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What Skills are Needed for Information Technology Employment?

By Carol Francois
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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There are a wide range of skills that provide opportunities for information technology employment. The skill sets necessary to have a career in this industry is based on three types of positions: development, support and analysis. Combine these skills together to take advantage of an entire range of new positions that are in high demand.

All information technology careers require a similar set of basic skills. A solid understanding of mathematical concepts and a high degree of skill in data manipulation and multiple step logic is required. Communication skills and the ability to understand a wide range of perspectives is critical. Detail orientation and mental focus are necessary skills.

Development positions include programmers, system developers and computer configuration staff. A degree in math, computer science, or computer engineering is a basic requirement. Additional certification in specific programming languages and techniques are required to maintain information technology employment. New programming languages are continually being developed.

Support staffs in information technology are generally divided into two roles: user support and hardware support. User support includes assisting with computer software purchase, installation and training. Degrees or diplomas in technology, adult education or computers are all helpful for these roles. Employment as support staff often includes training, writing documentation, working on a help desk and troubleshooting. Communication and people skills are the most important tools required for this type of position.

Hardware support is a more technical skill, relying on specialized training in computer networking, hardware installation and modification. A degree or diploma in computers, hardware, computer networking or computer engineering is necessary. This type of role is very mechanical in nature, involving cables, servers and actual computer components

An information technology analyst needs excellent communication, project management, and trouble shooting skills. An education in technology, computer science or the sciences is great preparation for this type of employment. The role of an analyst is to bridge the gap between the user and the developer. They need to have a firm grasp on the business process, technical options and the methodologies of system development.

Information technology is a rapidly growing field, with huge changes in technology occurring all the time. Continuing information technology employment requires a commitment to continuing education and learning throughout your career. There are many opportunities to advance from an entry-level job to a professional position by simply expanding your knowledge base and working hard. A critical skill for information technology employment is an affinity for problem solving and taking initiative.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon930415 — On Feb 04, 2014

I have three options. Please let me know which one is best: Windows server administrator; Oracle Database Administration; SCCM.

By beast — On Oct 20, 2010

To also be in information technology you should be able to teach others if help is needed. Always stay in touch with the latest technology.

By beast — On Oct 18, 2010

to be in information technology you should be able to sit for long periods of time with out getting up. You should also be able to work in a regular office area.

By icecream17 — On Aug 18, 2010

Bhutan- Some information technology job openings include programmers, web designers and systems analysts.

People in the information technology field always have to be familiar with the latest software and technologies that are available. Constantly upgrading your skills will not only make you more marketable, but it will provide you a higher salary.

By Bhutan — On Aug 18, 2010

Latte31- Some contractors working with employment firms actually prefer contract positions because they are flexible and they can continually upgrade their skills and earn more money in a short period of time.

Some also like to take breaks in between contracts. This is a great perk of an information technology job.

Most people in this field need to have strong analytical skills and attention to detail. For example, if a programmer makes a coding mistake it could create havoc in a company’s system which can cost the company a lot of money in lost productivity.

By latte31 — On Aug 18, 2010

Suntan12- Information technology employment agencies seek employees with experience above a degree. If you're in a technical school or going to college for computer science is important to seek an internship with a company or even start to repair PCs on your own.

Without actual experience it's very difficult for an information technology employment agency to actually offer you a job.

Most clients are not going to pay for employee that is entry level unless that's what they seek. But once you gain experience of at least two years in the industry there are numerous opportunities for an IT employment job.

By suntan12 — On Aug 18, 2010

The information technology occupation requires hands on experience. Having a computer science degree or training from a technical school, or even a Microsoft certification is great, but most companies are looking for actual experience in the field.

Some companies hire new graduates from computer science programs and place them in help desk technical support positions.

These are usually first level support for basic computer problems. EDS for example, offers trainees a training program that lasts 12 weeks.

The trainees are given exams and upon successful completion of the program a placed in their technical support department. This is one way to obtain information technology positions.

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