will involve a lot more interfacing with other departments or agencies, as well as driving "big picture" projects and purchasing decisions.

    What resources could they use to improve their understanding of how to fit in in the business realm, and to develop the proper understanding of IT in such an environment? Are there any particularly good books on this subject?

    This is an area where university classes can be really beneficial, if you have access to the right ones. Classes on communications, business, accounting, psychology and such can be huge. There are three main areas that I can think of that really matter:

    • Understanding people
    • Understanding communications
    • Understanding business

    And you might add on the more specific "understanding THE business" as well.

    The more that you have any of these, the easier things get. Even if you are a great communicator, if you don't understand the business and its needs at all, you won't have much to communicate.

    I don't know of any specific books around this. Maybe things like Open University or something would have resources.



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