Why IT pros need soft skills to advance their careers (free PDF)

Provided by: TechRepublic
Topic: Tech & Work
Format: PDF
The demand for tech talent is high, but IT pros may need more than technical abilities to land jobs and secure promotions. This ebook looks at why soft skills are key to career success in today’s IT job market.

From the ebook:

Depending on which company you talk to, there are varying demands for IT technical skills. But there is one common need that most IT organizations have: soft skills. This is nothing new. As early as three decades ago corporate IT sought out liberal arts graduates to become business and systems analysts so they could “bridge the communications gap” between programmers and end users. And if you look at the ranks of CIOs, a significant number have backgrounds in liberal arts.

Here are some of the soft skills areas that companies want to see in IT professionals today.

Deal-making and meeting skills
IT is a matchup of technology and people to produce products that run the company’s business. When people get involved, there are bound to be disagreements and a need to arrive at group consensus. IT’ers who can work with people, find a common ground so projects and goals can be agreed to, and swallow their own egos in the process are in high demand.

Communication skills
The ability to read, write, and speak clearly and effectively will never go out of style—especially in IT. IT project annals are filled with failed projects that were good ideas but poorly communicated.

Project intuition
There are formal project management programs that teach people PM methodology. But for most people, it takes several years of project management experience to develop an instinct for how a project is really going. Natural project managers have this sixth sense. In many cases, it’s simply a talent that can’t be taught. But when an IT executive discovers a natural project manager who can “read” the project in the people and the tasks, that person is worth their weight in gold.

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